Frank Zappa FAQ by John Corecelli review

Everything you wanted to know about Frank Zappa but were afraid to ask

Cover artwork for Frank Zappa FAQ by John Corecelli

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As earnest and well-meaning (and impassioned) as this book’s author John Corecelli is in his unabashed love of all things Frank Zappa, you do find yourself coming away from this book thankful that you’ve never been stuck next to him at a dinner party. “This,” you’d muse to yourself as he reeled off the respective solo careers of the Mothers Of Invention, or a smattering of hand-picked quotes from Zappa’s selected bibliography, “is the longest starter salad of my life.”

Which is not to completely decry Corecelli’s exhaustive (and occasionally exhausting) volume of Zappa minutiae that tracks former bandmates, references to the great man’s place in pop culture, his sprawling musical legacy and the musical shockwaves he set off around the world. It’s a shame that for all the author’s passion, the tone is sometimes flat, the prose deadening, the enthusiasm for the subject matter left to languish on the page.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.