Freak Out! My Life with Frank Zappa
By Pauline Butcher
(Plexus Publishing, Paperback, 9780859654791, 288pp.)
Publication Date: October 2011
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In 1967, 21-year-old Pauline Butcher was working for a London secretarial agency when one evening a call came through from a Mr Frank Zappa asking for a typist to come to his hotel room. The assignment would change her life forever.
After this chance encounter with the charismatic musician, at Frank’s request Pauline moved with him, his family and his band the Mothers of Invention to a log cabin in the Hollywood Hills. There, the straight” young English girl from Twickenham spent her days in the company of a succession of famous names, mixing with Oscar winners and rock royalty, including Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Captain Beefheart and Tiny Tim. Often working nights and sleeping days, for three years Pauline served as Zappa’s secretary, running his fan club, the United Mutations, and organising rehearsals, live appearances and recording sessions for the GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously), an all-female rock act supported and produced by Zappa.
Freak Out! is the captivating story of a naive young English girl thrust into the mad world of a musical legend. A vivid depiction of the late sixties rock’n’roll scene and the stark realities behind Hollywood’s perceived glamour, this memoir is also the most revealing and intimate portrait of Frank Zappa ever written.