Frank Zappa & the Mothers

Do You Like My New Car?

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

"Do You Like My New Car?" was performed live during the Flo & Eddie era of the Mothers of Invention (1970-1971) as the last part of the "Groupie Routine," a suite of songs dealing with (sex) life on the road. It was preceded by "What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning," "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?," "Bwana Dik," "Latex Solar Beef," and "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." All of them were meant to appear in the movie (and on the soundtrack) 200 Motels, but some, like "Do You Like My New Car?," had to be cut from the script due to a tight shooting schedule and were salvaged on the live album Fillmore East, June 1971.

At this point in the routine, the band settled into a background groove while the "main characters," the rock star (Howard Kaylan) and the groupie (Mark Volman), engaged in a conversation -- the other musicians represent girlfriends of the groupie and were invited to insert an occasional line. The script was planned, but each "actor" could improvise his lines. Basically, the groupie asks the rock star if he likes her new car (the previous song in the suite ended on the lyrics "do you like my new car?"). A conversation ensues, full of "real life" clichés and gradually drifting to sex. The groupie describes weird intercourse practices until the rock star succumbs and invites her to his hotel. But there is a catch: like every groupie with an ounce of self-respect, she wants a rock star that is well-endowed and currently having a hit single in the charts. The rock star obliges and the whole band launches into a rendition of the Turtles' hit "Happy Together" (Kaylan and Volman, along with bassist Jim Pons, were members of that band before joining Zappa's). In Zappa's original movie script, the hit single was "Magic Fingers." The two available versions (the other one being on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1, under the title "The Groupie Routine") present interesting variants.