Editorial Reviews: Review:
A must-have for any true Frank Zappa fan, or potential initiate, The Frank Zappa Companion lovingly assembles some of the most important words written by and about this truly original American composer. From musicologist and composer Nicolas Slonimsky's faithful and appropriate entry on FZ from Baker's Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Music to Zappa's complete statement and testimony before the PMRC hearings, it's all in here. Slonimsky also recounts his first meeting with Zappa, in 1981, in a reminiscence called "I Enter the Age of Absurdity." Ben Watson, author of the wonderfully academic Negative Dialects of Poodle Play, contributes a chapter from that work, a review of the film 200 Motels, and half of the best Zappa discography ever assembled (aficionado Mike Fish contributes the other half). Other gems in this collection include text from Zappa interviews that appeared in Playboy, Spin, The Progressive, and Guitar Player magazine. There are also contributions from Libertarian talk show host Tom Isenberg, music writer William Ruhlmann, and Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic. This is the best collection of its kind--a picture of Frank Zappa as he was to so many: icon, individual, and artist, painted by those people who he most inspired. If you enjoy this volume, you'll certainly want to check out The Real Frank Zappa, written by Zappa himself.