Watermelon In Easter Hay

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

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

Comments

FZ Plays FZ (1996) liner notes by Dweezil

When Frank was asked whether or not he felt he had written or recorded anything that was unique or special to him he replied, "Yes." He then mentioned the names of 3 guitar instrumentals; "Black Napkins," "Zoot Allures" and "Watermelon In Easter Hay". He considered these his 'signature pieces'.

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

1977-78: Premiered as an encore about midway through the tour, and much to the pleasure of all us "Watermelon" fans, the song decided to stick around. Early on, the tune wasn't as fully developed as it eventually would be (see "Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa" for an example of this), but it was nonetheless still quite an aural treat. Despite the kinks, it was essentially played as on "Joe's Garage", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo.

1978: Essentially played as on "Guitar", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. This is one of those tunes where I feel compelled to go on and on about its greatness, but restrain myself knowing that words cannot do it justice. Suffice to say, the frequent performances of this song serve its reputation well, with the Halloween "Watermelon" performance with both Zappa and Shankar being quite the jewel in this crown.

1979: What would you prefer- Frank starting a show or ending a show with this classic? Preferably both, but hey, let' not get greedy. So in '79, you just crossed your fingers and hoped for either of the above. A perfectly written song- Frank could do no wrong, allowing those beautifully tortuous notes to fly from his guitar. When he ends the show with it, you go home with a grin etched into your face; when he opens the show with it, you realize 90 minutes later that it was all downhill from there. Frank, thank you for this song.

1980 Mar-Jul: Essentially performed as on "Joe's Garage", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. I'll ask the question again- can words do this song justice? [Patrick Buzby with some Logeman abuse- "this song featured some of Logeman's worst drumming on this tour, IMO, at least during the head. His way of following FZ's phrasing doesn't come off at all."]

1980 Oct-Dec: Essentially performed as on "Joe's Garage", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. Again, this is one that must be listened to, and not read about.

1981-82: Essentially performed as on "Joe's Garage", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. A song simply too beautiful for words.

1984: Essentially played as on "Guitar", with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. Played way too rarely on this tour, but as always, quite a treat when it was played. (Thanks Sean!)

1988: Essentially performed as on "Guitar", allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. I chose "Guitar" as the comparison point for this version as I personally find that performance (guitar solo wise) to be a lot less satisfying than the "Joe's Garage" version. Likewise, I find that Frank's "Watermelon" solos on this tour really do not seem to be all that inspired. The arrangement, however, is a different story, with the presence of the horn section adding some very exciting texture to the written portions of the tune.

From the "You Are What You Is" Tour Factbook (1981) compositions list:

Easter Hay (aka Watermelon in Easter Hay)

 

Conceptual Continuity

 

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