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Ike Willis is a legendary musician and singer most known for his time collaborating with music icon Frank Zappa. This is his story! Read more

New York, NY Nonfiction
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Ike Willis is a legendary musician and singer most known for his time collaborating with music icon Frank Zappa. This is his story!

New York, NY Nonfiction
Share this project

About this project

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!

FAQ

  • About 15 years ago, I met Ike at the Wetlands in NYC during set break of a Project Object show. Since then I have seen him perform over 50 times and have contracted with him to perform at my music venue a number of times.

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  • He has a lot on his mind... Seriously, Ike always planned to write a book about his life including some of his favorite memories of playing music with FZ. We are just now finally getting around to raising money to self publish the first edition of stories.

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  • Absolutely not. We have consulted with top IP attorneys and have full legal clearance to write this book. This is Ike's story about his life. We will only tell the truth, and the TRUTH shall set us free!

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  • The book is divided into 3 general parts:

    Ike's life before he met FZ.

    Ike's time playing with FZ,.

    Ike's life after FZ.

    Ike does not want to write an entire book about playing with FZ and dishing on all things FZ. Ike's personal stroy is truly remarkable and Ike has a style all of his own as far as story telling and linking memories of highlights of his life in a general landscape. Rest assured, there will be plenty of FZ inside info and stories NO ONE has ever heard about. However, this book will not contain "gossip," "accusations," "embarassing personal behavior," or overtly negative language. It will be an in depth exploration of Ike's life and characters he has met and worked with along the way. It is not a tabloid rag filled with imflamatory statements just to sell books (that will be in vol. 2)!!!

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  • About half...

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  • Well, if you want there to be some bad words we could add them for ya. Actually, this is a broad based focus and is designed to be entertaining for the whole family. IT IS NOT A GOSSIP TABLOID!!! If it were a movie it would probably be rated PG-13. It is safe for public and private consumption although I would not recommend eating it unless you are REALLY desperate!

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  • I think the answer to that question is obvious...

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  • The magic 8 ball says: "Very Likely."

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    1 backer

    Thank you letter signed by Ike Willis and mention in the credits of the book. International shipping not included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    11 backers

    All of the above plus a pdf copy of the book and additional promotional materials (grab bag assortment). International shipping not included

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    24 backers Limited (76 left of 100)

    All of the above plus a hard copy version of the book signed by Ike.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    6 backers

    All of the above plus a digital download of the book narrated by Ike and a second autographed book. We will also include other materials such as a DVD with interview highlights and material not contained in the official book. International shipping not included.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    0 backers Limited (100 left of 100)

    All of above plus a personalized signed photo of Ike or a personalized signature on an item of your choice. You must provide the item and all shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    0 backers Limited (100 left of 100)

    All of the above plus get to submit a question that will be answered in the book (music related please).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)

    All of above the PLUS:

    A thank you phone call from Ike and 4 VIP tickets to an Ike concert of your choice (dates/avail not guaranteed and must be booked in advance. If you cannot attend a live concert we will send you a live recording of a concert with personalized autographs and letter).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (25 left of 25)

    All of above plus 10 free tickets to an Ike Willis performance of your choice (travel not included). There will be an informal meet and greet with Ike and the rest of the band (dates/avail not guaranteed and must be booked in advance. If you cannot attend a live concert we will send you a recording with personalized autographs and letter). All 10 tickets do not have to be for the same show so you could see 10 shows for free if you so choose.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    All of above plus a personal visit from Ike Willis at a mutually agreed upon destination (Near LA, NYC, Chicago is best) and 5 total copies of the book personally autographed to anyone you choose. Ike will actually take the time to come and see you and shoot the shit, take photos, answer questions, etc. Ike is more fun than anyone knows what to do with and with a $1500 donation: HE WILL BUY YOU ROUND OF DRINKS!!!

    *Ike will be accompanied by his manager at all functions.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    All of the above PLUS an expense paid weekend in LA with Ike as your tour guide (travel to LA not included). Ike will take you on a guided tour visiting some of the most famous sites and studios in Hollyweird including the Zappa residence and other random/relevant local sites. And of course, you will get to "crank some Frank!"

    *Ike will be accompanied by his manager at all functions.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (27 days)