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Music / Chunga's Revenge

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Chunga's Revenge is a 1970 album by Frank Zappa. From this album on and the three that followed (Fillmore East, June 1971 (1971), 200 Motels (1971), Just Another Band from L.A. (1972)) Zappa would work together with two former lead singers from The Turtles, while most of the music would be In the Style of comedy sketches, satirizing life on the road with rock bands.


Side One
  1. "Transylvania Boogie" (5:02)
  2. "Road Ladies" (4:10)
  3. "Twenty Small Cigars" (2:17)
  4. "The Nancy & Mary Music" (9:28)

Side Two

  1. "Tell Me You Love Me" (2:34)
  2. "Would You Go All the Way?" (2:30)
  3. "Chunga's Revenge" (6:15)
  4. "The Clap" (1:23)
  5. "Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink" (2:44)
  6. "Sharleena" (4:05)


  • Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals, Condor, harpsichord, drum set, wood blocks, temple blocks, boobams, tom-toms, etc.)
  • Max Bennett (bass)
  • George Duke (electric piano, vocal drum imitations, organ, trombone)
  • Aynsley Dunbar (drums, tambourine)
  • John Guerin (drums)
  • Don "Sugarcane" Harris (organ)
  • Mark Volman as The Phlorescent Leech (vocals)
  • Jeff Simmons (bass, vocals)
  • Ian Underwood (rhythm guitar, alto sax, electric piano, electric alto sax with wah-wah pedal, grand piano, tenor sax, organ, piano, pipe organ)
  • Howard Kaylan as Eddie (vocals, rhythm guitar)

Would You Trope All The Way?

  • B-Movie: "Would You Go All The Way?"
    Remember Freddie and Joe?
    The night she went to the show: a monster movie?
    (...) The monster came out, everybody shout
    People all around you, screaming at the monster
    The monster from the USO
  • Call-Back and Continuity Nod:
    • The liner notes on the album cover beneath the photograph make mention of a "gypsy mutant industrial vacuum cleaner" and "dozens of imported castanets, clutched by the horrible suction of its heavy duty hose". Gypsies would turn up in other Zappa songs too, like "Packard Goose" from Joe's Garage ("sounds like an elegant gypsy"). Vacuum cleaner imagery is prominent in 200 Motels (1971) and the Central Scrutinizer in Joe's Garage (1979) is also described as a "cross between a vacuum cleaner and a piggy bank with marital aid stuck all over with it". The woman in "Camarillo Brillo" (Over-Nite Sensation) also hangs her castagnets up. The word "heavy duty" returns in "Montana" (also from Over-Nite Sensation) in the line "heavy duty zircon encrusted tweezers". Hoses are also part of Zappa's conceptual continuity.
    • "Chunga's Revenge" sounds like a typical B-monster movie title. "Transylvania Boogie" also brings up imagery from Dracula, with the image of a dancing gypsy around a fire inside the album sleeve another stereotypical Romanian folk image. In "Would You Go All The Way?" the protagonists are watching a monster movie, delving into Zappa's conceptual continuity about monster movies.
    • "Would You Go All The Way?" mentions a '55 Chevy, continuing Zappa's conceptual continuity around cars. A "Chevy" was also mentioned in The Uncle Meat song "Dog Breath (In The Year Of The Plague)". The same song also mentions socks ("His new white socks") which have also turned up in earlier and later Zappa songs.
    • "Tell Me You Love Me?" would be played again on Tinseltown Rebellion (1981) and with new lyrics targeting Michael Jackson on Zappa's album Broadway the Hard Way (1988).
  • Careful with That Axe: Some of the screaming in the third part of "The Nancy & Mary Music".
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: "Road Ladies", a song about the bleak, tiresome and lonesome life on the road of a rock band:
    You got nothing but groupies and promoters to love you
    And a pile of laundry by the hotel door
    (...) Don't it ever make a young man wanna go back home?
    When the P.A. system eats it,
    And the band plays some of the most terrible shit you've ever known
    (...) Don't you better get a shot from the doctor what the road ladies do to you?
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The photo on album cover.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The art work within the cover is done by Cal Schenkel.
  • Face on the Cover: A photograph of Zappa, yawning. It was taken by Phil Franks.
  • Groupie Brigade: "Road Ladies" and "The Clap" both address groupies.
  • Instrumental: "Transylvania Boogie", "Twenty Small Cigars", "The Nancy & Mary Music", "Chunga's Revenge" and "The Clap".
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Road Ladies" and "The Clap" both reference sex with groupies and the fact they can give musicians the clap afterwards.
    • "Tell Me You Love Me?"
    Burning with fire, one desire, cause I gotta make love to you
    • "Would You Go All The Way?"
    With his arm around your waist
    And his hand is in your pants
  • In the Style of: "Road Ladies" is played in the style of a Blues song.
  • Location Song: "Trannsylvania Boogie", an instrumental about this Romanian province.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: "Would You Go All The Way?"
    Would you go all the way
    For the U.S.A.?
    Would you go all the way
    For the U.S.O.?
    Lift up your dress, if the answer is "no" ...
  • Name and Name: "The Nancy & Mary Music".
  • Obsession Song: "Tell Me You Love Me".
    I love you so hard now,
    I'm cryin' for you
  • One-Woman Song: "Sharleena".
  • Only in It for the Money: Rudy the union man in "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink".
    The work is here; it's a couple a bucks.
    I'm sure you're glad to pay.
    Whip it out, here is your receipt
    Now I'll go away, now I'll go away...
  • Porky Pig Pronunciation: "Would You Go All The Way?"
    T-T-Tell me baby
  • Questioning Title?: "Would You Go All The Way?"
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Road Ladies" references the blues song "Hot Little Mama" by Zappa's idol blues singer Johnny "Guitar" Watson
    Don't you ever miss your house in the country and your hot little mama too?
    • "Chunga's Revenge" was used on the soundtrack of "Happy Together" (1997) by Wong Kar-Wai.
  • STD Immunity: Averted with "Road Ladies" and the instrumental "The Clap".
    Don't you better get a shot from the doctor what the road ladies do to you?
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Sharleena", which is a song about a girl whom the protagonist misses and it is sang completely straight. A sharp contrast with the more comedic songs on this album.
  • Take That!: "Would You Go All The Way?" aimed at the American military, while "Rudy Wants To Buy Yez A Drink" targets unions.
  • There's No Place Like Home: "Road Ladies" about rock musicians on tour.
    Don't it ever make a young man wanna go home?