You Are What You Is

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared


Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)



The origins of the song by Sean Storts:

The YAWYI theme first appeared in Yo' Mama from berlin 78. The Jam to Yo' Mama starts as usual but about 3-4 minutes into the solo the YAWYI theme is introduced by frank on guitar and as the band slowly begins to follow his main theme Belew begins to double it as frank realises Belew has become more confident with the theme he begins to solo over the YAWYI theme it is finally brought to an appetulant frenzy of YAWYI jamming and when it finally peaks the Yo' Mama theme is brought back with the first verse aposed to the instrumental theme on the Shiek Album.

Foggy G, "The Songs That Were Played," We're Only In It For The Touring

1980 Mar-Jul: Essentially performed as on YAWYI, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and lacking Ray's dynamic end-of-the-song vocal workout. Without Steve Vai's aggressive guitar, and Ray's soaring vocal climax, this tune wins the dubious honor of being the worse of the Summer '80 YAWYI premieres. [Patrick Buzby adds: "From Electric Don Quioxite : In the premier version (Boston 5/3/80), the first line of verse 1 went : "A dandy young man from a nice Jewish family..."]

1980 Oct-Dec: Essentially performed as on YAWYI, minus Ray White's vocal gymnastics in the second half of the song. For me, it is this performance of Ray's that makes this song interesting, and without it, the tune is reduced to nothing more than mediocre Zappa.

1981-82: Essentially performed as on YAWYI.

1984: Essentially played as on "You Are What You Is", with obvious differences in the instrumental accompaniment.

1988: As far as I am concerned, the only reason for listening to this song is to work your way through the repetitive first half in order to indulge in Ray White's end-of-the-song theatrics. Take away the second half vocal dynamics, and you are left with a thirty second song that goes on way too long. Obviously, there is no Ray White this time around, nor is there anything or anyone in his place. Just this blank, empty space. And it kinda sucks. To make matters worse, this song typically follows "City of Tiny Lites" (a la the '84 tour) making us curse the absence of "Pound for a Brown". You are a big disappointment, that is what you is.


Conceptual Continuity

Opal the waitress:
Working The Wall:


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This page updated: 2023-03-05