Frank Zappa Peter Reilly - Essay

Peter Reilly

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Introducing his own label [with Sheik Yerbouti] gives Frank Zappa the opportunity to deposit several giant do-do's on your carpet and then, in an equally infantile way, wait for you to tell him what a good boy he is. He giggles and pants and shouts through such things as the swinish Wild Love, the repellent S & M, pansexual excesses of Broken Hearts Are for Assholes, and the childish exhibitionism of I Have Been in You with all the gleeful abandon of one of Rodney Laing's patients smearing his feces on the wall to prove his essential "health." The all-time low point (one must hope) is plumbed here in Jewish Princess, a belligerent, incredibly gross piece of hate-filled crap that belongs in a shrink's office and not on a recording. The delusional aspect of all this is that Zappa apparently considers himself something of a social and sexual satirist along the lines of a musical George Grosz and deserving of some kind of Award for Candor. In actuality he's more like the clumsy illustrator of one of those little porn comic books that are devoured by experience-starved kids who still think that scatology and sexuality are the same thing. An abusive, sickening album. (Sheik Yerbouti, if anyone cares, is Zaplish for the 1976 disco hit Shake Your Booty by K.C. and the Sunshine Band.) (p. 104)

Peter Reilly, "Popular Discs and Tapes: 'Sheik Yerbouti'" (reprinted by permission of the author), in Stereo Review, Vol. 42, No. 6, June, 1979, pp. 102, 104.