Oh No (I Don't Believe It)

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Other recordings:


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


The Fraternity Of Man version:

Román, December 9, 2002

I've heard The Fraternity Of Man version of "Oh No I Don't Believe It" and it has a completely different set of lyrics, supposedly written by FZ himself.

Patrick Neve, December 9, 2002

Really? Where was this stated? I think just because FOM credit FZ with the song, doesn't imply that he actually wrote the lyrics, or for that matter, the majority of the music.. I suspect that since FOM were rather generously copping the tune they just gave full credit to FZ. Possibly Tom Wilson's influence was at work here, as well. I don't know how a band would credit such a recording nowadays.. (Music: FZ/FOM, Lyrics: FZ/FOM, Arr: FOM?).. but my guess is that credits for arrangements have become more precise and complicated since the 60's.

It's a pretty crappy lyric, actually, and I would be very suprised if FZ actually wrote this. ("flying zoomies"? PLEEZ.)

Charles Ulrich, March 13, 2010

Elliot [Ingber] thinks the Fraternity Of Man recorded Oh No in late 1967. He was not aware of any FZ lyrics existing at that time. Larry "Stash" Wagner (and possibly Warren Klein) wrote the "flying zoomie" lyrics.

Larry "Stash" Wagner, interviewed by Klemen Breznikar, It's Psychedelic Baby, April 16, 2011

"Oh No I Don't Believe It," was another interesting story. Frank Zappa was quite proud of his guitar work on a cut he was working on and gave Elliot [Ingber] a tape. After Frank left, Elliot complained that it was too placid and he took the tape and turned it over. Elliot told Warren [Klein] to work out the backwards guitar part, note for note and the result was "Oh No I Don't Believe It"

Oh No, I Don't Believe It (by The Fraternity Of Man, 1968)

Oh no, I don't believe it
Oh no, I don't believe it

30 minutes now have gone by
Now I'm really on
I'm trying to think of a rhyme
I can't find one for this
Flying zoomies passing by
Would you say the time is nigh
Yes, I'd say that time is nigh
Now I'm really on

Purple lizards crawling down the wall
Rolling 'cross the floor
Blue streaks shooting 'cross the room
Flying through the door
Flying zoomies passing by
Would you say the time is nigh
Yes, I'd say that time is nigh
Now I'm really on

Mount Vesuvius smiles down over the Bay of Naples
The great good sultan is seated at
This [...]
Borne by an elephant
Attended by slaves
Who fan him as he smokes hookahs

Oh no, oh no
I think we've done it
Oh no, oh no
You must keep everything in

Original transcription by Román
Additions and corrections by Patrick Neve and Charles Ulrich

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

1968: The instrumental version, complete with guitar solo, essentially performed as on "Ahead of Their Time". (There is at least one performance from this tour—captured on tape—that features vocals. The date escapes my mind right now, but I know its there).

1974 (May): Essentially performed as on "Roxy and Elsewhere", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. The arrival of this tune, along with "More Trouble Every Day", is one of the great developments of this era in Frank's career. As the performances on this tour show, along with the even more insane performances from the following tour, these songs were a constant inspiration to the band, and always seemed to bring out the most intense performances from everyone involved. The rhythm section seem to be particularly fond of this tune, and of "More Trouble Every Day", locking into some serious grooves and pushing Frank's solos to continually great heights.

1974 (Jul-Dec): Essentially played as on "Roxy and Elsewhere", accounting for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. Occasionally, the lyrics would fall victim to the whims of Frank and Napoleon, and thus we got versions about politics, and also versions about chord changes. This was another song on this tour where Frank's solos were typically ferocious. He alternated between a clean and distorted sound, and typically worked the rhythm section into a frenzy before segueing into "Son of Orange County."

1984: Forget "Roxy and Elsewhere". Forget any '74 versions you may have heard of this. Those were transcendent, spine-tingling, god-like. This ain't that. Luckily, Brock got an aisle or a window and this tune was dropped like a dead fish. Played in that mock reggae style (a la "Muffin Man") that '80's Frank was so fond of, this year's performance simply doesn't hold a candle anywhere near the '74 performances of this tune (or the '88 performances, for that matter). Brock screeched it, the band remote controlled it, and then, just like the good ol' days, it went into "More Trouble Every Day". But NO, this isn't the good ol' days. It's a cheap facsimile. A nightmare. Get me out of here.

1988: Essentially performed as on MAJNH, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. This always appears as part of the Big Medley (except for a single performance on 5/18 when this serves as the first tune of a not-so-Big Medley).



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This page updated: 2016-07-24