sung by Captain Beefheart on Frank Zappa's 1970 album Hot Rats.
I'm a little pimp with my hair gassed back
Pair o' khaki pants with my shoes shined black.
Got a little lady...walk that street
Tellin' all the boys that she cain't be beat.
Twenny dollah bill (I can set you straight)
Meet me onna corner boy'n don't be late.
Man in a suit with a bow-tie neck
Wanna buy a grunt with a third-party check.
Standing on the porch of the Lido Hotel
Floozies in the lobby love the way I sell:
I node this not because the lyrics are all that likely to threaten Bob Dylan
, although it's fun to hear a perspective on pimp
s that predates them as role models.
Hot Rats is the the first Zappa album done post-Mothers. Beefheart's delivery on this track is a squalling, throaty rant that carries a note of desperation in it, probably because they of the number of takes it took to get it down. The Mothers of Invention had centrifugated some time previously, and Zappa and Van Vliet were *not* getting along at this time. In their own words:
Van Vliet: The only reason I performed on Willie The Pimp was because I wanted to straighten Zappa out. I thought that if he came in contact with a real artist he might see the light - but he was too far gone by then. Rumor
Zappa: Beefheart auditioned just before Halloween. He flunked. See, he had a problem with rhythm, and we were very rhythm oriented. Things have to happen on the beat. I had him come up on the bandstand at our rehearsal hall and try to sing Willie The Pimp and he couldn't get through it. I figured: if he couldn't get through that, I didn't stand much of a chance in teaching him the other stuff.
has it there's a rehearsal
tape somewhere with Beefheart flubbing it 26 times in a row.