Thursday 10 April 2014

Valley Girl

Slipping a note under your father's studio door offering to do some vocals on his recordings is quite a novel approach to trying to spend some time with a parent but that is what Moon Unit Zappa did. She then hung about the studio reciting words and phrases she had picked up from school and the malls of the San Fernando Valley. Her father then inserted the vocals into a track he had been working on resulting in Valley Girl the only Frank Zappa single ever to chart in the Billboard charts in the US.

The record was nominated for a Grammy, not bad for a satirical comment on the Californian youth of the early 80s. The song has nothing whatsoever to do with the appalling film Valley Girl, starring Nicolas Cage, released the following year which Zappa tried to stop.

I got into Zappa in my early teens when Jim, one of the older hippies I was hanging about with lent me Zappa In New York and The Mothers,  Fillmore East albums. I still listen to him on occasions but now find it difficult to make it through a whole album in one sitting.

Frank Zappa - Valley Girl


Echorich said...

Zappa was sort of a rite of passage artist for teens and college students born after 1960. As a teen you heard about him, he represented counter culture, smoking dope and general doing things your parents disapproved of (usually involving sex). I did attempt to get into Zappa, but I think my musical preferences were already well enough formed that I went for Captain Beefheart instead. By 10 I was listening to Bowie and T. Rex and owned a King Crimson album, so if I was going to listen to hippie stuff it had to at least be different - Beefheart was certainly different.

Anonymous said...

Zappa was not in any way a hippie. He detested the so-called counterculture and drugs and indeed lampooned it mercilessly.

He lost his way in the early 80's and produced some real dross like Valley Girl, Ship Arriving...etc. but came back with avengence in the latter part of that decade spurred on by the rise of the born again fools.

Hi early and later works still stand as outstanding commentaries.

drew said...

Tony, I didn't say he was a hippie. I said it was a hippie that lent me the albums. I quite like the dross especially Scott Thunes' bass part.

Anonymous said...

No worries Drew. My comment probably came over the wrong way. Does sound a bit narky now I re-read it. Keep em comin' dude. All the best from Oz.

drew said...

All views welcomed Tony, well within reason. Don't hold back on my account.