This is a first Zappa book printed in East Block. It was a special limited issue only for a members of young musicians section (inside an official Musicians Union). It's a very solid book with a lot of photos, discography etc.
This edition was not for sale. Later the book was reissued in 1993.
--DISCLAIMER--> this is more sort of a fun fact; I realise that a Czech book on FZ published during an era when you couldn't get first hand information is about as relevant as a Braille-only publication to the international community of readers, but since this thread lists the books on FZ, I thought I might as well include it. If you don't care, please just don't read, thank you! : )
Way back when (in the 80's), in communist Czechoslovakia, where the few Zappa records available were Hungarian fakes (I'm exaggerating, they weren't all fakes, but nevertheless, Zappa was even more unattainable than bananas and quality shoes), a book called "Suplik plny Zappy" ("A drawer full of Zappa") by a certain Petr Doruzka appeared. It made reference to the fact that any type of culture that couldn't be praised or at least released officially was colloquially called "drawer culture", because that was where it was kept. Zappa, quite inevitably, wound up there too. Because of this, the publication was made available only to the members of the Club of Friends of Young Music, so as to minimize its impact on society, which shows that in authoritarian regimes, you must put extra effort into hiding stuff from the public that most people wouldn't even care about in the first place. Although this Club was a state-approved organization, it didn't succeed (maybe even didn't try, I don't know by whom it was run at the time) in preventing the guileful subversive individuals (e.g. – the people that were really interested in FZ's music, and, oh, by the way, often also really pissed off by the regime) from getting their filthy hands on the above-mentioned material.
Until the Velvet Revolution in 1989, it was the only book on the subject of Frank Zappa available in Czechoslovakia. Thus, it became some sort of Bible among FZ aficionados. It was a mixture of facts, personal opinions and quotations, a rather slim volume, not a detailed biography for knowledge freaks – you couldn't have written something like that from behind the Iron Curtain even if you had wanted to. It commented on some local FZ activities as well, recounting for example one memorable afternoon Zappa session in Prague in the 70's which was entirely spent listening to George Duke's diabolical laughter at the end of Sofa No.2.
I read the book, and though I disagree with some of the author's views (I wouldn't dismiss Tinseltown Rebellion by stating that it only "repeats the already said"), I must say that I find his approach (selective, not encyclopedic presentation of facts, personal point of view) more entertaining and enriching than, for example, Neil Slaven's, whose book I read with pleasure, but was a bit overwhelmed with facts. Anyway, my point really is that any judgment on FZ books is relative – I'm quite sure that you folks who lived during all your lives in democratic countries (or at least in countries which try hard to be democratic) would find Doruzka's little FZ guide superfluous, incomplete and maybe even irreverent. And still, for a relatively small group of people, it was (or still is, because of its past significance), essential. I was born in 1988, so I didn't really experience the communist regime, but I always felt this was a good example of a piece of writing about a type of music the enlikening of which, back in those times, could often lead to jail. Although once there, you probably wouldn't get raped by former music business execs like poor Joe. Mind you, the wardens could still beat the crap out of you.
a Hratký s Beefheartem
Paseka / Práce, Prague
ISBN 80-85192-17-9 (Paseka)
ISBN 80-208-0138-3 (Práce)
312 pp, hardcover, 21 x 15 cm
Expanded (2 new chapters) and updated second edition in Czech language.
Translations of this book:
224 pp, paperback, 20 x 14 cm
Slovak translation by Peter Brhlovič.
The original edition was rewritten and expanded by author with two new chapters (one of them about Captain Beefheart and the full title of the book is "Plný Šuplík Zappu a Posiedky s Beefheartom"). In original Czech language this expanded edition was published later, in 1993.