Track listing

1. “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver” - 4:23

[edit] Music and lyrics

The song epitomizes Primus’s musical eccentricities, whereby the group’s signature funk metal stylings are comically inflected with a sound vaguely reminiscent of bluegrass and southern rock. During the song’s guitar solos, Larry LaLonde’s playing shifts from almost “noise” guitar in the first solo to a somewhat country-sounding technique and banjo-style finger-picking on the second (inspired by Jerry Garcia). The song’s lyrics constitute an absurd, rambling tale about a woman named Wynona and her “beaver.” They combine an on-the-surface crude sexual double entendre in “beaver” with the more purely nonsensical silliness typical of the band (e.g., strange references to baboons, Taco Bell, carnies, and porcupines).
[edit] Music video

The band also filmed a music video for “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” centered around the band dressed as comical-looking, shiny latex-suited cowboys. The costumes bore a strong resemblance to those used in a popular Duracell advertising campaign at the time which featured a family of battery-powered, toy-like people (the Puttermans). In an interview, bandleader Les Claypool revealed the suits were intended to resemble “cheap plastic cowboy action figures.” The video jumps between shots of the band playing in a barn and of the band engaged in parodies of cowboy activities. The video also features some airbrushed drawings done by Claypool. The video’s live action sequences were filmed at Claypool’s home, known as Rancho Relaxo. The video marks the second video appearance of Les’ Red jazz bass.

Because the band’s cowboy suits were so cumbersome, they played along to the track slowed down significantly to more easily coordinate their actions to the music. In the video, Tim Alexander’s bass drum reads “Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boy.” This was meant as a tribute to Phillip Bury, who went under the name Buck. He was a close friend to the band, who had died in 1992. He was in the aforementioned Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys. The video appeared on Primus’ Tales from the Punchbowl CD-ROM album as well as 2003 EP/DVD release Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People, along with an in-depth making-of feature.
[edit] Controversy

Many incorrectly believed “Wynona” was about actress Winona Ryder. Claypool has stated several times that the song is not about Ryder, pointing out that the song’s name is spelled and pronounced differently. While this placated Ryder, her then boyfriend Soul Asylum vocalist David Pirner took offense and renamed one of his songs “Les Claypool’s A Big Fucking Asshole” in concert.
[edit] Appearances

The song appears at the beginning of Kevin Smith’s movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Voodoo Brewery makes “Wynona’s Big Brown Ale” in honor of the song and band.[1]

Edited by Crush1800 on 17 Feb 2010, 22:10

Sources

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