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 Post subject: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 9:28 am
Posts: 181
Location: scotland
this has probably been up in the past but i'm interested in finding out....the most fun book was by the man himself but the best book i've read on fz by someone else,so far, has been Ben watson's : negative dialectics of poodle play.<br>i've read a fair few others too but this one is the bible to me...even though i may not necessarily agree with some of it, it makes you think about his work, and that's a good thing i think.<br>anyone got any others?<br>

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 5:14 am 
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Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
I agree with you there Dirt, Ben Watsons book is very thought provoking but at the same time some parts are simply laughable. <br>Stay as far away from Ken Brooks book 'A Strictly Genteel Genius Rides Again' It is probably the worst account of Zappa's work. There are soooooooo many points in his book that are wrong, very wrong.  <br>I quite like David Walley's 'No Commercial potential', though I dropped my copy down the toilet by mistake so I've only read it once  :-[


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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:35 pm 
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funny, i just started reading all my FZ books over again...<br><br>"The Real Frank Zappa Book" - of course you must own it.<br><br>Billy James' "Necessity Is..." is fun and interesting, however, subtitled "The Early Years of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention", it is wildly biased toward the later-day Grandmothers.  this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially given that the author has direct and complete access to JCB, Don & Bunk.  unfortunately BJ relies too heavily on these few contacts, and channels their person biases to the degree that the book becomes a virtual résumé and pulpit for the Grandmothers.  i like the book, even if it comes off as wide-eyed and fawning much of the time.  it provides a lot of depth and color to some incredibly talented people often overlooked, often overshadowed by FZ.<br><br>David Walley's "No Commercial Potential" is OK.  it's real saving grace are the indigenous interviews with FZ, FZ Sr., Captain Beefheart, Artie Tripp, etc.  what really kills this book for me are the countless, unnecessary mistakes regarding dates, titles, names, etc. (eg. "Bruce Bickford" becomes "Bruce Benson").  despite THREE amended editions spanning over 20 years, these gross errors remain.  "That's inexcusable, good God!"  plus he repeats himself, repeats quotes, repeats this, repeats that... until you can't wait to finish the damn thing.  borrow it from a friend.<br><br>Julian Colbeck's "Zappa" (1987), I am halfway through re-reading.  it's cute, but not essential.  the narrative is pleasantly conversational and an easy read.  unfortunately, it glosses over some major points and is vague on others.  it is also merely OK.<br><br>Ben Watson's "The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play".  the truth is that this book is fun to read in chunks, but i have found it impossible to read it from page one.  BW's forward is like quicksand and i hate him before he even gets started.  he attempts to build a lofty intellectual environment for the reader by drawing together every obscure detail of human history, through which to filter and dissect all things Zappa, in an attempt to expose FZ's subconscious motives.  horseshit.  Frank would've HATED this book for it's pomposity.  personal bias aside, i'd say it's worth having and does propose some entertaining concepts.<br><br>Greg Russo's "Cosmik Debris" is great for the detailed lists and data contained in it's second half.  not all of it is accurate of course, but it is the most comprehensive attempt to date and provides an excellent cross-reference.  the narrative which occupies the first half of the book is good, but offers few revelations, and is broken up by dozens of annoying "Conceptual Continuity" references which range in length anywhere from a paragraph to a full page.  it is ironic that this conceptual continuity undercurrent undermines the continuity of the actual narrative, which itself tends toward it's own form of xenocrony, flopping about in time and only vaguely returning the reader to their point of origin.  For data buffs though, it's a must-have.  definitely.<br><br>Nigey Lennon's "Being Frank" is the tale of a non-groupie (much like the PMRC's "non-members") whose creative star shines so brightly that it captures the attention, and ultimately the affections of FZ.  that's her version of the story.  one comes away with the impression that the author, having penned this intimate account of a tender, philanderous-yet-above-reproach FZ, 20 years on, is little more than a hanger-on who has romanticized her relationship with FZ into high fiction.  i have no doubt that FZ found enough in NL's mind and/or body to keep her in his personal circle for an extended period of time.  this in no way makes her unique to hundreds of others who could provide similar accounts, i'm sure.  she dangles naughty carrots throughout about how plugged in she was to FZ on SOOOO many levels, but of course there are no witnesses to much of this mutual appreciation which was played out in their exclusive company.  hardly admissible in court, it frequently comes off as fantasy.<br><br>Michael Gray's "Mother!" - i haven't read this one in years but i recall it being rather pedestrian.  sorry if i'm wrong, but it didn't make a strong impression on me.<br><br><br>it's been so long since i've read the others that i won't even try to critique them, with one huge exception...<br><br>Neil Slaven's "Electric Don Quixote" I enjoyed from cover to cover.  i don't remember why, but i found it to be excellent, and i can't wait to read it again.<br><br>HEY!  here are a few reviews which better articulate why you should own this book:<br><br>http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0711965536/ref=ase_inktomi-bkasin-20/002-9524299-4129642<br><br><br>O'DOYLE RULES!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 11:49 pm 
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Location: scotland
Thanks very much....i shall have to get a copy of the new edition of 'cosmik debris' by the sound of it! ;D<br><br>dopplegangerjosh...i agree with you about the way to read 'n.d. of poodle play' is in lumps..i usually read the sections while i was listening to the corresponding album etc but i think frank would've liked this book to a certain extent...why? well, just after frank's death there was an article in 'mojo' magazine (just in the uk?) by B.W. in which he said that he visited fZ a couple of weeks before his death and read him the chapter about 'apostrophe'' and 'king lear'...when he finished his oration, FZ just stood up and shook his hand. If i hadn't read that article i certainly would've agreed with you on that too!<br>P.s.if anyone can get a hold of the 'mojo' article..do so, it's a nice little window on daily life in the zappa household.<br>thanks again

