eon Park was working as a poster artist with the Family Dog, a San Francisco design group, when he got a call from Frank Zappa asking him to come down to Los Angeles. Zappa had seen the drawings Park had done for a group called Dancing Food and wanted him to paint the jacket for the next Mothers of Invention record, Weasels Ripped My Flesh. At their meeting, Zappa showed Park a magazine cover. "It was one of those men's magazines, like Saga," says Park. "The cover story was 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh,' and it was the adventure of a guy, naked to the waist, who was in water. The water was swarming with weasels, and they were all kind of climbing on him and biting him. So Frank said, 'This is it. What can you do that's worse than this?' And the rest is history."
Park's painting, for which he was paid $250, almost didn't see the light of day. Zappa butted heads with Warner Bros. over its suitability for release. "Evidently," says Park, "there was quite a confrontation that occurred over this cover. It wasn't up to their standards." Even after Warner Bros. finally consented to use it, there were problems. "The printer was greatly offended," says Park. "The girl who worked for him, his assistant, she wouldn't touch the painting. She wouldn't pick it up with her hands." Zappa and Park, meanwhile, were tickled silly by the brouhaha: "I was greatly amused by the cover, and so was Frank," says Park. "I mean, we giggled a lot."
Park still can't see what all the fuss was about. "It was an infamous cover," he says, "although I guess by today's standards, it's pretty tame. It's not like eating liver in Milwaukee."
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