BastardChef: 4 Cryin' Out Loud!
Friday, May 17, 2013
Aren't you pleased MasterChef is making a return! And with such a groundbreaking, non-gimmicky new format. We're particularly happy here at Stand & Deliver! because we get to compile another bunch of food-related songs. For now, Volume 4 of this series will be a slow-release degustation menu of food-related songs.
- Peaches En Regalia - Frank Zappa
- Wild Honey Pie - The Beatles
1: Peaches En Regalia - Frank Zappa
As the story goes, FZ encountered one of his blues heroes while touring with the Mothers of Invention. Rather than living it up as a well-regarded superstar, the old bluesman was scratching out a living painting a music studio. Some kind of despair must have ensued, as Zappa promptly disbanded the Mothers and recorded and released his first 'solo' album â featuring a supporting cast of virtuosi. 'Peaches En Regalia' is the track that kicks it off.
The title makes it sound like a juicy dessert or a delicious cocktail âbut weâre talking Zappa here, so assume his intent regards a different variety of peach altogether. Or at the very least, the other variety of tail. Since itâs an instrumental, it doesnât really matter. However, if you do consider it to be part of the genre, it is one of the more subtle of the euphemistic âyummy dessert=delicious womanâ songs. And if you dig that kind of thing, check out the cherry-related songs that appear in Bastard Chef III: Just Desserts.
Since Zappa did reconvene the Mothers - well, not the Mothers, but other line-ups of musicians under that name ('Others'?) - and toured them extensively while releasing albums prolifically, there are a number of live versions available on various collections. The most interesting is 'Peaches III', so-named because it was the third version released up to that time (the second was the live version on Fillmore East - June 1971, credited to 'The Mothers'). Located on the mostly live Tinsel Town Rebellion, 'Peaches III' is delivered with mostly synthetic instrumentation and squared-off rhythms, sounding as though it was inspired by Devo, who were big at the time.
Find it: opening the album Hot Rats as well as the compilation Strictly Commercial: The Best Of Frank Zappa. ('Peaches III' will appear on a later BastardChef compilation.)
Listen it: on Youtube.
2. Wild Honey Pie - The Beatles
A cynical observer once suggested Paul McCartneyâs first solo album, McCartney, marked the point where the erstwhile Beatles bassist finally achieved something heâd been attempting as early as Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: heâd finally produced an album upon which only he appeared, performing everything himself. By the time of Sgt Pepper there had been songs that featured one Beatle and session musicians â George Harrison fronting an Indian musical combo, as on âWithin You Without Youâ, Paul and the string quartet on âYesterdayâ. But The Beatles (aka âThe White Albumâ) frequently featured songs created by the Beatles working in pairs or solo.
Thus, while John Lennon and Ringo Starr were enconced in another studio and George was away on holiday, Macca doodled for the sheer fun of it on this little ditty. The short song, described by McCartney as âan experimentâ, sounds like a novelty: silly, over-the-top multi-tracked voices in American accents, spring-like sound effects of bent guitar strings. âWild Honey Pieâ was apparently included on The Beatles because, like the songâs protagonist, Patti Boyd (Mrs George Harrison at the time) happened to like it.
More than a precursor to the similarly doodled-for-the-sheer-fun-of-it McCartney, âWild Honey Pieâ seems in the first place to be yet another cross reference to the Beach Boys: bass players of both bands seemed to inspire each otherâs subsequent albums throughout the â60s, Pet Sounds and Sgt Pepper famously upping respective antes until Smile failed to appear, the Beach Boys ending 1967 with the album Wild Honey (the title track was its lead single). It could be a passing reference.
In the second place, it is also a pre-emptive defence of âHoney Pieâ, a song that came later on âThe White Albumâ â but more of that later.
Find it: on disc 1 of The Beatles (aka âThe White Albumâ).