22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast'n'Bulbous, 10 Feb. 2010
Exhaustive and concise is one way to describe this book, distressing and an exploder of myths is another. John French casts his mind's eye back, WAY BACK and valiantly records the birth of Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band right through to the incredible Trout Mask Replica and beyond.
Although there were many strange and hazy myths surrounding the birth of TMR, John blows away the smoke, literally, and reveals the cult like environment that eventually took over in the house. Don Van Vliet was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, probably brought on due to excessive LSD use, who would terrorise and intimidate the band members until they breathed, ate and slept the way way he wanted them to. It sounds insane, but they stuck with it and eventually they produced one of the most extraordinary albums of all time.
The book goes into to incredible detail and is a truly rewarding read. I would also recommend this to Zappa fans as there is a lot of entertaining facts about the birth of The Mothers and how Zappa grew up and eventually collaborated with Beefheart.
Overall an excellent book, definitely the DEFINITIVE Beefheart book to date.