1967 FRANK ZAPPA & LINDA RONSTADT RADIO AD THAT INFLUENCED ‘THE SIMPSONS’ THEME
When Matt Groening hired Danny Elfman to write the theme for The Simpsons, he gave him a mixed tape of songs that he wanted the music to sound like: The theme from The Jetsons, some of Esquivel’s “space age bachelor-pad music,” a teach-your-parrot-to-talk record, selections from Nino Rota’s Juliet of the Spirits soundtrack and this unused Frank Zappa-produced radio commercial for Remington electric shavers that features the vocal stylings of none other than a young Linda Ronstadt.
The future queen of country rock is nearly unrecognizable here, speeded-up, multi-tracked and sounding like she’s just taken a hit off a helium balloon. At the end, Zappa tells listeners that the Remington electric razor “cleans you, thrills you… may even keep you from getting busted.”
According to legend, after giving the tape several listens Elfman told Groening, “I know exactly what you’re looking for!”
If you haven’t heard yet, Universal Music Group is re-releasing the entire Frank Zappa oeuvre and the first dozen of his 60s and early 70s albums—everything from 1966’s Freak Out! to the 1972 live set, Just Another Band From L.A.—are already out.