Tuesday, July 30, 2013


One of the great things about Zappanale, is that you get to see bands that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
Take Pojama People, for instance. They’ve been playing and promoting the music of Frank Zappa for years. In a couple of days, Pojama People will be doing their first
ever European gig.
Reason enough to have a chat with Glenn Leonard, drummer and driving force behind Pojama People.

UniMuta: Hi Glenn, it’s great to hear that Pojama People will be playing at Zappanale. How do you feel about it?

Glenn Leonard: It is an honor. It is the Disneyland for Zappa Freaks.

UniMuta: You’ve been at Zappanale before, right? With Project/Object in 2002, if my memory serves me right. Any recollections?

Glenn Leonard: Although I was in Project/Object at that time, they brought back their original drummers for that show. I performed with the Grandmothers and with Bob and Thana Harris with Mike Keneally sitting in.
The Grandmothers had a tremendous line-up: Don Preston, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Roy Estrada, Bunk Gardner, Bob Harris, Jimmy Carl Black (guest vocal), Miss Pamela (guest dancer) and my friend from P/O André Cholmondeley.
After the grand finale, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Tears came pouring out. I realized there was much love for Frank, how much I missed him, how hard I worked all my life to get to that point as a musician. It was overwhelming, I crumpled over and cried like a little girl the second I got off stage.

UniMuta: You started Pojama People in 2006. How have things been going for Pojama People? Do you get gigs on a regular basis?

Glenn Leonard: Yes, we tour the west coast of the United States 2 or 3 times a year. It's been going very well. Some very fun shows with Ike & I bouncing off each other making every show unique. We have a strong repoire after being in P/O together for 4 years. Also, I'm very fortunate to have found high-level musicians to help me support Ike.

UniMuta: Playing with Ike must be a blast. Is he a regular member? What’s the best thing about having him on stage with you.

Glenn Leonard: Yes, we are not much without Ike. He's the genuine article. I'd say the best thing is actually two-fold: his genius for spontaneity (working in an event or idea on the spot into the show) and channeling Frank's spirit in his guitar solos. Ike rarely got to show his guitar solo skills in the FZ days.

UniMuta: A couple of years ago, you (re-)joined Project/Object for their European tour. Is playing in Europe much different from playing in the USA?

Glenn Leonard: The biggest difference is that in spite of any language barrier the love & appreciation for the music is always evident. I can easily detect it in the eyes, their expression, their body language. it's universal & I appreciate that.

UniMuta: I’m glad that we’ll finally be having the opportunity to see Pojama People on stage in Europe. Can you give a short introduction to the other bandmembers?

Glenn Leonard: Alli Bach (my wife) will be on percussion & vocals. She's a very talented multi-instrumentalist from a wide range of musical backgrounds. She will performing on the mystery stage doing a tap dance interpretation of FZ as well as cabaret-style singing. Ted Clifford (keyboards) is a modern composer of chamber works and has a strong jazz background. Kevin Crosby (bass) plays a wide range of styles. He was in a well-renowned mash-up band called The Squirrels. He went to Berklee & now teaches private lessons.

UniMuta: You’re headliner on Sunday. Banned From Utopia is headliner on Saturday. How about that?

Glenn Leonard: It is a supreme honor to be considered alongside such legends. Each one of them are heroes of mine from many years ago as I was attending multiple Zappa shows from 1976 through 1988. I am inspired.

UniMuta: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions & see you on stage at Zappanale on Sunday evening.


  1. Get down with your bad selves... so to speak! ~metaP

  2. RIP Glenn. You will be missed by your many friends.