Recounts the life and career of the inventive and controversial rock musician, and includes information on his philosophies on art, his opinions on the music industry, and his thoughts on raising children.
Few names carry such formidable mystique and rabid cult status as Captain Beefheart, who led various lineups of his Magic Band to make some of the most startling, ground-breaking albums of the last century. In 1982, he retired to concentrate on painting, leaving the mythology he’d stoked himself to grow untamed over the years. John French is better qualified than anyone to talk about Beefheart, joining the Magic Band in 1966 at the age of 17 just before recording their Safe As Milk debut album, finding himself plunged into a tyrannical regime which would dominate his life for the next 14 years as he played a major role in eight subsequent albums, including translating the mindblowing avant-blues assault of 1969’s Trout Mask Replica into readable music for the Magic Band from the Captain’s piano poundings under torturous conditions he likens to a cult. Spanning nearly a thousand pages, French’s remarkable memoir starts with a vivid description of the rarely-documented early 60s Lancaster garage-rock scene which also spawned names like Ry Cooder and Beefheart’s childhood friend and later nemesis Frank Zappa, whose appearances in the book will enthrall his own legion of fans. As his spellbinding, often shocking tale unwinds, he encounters names including jazz giant Ornette Coleman, Jim Morrison and Paul McCartney, writing with dry, sometimes surreal humour and disarming honesty about his old boss and even himself, occasionally bringing in his old Magic Band comrades to jog his memory. The book is packed with new revelations, many previously-unseen photos and enough anecdotes to keep the Beefheart faithful ruminating for years, French finally crystallising and bringing to life over 40 years of legend and speculation in what has to be the ultimate book on the mercurial genius of Captain Beefheart.
In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "Real Frank Zappa Book." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.
Barry Miles knew Frank Zappa intimately and was present at the recording of some of his most important albums. This sparkling biography brings the Zappa the musician and composer, Zappa the controversialist and Zappa the family man (despite his love of groupies, he was married for more than 30 years) together for the first time. Barry Miles' biography follows Zappa from his sickly Italian-American childhood in the 1940s (when his father, Frank senior, worked for the US military and was used to test the efficacy of new biological warfare agents) to his death from cancer in the 1990s. Miles shows how Zappa's goal had been to become a classical composer, until he realised that he would starve to death pursuing this ambition in post-war America. In an effort to make music people would actually listen to, in the mid-1960s he joined a noisy new band called 'The Mothers of Invention'. Before long, Zappa had taken over as singer, song writer and lead guitarist and together they exploded on to the San Francisco freak scene. Following the release of recordings such as Freak Out, Absolutely Free, We're Only In It For the Money and Hot Rats, Zappa's reputation in the United States and in Europe, especially the UK, Germany and Holland, took off. When the Berlin wall fell, Frank was surprised to learn that his extravagant music embodied sixties liberty for a generation of dissidents (including Vaclav Havel, who invited Zappa to be his minister for culture). Frank Zappa is an authoritative and hugely enjoyable portrait of a singular man and a vivid evocation of the West Coast scene.
The indispensable consumers' guide to the music of Frank Zappa - the genius of the absurd, and one of the most prolific and unpredictable characters of 20th century music.A thorough analysis of Zappa's complete recorded output, from the early days of the Mothers Of Invention, through his more avant-garde compositions and classical projects to the most recent posthumous releases. The guide features:An album by album analysisA full Zappa bibliographyDetails of when and where the music was recorded, including all collaborating artistsA special section concerning compilation, archive and bootleg releasesSixteen pages of full-colour images
This collection of essays, documented by an international and interdisciplinary array of scholars, represents the first academically focused volume exploring the creative idiolect of Frank Zappa. Several of the authors are known for contributing significantly to areas such as popular music, cultural, and translation studies, with expertise and interests ranging from musicology to poetics. The publication presents the reader with an understanding of the ontological depth of Zappa's legacy by relating the artist and his texts to a range of cultural, social, technological and musicological factors, as encapsulated in the book's title - Frank Zappa and the And. Zappa's interface with religion, horror, death, movies, modernism, satire, freaks, technology, resistance, censorship and the avant-garde are brought together analytically for the first time, and approached non chronologically, something that strongly complies with the non linear perspective of time Zappa highlights in both his autobiography and recordings. The book employs a variety of analytical approaches, ranging from literary and performance theory, 'horrality' and musicology, to post modern and textually determined readings, and serves as a unique and invaluable guide to Zappa's legacy and creative force.
Frank Zappa's reputation as one of rock's maverick geniuses has continued to grow since his death in 1993. Revised and updated, Electric Don Quixote is still the most comprehensive chronicle of his extraordinary life and career. Author, Neil Slaven, brings together the complex strands of Zappa's life and work in a book that will please not just Zappa fans but anyone interested in the history of rock music. Fully illustrated and includes a comprehensive discography.