The Boy Wonder Sessions (1966)
Holy Frank Zappa, Batman!
Helmed by Freak Out producer Tom Wilson, The Boy Wonder Sessions began as a quick-buck 45 recorded by Burt Ward, a.k.a. Robin from the 60s TV show Batman. Originally taped in June 1966, “Boy Wonder I Love You” features Burt reading teenage fan letters (don’t miss the essential punch line) over a Frank Zappa written & arranged recording with some of the Mothers of Invention (listen for the “Duke Of Prunes” chord changes near the end). The B-side is a Nat King Cole hit, “Orange Colored Sky,” given a comic, Mothers-style “American Drinks And Goes Home” arrangement, again by Frank. Other tracks were recorded during the sessions, supposedly for a follow-up single (or for FZ’s own purposes) that were never released. One of the instrumental tracks, “Variant 1,” is extraordinary. Presumably arranged or written by Zappa, it would have fit nicely on Lumpy Gravy, even though the orchestration sounds straight out of the British TV show, The Prisoner (not broadcast until a year later). I’ve left the tunes in the confusing order in which I originally got them, but you can go here for session details.
Boy Wonder I Love You (2:10) 45 A-side
Orange Colored Sky (2:45) 45 B-side
Variant 1 (2:27)
Teenage Bill Of Rights (2:42)
Tears Come From Loving You (2:27)
Gotta Fall In Love (3:01)
Variant 1 (alternate) (2:34)
Boy Wonder I Love You (alternate) (2:31)
Orange Coloured Sky (alternate) (2:50)
False Starts (2:05)