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Mother!: The Frank Zappa Story Paperback – 28 Feb 1994

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 28 Feb 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Plexus Publishing Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (28 Feb. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859652173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859652179
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,176,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

MICHAEL GRAY is Music Librarian for the Voice of America in Washington. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A Zappa biography that really concentrates on the 60s and early 70s. (Yes, it attempts to justify the Flo and Eddie era material that I tend not to like as much... oh well). Difficult to say how Gray feels about his subject as his tone is determinedly neutral -- this is neither hagiography nor character assassination. Very good as a discography and chronology, and at explaining some of the private jokes that litter Zappa's output, but its portrayal of Frank is a little shallow. I would've expected a little more humour in a biography of such a funny guy...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x932e2210) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x934b2d8c) out of 5 stars Decent, but front-loaded, Zappa bio 3 Nov. 2007
By Scott Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The copyright date on the copy of this book that I have is 1993, 1994. This points out one of its major flaws--it was clearly rushed to print right after Frank died. The first probably 2/3 of the book is pretty well done, though there's a great deal of information from Pam Zarubica (a friend and sometimes employee of Zappa). There's so much information on the first few incarnations of the Mothers, in fact, that it seems as though Gray was initially aiming to write a fairly long, comprehensive book on Zappa. However, at some point in the mid-70's, the book devolves into "these people left the band, these people joined, and they're on these albums." However, some of his coverage on later Zappa endeavors (such as the PMRC hearings and the recording of the album "The Yellow Shark" are given a fair amount of space.

That all being said, the material about the 60's Mothers and Zappa's musical projects from the early-to-mid 70's is quite good. I just wish that Gray had spent more time to really finish the book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x934e4f90) out of 5 stars informative, explains FZ's growing up. 28 Mar. 2000
By Funkmeister G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When I 1st got into the complex & twisted world of Zappa, this was the 1st book I read. It is good especially because it explains the situation in which Frank grew up, talking about stylistic differences between the 40s & the 50s, apparently decor was more bulbous & interesting in the 40s whilst the music was dull & in the 1950s the music got better & architecture/design got boring/staid. Then of course it traces thru the pre- Freak Out! era & many eras past that as wellas discographies & stuff. There are other books on FZ but to get a well-rounded view of him, you probably should read several of them including this, No Commercial Potential, Negative Dialectic of Poodle Play & of course the Real Frank Zappa book. Shoving Burnt Weeny Sandwich on in the background might be a good idea too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x934e3f30) out of 5 stars One of the better Zappa biographies 21 July 2014
By Rich M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was one of the better Frank Zappa biographies that I've read, mainly because it doesn't take sides; Mr. Gray gives a good amount of viewpoints on many contentious moments in Zappa's life, and even lays out the known inconsistencies in the stories of various parties involved.

The book covers Zappa's life right up to his death and the establishment of the Zappa Family Trust and his final concerts in conjunction with the Yellow Shark album, the last he produced while he was alive. Zappa's home life at various stages is often the main focus of the narrative, showcases many of the weird relationships that were reflected in his early music with the Mothers. It is also interesting to see a third-party view of many of the more litigious events of Zappa's life, such as his arrest for creating pornography (during a police sting) and his case against the Royal Albert Hall. It also does not hide the fact that as a human being, Zappa could often be a bit of a jerk; To him, musicians were often just faulty instruments, not people (and sometimes not people to be paid properly).

The story is very well-written, given the usual nature of these sorts of things, and there's a decent discography in the back of the book (though it only consists of titles and record numbers). I'd definitely recommend this one to any Frank Zappa/Mothers fan.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x934e3ef4) out of 5 stars 1 of the first ZAPPA biographies... 19 Nov. 2013
By tom a. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Great Read. Highly recommended for anyone interested in a true musical genius, as well as one of the top composers of any genre, of the 20th century.
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