Key Lines written by Frank Zappa 1981

Do you know what you are?

You are what you is

You is what you am

A cow don’t make ham


 A foolish young man

From a middle class fam’ly

Started singin’ the blues

‘Cause he thought it was manly


A foolish young man

Of the Negro Persuasion

Devoted his life

To become a Caucasian


He stopped eating pork

He stopped eating greens

He traded his dashiki

For some Jordache Jeans

He learned to play golf

An’ he got a good score

Now he say to himself


It’s funny how this was written 35 years before anyone ever heard of Barack Hussein Obama.  It was also written about the time that Stevie Ray Vaughan started the “Blues Revival”.  It was the B side of Valley Girl.

MTV refused to play the YOU ARE WHAT YOU IS video.

Although Frank Zappa was known for his satire in his song writing, behind the satire was a message of how messed up we can be as humans.  I think this song could have been re-titled: “Get over yourself”.

I’ve always said that if I was born in the fucking African Desert, I would have taken the late Sam Kennison’s advice and “MOVED TO WHERE THE FOOD IS”.  The human mind is so vulnerable.  Satan comes along and says: “You ugly”. So you become introverted and shy. Then Satan says, “You’ll never go anywhere or do anything with your worthless life”.  So you become even more vulnerable and join a cult.  You build your façade on a cult of personality.  You fake it until you make it.  But sometimes,

Just sometimes………………. You buy a paperback written by a self-help writer.  If you’re lucky, you submerge yourself into personal development and you don’t care what others say.  That really smart guy named Albert Einstein once wrote: “Within each of us lays a genius.  If you judge a fish on his ability to climb a tree, he’ll go through life thinking he’s stupid.

Ya see ~ that’s the key to being a human.  Get your head right; then devote every action you do towards that person you want to be.  Stephen Covey, one of the greatest self-help writers of our time once said that he was inspired to write self-help when he read line that said: “Between stimulus and response there lays a space.  In that space lays your chance to determine your response”.   He realized that the future of his life was often a direct result of the response he chose in that space.  Sometimes the response would be to give a person a hug and comfort them.  Sometimes it was a short space where you needed to decide to kill or be killed, or fight or flight.  No matter what the stimulus is, your result should be in alignment with who or what you want to be as a human.

If you need help; complete this sentence: “I am going to be a _______ because of my unique ability to ________”!   Feel free to use as many words as you need such as” I’m going to be a Chef because of my unique ability to use spices in a creative way that makes people happy!

Or, I’m going to be a Police officer because of my unique ability and desire to protect those who cannot protect themselves”!

Once you’ve decided what you want to be, (and are satisfied with the “because” part of the sentence) everything you do should bring you closer to your destination.  And even once you become what you want to be, put the word “Better” in front of the first blank.

You see, your voyage here on earth is always about becoming.  It’s never about arriving.

I want to be “the best guitarist/singer/writer I can be because of my unique ability to play the guitar with incredible skill and write songs that touch people so they will remember me”! 

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