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Electric Don Quixote: The Story of Frank Zappa [Paperback]

Neil Slaven
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.95
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Book Description

10 Feb 2003
The b format paperback edition of this popular title. Music historian Neil Slaven has brilliantly chronicled 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.

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Electric Don Quixote: The Story of Frank Zappa + Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa + Frank Zappa: The Biography
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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (10 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711994366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711994362
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 12.7 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'...delivers the dope as far as the music is concerned...Zappa fans will freak out.' Q '...a clear and straightforward resume of Zappa's career, skilfully knitted together.' MOJO

About the Author

Neil Slaven is a successful record producer and one of Britain's leading authorities on the blues. He is the major contributor to the Encyclopedia of Popular Music and writes for magazines including Mojo and Billboard.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On December 21, 1940, the birth of Francis Vincent Zappa Jr II (by his own terminology) was. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The present day composer 29 May 2006
This is a compelling account of the work and life of Frank Zappa, in that order.

Throughout this book it is the music of Frank Zappa and it's creation which is always to the fore. To be fair this makes it a little unbalanced in reading it because of the cast of characters with whom he worked about whom we would like to know a little more. Given that it's main concern is his work then this is one defect I am prepared to overlook.

This is a story of an individual for whom compromise is a dirty word. The emphasis is on the individual here because what Frank Zappa produced is an idiosyncratic view of the world which he was not afraid to bring to public attention regardless of the pressures not to do so.

Frank Zappa, as portrayed here is someone who knows what he wants to do in his mind then does whatever he has to do to convert that vision into reality. This clarity of vision is borne out in this depiction as a workaholic and a perfectionist in the persuit of an ideal. His clarity of vision too extended into the social realm where he understood the reality of living in Amerika and how the system established by the founding fathers had been subverted by the politicians and corporations who had benefitted so much for it.

In this fascinating account people move like shadows throughout the pages like extras in a movie that was Frank Zappa's work. His search, nay quest for perfection led him to the extensive rehearsals for his bands and his demands for the highest standards for them. Similarly his intolerance for audiences who cheered him while not understanding his music became bemusement with his growing popularity as the music became more complex.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for Hungry Freaks 30 Dec 2003
This is a detailed, well researched, fascinating and affectionate account of the life and works of the justly legendary Frank Zappa.
Highly readable and occasionally deeply poignant, this really is a must for all those who grew to love the music of this astonishing polymath.
It's 10 years since his untimely death and for those who believe his work has not been truly celebrated then this just may be the book for you.
Those who enjoyed Charles Shaar Murray's recent masterful documentary series will particularly appreciate this fine document.
And Frankly, it's a goddamn bargain.
Buy it right now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough appraisal of the man and his music 5 July 2010
By Mr. Dc Fowler VINE VOICE
This is a thorough review of the life and times of Frank Zappa. The langauge is clear and very readable. The author ties up the circumstances of FZ's life with the music he produced and some of this is a revelation, well to me anyway. The writing style is generally objective and seems to deal with verified fact rather than the speculative nonsense that has sometimes been written about FZ. Let's face it his life was varied and controversial enough! I would recommend this as a good starting point not only for finding out about one of the most original human beings of the last century (certainly in music at least) but also for a flavour of the life and times he lived in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on Zappa 23 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for the Zappa fan, accurately goes through each era of his work and thoroughly entertains
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