• • • ZAPPADAN • • •
Questions, Questions, Questions, flooding into the mind of the concerned young person today. Ah, but it’s a great time to be alive, ladies and gentlemen. And that’s the theme of our program for tonight. It’s so FUCKING GREAT to be alive! is what the theme of our show is tonight, boys and girls. And I wanna tell ya, if there is anybody here who doesn’t believe that it is FUCKING GREAT to be alive, I wish they would go now, because this show will bring them down so much . . .
—Call Any Vegetable, Just Another Band From L.A. • 1972
Perhaps no other bland, soft, white, unmatured spreadable cheese is more indicative of the power of music to make myth, than the phenomenon of Suzy Creamcheese. The voice of Suzy Creamcheese was first heard on Freak Out! (1966). As Suzy’s conscience, Zappa asked, “Suzy Creamcheese, honey, what’s got into ya?” But it was Suzy that had gotten into the heads of fans of Zappa’s music. Zappa in a 1974 interview in COQ [Cock] Magazine:
Suzy Creamcheese was a girl named Jeanne Vassoir. And she is the voice that’s on the Freak Out! album. The myth of Suzy Creamcheese, the letter on the album, I wrote myself. There never really was a Suzy Creamcheese. It was just a figment of my imagination until people started identifying with it heavily. It got to weird proportions in Europe, so that in 1967, when we did our first tour of Europe, people were asking if Suzy Creamcheese was along with us. So I procured the services of another girl named Pamela Zarubica, who was hired to be the Suzy Creamcheese of the European tour. And then she maintained the reputation of being Suzy Creamcheese after 1967. The first one went someplace, we don’t know where.
Someday you’ll click on your dictionary and see this:
cream•cheese |kreem CH eez|
1 soft, rich cheese made from unskimmed milk and cream;
a white unmatured cheese with a high fat content.
2 informal Suzy Creamcheese, a soft, white, spreadable, immature, introverted culture groupie in search of identity
ORIGIN mid 20th cent. name in a ZAPPA song,
a groupie; a prospective sexual encounter
Suzy Creamcheese is alive and well in the cultural anachronisms of television. On the Oct 2nd, 2008 episode of The Colbert Report, during a “Formidable Opponent” skit, at the end of a sexual metaphor for the bailout gone batshit, Stephen Colbert says, “Not so fast, Suzy Creamcheese.”
It could be argued that Frank Zappa played both sides of the power of words argument. (See the CROSSFIRE interview.) But most importantly, he knew that freedom of speech requires that you be allowed to say any of them, hear them, think about them, or not. He understood that freedom of choice requires one to choose what words they will employ in their pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. And from that point of view, Frank Zappa was an American patriot.