The Mothers Of Prurient Invention – Weasels Ate My Dick

By Mark von Lehmden

Screw, 18 October 1971

Starting right now, Mark von Lehmden, SCREW's editorial Mr. Wizard, will be alternating this column with the Mysterious Mr. Meltzer. It will feature reviews of records and performances, thinly disguised plugs for friends, and anything else of interest that might occur. In short, all that you'd expect from a reviewer, only more so.

Frank Zappa (the founder and benevolent dictator of the Mothers of Invention) has always struck me as a masterful mutant, Los Angeles' ace freak representative to the rest of the world. His music is like the city itself, a lot lof suburbs without a center or core: Stravinsky abuts Ed Sanders, Motown is next door to Webern, who lives around the corner from the Four Deuces, etc. Which makes Zappa the musical equivalent of a Gray Line bus tour, or does it?

Thrill City

Another thing that Zappa and the Mothers have in common with L.A. is their approach to sex and violence. L.A. being the fantasy and cheap thrills capitol of the world, it seems that people there feel more obliged to make production numbers out of their fantasies, and what's catchier and more liable to attract attention and headlines than broad hints of perversity and undertones of nastiness and a touch of evil? From their first appearance on the horizon, it was apparent that the Mothers were not only out to do bizarre things to Suzy Creamcheese and your 13-year-old daughter, but were quite ready and willing to include you in on their unspeakable doings, whether you liked it or not.

Rock and Raunch is the name of this column, and for once that's what it's all about. The Mothers' latest album, The Mothers/Fillmore East-June 1971, (Warner Bros./Reprise) is devoted for the most part to a dialogue/oratorio on the subject of 'groupies and rock musicians and the parts they play in each others living fantasies. The entire record, with the exception Of the last three tunes on the second side, is a perfect~ caricature of the starfucker/groupiefucker confrontation, with the parts acted out by the Mothers capturing forever the defensive, self-righteous suspicion of the groupies as they try and find out if these dudes are really stars (with a hit single on the charts) and the abject horniness of the musicians as they try to find out if the chicks are fit subject matter for their fantasies.

Suck My Mudshark

Zappa begins the sequence by announcing a new dance, the Mudshark, and then gives the ostensibly real origin for this latest offshoot of the continuing saga of Stars and Groupies:

"The origins of the Mudshark are as follows: there's a motel in Seattle, Washington, called The Edgewater Inn. And to make it more interesting, in the lobby of the aforementioned motel there's a bait and tackle shop, so whenever the residents want to, they can go down and rent a fishing pole ... schlepp back upstairs, open the window, stick their little pole outside and within a few minutes actually catch a fish of some sort and bring it back into their motel room and do whatever they want to it.

"Let's say you were a travelling rock and roll band called the Vanilla Fudge. One night, you checked into The Edgewater Inn with an 8mm movie camera, enough money a rent a pole, and to make it more interesting – a succulent young lady with a taste for the bizarre. My mind drifts back to a meeting, a chance meeting in Chicago's O'Hare Airport, where the members of the Vanilla Fudge told Don Preston [A Mother] about the home movie they made at The Edgewater Inn with a mudshark. I'm gonna tell you this dance – the Mudshark – is sweeping the ocean. Do the Mudshark, baby..."

Which is almost believable, considering those bozos who used to call themselves the Vanilla Fudge probably ended up fucking the mudshark themselves, scraping 90% of the skin off their bodies in the bargain, while the succulent chick was probably naked, filming the whole thing so the boys would have something to show their grandchildren.

But this all is just an introduction, setting the tone, stating the theme. What follows is Zappa at his single-mindedly depraved best. He develops his characters by mixing the bits of off-the-wall dialogue with songs that carryon and expand the conversation with grandiose raunchiness. In "What Kind Of Girl Do You Think We Are?" the dollies are out to ball, but they want real stars, not just any cock rockers. And they 'have to have monster dicks, too. To which Zappa replies (in "Bwana Dik"):

"I've got the thing that you need. I am endowed beyond your wildest Clearasil spattered fantasies. Girls from all over the world flock to write my name in the toilet bowl.


