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Attention all fans: Zappa fails to present Frank's true essence. Instead of exploring the mentality of the musical mastermind, Miles writes a 397-page opinion about Frank Zappa. In the beginning of the book, Miles states the history of Frank, along with many other characters in the book. An abundance of facts about Frank's whereabouts do not substitute for his true perspective. The biography lacks Frank Zappa's character due to Miles' disapproval of his provocative nature.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Limitless creativity, personal freedom and music created depth in Frank Zappa as a person and as a musician. He refused to believe in pop culture or follow trends. His absolute disconnection from the expectations and norms of society created tension with some critics. Barry Miles condemns Zappa for his blunt opinions rather than celebrate the weirdness and openness of a man as advanced as Frank. Miles found witnesses to confirm his opinion of Zappa are true; former musicians and even his daughter Moon Unit attempt to negatively influence the reader's opinion. Frank Zappa toured in Europe with trumpet player Sal Marquez, who was denied a per diem. Miles comments on the event, claiming he has a "hard-nosed capitalist lurking in Zappa's first generation-immigrant mentality" (Miles 237). If Miles doesn't approve of Zappa's morality and sense of humor, why write a book about his life?
There are positive attributes to this biography; Miles extensively researched the happenings of Frank Zappa, his family, current musicians and coworkers. He compiles a list of all Frank's musical and theatrical endeavors along with a thorough bibliography. His major flaw distracts readers from Zappa's actual life. Miles is unable to withdraw his own personal bias from the text about another's state of mind. There is no interest in reading an extensive judgment about another person; this manipulates reality. Avoid the exaggerated criticism of Frank's frank nature and read the real deal, Zappa's own books The Real Frank Zappa Book and Them or Us. His humor is not dulled or ridiculed and a true sense of Zappa can be felt.
Biographies fail to reveal the reality of the lives of their subject, and Zappa is no exception. Frank Zappa is praised as a talented musician, but criticized for his extreme devotion, work ethic, sense of humor, family life, and human interaction in general. Frank Zappa explains his opinion the best in Packard Goose, "F*** all them writers with a pen in their hand. I will be more specific so they might understand. They can all kiss my a** because it's so grand. They'd best just stay away." Perhaps this is why Zappa was written ten years after Frank's death.
Posted February 5, 2009
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