This was an exchange I had in a Facebook group for Frank Zappa fans. I am copying it here for posterity.
Q: it took me until recently to realize that â€œweasels ripped my fleshâ€ is a great essential classic mothers record up there with the first 4, but i cant seem to get into â€œburnt weeny sandwhichâ€. i enjoy every note of the album in some ways but unlike â€œweaselsâ€ which has â€œoh noâ€ and â€œmy guitarâ€, BWS doesnt seem to have anything essential to his conceptual continuity and feels like it was put together without a lot of care. Can someone make a case for it? I want to enjoy it
A: Sure. Put it down for a while. Stop trying. If you’re trying, and you don’t get it, you won’t make it. Listen to “Weasels.” Listen to “Uncle Meat.” Listen to “Apostrophe.” Listen to “ABBA Gold.” Then, put on a nice dress and walk around your apartment in the dress and scream the first verse of Edward Lear’s “The Table and the Chair” at the top of your lungs. Then whisper the second part. Then say the third part like you’re Howard Cosell. Skip the fourth verse. Then sing the fifth verse to the tune of “Oh When The Saints Go Marching In.” Then, look into a mirror and say “I’m good enough, I’m strong enough, and doggone it, people like me.” Wait one week and then eat an entire pecan pie. After this, try “Burnt Weeny Sandwich” again. I think you’ll be ready.
- Heather Cox Richardson analyzes Betsy DeVos’ motivation for pushing to get kids back to school or else. (Letters from an American)
BWS was a giant leap forward for The Zappa, a step out of line, into a higher plane. I still think it’s his finest.