This is the definitive biography of Ike Willis who played and recorded with Frank Zappa and sang many of his most famous songs.
The Ike Willis Book Project is extremely pleased and excited to bring you a once in a lifetime opportunity to become involved with the definitive account detailing a lifetime of memoirs from the man who sang and played guitar with Frank Zappa. This book is being written and directly worked on by Ike Willis himself. (Click above to get a little more insight directly from Ike!)
A short message from Ike:
"Howdy friends and fans.
As you have read, we are well into the process of writing and telling
my life story. I knew this day would come but I did not expect it to be
so powerful and having so much to do with internet fundraising. I have
some really great people who are making this book happen and I just want
to thank everyone out there who has supported my music over the years
and still comes out to the shows and sends the emails to me daily and
all that fun stuff. There is no doubt, that this book will have
something interesting for every type of fan - even the ones who have
known me forever. I have a large number of FZ alumni and family members
who have contributed to the interviews and we spend plenty of time
talking about how many of the most famous songs originated. This is
your chance to support this project ahead of it's publishing and you can
earn some really great keepsakes and fun stuff as well. We are also
sending out a special gift to the first 100 backers so time is of the
essence this time around. Thanks again for your continued support and
get ready for "the real" Ike Willis book!!!"
Ike worked on the student stage crew when FZ played at Washington University and ended up informally auditioning back stage in Frank's dressing room(Click the video above to hear more!). Six months later he received a call in his dorm room from FZ asking him to come out to L.A. and formally audition for his band when the semester ended. Ike flew out to L.A. in the summer of 1978 and found himself in the studio with his favorite band in the world.
"Being in the rehearsal with all the guys came very naturally for the most part, but it all happened so fast I didn't have time to be nervous or starstruck. There was way too much material to learn and I definitely did not want to let Pops down."
Over the next 15 years he would share the stage with Frank Zappa and legendary band members such as; Steve Vai, Ray White, Tommy Mars, Vinnie Colaiuta, The Fowler Brothers Ed Mann, Arthur Barrow and Bobby Martin & Napoleon Murphy Brock. Ike is featured on a number of classic albums including Joe's Garage, Tinseltown Rebellion, You Are What You Is, Them or Us and Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar.
The book and what is in it:
Ike has always wanted to write a book detailing some of his favorite experiences and memories... and he certainly has a lot of them! The Ike Willis Book Project has complied over 25 hours of interviews with Ike and his wife over the past 6 months at his home in Los Angeles. Additionally, we are currently in the process of incorporating further interviews, stories and anecdotes from friends and the band members fans have loved throughout the years.
The interviews we have are truly fantastic! There are so many exclusive, amazing stories about Ike's life and his career with FZ that have never been told before. Chapters in the book include:
· Ike's family history & upbringing
· The making of Joe's Garage
· Commentary from many members of the FZ band and post FZ-bands
· Memories of individual shows and tours
· Stories of interesting fan behavior
· Recording, producing and engineering of albums
Ike's story reads like the ultimate American Dream:
Mr. Issac “Ike” Willis was born in 1955 in St. Louis, MO. Growing up an academic prodigy in a working class family whose ancestors were slaves from Africa, Ike attended boarding school in Georgia on a scholarship and then Washington University in his native St. Louis. He formed his first rock and roll band at a young age, but it was after he saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and heard Zappa's Freak Out in 1965 that he knew music was his true calling.
Ike and Frank Zappa fans will not want to miss this book! Help us make it happen and you can be a permanent part of the Ike Willis Book Project!
The funding for this project will enable us to cover all the costs associated with publishing the book in hardcover and e formats. We expect the book to be over 300 pages and include a variety of rare photos as well as quoted contributions from a number of FZ alumni and family members.
We invite you to donate to The Ike Willis Book Project and become a part of rock & roll history... forever!
Thank you so much in advance,
Ike & The Project Scrutinizer Team
We expect the book to be over 300 pages plus art and photos that Ike selects. There is going to be a TON of chapters and new information in this book. I know b/c I am writing it and I wanted a book with a ton of new FZ stories to go along with Ike's biogrphy.
