Beat The Boots

Beat The Boots I: The Ark

(The Mothers of Invention, July 1991)

Song timings and track separations based on the Castle Communications 1991 CD version.

  1. Big Leg Emma 4:32
  2. Some Ballet Music 7:14
  3. Status Back Baby 5:54
  4. Valarie (Lewis/Robinson) 3:53
  5. My Guitar 6:49
  6. Uncle Meat/King Kong 23:26

The Ark, Boston
July 8, 1969

Recorded by Steve Waldman

FZ—lead guitar, vocals
Roy Estrada—bass, vocals
Don Preston—keyboards
Buzz Gardner—trumpet
Ian Underwood—woodwinds, keyboards
Bunk Gardner—woodwinds
Motorhead Sherwood—baritone sax
Jimmy Carl Black—drums, vocals
Arthur Dyer Tripp III—drums, percussion

 

1. Big Leg Emma 4:32

includes a quote from Charade (Mancini/Mercer)

(Ya-da- dadee. Oh-wo-wo, wo-wo)

FZ: Alright. (quack) We have a marvelous treat for you. Jimmy Carl Black, The Indian Of The Group, is going to sing his all-time favorite, "There's A Big Dilemma About My Big Leg Emma." And I might also add that uh, the whole grotesque event this evening is being recorded for posterity by Steven Waldman, who's lurking in the background there. And it's all being pumped through the PA system and through these three spectacularly placed microphones in the front so we get a realistic recording of exactly what we sound like in The Ark. (Alright?) Some MOI: Go ahead. Let 'er rip.

There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma, uh-huh, oh yeah
There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma, uh-huh, oh yeah
She knock-a me out
Until her face broke out, uh-huh

There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma, uh-huh, oh yeah
There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma, uh-huh, oh yeah
She was my steady date
Until she put on weight, uh-huh

Ohhhhh, Emma!
Ohhhhh, Emma!

ma-ma-ma-ma
ma-ma-ma-ma
ma-ma-ma-ma
ma-ma-ma-ma
ma-ma-ma-ma
ma-ma my Emma

(SOCK IT TO ME NOW!)

There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma, uh-huh, oh yeah
There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma, uh-huh, oh yeah
She was my steady date
Until she put on weight, uh-huh.

FZ: Alright. Let's get realistic now. You know and I know that the function of that number was just to provide some sort of warm-up trash before we do something HEAVY. Something a little bit harder to listen to, but which is probably better for you in the LONG RUN. The item in this instance, which will be better for you in the LONG RUN, and if we only had a little more space up here we could make it visual for you, is "Some Ballet Music," which we've played at most of our concert series in Europe. Generally in halls where we had a little bit more space and Motorhead and Kansas could actually fling themselves across the stage, and give you their teenage interpretation of the art of The Ballet. I don't think it's too safe to do it here, maybe they can just hug each other a little bit and do some calisthenics in the middle of the stage.

2. Some Ballet Music 7:14

Pooooo-eehhhh!

FZ: Thank you. What a marvelous response from a rock and roll audience! Now, before the show somebody handed me this note, and it says, "Please do some of the following tunes from your records." Now, we've had a request for "Brown Shoes Don't Make It," "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder," "Status Back Baby," "Prune In June," "Dog Breath," and the main tune from Lumpy Gravy. And we actually can play some of these things, surprisingly enough. But we hardly ever do, see. So if we go ahead and play it and it sounds crappy, well maybe the person who asked for this song will like it, just because we play it. There's no way to tell how they're gonna come out. But we're gonna go ahead and do it anyway because nobody likes us and they won't care if we sound crappy.

3. Status Back Baby 5:54

includes a quote from Petrushka (Stravinsky)

FZ: We'll begin with that crappy old tune "Status Back Baby."

I'm losing status at the High School
I used to think that it was my school
WAH WAH WAH
I was the king of every school activity
But that's no more . . .
Oh mama, what will come of me?
Oh-wow, Oh-oh-oh-wow

The other night we painted posters
They played some records by The Coasters
WAH WAH WAH
A bunch of pom-pom girls
Looked down their nose at me
They had painted tons of posters
I had painted three
I hear the secret whispers
Everywhere I go
My school spirit is at an all-time low

I'm losing status at the High School
I used to think that it was my school
WAH WAH WAH
Everyone in towns know
I'm a handsome football star
I sing and dance and spray my hair,
And drive a shiny car
I'm friendly and I'm charming
I belong to DeMolay
I'm gonna try like mad
To get my status back today
Oh-wow, Oh-oh-oh-wow
Status back, Baby
Status back, Baby
Status back, Baby
Status back, Baby

