Orrin Hatch On Skis

Songfacts®:

  • Running to a mere 2 minutes 12 seconds, this is a typically innovative Frank Zappa instrumental. Although he is a songwriter and occasional recording artist, Orrin Hatch has a far more serious day job; in 2006, he became Utah's longest serving senator. It remains to be seen where the skis come in, but this was Frank Zappa! >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Zappa took many potshots at right-wing politicians throughout his career, so there's no doubt he was taking a subtle jab here. Utah Senator Hatch assumed office in 1977 and has generally antagonized the left-wing throughout his career. Among notable Hatch controversies are his musing that polygamy might be constitutionally legal, his opinion that copyright owners should be able to destroy the computer equipment and information of those suspected of copyright infringement, and his opposition to Obama's health care bill.

    But why "on skis"? Hey, Zappa's work is chock full of inside jokes and sideways cryptic references. Maybe Utah has good skiing? Listening to this dandy little ditty, it is a lighthearted, playful piece, so perhaps it just makes good skiing music.
  • The album this piece comes from, Guitar, is a follow-up to Zappa's previous triple-1981 album Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar. Like the previous "guitar" album, it's pure instrumental work. Guitar brought Zappa his 6th Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Instrumental Performance."

    If you're wondering why Zappa needed all these instrumental-only albums, he explains on page 182 in The Real Frank Zappa Book: "I can't play guitar and sing at the same time. My brain can't handle it. I can't even play rhythm guitar and sing. It's hard enough for me to stay in tune just singing."

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