That's a great question. The Project Scrutinizer came about as an homage to "The Central Scrutinizer" who is the narrator in Joe's Garage. It takes a lot of people to actually write a book like this so I decided rather than take credit for it myself, I would rather form a team who could work with Ike and work on the back end of the project. The Project Scrutinizer is the sum of all those contributing parts. We have lawyers, teachers, artists, film makers, fans, photographers, musicians, consultants, marketers, and people in the publishing community working on this project. I am the person that launched the kickstarter aspect in my name and I was the one who conceived the project with Ike (nothing sexual took place) last fall. However, there are now a lot of people helping to make this happen... We are all scrutinizers when ya get right down to it...
That is the plan, however we do not know at this time how many languages. That may not be entirely up to us.
Ike always planned to write a book about his life including some of his favorite memories of playing music with FZ. Aside from numerous stories of his time with FZ, Ike wanted to tell the story of his upbringing in the heartland of the country and mention all the of the people who have been influential along the way. In fact a number of friends and family have contributed to the book and we are still adding to that list. Ike has enough stories to publish the multiple volumes of material but this first time around it is going to be a very broad based account of his life in his own words.
This obviously depends on a couple of things. We plan to have the book hit shelves and computers this December around the time of Frank's Birthday Dec. 21 and before the holidays so it will make a great gift to stick out under the tree or bush. As we mentioned, we have some creative aspects of the book that we want to complete at the time of publishing so the date could change so we can release a more polished product.
The book is divided into 3 general parts:
Ike's life before he met FZ.
Ike's time playing with FZ,.
Ike's life after FZ.
Ike does not want to write an entire book about playing with FZ and dishing on all things FZ. Ike's personal stroy is truly remarkable and Ike has a style all of his own as far as story telling and linking memories of highlights of his life in a general landscape. Rest assured, there will be plenty of FZ inside info and stories NO ONE has ever heard about.
However, this book will not contain "gossip," "accusations," "embarassing personal behavior," or overtly negative language. It will be an in depth exploration of Ike's life and characters he has met and worked with along the way. It is not a tabloid rag filled with imflamatory statements just to sell books (that will be in vol. 2)!!!
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Thank you letter signed by Ike Willis.Estimated delivery:
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Thank you letter signed by Ike Willis and an e version of the book.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above plus a hard copy version of the book signed by Ike and mention in a special chapter in the book listing doners of $50 and over. International shipping not included.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above plus a digital download of the book narrated by Ike and a second autographed book. International shipping not included.Estimated delivery:
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2 backers Limited (98 left of 100)
All of the above plus a digital download of the book narrated by Ike and a second autographed book. We will also include other materials such as a DVD with interview highlights and material not contained in the official book. International shipping not included.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above plus you get to submit a question that will be answered in the book (music related please). You can choose to have name listed alongside your question.Estimated delivery:
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0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)
All of the above PLUS: A thank you phone call from Ike and 4 VIP tickets to an Ike concert of your choice (dates/avail not guaranteed and must be booked in advance. If you cannot attend a live concert we will send you a live recording of a concert with personalized autographs and letter).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)
All of above plus 10 free tickets to an Ike Willis performance of your choice (travel not included). There will be an informal meet and greet with Ike and the rest of the band (dates/avail not guaranteed and must be booked in advance. If you cannot attend a live concert we will send you a recording with personalized autographs and letter). All 10 tickets do not have to be for the same show so you could see 10 shows for free if you so choose.Estimated delivery:
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0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
All of above plus a personal visit from Ike Willis at a mutually agreed upon destination (Near LA, NYC, Chicago is best) and 5 total copies of the book personally autographed to anyone you choose. Ike will actually take the time to come and see you and shoot the breeze, take photos, answer questions, and with a $1500 donation: HE WILL BUY YOU A ROUND OF DRINKS!!! *Ike will be accompanied by his manager at all functions.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above PLUS an expense paid weekend in LA with Ike as your tour guide (travel to LA not included). Ike will take you on a guided tour visiting some of the most famous sites and studios in Hollywood including the Zappa residence and other random/relevant local sites. And of course, you will get to "crank some Frank!" *Ike will be accompanied by his manager at all functions. Estimated Delivery: Sep 2013Estimated delivery:
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All of the above plus room and board for a second night in LA. Take a more in depth tour through famous LA sites and studios and see the clubs and music venues at night. Spend time relaxing with Ike in a with a limo tour that will take you anywhere you want to go...Estimated delivery:
- (60 days)