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Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did it happen?, 5 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Zappa The Hard Way (Paperback)
In 1988, Frank Zappa hung up his guitar for good and never played with his band again. The reasons given publicly relate to squabbles between members of the band. Frank Zappa stated, "everyone in the band hated Scott Thunes so much they simply refused to play with him anymore." But was this the real reason? Could it have been an excuse, a cover up for something else - ie. Frank's ailing health? Could Frank have been feeling increasingly unfit to cope with the relentless concerts across America and Europe night after night - 81 in all in 127 days, in other words, one concert every one and a half days, including travelling.

Andrew Greenaway has tackled this anomaly in his excellent book, The Hard Way. He shows how it was that these eleven men lived and played in harmony through dozens of concerts because of their respect and admiration for Frank Zappa. And what astonishing concerts they were too. Andrew manages to convey the brilliance and uniqueness of this band not only through his own descriptions but also from the band members' own praise for the astonishing variety of music they created. But even this respect could not stop cracks opening up and let's face it, any group of people locked together without a break for this period of time would snap and to my mind it is surprising not that they imploded but that they endured as long as they did.

Through interviews with the group, Andrew pieces together the evidence and attempts to tease out the truth. So you could say this is a `why done-it' book. Other band members, including Thunes, give their explanations and Andrew relates several incidents of verbal and physical abuse.

In this paper-back version, Greenaway has added a glossary of names at the beginning to help people like myself, not familiar with this particular band, to keep track of who's who.

Read this meticulously researched book which every Zappa fan will want to read, as well as those like myself who stumbled across this great man, and find out the answer to why Broadway, The Hard Way was Frank Zappa's last band.
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Location: Surrey, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 264,172