Hailed as one of Frank Zappa's best guitar solos, "Watermelon in Easter Hay" first appeared on the 1979 concept album Joe's Garage. Although the piece is wordless, it is framed by speeches from the Central Scrutinizer, giving it a context: these are the last notes Joe dreams up before giving up on making imaginary music. And the piece makes the perfect swan song. This is one of the rare occasions in Joe's Garage, Acts II & III where the guitar solo actually belongs to the song. The backing riff is a slow seven-note motif derivative from the melody in "Outside Now." The guitar sketches a melody, gradually developing the simple line -- simply beautiful.
The song was premiered on-stage around October 1978 and was performed only on a few occasions the next year. In 1980 it became a regular feature, often opening or closing Zappa's shows. The same thing happened during the 1988 tour. Live renditions are found on many bootlegs, but the one officially released in the collection Guitar tops them all. This recording was also released on the 3" CD single of "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace."