I'm the Slime

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"I'm the Slime"
Single by Frank Zappa and The Mothers
from the album Over-Nite Sensation
B-side "Montana"
Released 1973
Format 7"
Recorded 1973
Genre Progressive rock, jazz fusion, comedy rock
Length 3:35 (album version)
3:02 (single version)
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Frank Zappa
Producer(s) Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa singles chronology
"Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus"
"I'm the Slime"
"Cosmik Debris"
"Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus"
"I'm the Slime"
"Cosmik Debris"

"I'm the Slime" is a 1973 single by Frank Zappa and The Mothers from the album Over-Nite Sensation. Different live versions can be found on Zappa in New York and You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 which the version was performed on the same night as the majority of Roxy and Elsewhere. "I'm the Slime" and its b-side version of Montana were put on Zappa's best of Strictly Commercial. It was performed in concert from 1973 to 1977 and 1984.[1]

Lyrics and meaning[edit]

The song contains two parts; the first part is a riddle of insults in the form of "what am I?"

"I am gross and perverted. I'm obsessed 'n deranged. I have existed for years, but very little has changed. I'm the tool of the government and industry too, for I am destined to rule and regulate you. I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away. I make you think I'm delicious, with the stuff that I say. I'm the best you can get. Have you guessed me yet?"

The second part discusses the evils of the answer to the riddle, the various things seen on television.[1]

Ike and Tina Turner[edit]

For the recording of this song (and most of the Overnite Sensation lp), Zappa used Ike Turner's Bolic Studios in L.A.. By virtue of this arrangement, Turner offered up the use of the Ikettes (including Ike's then wife, Tina Turner) to sing back up vocals for various songs on Over-Nite Sensation including "I'm the Slime". Ike Turner insisted that Zappa only pay the Ikettes $25 per song, to which he reluctantly agreed. After hearing one of the recordings in the studio, Ike, exclaimed "What is this shit?" and later insisted that Tina and the Ikettes would not be credited on the album.[2]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

Zappa performed "I'm the Slime", as well as "Purple Lagoon", and "Peaches en Regalia" in his first of two appearances on Saturday Night Live. NBC announcer, Don Pardo was utilized for his distinctive delivery for the second movement, (or B section) of "I'm the Slime". Zappa described this as the, "highlight of [Don Pardo's] career." Pardo performed at the Palladium, in New York City in December, 1976 on "I'm the Slime", and parts of "Punky's Whips" and "The Illinois Enema Bandit", documented on Zappa in New York.[3]

Track list[edit]


A."I'm The Slime" - 3:08
B."Montana" - 4:39 [4]

40th Anniversary[edit]

The single was re-released to mark its 40th anniversary, as part of Record Store Day 2013. It was released on transparent green vinyl, with blue smoke lines limited to a run of 3000 copies worldwide. The vinyl was cut from the original masters, and all profit went to the Frank Zappa foundation.[5]

Cover versions[edit]

A cover of this song was recorded by Arjen Anthony Lucassen and his brother Gjalt for 2012 album Lost in the New Real. But Lucassen replaced “TV set” with “Internet” in his version.

The industrial music band KMFDM included the lyrics in their song UAIOE from their 1989 album of the same name.

The dub/ska/rock band Long Beach Dub Allstars uses the song's hook in the intro of their song titled Luke from their 2001 album Wonders of the World.


  1. ^ a b Couture, François. "I'm the Slime - Frank Zappa & the Mothers, Frank Zappa : Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  2. ^ Miles, Barry (2005). Zappa: A Biography. Grove Press (via Google Books). p. 232. ISBN 978-0802142153. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  3. ^ Alkyer, Frank (2009). DownBeat-the Great Jazz Interviews: A 75th Anniversary Anthology. Hal Leonard (via Google Books). p. 185. ISBN 978-1423463849. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  4. ^ "I'm The Slime/Montana". Zappafrenzy.com. Retrieved 2012-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Frank Zappa: I'm The Slime / Montana (Record Store Day, Colored Vinyl) —". Turntablelab.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08.