THE REAL FRANK ZAPPA BOOK by Frank Zappa

THE REAL FRANK ZAPPA BOOK

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The autobiography of pop-music Freak-Dadaist Zappa fulfills every Zappa follower's hope--in that the brilliant satirist writes (tapes) a life-story every bit as anticommercial and against-the-grain as his records and gives off the buzz of a live wire with the current up. And like his records--which are fun but not greatly relistenable--he comes to the reader's consciousness from so many directions at once that his bits and pieces are less a strong story than a series of japes and brilliancies. Though this sacrifice keeps the Zappa voice alive and hopping, and unburdened by journalese, it tends to numb. In this version, of his life, Zappa was born weird in Baltimore and--like Dali--became an instant and tireless investigator of the world about him. Dada was not a state of mind he later assumed, it was his pure mirroring of whatever impinged on him. He early had a love of drums, as well as a scientific bent, going from inventing explosives around the house to inventing explosive stage shows. Among other memories from his first shows, he tells of seeing Duke Ellington begging a producer's assistant backstage for a ten-dollar advance--a sight that so depressed Zappa that he broke tip his ten-piece band: "EVERYTHING looked utterly hopeless to me." He loved writing music but--after battles with symphony orchestras-eventually gave up notation as useless; had legal battles with recording giants; fought an obscenity charge in the English courts; came to have many Sixties road stories to tell: fought against Porn Audio legislation and ranted against the Moral Majority' and developed his food quirks (fried spaghetti for breakfast). Throughout, he gives details about cum-position, instruments, and arrangements, all flavored with scathing wit. Should do Zappa some good with cross-eyed critics while his sarcasms entertain general readers.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1989
ISBN: 671-63870-X
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:




MORE BY FRANK ZAPPA

MORE BY PETER OCCHIOGROSSO