Lisa's Life Story (Zappa/Popeil)

Notes and Comments

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From: Francesco Gentile <>
  Bootleg(s) in which this version has appeared:
  • "Demo's" (LP).
  Once again band and date errors, it has been performed on December 11, 1981.
From: u9112676@muss.cis.McMaster.CA (P. Psutka)
  "Lisa's Life Story" is actually from '81 (and might not have Ike Willis on it unless he sat in for that show.)
  Excerpted from "Pound For A Brown" (the same version which featured a piano solo from Nicholas Slominsky). Interesting that the original version had a reggae feel, as opposed to the free-jazz feel of the released version.
  To Album Refs
To Global Refs
My name is Lisa Popeil
Ever seen one of these?
My father who's filthy rich made this
It's a Pocket Fisherman and he also made the
  For nice history flashback check out YCDTOSA 6 The Illionois Enema Bandit
  To Album Refs
To Global Refs
Which works about as well
And then there's always my brother
Ronnie of Ronco
I'm sure you've heard of him
He has all those commercials
That go on and on and on and on
Now I'm here to tell you my life story
From: Michael Cook
I just got ycdtosa#Lisa Popiel is that really the daughter or brother of the famous marketeer(s)?
From: Mike Espinoza (
  "Weird Al" Yankovic did a song called "Mr. Popeil" in 1984. His explanation of the song in the liner notes of his box set, Permanent Record, should answer your question.
  "It's not about Ron Popeil, the founder of Ronco, but about his dad, the guy who invented the Vegamatic and the Pocket Fisherman. He did pitches for them on TV before Ronco was started. Mr. Popeil was a big facet of American pop culture; he started the whole genre of marketing these gimmicky gadgets on TV. Around the time I was writing the song, I came across a magazine article about me, and right next to it I saw a story about Mr. Popeil's daughter, Lisa Popeil, who was classically trained singer who had worked with Frank Zappa. I thought it would be great if we could get her to sing on the track, and she agreed to do it. It was very odd, though, to be in the studio directing Lisa how to sing her own name!"
-"Weird Al"
From: splat@darkwing
  Here's Lisa's web page URL: It says she has recorded an album. Anybody got it?
From: Douglas ON <>
  She released a self-titled album on her self-titled (Lisa Popeil Records) record label in 1983 which includes the guitar stylings of none other Steven Vai.
From: Jon Naurin <>
  I've had some email contact with Lisa, so I can fill in with some details: Her boyfriend at the time went to audition for the 1981 band (drums), and Lisa went along to give him moral support. Tommy Mars then talked her into auditioning for keyboards and vocals. She then rehearsed with the band for a short period on August. "Lisa's life story" was ad-libbed during these rehearsals, then Lisa worked out a loose script before performing it live in December. She also performed "Dangerous Kitchen" - FZ handed her the words in the intermission between the shows and told her that she was going to do it - without rehearsal. This session also has some nice stuff where Steve Vai plays guitar licks and Lisa imitates them.
From: (Pat Buzby)
  Some additional info from FZ's 1989 interview with Society Pages - Lisa sight-sang "Be-Bop Tango" at the audition, which impressed him enough to let her rehearse with the band. However, after a while it seemed (in FZ's words) that the amount of things she couldn't do was greater than the amount that she could, so Bobby Martin ended up filling the keyboard/vocal position.

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