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'For Mother's Sake': The Memoirs & Recollections of Jimmy Carl Black 1938-2008 [Paperback]

Jimmy Carl Black , Monika Black , Julian Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2013

For Mother’s Sake is the true-life account of a boy growing up on the Texas/Mexico border during the 1940s, of his discovery of sex, drink, rock ‘n’ roll and love in the 50s, and of California in the 1960s and a remarkable journey through a decade of radical social and political change.


Along with Frank Zappa, he was a founder member of the Mothers of Invention, one of the most influential ‘rock’ bands in the history of 20th century music. Jimmy recalls these times with a clarity that is remarkable, considering the backdrop. Jimmy’s desires are laid bare as he discovers what free love, drugs and “freakiness” are all about.


Cast back into obscurity by Frank Zappa, Jimmy goes on to recall time spent in the wilderness, brief returns to stardom and, on moving to Europe, a return to center stage with the Grandmothers. But not for long as the unexpected happens!


Left stranded and alone in Europe, Jimmy forms new musical partnerships and stays on the road, a troubadour to the end. By this time, Jimmy has finally acquired mythical “ol’ timer” status, particularly in Europe, where he was much loved and where he had, along the way, finally met the love of his life. He considered himself a “fortunate guy”.


Jimmy left an incomplete manuscript when he died. From 1995, the existing text has been supplemented with reminiscences and statements drawn from Jimmy’s own website bio and from the many interviews he gave during this time. But this is his book and these are his words. Indeed, the book ends with extracts from his last written interview, given in Aug. of 2008, less than 3 months before he died. It is a poignant ending to a remarkable story.


Frequently Bought Together

'For Mother's Sake': The Memoirs & Recollections of Jimmy Carl Black 1938-2008 + Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, Etc... + Confessions Of A ZAPPA Fanatic
Price For All Three: 28.90

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Product details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (1 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1493588729
  • ISBN-13: 978-1493588725
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, come again 30 Jan 2014
Coming five years after his passing, the autobiography of the original Mothers Of Invention drummer reveals his Native American heritage (though posthumous research by the editors casts some doubts on the accuracy of this), disparages Frank Zappa’s abilities as a driver, and contemplates how ‘the Indian of the group’ managed to father five children – with all the in-home arguing and copious on-road extra-marital encounters – as he pursued a career in music.

The ‘memoirs’ part of the book comprises a chronological series of vignettes as relayed in the back of a tour bus as he gigged around Europe in the 1990s. Aside from playing in one of the best American rock bands of the late 1960s, Black also got to jam with Hendrix, Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughan, appear in a film with Ringo Starr and Keith Moon (the flawed curio that isTony Palmer’s 200 Motels), paint houses with Arthur Brown, make donuts in exchange for weed, and play to his biggest audience ever at Knebworth as part of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band. These adventures are all relayed in Black’s own inimitable no-holds-barred way.

A musician for all of his adult life, his first love was R&B but he also tried his hand at black gospel, disco and jazz with a multitude of musicians across the U.S. and in Europe. But inevitably it’s his time with Zappa that makes up the bulk of this book, and his role in founding the Mothers should not be underestimated: it was for this reason that Steely Dan’s Walter Becker lobbied to get Black inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening. 30 Jan 2014
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Really fascinating. His life was so different, exciting, surprising sometimes sad. Very different to how you imagine a rock stars life to be.
Definitely an interesting read, especially for fans of Zappa and co' s music.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Jimmy fans, but also a good read for those who aren't 19 Mar 2014
By Rebecca Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Knowing nothing about the Mothers of Invention and Jimmy Carl Black, I was pleasantly surprised when given this book as a gift. An interesting read, it provides an insight into not only his life but also the times he lived through. Well edited, it's an easy read that takes you from the beginning of JCB's life to the end through the events he considered most significant. I imagine for those who are interested in the Mothers, Frank Zappa and/or JCB this book would be an essential read because of the detailed information about how and when the music JCB made, came about. (Straight from the horses mouth as it were as you can really hear the voice of Jimmy Carl Black coming out at you from the pages.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like talking to Jimmy Carl himself! 12 Jan 2014
By pereubu - Published on Amazon.com
Apparently recollected in the last years of his life, this is a wonderful collection of brief stories about his incredible life. Who else grows up in a small town in Texas, the son of a Native American from Oklahoma (raised by his step-dad), does rodeo, finds out about sex in Mexico, moves to LA, joins an R&B band (Soul Giants), has that band morph into the Mothers (of Invention), travel the world, get thrown out of several whore houses in Europe for having a pony tail, troves the aisles of Royal Albert Hall in a Jimi Hendrix outfit hustling some action (part of a Zappa performance piece), shoots whipped cream out of a stuffed girafe's ass at the Garrick theatre in NYC, gets fired from the Mothers with most of the other original members, joins a million bands, makes donuts at a winchell's near El Paso, falls asleep while the donut maker keeps working... You get the picture!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book. 12 Mar 2014
By Andre Oomen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Much information about the live of Jimmy Carl Black, not only abut the period with the Mothers. The short chapters make it easy to read.
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