Their Way

Written shortly after the death of Frank Zappa, December 4th 1993

“Once you’ve said” said Frank Zappa,
“that the people who make the laws are perverts
and brown shoes don’t make it,
why bother saying it again?”
That from the mother of all mothers of invention.

Frank Sinatra, the voice of all voices,
has another way of expressing something quite different:
“Whatever gets you through the night, go for it.”

And I salute the two
even while wondering
if that seems to you
a contradiction in terms.

Be your answer Yes,
then guess what, folks:
from my point of view
you dig the inner truth
of music and song even less
than you comprehend what Eddie Woods is all about.

You see, I was never what you would call a major Zappa fan;
though the genius of his work was always ultra-luminously clear.
Maybe that is why Reprise, which Frank Sinatra founded,
distributed the other Frank’s Straight and Bizarre record labels.

To whom if not all of us
was the ultimate outsider speaking
when he said, “Go back home to your mamas”?

As for me and Francis Albert…
Hey, Old Blue Eyes is so eternally dear to me
that I will still be grooving on The Voice’s sound
long after I myself am no longer around to hear it croon.
And that, my friends, is the ultimate All-The-Way swoon.

The Capitol Years, The Reprise Years,
the films, the performances and all the in-between years:
I love them truly, come rain or come fucking shine.

So now there will never be
a Sinatra-Zappa duet track made,
and maybe there never would have been.
But we have been graced by the greatness of both cats
and it is a helluva better world for it, believe you me.

The Chairman and The Iconoclast,
the master swinger and the master mocker;
legends in their time, guys who did it their way.