Front Cover
Grove Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 464 pages
38 Reviews
Ten years after his death, Frank Zappa continues to influence popular culture. With almost one hundred recordings still in print, Frank Zappa remains a classic American icon. Scores of bands have been influenced by (and have shamelessly imitated) Zappa's music, and a talented roster of musicians passed through Zappa's bands, including Captain Beefheart, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Lowell George, and Steve Vai. Now comes the definitive biography of Zappa by author Barry Miles, who knew Zappa personally and was present at the recording of some of his most important albums.
Miles follows Zappa from his sickly Italian-American childhood in the 1940s (his father worked for the military and was used to test how effective new biological warfare agents were) to his youthful pursuit of what was a lifelong dream: becoming a classical composer. Zappa brings the many different personalities of this music legend together for the first time: the self-taught musician and composer who gained fame with the "rock" band the Mothers of Invention; the political antagonist who mocked presidents while being invited by Vaclav Havel to represent Czechoslovakia's cultural interests in the United States, and Zappa the family man who was married to the same woman for over thirty years.

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Review: Zappa: A Biography

User Review  - Stenwjohnson - Goodreads

UK writer Barry Miles has a made a career writing solid biographies and histories on counterculture topics, mainly key figures of the Beat movement. Frank Zappa, the subject of a 2003 biography, is a ... Read full review

Review: Zappa: A Biography

User Review  - Jay Clement - Goodreads

Very interesting read. I had no idea of the reach of Zappa and his music among a wide span of other entertainers and musicians. He was a perfectionist and became a respected classical composer. Hard to live with, but touched with genius. Read full review

About the author (2004)

Barry Miles is the critically acclaimed author of biographies of Bukowski, Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs and of "The Beat Hotel," He also wrote "Hippie" and the authorised biography of Paul McCartney, "Many Years From Now," He lives in London, UK and France.

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