In the 1980s author Jon Ronson played in a band with Frank Sidebottom, a man who wore a large fake head onstage (and often, offstage). We talked to Jon about the book and movie (called Frank and which opens in NY on Friday) he wrote based on his experience.

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Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of three bestsellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare At Goats, and The Psychopath Test, and three collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness, What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness, and Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries.

In the late 1980s Jon was the keyboard player in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank wore a big fake head. Nobody outside his inner circle knew his true identity. This became the subject of feverish speculation during his zenith years. Together, they rode relatively high. Then it all went wrong.

Twenty-five years later and Jon has co-written a movie, Frank, inspired by his time in this great and bizarre band, starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson and directed by Lenny Abrahamson. It opens in New York on Friday, August 15, and other locations after that.

frank-coverFrank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie is a memoir of funny, sad times and a tribute to outsider artists too wonderfully strange to ever make it in the mainstream. It tells the true story behind the fictionalized movie.

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