I am bwana dick
I bwana dick, me bwana dick.
My dick is a monster – give me your heart.
My dick is a Harley – you kick it 'to start.
What if it speaks? The heavens will part –
creaming, steaming, reaming, screaming!

Handmaidens to the Stars

Probably the most universal characteristic of groupies is that they're, with very few exceptions, dumb. But they're also usually at least marginally aware of this fact, and getting occupationally insecure, they tend to avoid people who make them feel as stupid as they really are. Zappa once complained that he never had any groupies, that he'd like a groupie or two, to follow him around or sit silently consuming dope until he was ready to employ her sexually; it was no use-they were all afraid of him. He was a bit too nasty and evil. But now that S&M is fashionable, I'm sure that a lot of chicks flock to his dressing room, if only to be immortalized in his next batch of tunes.

The dollies immortalized in "Do You Like My New Car?" sound too perfect to be real, but then again, I haven't been to California since I was seven, so who knows? But if the chickies aren't real, the band definitely is, it couldn't be anyone else but the Mothers (the Fugs having disappeared from the scene for the time being). Beginning with "Motherly Love" on their first album, the Mothers have always advertised their raunchiness: partially out of a natural desire to let the honeys in the audience know what they had to offer, and partially to establish the fact that they are the Mothers, accept no substitutes. And in "Do You Like My New Car?" they're up to their old myth-mongering:

Groupie: "Do you like my new car? My dad just gave it to me for graduation.

Mothers: Oh yeah? It's a Fillmore, isn't it? I dig the fins. Listen, do you know how to get to the Holiday Inn from here?

Groupie: No, which one is it?

Mothers: It's the one by the airport cause we gotta get up early tomorrow and fly out of here.

Groupie: Oh, I didn't knew that. I'd like to come maybe, in your, bus or something.

Mothers: Oh yeah? Come in our bus huh? Well, we're in Tierra del Fuego tomorrow.

Groupie: Tell me and my girlfriends something – do you really have a single on the charts now with a BULLET?

Mothers: Listen honey, would I lie to you just to get into your pants?

Groupie: Hey!! Listen to me. We are not groupies!! But we wouldn't mind coming in your bus, 'Cause it just so happens that tonight me and my girlfriends have come here looking for just one thing – we came here looking for a guy from a group and he's gotta have a dick. And he's gotta have a dick that's a monster!

Mothers: Oh, you voluptuous Manhattan Island clit! Take me, I'm yours – you hole. Go through my wildest dreams.

Groupie: Anything for you, my seductive, seclusive pop star of a man. Picture this if you can: Pee jobs, knotted nylons, bamboo canes, three unreleased recordings of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fighting in the dressing room of the Fillmore West, white enchilada wrapped with pickle sauce shoved up and down between a donkey's legs until he can't stand it anymore – all this and more, including an Electric Cooled Pony Harness with fuel injection.

Mothers: I can't stand it! Please give it to me right here in the trunk of your Gremlin! Give me the enchilada with the pickle sauce shoved up and down the donkey's ass until he can't come anymore!!

Groupie: Not until you sing me your big hit record! And I wanna hear the big hit record now with the BULLET!

Mothers: Well, I know when I'm licked ... all over. O.K. baby, bend over and spread 'em. Here comes my BULLET!!

Will The Real Mothers of Invention Please Identify Themselves

At which point the band goes into "Happy Together," one of the all-time great schlock tunes, done originally by the Turtles, two of whose former members are now playing with the Mothers. Needless to say, the Mothers' version sounds just like the original, if not better. And speaking of musical mutations, here's a quote that appeared in the liner, notes of Freak, Out!, the Mothers' first album: "I'd' like to clean you boys up a bit and mold you. I believe I could make you as big as the Turtles." – A NOTED L.A. DISC JOCKEY.