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 12:21 am 
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Location: meath, Rep of Ireland
Frank Zappa Companion by Richard Kostelanetz. <br>This book Contains articles, reviews, interviews and Biography

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 12:23 am 
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i just finished it last night!? ;D<br>I liked FZ's interview when he was describing working with orchestras leading up to the l.s.o. stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 6:41 am
Posts: 403
Location: Norway
Ain't you forgetting Them Or Us the book?<br><br>P.S. I don't like books very much ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2003 12:43 am 
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Location: scotland
Well, you cant (officially) ..add it to the long list of FZ stuff we'd like to be re-released! ::)<br>Although i'm probably in the minority here, i liked the book,it was good fun reading my mates copy...much as he fuckin' hated it..i couldn't get him to part with it! :-[

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:50 pm 
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norbet o's  zappalog covers up thru '82...<br><br>great photos of lost album covers, singles labels..... lists 545 zappa & related titles....boots, books, films, &....<br><br>"almost all the people who ever played with/for frank zappa (and their references)"

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2003 6:51 pm 
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1st of ALL books IS Frank's Book,<br><br>Then get Ben Watson's "Poodle Play"<br>It's a bunch of bull shit for the most part, but GOOD bullshit!<br>Hell , Frank OK'd the first few chapters! Kinda like Clinton trying to make sure he had a legacy, but with Frank, it wasn't like that, Oh I think I put my foot in my mouth on that one! Frank thought it was a Grand joke from what I read into it!!<br><br>It's hard going at first, but there's a ton of "concepual continuity" clues in it, even & above what Frank might have not thought about at the time! It's a hoot! But you need to put a Capt Beefheat TM "UPsifter" on what you read into it.But there's a lot of "legendary" stuff cross referenced in it. A "Must read" in my view.<br><br>Most of the other stuff is research material at this point. Go for it, if it interests you. "No Commercial Potential" is good for it's paticular period of time.<br><br>Never got "THem or US",(Still PO'd)  but I'm sure it would be fine for 1st source material "al a Real FZ Book"


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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:00 pm
Posts: 265
if you want the COOLEST Zappa books, park yourself at eBay and snatch up the four volumes of 'The Torchum Never Stops'.<br>can i get an amen?  these books are so fucking cool that i can't believe it.<br><br>thanks again Torchum Team, wherever you are!<br><br>here's an earlier discussion:<br>http://www.zappa.com/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=rant;action=display;num=1032799268;start=3

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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:15 am 
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Posts: 285
we need a quote/lyric book? wtf print them shits up or copy and paste on a pc sucks dude!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Best zappa book?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:07 pm
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im reading "being zappa" by nigey lennon its a fun one get it!!!!!!!http://www.amazon.com/Being-Frank-My-Time-Zappa/dp/187939541X BUY IT :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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