Orrin Hatch On Skis

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • 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."
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

JJ Burnel of The StranglersSongwriter Interviews

JJ talks about The Stranglers' signature sound - keyboard and bass - which isn't your typical strain of punk rock.

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

KissFact or Fiction

Kiss is the subject of many outlandish rumors - some of which happen to be true. See if you can spot the fakes.

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.

Boz ScaggsSongwriter Interviews

The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.