'The Real Frank Zappa Book'. 

Brother A. West is an American comedian and cartoonist. He gained some fame in the 1980s playing a comedic televangelist as opening act for rock artists. One of them was Frank Zappa, who recorded a performance by West available on the album 'The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life' (1991). West additionally designed the cover of Zappa's album 'Broadway the Hard Way' (1988) and illustrated his autobiography 'The Real Frank Zappa Book' (1989). Later in his career West was an art director for the children's TV series, 'Jay-Jay the Jet Plane' (1998-2005). 

Early life and career
Andrew West Reid Jr. was born in 1954. During the 1980s he was a member of the American comedy group "Brother A. West and the World Salivation Ministry". The band toured around Los Angeles and other Californian towns. They played sketches, with West parodying a stereotypical ultraconservative televangelist. At the time televangelism gained more prominence thanks to the rise of cable TV. More channels offered air time to local preachers, with some being syndicated nationally. However, certain televangelists attracted controversy by expressing offensive opinions about the LGBT community, feminists and atheists. Some led moral crusades against pornography, rock music, gay rights or anything that went against their own religious views. Thanks to their loyal, devout followers and affiliations with the Ronald Reagan administration, few media dared to criticize or oppose their nigh untouchable status and far-reaching social-political influence. It wasn't until several high profile televangelists, like Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, got entangled in money fraud and/or sex scandals that they lost a lot of credibility. For West televangelism was therefore a suitable subject for satire. Brother A. West and the World Salivation Ministry recorded the tracks 'Satan Music' and 'Our America' on the compilation album 'Taste Test #1" (1989). They were also an opening act for alternative rock artists like Sonic Youth, The Meat Puppets, The Minutemen and Frank Zappa. 

Frank Zappa
Underground rock artist Frank Zappa was always critical of televangelism, their hypocrisies and their nefarious political-social influence. He targeted them in several satirical songs. Therefore he enjoyed Brother A. West's comedy act. He booked him for two of his concerts, one in Philadelphia (14 February 1988) and another in Uniondale, New York (25 March 1988). In character, West interrupted Zappa during his shows for "doing things that are unfair to our country". He then delivered a mock speech. A recording of the Philadelphia performance can be heard on 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's act was so convincing that many people in the crowd started booing and hissing. After the intermission, Zappa had to personally tell his audience that West wasn't a real-life televangelist, because some of his fans wanted to beat him up. West also designed the album cover of Zappa's 'Broadway The Hard Way' (1988).

The Real Frank Zappa Book
Brother A. West was the illustrator of Frank Zappa's autobiography 'The Real Frank Zappa Book' (1989), which the musician wrote in collaboration with journalist Peter Occhiogrosso. Instead of a serious reflection on his life and career, Zappa wrote everything in his trademark playful style. To liven up the pages even more, West added several little cartoons and occasional sequential drawings. While not a comic book in the strictest sense, the cartoons do follow a clear narrative sequence, namely Zappa's chronological life story. West even makes use of a recurring character: a little man with a black moustache who represents Zappa. The black-and-white drawings and subversive content of 'The Real Frank Zappa Book' give West's drawings a genuine underground comix feel.

TV career
In the 1990s West retired his Brother A. West act and became an art director for various children's media. He 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'. 

The Real Frank Zappa book

Series and books by Brother A. West you can order today:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.