C O M M E N T S
From: email@example.com (Alan Saul)
Despite occasional inaccuracies and the overkill of it all, these are nice
references and have lots of pictures of interest to FZ fans. For instance
somebody was recently complaining about a shortage of Gail pictures. There are
maybe half a dozen in these. The two books are somewhat redundant, but they
focus on different kinds of information aside from the photos.
From "A visual documentary":
It was while The Mothers were playing The Trip that Frank met Pamela
Zarubica, an 18 year old student who hung out at Cantor's. Frank called her
Suzy Creamcheese and began to spend a lot of time at her Laurel Canyon
apartment at 8404 Kirkwood Drive. It was not long before he moved in.
Pamela's flat Los Angeles monotone was a contributing factor to the
popularity of The Mothers' first few albums. (Frank had a tendency to call
all girls Suzy Creamcheese and when Susan Ziegler, the daughter of the
owner of the Ziegler Ballrooms in Los Angeles where The Mothers often
played moved to London, everyone thought that she was the Suzy Creamcheese
on the records. The London Suzy Creamcheese was much loved by the English
tabloids during the summer of love, both for her name and her very short
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Bob Freeland)
Well, I'm probably excessively cantankerous, but A Visual Documentary pisses
me off. About a third of the book is sixth-grade-level paraphrase of the
autobiography that manages to introduce factual errors. Whoever Miles is,
he's evidently an idiot. The tour listings are far from complete.
I like In His Own Words much better. It's essentially just extracts of old
interviews, but it's Frank having fun, often at the expense of the interviewer.
As Alan says, there's at least some good reference material in both books,
and hard core maniacs will buy them regardless.
From: email@example.com (OnTheCornr)
FRANK ZAPPA: A VISUAL DOCUMENTARY by Miles is basically just a fact book,
not something you can really read, and as usual, many of the facts are
demonstrably wrong. (I own an FZ record that Miles claims was never
released! No, not a bootleg, "The Big Surfer" on Capitol.) Terrific
pictures, although largely duplicated in Miles' other book, above. Both
of these were quick-buck exploitation numbers, published when FZ was on
his deathbed, so fuck 'em.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pat Buzby)
The Miles books were part of a series which also included several other
major league rock acts, some of whom aren't even dead yet (Clapton, Floyd,
etc.), so I don't know if this last sentence is entirely fair.