FZ: Now we got desperate a few months ago and uh, because we thought nobody liked us. And uh, we're also pissed off at the fact that people won't play our records on the radio, and we didn't know whether or not it was 'cause our music was crappy or because somebody really knew what the words to the songs meant. And so they couldn't . . . So they wouldn't take a chance. So we came to the conclusion that actually all it was was a conspiracy against the Mothers Of Invention because we're supposedly so dirty, vile and crazy and also a threat to our great nation and all that it has stood for in the past and we hope that will not continue to stand for in the future . . . However boys and girls . . . The people who run the radio stations are on the watch, you know, for our records, when they come in as soon as somebody sends a single to the radio station with our name on it they either melt it, break it, stomp on it or send it in an envelope directly back to the record company from which it came with a threatening note. But we said, "What the heck? Why can't we be just like other teen-age rock & roll bands—outside of the fact that we're all over thirty—and go and cut a single record and try and get the sucker on the radio?" So what we did was we went into a professional recording studio in New York City in the middle of the night for two nights in a row and also a Saturday afternoon for mixing and cranked out two miserable teen-age type records with words that couldn't possibly offend anybody and uh they're reasonably singable—by any group other than the Mothers Of Invention—and uh, they're teen-age boy-girl type songs. And so they're being released this week. I would expect to be able to add these to our list of smash flops very shortly. We'll begin our medley of Mothers Of Invention hit singles, ahem, with the B-side of this one, which is a tune called "Valarie." By the way, did you know that "Big Leg Emma" was released as a single? I can't understand why that didn't get on the radio. That's just as, that's just as imbecilic as "Yummy Yummy Yummy." Well, I think the size of the woman's leg had something to do with it. A large stomach— that's one thing. Big legs— I don't know . . .

4. Valarie 3:53

(Lewis/Robinson)

Although you don't want me no more
Oh, but it's alright, alright with me
'Cause you know, you're gonna want me some day
Oh, you will want me, and I'll run away

Oh, Valarie
(Valarie)
Valarie
(Valarie)
Valarie
Don't you want me
Don't you need me

Valarie
(Oh, please, don't leave me, Valarie)
Valarie
(Please, don't go, please, don't go)
Valarie
(Please here my plea, my plea)

Although you don't want me no more
Oh, but it's alright, alright with me
'Cause you know, you're gonna want me some day
Oh, you will want me, and I'll run away

Everybody!

Valarie
(Valarie)
Valarie
(Valarie)
Valarie
Valarie

Valarie
Valarie
Valarie
(Valarie) Valarie

FZ: Thank you. That should have a limited type of appeal in the pure grease market. And there may be some representatives of that market here today. The other side ot this charming teen-age record is a tune called "My Guitar . . . Wants To Kill Your Mama." Ready? Here live in person is our deluxe teen-age rendition.

5. My Guitar 6:49

You know your mama and your daddy
Saying I'm no good for you
They call me dirty from the alley
Til I don't know what to do

I get so tired of sneakin' around
Just to get to your back door
I crawled past the garbage
And your mama jumps out screamin'
"Don't come back no more!"
I can't take it

My guitar wants to kill your mama
My guitar wants to kill your mama
My guitar wants to burn your dad
I get real mean when it makes me mad

Later I tried to call you
Your mama told me you weren't there
She told me don't bother to call again
Unless I cut off all my hair

I get so tired of sneakin' around
Just to get to your back door
I crawled past the garbage
And your mama jumps out screamin'
"Don't come back no more!"

My guitar wants to kill your mama
My guitar wants to kill your mama
My guitar wants to burn your dad
I get real mean when it makes me mad

Later I tried to call you
Your mama told me you weren't there
She told me don't bother to call again
Unless I cut off all my hair

I get so tired of sneakin' around
Just to get to your back door
I crawled past the garbage
And your mama jumps out screamin'
"Don't come back no more!"

FZ: "King Kong"? Well I'll tell you what. I think what we're gonna do is play "Uncle Meat" and then, uh, sort of sneak into "King Kong" from that. That would be your teen-age medley of two.

6. Uncle Meat/King Kong 23:26

includes Uncle Meat and King Kong

FZ: One, two, three, one, two, three . . .

 

All compositions by Frank Zappa except as noted
Site maintained by Román García Albertos
http://www.donlope.net/fz/
Original transcription by Hans Hendriks and Patrick Neve
Corrections and additions by John W. Busher and Charles Ulrich
This page updated: 2020-05-16