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“Miles has listened hard and researched well to craft a critical yet respectful biography of a man many consider a key musical genius of the past 40 years. . . . Read Miles’ biography to affirm Zappa’s creativity, hostility and wild, exploitative lifestyle. Read it, too, for the story of a ruthless autodidact of strange, warped humanity.” Carlo Wolff, San Francisco Chronicle
978-0-8021-4215-3 • $16.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2005
The definitive biography of religion-baiting, Republican-hating, chain-smoking, coffee-addicted, classically trained guitar virtuoso Frank Zappa
Ten years after his death, Frank Zappa continues to influence popular culture. With almost one hundred recordings still in printfrom his revolutionary work with the Mothers of Invention to his influential first solo album, Lumpy GravyFrank Zappa remains a classic American icon. Scores of bands have been influenced by (and have shamelessly imitated) Zappa’s music, and a talented roster of musicians passed through Zappa’s bands, including Captain Beefheart, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Lowell George, and Steve Vai. Now comes the definitive biography of Zappa by best-selling author Barry Miles, who knew Zappa personally and was present at the recording of some of his most important albums.
Miles follows Zappa from his sickly Italian-American childhood in the 1940s (his father worked for the military and was used to test how effective new biological warfare agents were) to his youthful pursuit of what was a lifelong dream: becoming a classical composer. Zappa brings together the many different personalities of this music legend together for the first time: the self-taught musician and composer who gained fame with the “rock” band the Mothers of Invention; the political antagonist who mocked presidents while being invited by Václav Havel to represent Czechoslovakia’s cultural interests in the United States, and Zappa the family man who was married to the same woman for over thirty years.
Rebel, performer, and a true musical visionary, Zappa is a brilliant and sweeping portrait of an American legend, written by one of rock music’s most respected biographers.
• Zappa was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995
• Almost one hundred Frank Zappa recordings are still in print