Sunday, 27 December 2009

345: Burt Ward - Boy Wonder I Love You

Vocals: Burt Ward
Arranged by Frank Zappa
November 1966

This single dates from a few months after the release of Zappa’s first album “Freak Out” in 1966. In its own way "Boy Wonder I Love You" explores some of the same territory as Zappa’s early album, criticising the cheesy commercial popular culture teenagers are expected to buy into because of their exploited nascent sexuality. The sound effects are typical of Zappa and that slightly stressed repetitive “I will” passage is like bits from his other early albums.
Apparently this is a composite of real fan letters.
And if it weren’t for what happens at about the 1 minute, 30 second mark I wouldn’t be posting it here. The letter suddenly gets a little more intense in its declarations of devotion and invitations for the Boy Wonder to come visit. Suddenly there’s the qualifier, “I hope you know this is a girl writing”, which rather than comforting, raises the previously unconsidered possibility that it might be a man writing such a passionate letter. Apparently this suggestive passage (although not the hints of homosexuality) got the single pulled from some radio stations.

For more than you’d care to know about this single:

I’m certain Burt Ward says “man mail”, but I suspect it’s just a slip of the tongue for “fan mail”.

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