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"Willie the Pimp" is a blues rock song from Frank Zappa's 1969 album Hot Rats. It features an idiosyncratic Captain Beefheart vocal and one of Zappa's classic guitar solos. It is the only track that is not instrumental on the album, though the track features a long guitar solo.

"Willie the Pimp"
Song by Frank Zappa
from the album Hot Rats
ReleasedOctober 10, 1969
GenreBlues rock, hard rock, jazz rock
Songwriter(s)Frank Zappa
Producer(s)Frank Zappa

The song has also appeared on Zappa's Fillmore East – June 1971 and You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 albums.

The album title Hot Rats comes from a lyric of Willie the Pimp. The origin of the song was explained in a conversation Zappa recorded in 1969. This interview recording was later released as "The Story of Willie the Pimp" on the Zappa album Mystery Disc.

The song was ranked number 75 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.[1]


Hot Rats versionEdit

Fillmore EastEdit

You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4Edit

Cover versionsEdit


  1. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" at the Wayback Machine (archived May 31, 2008). Rolling Stone. 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-25. "Zappa's guitar improv never sounded more bluesy —or more jubilant— than it does on this song. His greasy skids and howling-dog tone —and the way he breaks into note-cluster fisticuffs with the rhythm section— are playfully impulsive. And that deep vocal? Zappa's teenage chum Captain Beefheart."