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Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa
     

Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa

4.5 2
by Nigey Lennon
 

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Since his untimely death from prostate cancer in 1993, the legend of iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa has continued to grow. The years following his passing have seen the publication of numerous books, both sacred and profane, which examine his life and work, but the best, and only, up-close-and-personal account of the man and his music remains the original: Nigey

Overview

Since his untimely death from prostate cancer in 1993, the legend of iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa has continued to grow. The years following his passing have seen the publication of numerous books, both sacred and profane, which examine his life and work, but the best, and only, up-close-and-personal account of the man and his music remains the original: Nigey Lennon's Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa. Musician/author Lennon maintained a personal and professional relationship with Zappa during the period which is generally agreed to have been the composer's most creative, and she invests her recollections with considerable musical and emotional insight. The fact that Lennon is an accomplished musician and composer in her own right enables her to perceptively analyze Zappa's complex music, and her previous experience as a biographer of Mark Twain and Alfred Jarry is evident as she examines the complex conditions of Zappa's turbulent life. But above all, Being Frank is simply a great read: filled with wry humor, poignancy, and, of course, a plethora of the juicy road stories that Zappa himself didn't dare to include in his own autobiography. The e-book edition of Being Frank is certain to find a new audience for this classic title, which has been in great demand since its third print run sold out several years ago. "Irreplaceable . . . is the word to describe Being Frank . . . [Lennon's] memoir is both spiky and musically literate . . . Lennon's previous books were on Mark Twain and Alfred Jarry, which indicates the kind of cultural perspective required to get a grip on Zappa: something brighter than rock-journo pedantry." -Ben Watson, author of Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Lennon, a longtime friend and colleague of the late iconoclast rocker, offered this personal memoir in 1995. For this edition, she has updated their story as well as added a new introduction by Zappa's younger sister. Besides his music, Zappa was a noted paladin of free speech, and at the time of his death his family requested that in lieu of flowers fans should make donations to the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Mike Tribby
During Frank Zappa's lengthy, provocative career, surprisingly few books were written about him. Since his death, however, a small torrent of material has appeared. Guitarist-songwriter Lennon's personal memoir offers what might be called the private side of Zappa. Curiously revealing yet prim (e.g., she vends plenty of sex but no explicit, hydraulic descriptions; she uses blanks instead of some names), Lennon describes (all in the first four chapters) playing guitar with Zappa, being seduced by him, and sharing accommodations with him on the "200 Motels" tour. Her revelation that Zappa was not the dedicated family man he was sometimes cracked up to be is hardly surprising; rather, what surprises is that it took this long for a tell-all, between-the-sheets bio of him to appear. What surprises somewhat more is that Lennon also provides genuine insight into the composition, crafting, and execution of Zappa's intricate music.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780983488408
Publisher:
SCB Distributors
Publication date:
07/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
684,730
File size:
3 MB

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Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
mgwalsh More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was OK, nothing great, and was really short. This represents a very short window in Frank's career and does give a nice view of the road from the inside. You can debate the accuracy or motives of the author, as others have, but I chose to give her the benefit of the doubt. I'd recommend "The Frank Zappa Book" written by the man himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being Frank: My time With Frank Zappa Expanded From The Original Classic Since his untimely death from prostate cancer in 1993, the legend of iconoclastic musician Frank Zappa has continued to grow. The decade following his passing has seen the publication of a number of books, both sacred and profane, which examine his life and work, but the best, and only, up-close-and-personal account of the man and his music remains the original: Nigey Lennon¿s Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa. Musician/author Lennon maintained a personal and professional relationship with Zappa during the period which is generally agreed to have been the composer¿s most creative, and she invests her recollections with considerable musical and emotional insight. ¿....Being Frank can be viewed as a cautionary tale, a cinema verite' rock-and-roll moral fable, an historically accurate emotional portrait of one of America's most enigmatic modern musicians during an important transitional period in his life when he was free of the emotional/financial baggage of the original Mothers of Invention and could do as he creatively wished...what makes Zappa such a quirky individual and his music so irresistible...is precisely what Nigey has patiently and passionately documented...between the two of our books is a valuable portrait of one of the more intriguing and enigmatic cultural figures of the Twentieth Century, god help us all. --From the Introduction by David Walley, author of No Commercial Potential: The Saga of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention This edition is a reaffirmation of Being Frank's validity as a 'must read' book and hell, even a 'must re-read' book! Just like Frank's music, the deeper you get into this book, the more you will get out of it. --From the Foreword by Greg Russo, author of Cosmik Debris: The Collected History and Improvisations of Frank Zappa ¿irreplaceable...is the word to describe Being Frank...[Lennon¿s] memoir is both spiky and musically literate...Lennon¿s previous books were on Mark Twain and Alfred Jarry, which indicates the kind of cultural perspective required to get a grip on Zappa: something brighter than rock-journo pedantry.¿ -- Ben Watson, author of Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play