Sunday, April 24, 2011

One Great Song - "Watermelon in Easter Hay" - Frank Zappa - 1979

"Watermelon in Easter Hay," an incredible guitar number that first surfaced live in 1978, appeared on record on Joe's Garage Acts II & III. Zappa himself identified this song, along with "Black Napkins" and "Zoot Allures," as one of his signature pieces for which he wanted to be remembered (and was on the first posthumous release from the Zappa Family Trust, Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute, in 1996).

If one can follow the concept of Joe's Garage (and it's not as hard as some of Zappa's records as its tale of totalitarian elimination of musical expression was inspired directly by the then-rapidly unfolding 1979 Iranian Revolution), "Watermelon in Easter Hay" is the final song imagined by the album's namesake protagonist before he succumbs to the realization that creation of music, rendered illegal, has forever disappeared and gives in to a life of mindlessly frosting muffins. Bizarre stuff? Maybe. Maybe not. Regardless, one must agree that the prospect of a life without music like this is hard to swallow.

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