Talk:No Commercial Potential: The Saga of Frank Zappa
An interesting, possibly not entirely reliable, book. It's really the first book about Zappa that tries to deal with his biography and personality. Frank was initially cooperative with the author, but soon withdrew that cooperation, and even tried to suppress the book (as I recall). Zappa's father, Pamela Zubrica, Beefheart, other people in Frank's life (like his High School english teacher), and some of the original Mothers did interviews for it, as did Frank himself. There's nothing else like it in the books about Zappa. Remember, it was written pretty early and came out in 1972.
I gather from reading interviews with Walley (the author) later on that he lacked some of the, let's call it 'mental hygiene' to be up to this kind of challenge; he sounded like either a burn-out, or maybe he was always a sloppy thinker. But I think also that Frank must have been upset at having his personal life so exposed, accurate or not. Like a lot of public figures he was a very private person - more so than most, I would guess. I think he had a right to that privacy.
It's still worth reading as a document though. In the blurbs for the book there's a quote from Frank saying that it will be read for a long time, but that is taken out of context: he was *complaining* about that fact, that there was a lot of wrong information in the book that would live on for years.
I haven't looked at it since it came out, but I read the hell out of it back in then, so it's pretty imprinted. Don't know if they changed things in later editions.