Adam Patterson's Reviews > Zappa: A Biography

Zappa by Barry Miles
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M 50x66
's review
Mar 09, 2009

liked it

There was a time when I had a complete reverence to anything Z put forth. Years later, I'm safely on the other side of my demystification process, and happier, healthier for it. There are still the dozen or so Essential Frank Zappa recordings, the ones I'll stand by till death, but really, the guy has finally hovered down among the more mortal types that co-occupy my conscious pantheon.

Miles does a pointed job at really nailing Z as a human subject, and I greatly appreciate this perspective, albeit one that was certainly only to be published posthumously. At times, he goes a little TOO far in his "humanizing", though, and some of the uneccessary and unflattering anecdotes seem to verge on classic British tabloid slander. At some points, this writing that seems to dig a little too far into the barrel betrays its own thesis, which could be a very valid and engaging one.

Zappa was indeed a complex character. His culture-conflicts it seems, while ostentatiously pointed outward, against the retarded, repressive world he seemed mired in, were more often, and at a deeper level, conflicts with himself.
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