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Customer Review

25 October 2017
The star of this book is Andrew Greenaway. He has an astonishing knowledge of everything Zappa, his music, lyrics, when they were written, played and recorded, who was in which band and when, and even who played on every track on every album of each one of these musicians.
I like the way the interviewees are listed in alphabetical order so you get a wide variety of views as you move along. What is noticeable is how these people, mostly musicians in Zappa’s bands, many of whom had worked with him for years, were unwilling to reveal anecdotes. Except for Ike Willis, their answers slid over the subject of Frank Zappa as if they were afraid any comments might mar -his memory. Instead, they speak mostly about their own careers.
Nigey Lennon, Lorraine Belcher and Essra Mohawk have less inhibitions, three of the five women in the mix, Nigey describing Frank’s petulant response when she dared to criticise him, Lorraine with an astonishing story about Frank’s first wife, Kay, and supposedly why he wrote ‘Call Any Vegetable’, and Essra with the only reference I’ve seen or heard of Frank manhandling anyone. There are many other gems like Napoleon Murphy Brock before his audition telling Marty Perellis that he’d never heard of Frank Zappa, Frank telling Ike Willis to ‘make sure they don’t kill Scott’, and Mike Keneally’s fall-out with Dweezil. I do like Dweezil’s justification for bringing younger musicians into his band in order to reach a new audience rather than continually use alumni.
I am honoured to be included in this book and plan to buy the paperback. Then I will get the drawings by Antero Valerio which are missing from the e-book. Whichever version you choose, I am sure you will draw your own equally interesting stories from this almost encyclopaedic catalogue of memories.
Freak Out!: My Life With Frank Zappa
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