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Necessity is....: Early Years of Frank Zappa and the "Mothers of Invention" Paperback – 1 Jan 2001
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
THE REAL FRANK ZAPPA BOOK by Frank Zappa and Peter Occhioigrosso
NECESSITY IS... THE EARLY YEARS OF FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION by Billy James
COSMIK DEBRIS: THE COLLECTIVE HISTORY AND IMPROVISATIONS OF FRANK ZAPPA by Greg Russo
NO COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: THE SAGA OF FRANK ZAPPA by David Walley
THEM OR US by Frank Zappa
UNDER THE SAME MOON by Suzannah (Thana Harris)
BEING FRANK: MY TIME WITH FRANK ZAPPA by Nigery Lennon
Of these, THE REAL FRANK ZAPPA BOOK and NECESSITY IS... are my favorites. Anyone who has read THE REAL FRANK ZAPPA BOOK will thoroughly enjoy NECESSITY IS... Two reasons:
First, Billy James is a good writer, but more importantly he is a good organizer. His task was to take historical events and present them in a coherent manner. He decided NOT to present this history in chronological order per se, but rather he addressed key events from different perspectives. The events are not necessarily in chronological order. It is an unusual way of organizing one's thoughts, but it works. He must be applauded for his creative way of organizing his thoughts.
Second, he examines each single historical event by getting perspectives of several people involved in the event. Its a fascinating excursion into the study of human behavior. In most cases, different people see the identical event in a contrary manner. In some cases, the conflicting descriptions are quite humorous.
Others who have harshly reviewed this book have missed the point. This is a book of perceptions. It is not an objective assessment of reality. It doesn't make any difference if the interviewees were frustrated or delirious. James provides a fresh perspective.
In addition, James answers some questions that cannot be found elsewhere. For example, I have often wondered how Zappa could include Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (bubble gum singers from the Turtles) in the Mothers of Invention. In chapter six, James lays out all the events. An impressive job of pulling together quotes and ideas!
NECESSITY IS... THE EARLY YEARS OF FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION provides an important dimension into the understanding of this artist that none of the other books do. It is a critical addition to everyone's Frank Zappa library.
A book about the early history of the carreer of one of the most important composers of the 20th century that ends with: "what is certain is that Bunk, Don, Jimmy, Motorhead, Ian, Art, Buzz, Ray and Roy have been entertaining people for over a quarter of a century - wheather is be with vegetables, trnsformations, improvisations, snorks or athmatic wheezing. One thing is for sure, we will never forget our Mothers!" is just too childish, superfluous and plainly stupid to even bother to talk about it anymore.
Don't waste your money.