Froze-ing by the Pies by Charles Ulrich

Froze-ing by the Pies

  • Non-Fiction
  • 288 pages, 6×9 inches
  • Price: $26 CAD · $26 USD
  • ISBN: 9781554202188
  • Date published: 2025-04-24
  • Availability: not yet published


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About Froze-ing by the Pies

When the protean musician/composer/bandleader Frank Zappa burst on the scene in 1966 with his early masterpiece, Freak Out! He appeared seemingly fully formed, demonstrating a mastery of a huge range of musical idioms. By then, Zappa had spent a decade absorbing the influences and knowledge that would characterize the rest of his ~30 year career.

In his new book, Charles Ulrich, author of the seminal The Big Note: A Guide to the Recordings of Frank Zappa, takes a deep dive into the early influences on FZ, from the doo-wop and blues he loved listening to with high school confidant Don Van Vliet a/k/a Captain Beefheart, to his equal love for the modernisms of Stravinsky, Weber and Varese. From visual collage design aesthetics and cheesy horror movies, to the geeky pleasures of mastering the then-new techniques of filk and tape splicing, Froze-ing takes the reader/listener on a voyage of discovery into the secret basement laboratory of one of the 20th century’s distinctive musical geniuses.

About Charles Ulrich

Charles Ulrich was born in Palo Alto, California, in 1957. He attended Pomona College, where—like Frank Zappa—he was a disc jockey on KSPC-FM. He earned a PhD in linguistics from UCLA and taught at ten universities in the United States and Canada. His previous book, The Big Note: A Guide to the Recordings of Frank Zappa, was published in 2018.

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