Moon Unit Zappa was most famous for being the daughter of musician Frank Zappa, and became known in the 1980’s for a song she sang (or rapped?) called “Valley Girl,” from which her infamous “Oh my GAWD… Gag me with a spoon” lyric came.
Way back when I was finishing law school at Pepperdine, I was living in the basement of an adjunct professor of Law from the school who rented to students like myself. The family had a son who was about seventeen or eighteen and seemed to be a really nice kid. I didn’t know him too well, and didn’t really spend much time with the kid, because I was busy doing my own thing.
One night the kid came up to me and said, “Hey! Come with me to this party up in the hills on Friday! It’s suppose to be really cool!” I was a little hesitant, because even though he was a nice kid and all – well, you know – he was just a kid, and I was twenty-three.. an ancient, wise sage, compared to him. We didn’t really “hang out.”
He must have noticed my uncertainty because he said, “We’re going with a friend of mine Moon Zappa… Frank Zappa’s daughter, and we’ll need to pick her up. Come on!”
The second he said “Zappa,” I was in. I had listened to, tried to figure out and cracked up over songs of Frank Zappa’s like “Stink Foot,” “Excentrifugal” and “Dinah-Moe Hum,” and knew it could be a night to remember.
On Friday, the kid, another friend of his and I drove up to Mulholland or someplace up in the hills to the home of Frank Zappa. We went up to the door and were invited in by a somewhat nice looking lady. We were sitting on the couch and Moon came out to greet us. She must have been all of fifteen. Her younger brother Dweezil was just a little kid and doing his best to annoy us (and succeeding). The same woman who answered the door asked if she could get us anything to drink, while we were all talking, and then left to get drinks.
“Is that your mom?” I asked Moon.
“Oh no. That’s our witch!” she said, matter-of-factly.
“Your witch!” I choke-laughed.
“Oh, she’s a white witch, and she’s totally cool, but yeah… she’s not our mom!” she said cheerily.
The Zappa’s having an in-house Witch in their employ was weird-ass scary, but I still couldn’t refrain from my next questions…
“Is your dad here? Can we meet him?”
“Oh no… He’s here, but he’s in the studio recording. We can’t really disturb him.” she said.
At that, we said goodbye to the good witch and hit the road to a party in the hills. Though I was probably one of the older people there, I had a great time. We stayed really late, and had a blast sending Moon around the party guessing people’s astrological signs at our bidding. She’d sworn she could do it and she did prove it to us — at the party, that is… among all her peers. We were jabbing her about it, insisting she couldn’t really do it if she didn’t know someone. So, later that evening, we went to Mel’s Diner on Sunset for a bite to eat and I finally said, “Look, you aren’t going to convince us unless you pick someone who’s a complete stranger and guess them correctly.”
So, as we walked out of the parking lot, Moon approached an older couple. She very astutely explained the situation to the folks who were put off a bit, at first (I was pleasantly surprised at how astute she was for the fifteen year old that she was), but softened and laughed with her as they answered a few basic questions (like, “What do you do for a living?” etc). And then she did it. She hit the nail on the head with both of them — they were Capricorn and Pisces, if my memory serves.
We were convinced. We piled into the car and drove Ms. Moon Unit Zappa back to her home, which was overseen by the Good Witch of the hills.
And THAT, my friends, concludes the story of My Evening with Moon Unit Zappa.
No, my lovely boys and girls… I didn’t go to law school, personally, and I did not, in fact meet or party with Ms. Zappa. But you must admit…. I have some pretty awesome friends with some incredibly great stories, don’t I?
Tune in next time for another one.
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