Atlantic Books, 2005 - 464
Barry Miles knew Frank Zappa intimately. His biography follows Zappa from his sickly Italian-American childhood in the 1940s - when his father used DDT to clean the kitchen - to his death from cancer in 1993. As a child Zappa yearned to be a classical composer, but he soon came to realize that this ambition was more likely to lead to starvation than stardom, so he decided to join a band that played music people actually wanted to listen to. In the mid-1960s, Zappa became the leader of 'The Mothers of Invention', one of the most internationally famous and influential rock groups of all time. In Frank Zappa, Miles traces this rollercoaster career and has produced an authoritative and hugely enjoyable portrait of a singular man - and his music.
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