Willie the Pimp
|"Willie the Pimp"|
|Song by Frank Zappa from the album Hot Rats|
|Released||October 10, 1969|
|Genre||Blues rock, hard rock, jazz rock|
|Hot Rats track listing|
"Willie the Pimp" is a blues rock song from Frank Zappa's 1969 album Hot Rats. It features an idiosyncratic Captain Beefheart vocal and one of Zappa's classic guitar solos. It is 9 minutes and 16 seconds long on Hot Rats. It is the only track that is not instrumental on the album, though the track features a long instrumental guitar solo.
The album title Hot Rats comes from a lyric of Willie the Pimp. The origin of the song was explained in a conversation Zappa recorded in 1969. This interview recording was later released as "The Story of Willie the Pimp" on the Zappa album Mystery Disc.
The song was ranked number 75 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.
Van Vliet's idiosyncratic vocal on Zappa's "Willie the Pimp" was among their collaborations.
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Hot Rats version
- Frank Zappa - guitar, percussion
- Ian Underwood - keyboards
- Captain Beefheart - vocal
- Sugar Cane Harris - violin
- John Guerin - drums
- Max Bennett (musician) - bass
- Frank Zappa - guitar & dialogue
- Mark Volman - lead vocals & dialogue
- Howard Kaylan - lead vocals & dialogue
- Ian Underwood - winds & keyboard & vocals
- Aynsley Dunbar - drums
- Jim Pons - bass & vocals & dialogue
- Bob Harris - 2nd keyboard & vocals
- Don Preston - Minimoog
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4
- Frank Zappa - lead guitar/vocal
- Ike Willis - guitar/vocal
- Ray White - guitar/vocal
- Bobby Martin - keyboards/sax/vocal
- Allan Zavod - keyboards
- Scott Thunes - bass
- Chad Wackerman - drums
- Juicy Lucy covered "Willie the Pimp" on their 1970 release Lie Back and Enjoy It, their version was included in Andy Votel's compilation Vertigo Mixed, released in 2005.
- Stack Waddy on their 1972 album Bugger Off!
- The band Clouds (with Adam McGrath) on their Legendary Demo on the track "Magic Hater"
- Qui on their 2007 album "Love's Miracle".
- Alex Harvey recorded a version that can be found on the album The Joker is Wild
- Former Zappa guitarist Warren Cuccurullo covered the song on his 1998 album Roadrage.
- New Jersey-based psychedelic/progressive rock quartet Karmic Juggernaut has been known to cover the tune in their live shows.
- Darryl McDaniels, Talib Kweli, Mixmaster Mike & Ahmet Zappa covered the song on The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAAAA Birthday Bundle 2010
- "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" at the Wayback Machine (archived May 31, 2008). Rolling Stone. 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-25. "Zappa's guitar improv never sounded more bluesy —or more jubilant— than it does on this song. His greasy skids and howling-dog tone —and the way he breaks into note-cluster fisticuffs with the rhythm section— are playfully impulsive. And that deep vocal? Zappa's teenage chum Captain Beefheart."