BURT WARD & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION The Boy Wonder Sessions (1966)

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, Aagain 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)

22 Comments

  • 1
    Johnny Vandal
    May 3, 2009 - 02:39 | Permalink

    Sick shit (i like it)

  • 2
    redsock
    May 3, 2009 - 16:40 | Permalink

    This seems different.

    Also: Great choice of pic!!!

  • 3
    winkingtiger
    May 3, 2009 - 16:43 | Permalink

    Willard, your tastes are so unique and outstanding that I am putting forth your name to the U.S. Gov. in order to have you declared a National Resource. Just kidding, but the sentiment is real enough… :)

  • 4
    Festus Von Gunsmoke
    May 3, 2009 - 19:15 | Permalink

    Can it be a mere "coincidence" that in 1984, both Frank Zappa and Burt Ward directed fantasy pictorials for Hustler magazine? Surely not… nice work as always, Detective Willard.

  • 5
    roy rocket
    May 3, 2009 - 21:45 | Permalink

    The best bit of kitsch I've come across [!] all weekend.
    Thanks, Willard; you are obviously very strange and for that I am eternally grateful.
    roy

  • 6
    Art Ducko
    May 4, 2009 - 05:01 | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Willard,
    My brown acid did kick in & now I know why the Boy Wonder is my personal One & Only Flash, Bam, Alakazam, Flash in the Pan! Or did my tears come from loving you? Weird.

  • 7
    Anonymous
    May 4, 2009 - 07:07 | Permalink

    it is may 4th and not april 1st?! holy hot rats batman!

    qef

  • 8
    holycownyc
    May 4, 2009 - 16:31 | Permalink

    Variant 1 makes total sense to me. Maybe they said to Frank, "Give us 'Oh, Pretty Woman' meets 'The Good, The Bad and the Ugly' on a Batman level. And keep it heavy on the Hefti horns."

  • 9
    Anonymous
    June 15, 2009 - 21:22 | Permalink

    Fantastic, as usual

    -silsurf

  • 10
    annmargretfan
    June 17, 2009 - 03:26 | Permalink

    I always heard about these but never heard them. Thanks for posting another oddity

  • 11
    Timmy
    October 20, 2009 - 21:42 | Permalink

    Great googa-moogla! Lemme on outta here!

  • 12
    Capt. Willard
    November 6, 2009 - 15:03 | Permalink

    .
    .
    .
    Search HERE
    .
    .
    .

  • 13
    Paolo Meccano
    November 7, 2009 - 12:08 | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing.

  • 14
    Anonymous
    November 10, 2009 - 13:56 | Permalink

    Hey, great stuff! Thanks!
    PK

  • 15
    SirCaustic
    January 17, 2010 - 16:15 | Permalink

    thank you… I have heard of this but never had the pleasure of hearing it. THanks again.

  • 16
    Anonymous
    January 8, 2011 - 00:58 | Permalink

    I really like your blog and i really appreciate the excellent quality content you are posting here for free for your online readers. thanks peace claudia.

  • 17
    Colin H from Cambridge, Canada
    November 4, 2011 - 11:35 | Permalink

    had no idea this existed and now have a number of friends’ minds to go and disturb… thanks!

  • 18
    Anonymous
    November 7, 2011 - 04:21 | Permalink

    I really enjoyed it when it first uploaded.

    It’s good to know new generations will enjoy it too!

  • 19
    Rob Chalfen
    November 16, 2012 - 12:15 | Permalink

    love any early Zappa stuff! always provides amazing insight into his artistic development. I’ve had a 70s, prob quasi boot reissue of the single since then. ‘Variation’ is swell, would love to hear the rest of the session if you could post. thanx much! cheerz

    • 20
      Willard
      November 16, 2012 - 13:08 | Permalink

      Thanks Rob. See comment #12

  • 21
    Bob 1950
    February 1, 2014 - 23:20 | Permalink

    Can’t make this stuff up.I’m loving it.

  • 22
    September 7, 2014 - 15:24 | Permalink

    Willard you Magnificent Bastard!

    Thank you!!!

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