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In the early 1960s, Suzy Zeiger, nicknamed Suzy Creamcheese, was a peripheral member of the retinue of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. After the real Suzy left the group, other people used the name "Suzy Creamcheese" in Mothers' performances. Eventually, it was widely thought that she had always been a fictitious character. On the album Freak Out! (which features a "letter" from Suzy Creamcheese on the back cover), Suzy Creamcheese was played by Jeannie Vassoir; on Absolutely Free and Mothermania it was Lisa Cohen; and on We're Only in It for the Money and Uncle Meat it was Pamela Zarubica.
The real Suzy continued to use the name "Suzy Creamcheese". She moved to London, England, where she was for a while the girlfriend of John Hopkins, a leading figure in the British hippie subculture. She was also associated with the unorthodox psychiatrist R.D. Laing.
Zappa claimed that in a 1967 tour in Europe, some fans asked him if Suzy toured with them. Because of that, Zappa used Zarubica as Suzy in that tour. In fact, the first performance of the tour took place in the Royal Albert Hall, in London, when the real Suzy lived there. She was in the audience, and Zappa was on stage, unaware of her presence until she shouted to him and he recognized her voice. A dialogue identical or similar to the one below then took place between them, with a large audience overhearing them.
- Male voice: Suzy?
- Female voice: Yes?
- Male voice: Suzy Creamcheese?
- Female voice: Yes?
- Male voice: This is the voice of your conscience baby ... uh, I just want to check one thing out with you ... you don't mind, do ya?
- Female voice: What?
- Male voice: Suzy Creamcheese, honey, what's got into ya?
This dialogue was included in "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet", which was recorded the year before the European tour. Apparently, in the Albert Hall, Zappa reprised the earlier words, and Suzy followed his lead. It then became widely believed that Suzy was touring with the group. With Zarubica's help, this belief was maintained for the rest of the tour.
"The Voice of Cheese", from "Uncle Meat" (1969):
“Hello teenage America. My name’s Suzy Creamcheese
- I’m Suzy Creamcheese because I’ve never worn fake eyelashes in my whole life
- and I never made it in the surfing set and I never made it in the beatnik set
- and I couldn’t cut the groupie set either..
- And.. um.. actually I really fucked up in Europe.
- Now that I’ve done it all over and nobody else will accept me
- I’ve come home to my Mothers.”
The track "Requiem For Suzy Creamcheese" appears on the vinyl LP Psychedelia—A Musical Light Show by The Mesmerizing Eye (Smash Records MGS-27090).
The band Teddy & His Patches recorded a track called "Suzy Creamcheese" which contains a remake of the intro to "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet." It has appeared on several garage rock and psychedelic rock compilations such as Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965–1970, Pebbles, Volume 3, Trash Box, and Acid Dreams.
In popular culture
That same Las Vegas boutique is also mentioned in Steve Wick's 1990 book about the 'Cotton Club' murder : "Bad Company" ; on page 105 it says "[Leslie] Dekeyser was the owner of the Suzie (sic) Creamcheese clothing boutique in a mall on the Strip"
In the movie "Tenderness" (2008-2009), main character, Lori, offhandly mentions Suzy Creamcheese as an exemplar of who she wouldn't personify.
"Little Suzy Creamcheese" is also mentioned in the Elizabeth Gilbert novel "Eat, Pray, Love", and the film version of the novel, starring Julia Roberts.
An angry Sami Brady refers to Abigail Deveraux as "Suzy Creamcheese" while confronting her husband EJ DiMera about his affair with Abigail, on the tv soap opera Days of Our Lives (episode airing in July 2014).
In Stephen King's Carrie the character Sue Snell refers to herself as "Suzy Creamcheese" (p. 95)
Producers Mark Knight & Adrian Hour released a track titled "Suzee" which samples the "Suzy, what's got in to you?" line.