Introduction I

About album title

Previous entry This Album Refs Global N&C Refs Songs Index Next entry

From: Vladimir Sovetov <>
  Interesting thing to note about the album title. In France they say _Zut Alors_ when mean _Goddamned_. So it seems that the only language Frank have no time to abuse is Russian. Ne zappelos', tovarischee :-(
From: (Jan van Kemenade)
  The explanation that was given a while ago for the 'Zoot Allures' title (from the french : Zut Alors) is confirmed by what FZ says on the boot Titties & Beer (Zoot Allures live in Paris) : 'And now from our almost french title album Zoot Allures ..'
From: (Jason M Arvey)
  I'd say it is pretty much certain. "Zut alors", I thought, was merely a mild exclamation, sort of like "Dammit!" or "DOH!" for you Simpsons fans. There are other pun titles by Zappa: the obvious Sheik Yerbouti/Shake your boody is one. Some say that Grand Wazoo is a pun of Grand Oiseau -- Big Bird in France. Yet another is "Aybe Sea" off of Burnt Weenie Sandwich -- it's pronounced ABC (There is no real Aybe Sea, I looked).
From: cn111@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Jean-Pierre Thibault)
  I may not be a Zappa expert but since I am french-canadian, I'll settle this one for you. "Zut alors" means something like "oh shit", "dammit" or anything else like that, but it's a very polite way of saying it; let's just say you don't hear that on the street too often (not in Canada, anyways; maybe in France???)
  I would never have seen the connection from Zoot Allures to Zut alors, myself. You learn something everyday!
From: (Brian Zavitz)
  I saw the connection from the start, but now I think I might see a pun, too. If you take "Zoot" as a fancy 1920's zoot suit, and "allures" as alluring or attractive, it might mean something for those of us familiar with Captain Beefheart's penchant for fine clothing. "Torture" appeared officially on this album for the first time, and that's a song about CB. Or am I being too Watsonesque here?
From: (Stan Ivester)
  I'm sure that's what it's based on, but also note the conceptual continuity, in that the Wino Man on the same album has got bugs in his *zoot* suit.
  "Zoot" suits were also a fashion item in the Southern California social / cultural stew that brewed forth Zappa. It is likely that many-to-most of the popular musicians Zappa grew up loving -- Johnny Watson, Don & Dewey, Johnny Otis, etc. -- were intimately familiar with this particular item of apparel, and it is easy to see that the zoot suit would have a certain allure for FZ. Think of Ruben & the Jets!
  Somewhat off the topic, but related by association: I've come to think of zoot suits as the "phat" pants of their era. Within a few weeks recently, I read in separate places that "zoot" suits as well as "phat" pants were/are BAD because they were/are routinely used to CONCEAL WEAPONS! (I don't think they were thinking about alto saxaphones.) Presto! Every kid with a pair of baggy pants is magically transformed into a menacing gangster; the world once again conforms to the paranoid fantasies of pale, middle-aged pink folks.

Previous entry This Album Refs Global N&C Refs Songs Index Next entry

SOVA NOSE Any proposal? I'd like to hear!
Provocation, compilation and design © Vladimir Sovetov, 1994-2004
You could download, copy and redistribute this material freely as long as you keep copyright notice intact and don't make any profite on it.