Lorraine Belcher Chamberlain, Frank Zappa’s First Girlfriend, Reviews “Being Frank”

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May 1, 2010 · Posted in Miscellany 

Here is a review of Nigey Lennon’s book“Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa” by Lorraine Belcher Chamberlain, who was famously close to Frank Zappa. It appears on Punk Globe:

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I am the girl who was living with Frank Zappa when we were arrested for pornography and suspected sex perversion. I was 19. This is hardly anything a person would willingly list on their resume, but since I continued to have a relationship with Frank until the year before his death it gives me a unique perspective from which to write a few words about Nigey Lennon’s book, “Being Frank-My Time With Frank Zappa” which is now an e-book available on Amazon.com and Scribd. Since I had read it over two months ago, I took it along with me to re-read this week on a trip downtown. Sitting quietly on the subway I noticed the woman across from me glaring and rolling her eyes. Frank provoked outrage most of his life, but it seems the author’s photo of herself sitting on a toilet on the back of the book (an obvious homage to Frank’s own Potty Poster) follows in that tradition.

Nigey’s self-effacing, sometimes self-deprecating humor translates to the cover art as well as the content within. She was both a band member and Frank’s lover many years ago as a teenager and speaks with distinctive clarity and humor about her dual role in his life during the 200 Motels Tour. Descriptions of Frank’s penetrating gaze, quirky mannerisms and unique lexicon notwithstanding, this is not a memoir culled from the journal of a young fan. They are those of a seasoned, clever writer whose gift for small detail and conversation reveals a fertile memory with an inspired vocabulary. Because she is also a musician and composer, the passages about Frank’s intricate compositions are scholarly, and offer substance to what might have been a romantic tell-all in someone else’s hands. I asked Nigey (whom I have never met in person) how she managed to write this witty, informative book with such an authentic voice so many years later. She replied “It was much easier than any other book I have written, agonizing over every word. It flowed out of me like “automatic writing”.

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The e-book is available on Amazon.com and Scribd ( http://scribd.com/doc/24730043/Being-Frank-My-Time-With-Frank-Zappa

The book is published by Boryana Books ( http://www.boryanabooks.com ) email at calclass@earthlink.net and is also available on Amazon.com

Other Books and CD’s By Nigey Lennon The Sagebrush Bohemian: Mark Twain in California (now out of print, but soon to be released as an e-book) Alfred Jarry: The Man with the Axe, illustrated by Bill Griffith (also soon to be released as an e-book) Bread and Hyacinths: The Rise and Fall of Utopian Los Angeles (co-written with Lionel Rolfe and Paul Greenstein); California Classics Books (also soon to be released as an e-book). Film rights were optioned by Paul Haggis (Billion Dollar Baby, Crash) and it may go into production in the reasonably near future. And of course, my CD, Reinventing the Wheel, which is available through CD Baby, iTunes, etc.

Frank Zappa & Lorraine Belcher after March 1965 arrest

LINK: http://www.punkglobe.com/frankzappabookreview0510.html

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