Brother A. West is an American comedian and cartoonist. He is best known for his collaboration with American underground rock legend Frank Zappa during the late 1980s, with whom he sometimes performed on stage. West also illustrated Zappa's autobiography 'The Real Frank Zappa Book' (1989). Later in his life he was an award-winning art director for various children's TV series and films, before he served jail time for sexual offenses regarding minors.

Early life and career
Andrew West Reid Jr. was born in 1954. He was a member of the American comedy group "Brother A. West and the World Salivation Ministry" in the 1980s. They toured around the L.A. area and were the opening act for groups such as Sonic Youth, the Meat Puppets and the Minutemen. West often performed a parody of a televangelist. West can be heard on the tracks 'Satan Music' and 'Our America' on the compilation album 'Taste Test #1" (1989). 

Frank Zappa
West played his televangelist character during two concerts by Frank Zappa in Philadelphia and Uniondale, New York in 1988, where he supposedly attacked the subversive musician for "doing things that are unfair to our country." His act was so convincing that many people in the crowd started booing and hissing. Zappa had to personally tell his fans it was all an act. A recording can be heard as the track 'A Few Moments with Brother A. West' on  Zappa's live album 'The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life' (1991). West provided graphic design for Zappa's album cover 'Broadway The Hard Way' (1988) and illustrated Zappa's autobiography 'The Real Frank Zappa Book' (1989) by Zappa and Peter Occhiogrosso. The latter book is full with little cartoons and occasional sequential drawings, which accompany Zappa's personal recollections and political-social opinions. While not a comic strip in the strictest sense the cartoons are a partial chronological illustration of Zappa's life story. In this way the illustrations do follow a clear narrative sequence. There is even a recurring protagonist throughout the entire book: a little man with a black moustache who clearly represents Zappa. The black-and-white drawings and subversive content give Zappa's book a genuine underground comix feel.

TV career
West was an art director for the children's TV series 'Jay-Jay the Jet Plane' (1998-2005) on PBS. He won two Cable Ace awards in the category "Best Art Direction in a Comedy, Musical or Series" for his contributions to the TV film 'Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme' (1990) and 'Adventures in Wonderland' (1992-1995) on the Disney Channel.

Criminal conviction
In April 2006 West was arrested and later sentenced to eight years of prison in Pasadena for child molestation and possession of child pornography. In 2014 he was ordered to pay $5.4 million to his victim and freed, though remains registered as a convicted sex offender.

The Real Frank Zappa book

Series and books by Brother A. West in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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