The Real Frank Zappa Book

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Book cover for "The Real Frank Zappa Book"

The Real Frank Zappa Book is the only official FZ biography, written by the man himself, together with Peter Occhiogrosso; the book, containing 352 pages,[1] was published by Poseidon Press (New York, ISBN 0-671-63870-X) in 1989. The book was also published, the same year, by Picador Books (London, ISBN 0-330-31073-9).


  • in German: Frank Zappa. I am the American Dream, Goldmann Verlag, Germany, 1991, ISBN 3-442-32536-6
  • in French: Zappa par Zappa, Editions de l'Archipel, Paris, 2000, ISBN 2-84187-226-2, re-edited in june 2005 (with forwords by Christophe Delbrouck), ISBN 2-84187-715-9
  • in Italian: Frank Zappa, l'autobiografia, Arcana Editrice, Milano, 1990, ISBN 88-85859-55-0
  • in Hungarian: Az Igazi Frank Zappa Könyv, JLX Kiadó, Budapest-Los Angeles, 1991, ISBN 963-7822-06-2
  • in Japanese: The Real Frank Zappa Book, Byakuya-Shobou, Tokyo, Japan, 1991, ISBN 4-89367-210-X
  • in Dutch: Het Echte Frank Zappa Boek, Uitgeverij Anthos, Baarn, 1991, ISBN 90-607-4947-2
  • in Russian: Настоящая книжка Френка Заппы, Эксмо, Москва, 2003, ISBN 5-699-04209-1
  • in Japanese: The Real Frank Zappa Book (Revised Edition), Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Tokyo, Japan, 2004, ISBN 978-4309267197
  • in Hebrew: הספר האמיתי של פראנק זאפה, Ehud Tagari, Tel-Aviv, Israel, 1996

"A lot of stuff in that book is bull shit. It was just his imagination."

- Don Preston

History (the making of)

From "The Real Frank Zappa Book":

I don't want to write a book, but I'm going to do it anyway, because Peter Occhiogrosso is going to help me. He is a writer. He likes books - he even reads them. I think it is good that books still exist, but they make me sleepy. The way we're going to do it is, Peter will come to California and spend a few weeks recording answers to 'fascinating questions,' then the tapes will be transcribed. Peter will edit them, put them on floppy discs, send them back to me, I will edit them again, and that result will be sent to Ann Patty at Poseidon Press, and she will make it come out to be 'A BOOK.' One of the reasons for doing this is the proliferation of stupid books (in several languages) which purport to be About Me. I thought there ought to be at least ONE, somewhere, that had real stuff in it. Please be advised that this book does not pretend to be some sort of 'complete' oral history. It is presented for consumption as entertainment only.


[1] An autobiography is usually written by somebody who thinks his life is truly amazing. I do not think of my life as amazing in any sense - however, the opportunity to say stuff in print about tangential subjects is appealing.

[2] Documents and/or transcriptions will be labeled as such.

[3] The epigraphs at the heads of chapters (publishers love those little things) were researched and inserted by Peter - I mention this because I wouldn't want anybody to think I sat around reading Flaubert, Twitchell and Shakespeare all day.

|4] If your name is in the book and you didn't want it to be there (or you don't like my comments) - my apologies.

[5] If your name isn't in the book and you fee! 'left out' - my apologies.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Book? What Book?

  1. How Weird Am I, Anyway?
  2. There Goes the Neighborhood
  3. An Alternative to College
  4. Are We Having a Good Time Yet?
  5. The Log Cabin
  6. Send In the Clowns
  7. Drool, Britannia
  8. All About Music
  9. A Chapter for My Dad
  10. The One You've Been Waiting For
  11. Sticks & Stones
  12. America Drinks and Goes Marching
  13. All About Schmucks
  14. Marriage (as a Dada Concept)
  15. "Porn Wars"
  16. Church and State
  17. Practical Conservatism
  18. Failure
  19. The Last Word

The Index

See: Wiki style index.