Greetings friends. The Ike Willis Book Project is a definitive account detailing many of the lifetime memoirs of Mr. Issac (Ike) Willis. Born in 1955 in St. Louis, MO Ike's story is the ultimate American Dream. Growing up an academic prodigy in a working class family whose ancestors were slaves from Africa, Ike attended boarding school in Georgia on a scholarship and then Washington University in his native St. Louis. He formed his first rock and roll band at a young age but it was after he saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and heard Zappa's Freak Out in 1965, that he knew music was his true calling.
Ike worked on the student stage crew when FZ played at Washington University and ended up informally auditioning back stage in Frank's dressing room. Six months later he received a call in his dorm from FZ asking him to come out to LA and formally audition for his band when the semester ended. Plane and hotel reservations were made and Ike flew out to LA in the summer of 1978 and found himself in the studio with his favorite band in the world. Over the next 15 years he would share the stage with legendary Zappa band members (such as Steve Vai, Ray White, Terry Bozio, Tommy Mars, Vinnie Colaiuta, Warren Cuccurullo, Ed Mann, Arthur Barrow, Johnny "Guitar" Watson). Ike is featured on a number of albums including Joe's Garage, Tinseltown Rebellion, You Are What You Is, Them or Us, & Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar.
Ike has always wanted to write a book to detail some of his favorite experiences and memories. We are now ready to bring you: "The Ike Willis Book Project."
We have complied over 25 hours of interviews with Ike and his wife over the past 6 months at his home in Los Angeles. The funding for this project will enable us to transcribe and edit and the material and then self publish the book. Funding will also allow us to hire a professional biographer to assist with the editing and layout as well as graphics professional to add photos and other bells and whistles to the final project. The funding also allows us to set up a company ("The Project Scrutinizer") to handle the PR and financial organization involved with this project. The Project Scrutinizer is a comprised of collective of fans that have been working with Ike over the past few years to bring this project to fruition.
The interviews we have are truly fantastic! There are so many amazing stories about Ike's life and his career with FZ that have never been told before. It is likely we will have enough material for more than 1 book, but we want to approach the book in the same way Frank approached his music. We will never have "too much."
Chapters in the book include:
-Ike's Family History & Upbringing
-The Making of Joe's Garage
-Members of the Bands
-Memories of individual shows and tours
-Stories of Interesting Fan Behavior
-Recording, Producing, Engineering of Albums
Ike and Frank Zappa fans will not want to miss this book! Help us make it happen, and you can be a permanent part of the Ike Willis Book Project!