NO COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: The Saga of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention by David Walley

NO COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: The Saga of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mustachioed villain of Flower Power, savage social satirist, anarchist entrepreneur, superfreak Frank Zappa deserves a better book than this loosely strung out collage of quotes by various infatuated or disenchanted members of his entourage. Here everyone from his high school principal to Suzy Cream-cheese, ""the conscience"" of Zappa productions, testifies to his talent and occasionally the Ringmaster himself is allowed a few words of commentary -- e.g. on his long stringy locks: ""My father didn't buy the concept of long hair as brain-ends."" Which is kinda cute, baby, but there's almost nothing here about the concept of Lumpy Gravy and We're Only In It For The Money and how it managed not to catapult Zappa to superstar fortunes despite all the weird, weird talent. Reveling in the esoterica of Mothermania and declaiming the salutary shock value of Zappa's plastic-spastic mind, Walley seems determined to leave non-initiates to their own square fate as he soups up the tape recorder for one more cacophonous stanza of Brown Shoes Don't Make It. Zappa himself remains inaccessible behind the psychedelic flashings of the '60's L.A. rock scene spliced together with all the jangling disharmonies of one of his own records.

Pub Date: May 12th, 1972
Publisher: Outerbridge & Lazard