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on 12 May 2017
Love this book, so why only 4 stars? I'd put most of it down to the publishers, try finding the asterisk's it was only because I noticed FNs at bottom of the page. Then there's the setup, would have loved to see the Names, Photos & DOBs all on one page. As a 'Deadhead I was very surprised to note Greenaway's thinking about not playing the same show twice, The Dead played up to 100 gigs PA, (3-6hrs of Music per show) for 30 yrs, give a Deadhead 3 songs in a row he'll give the date, venue, & everything else you could want all from his trusted 'Deadbase'.
So just what kinda book is this? As a Historian I know the value of primary sources & Greenaway does too, this book must have taken a very long time to write as he has interviewed everyone he could & must have gone back time & time again. The books format is a bit like a diary with anecdotes from the surviving members. I learnt quite a bit, I got the joke with the guy coming up on stage & slagging Zappa off (if it had been real they would have just turned the mike off) but I did not realise the "I just bumped into Sting, Cash" were for real. I also learned & for the first time sympathised with Gail & Moon about just how insecure their life really was would have loved more on this. I don't buy the "I lost $400,000" Zappa's always been a tight arse and I would have loved something about his (& his family) hang ups with money too.
This is the best book you'll ever get on the 1988 problems with the band & without a doubt Keneally is the guy you'd like as a friend he comes
across by far in the most positive light. I find it very easy to empathise with Thunes suffering the same defects as he does. Although Greenaway skirts around it even he has to concede that there was only one person to blame for the demise of such a great band, it was of
course the guy in charge, he paid their wages and should not have left it to one of his employees to lord it over the rest, it was Zappa's fault the band imploded & he probably knew it. I don't buy the premise "He was sick" no, he was pissed.
I hope very much that Greenaway will write another Zappa Book covering some of the stuff I mentioned & a whole lot more, especially on the 'missing groupies'. :)
(edit) addenda; Greenaway understands memory & how it works (he must have read Dawkins :) ) Great read
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VINE VOICEon 14 February 2014
This is the story, told by (most of) the surviving members of Frank Zappa's last-ever touring band and the internal ructions that tore it apart. Almost everyone involved gets an extensive say, with the exception of the drummer, Chad Wackerman, who chose not to contribute.

Some confusion arises from differing memories of exact dates and details, but the overall story is fascinating, if a little depressing in the end. There were some very strong personalities involved, not least the bass player Scott Thunes, who was (wittingly or unwittingly) at the centre of the problems that arose.

The book also describes notable performances and incidents at the gigs that were played on the tour before Frank pulled the plug on a superb band that had become unworkable. The USA leg of the tour was cancelled, hence the title of the live album from this tour, 'The best Band you never heard in your Life'.

A very interesting read for devout Zappa fans, but maybe not for everyone else.
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on 21 June 2017
A very interesting and well-researched book. Lots of insights into Zappa - his genius as well as his arrogance and selfishness - and lots of insights into life on the road with a band full of egos and personality clashes. Zappa fans who know his catalogue well will get the most out of this, particularly for the incredible detail on individual set lists etc. which is contained here. I am not in that category and only have a passing acquaintance with his music, but I still found it an intriguing and page-turning read.
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on 15 April 2017
As an FZ fan since i was 13 i followed his "Conceptual Continuity" with great interest.This was a truly fantastic band (I witnessed it's splendour) so when it imploded I was intrigued why it was so. This book probably gives you the best explanation(s) as to why.Thank you Frank.I miss you especially in this world of such "uncertainty".As if anything was "certain" anyways.
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on 16 December 2017
I always felt that Thunes should have shouldered the bulk of the blame for the demise of the band; there was ever something overly 'in your face' about his stage persona. He was, after all, just one amongst many, in a band simply brimming with talent, parts of 'Make a Jazz Noise' are almost beyond exquisite!

But, Zappa knew the score, with quite so many larger than life individuals. With such a keen eye for the peculiarities of his massive entourage, how could he not also have noticed the Thunes's confrontational mannerisms? It was almost as if Zappa himself was growing tired of life on the road, and that he prodded at the raw bits one too many times.

This volume did much to confirm much of what many must have already known, and an element of what we had long suspected about certain tensions in the band. Using such a huge volume of quotations and close paraphrasing from the musicians et al it was inevitable that there would be more than an element of rambling.
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on 5 May 2016
Really interesting story but very poorly written. The key protagonists are not introduced effectively so I found myself continually having to check who they were. The story is fascinating but the writing is as chaotic as I imagine it was on Zappa's 1988 tour. I would have got a lot more from this book if I was already familiar with the various members of Zappa's band.
Just like the members of the band during the tour, I had to quit before finishing this book.
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on 17 June 2017
Mr. Greenway does an exceptional job of piecing together a complex and compelling story. For almost 30 years I've wondered why one of the Best Bands I've had the Pleasure to witness Live Self Destructed. This tale contains Music, Mystery, Intrigue and Murder by Mumbers. A Must Read for All Music Lovers.
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on 27 October 2016
A moderately interesting ,albeit gossipy, read despite the 50 page or so appendix detailing the nightly set lists which is just filler. Also, quoting dialogue off the albums( released documenting the tour) is annoying especially when the author suggests listening to the music whilst reading the book.
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on 22 August 2014
Excellent insight into the tour that imploded featuring the best band that you never heard in your life
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on 3 February 2014
I really enjoyed this book it really is compelling reading. The many descriptions of Scott Thunes' behaviour and feeble attempts by the man himself to defend it are very entertaining and it becomes very clear why he was so disliked. If I was in that band I would have left! Great story, the only minor thing I didn't like was the poor cover design (the original hardback design looks much better but wasn't available at a reasonable price) and the pointless 'Afterword'.
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