Wind Up Workin' in a Gas Station

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"Wind Up Workin' In A Gas Station"
Song by Frank Zappa
from the album Zoot Allures
GenreRock, hard rock, comedy rock
Songwriter(s)Frank Zappa
Producer(s)Frank Zappa

"Wind Up Workin' in a Gas Station" is the opening song on Frank Zappa's album Zoot Allures. The song contains a fake German accent from Zappa as a result of Zappa's fascination with the German culture. In concert, the extensive repetition of the lines "Show me your thumb if you're really dumb" was given the response by the audience members putting both thumbs firmly in the air. Despite the lyrics being pessimistic, the song became a fan favorite. A live version can be found on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6.[1][2]


The song attacks the American school system explaining that even with the highest education, many people will still end up with low pay jobs such as working at a gas station.[3]

Lady Bianca controversy[edit]

The lead vocals are sung by Bianca Odin, better known as her stage name Lady Bianca, who was only with Zappa's band in 1976 until November 11. Odin's reason for leaving was stated in an interview:

"I left Frank Zappa because I am a lady. I did not feel I had to be humiliated by taking off my cloths [sic] or letting Frank use me as a prop on his show. I feel that my vocals and musicianship should have sufficed. That is why I left, it was my choice."[4]

Contrary to other reports, the song was not dropped from the set list since Lady Bianca's high vocals were only part of several unisono vocals and had not to be imitated by any of the other male band members. In the following concerts (November 16, 18, 19, 20, 25 - tour end) there simply was no female voice.[5]


  1. ^ François Couture. "Wind Up Workin' in a Gas Station - Frank Zappa : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  2. ^ Supremely American: Popular Song in the 20th Century : Styles and Singers ... - Nicholas E. Tawa - Google Books. 2005-02-28. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  3. ^ The Words and Music of Frank Zappa - Kelly Fisher Lowe - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  4. ^ "Bianca Odin". United Mutations. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  5. ^ "FZShows: 1976-1977". Retrieved 2016-03-27.