Zappa, Burt Ward and “Boy Wonder, I Love You”
As a kid, I inherited a bunch of cassettes from my older sisters. Between those and what I could scrounge up at neighborhood garage sales, I had a decent collection. Some of my favorite cassettes were not the big artists, but oddball ones. Often they were rerecorded copies of copies. To me, this just made them more mysterious. I love popping them into my single speaker tape player and finding some mysterious recording. The song Boy Wonder, I Love You was a song I found on one of these cassettes.
It is an odd song, sung by the not-so-modest Boy Wonder himself, Burt Ward. The song is strange. Consisting of some music sound effects and the spoken word styling of Ward. Boy Wonder, I Love You, should be a total mess, but there was a genius behind this work. That genius was Frank Zappa. The music you hear in the song was provided by his Mothers of Inventions.
According to Ward:
Their fearless leader and king of grubbiness was the late Frank Zappa. After recording with me, Frank became an internationally recognized cult superstar, which was understandable; after working with me, the only place Frank could go was up.
Although he looked like the others, Frank had an intelligence and education that elevated him beyond brilliance to sheer genius. I spent a considerable amount of time talking with him, and his rough, abrupt exterior concealed an intellectual, creative and sensitive interior.
In addition to Boy Wonder, I Love You, they also recorded the song, Orange Colored Sky. Which many modern gamers might know from the Nat King Cole version that they use in Fallout 4. Ward is not a great vocalist, so while he saw the genius in Zappa, he did not seem to appreciate the singing he did on the album. Listening to it, he is probably right. Although, it sounds like Zappa made the most out of a bad situation.
While Orange Colored Sky is a challenge to enjoy, Boy Wonder, I Love You is a wonderful novelty song gem.