Necessity Is...
The early years of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention
Billy James

SAF Publishing Ltd, London
2001 First edition
ISBN 0-946719-14-4
160 pp, paperback, 23,5 x 15,5 cm
English


Billy James (2001):

 Billy James' book Necessity Is...The Early Years of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention is officially released in Europe. It was recently rated #2 for January's Fastest Moving Rock Books in the UK, as reported by Mojo magazine (Jan. 2001). This illuminating book features candid interviews with the likes of Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada, Motorhead Sherwood, Ray Collins, Buzz Gardner, Richard Kunc and others. This is the story of how the Mothers began, their reign as the most bizarre rock group ever to emerge in the 1960s, to their demise in 1970. The book also concentrates on the ex-MOI members subsequent careers as the Grandmothers and solo artists.

eBay:

A lively look back at the mid-1960s genesis of Frank Zappa's decades-long assault on rock & roll complacency and mediocrity, Billy James's NECESSITY IS: THE EARLY YEARS OF FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION explores the iconoclastic bandleader's methods and motivations through the reminiscences of many of his former bandmates, including drummer Jimmy Carl Black, keyboardist Don Preston, and horn men Bunk Gardner and Jim "Motorhead" Sherwood. The old-timers still harbor some grievances, notably about the abrupt way they were jettisoned in 1970 in favor of new blood, but mostly they recall their late boss's creativity and entertainingly scabrous artistic worldview, which incorporated the groupie collective the GTOs ("Girls Together Outrageously"), the mentally unbalanced beach bum Wild Man Fischer, and the legendarily eccentric musician Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart. Full of unrepeatable road stories and anti-social behavior, as well as numerous recollections of the fortuitous musical occurrences that the heady atmosphere of the Sixties often fomented, NECESSITY is a remarkable window into the formative years of one of the 20th century's most creative and prolific rock musicians.

Reviews

ARF: Bibliography
American Music Resource
Ben Watson review
Peter Feenstra review
Amazon: Customer reviews
zappa.com forums

Other links

Billy James' website
Billy's Private Parts: A Few Words From Billy James by Fred Tomsett
Interview with Billy James by Gary Hill

 
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Necessity Is...
The early years of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention
Billy James

SAF Publishing Ltd, London
2005 Second edition
ISBN 0-946719-51-9
224 pp, paperback, 20 x 13 cm
English


In this 2nd edition the appendices are updated (Where Are They Now, websites list) and index is added.

Both editions are out of print. For some reason the second edition of this book is usually offered at a higher price.

 
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Freak Out!!
Billy James

Arcana, Rome Italy
2003
ISBN 88-7966-283-X
224 pp, paperback, 21 x 16 cm
Italian


This book, like many other Zappa-related books in Italy, is issued by Arcana, a legendary publishing house specialized in music and counterculture. Italian translation of the 1st edition by Tiziana Lo Porto, editor-in-chief of Arcana at this time.

This edition is the only edition of Billy James' book with table of contents.

Libri per l'Estate: Freak Out!!
Interview with Tiziana Lo Porto

 
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Frank Zappa und die Mothers Of Invention:
Die frühen Jahren
Billy James

Koch International GmbH/Hannibal, Höfen Austria
2007
ISBN 978-3-85445-279-9
284 pp, paperback, 21 x 14 cm
German


German translation of the 2nd edition by Kirsten Borchardt. Issued in Austria.

Reviews

Amazon.de: Kundenrezensionen

Bookshops

Book Depository (free worldwide delivery)

 
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