The Zappas' 'Valley Girl' Becomes, Like, a Totally Tubular National Craze—For Sure
On the record, in pure, uncut Valspeak, Moon laments in bubbly staccato that, "Like my mother like makes me do the dishes. It's like so gross, like all the stuff like sticks to the plates, and it's like, it's like somebody else's food, y' know. It's like grody, grody to the max. It's like really nauseating. Like barf out! Gag me with a spoon!" Even without translation, the song is high on the charts and climbing. And as an instant cult, the Valley Girl is, as Frank Zappa sings in the chorus of the song, "Okay, fine, fer sure, fer sure."
CBS has a new sitcom for this fall called Square Pegs, featuring 18-year-old Tracy Nelson (daughter of Ricky Nelson and actress Kris Harmon) as a Valley Girl with all affectations and language intact. A homegrown paperback called The Valley Guide to Reality is already on the shelves, to be followed later this year by The Valley Girls' Guide to Life. Valley Girl beauty contests and fashion shows have been held in Reseda and Sherman Oaks and an equal opportunity song, Valley Dudes, appeared recently.
The song that kicked off the whole phenomenon was inspired by Moon Unit's Val cohorts. One of them is Andrea Wilson, 16, an acquaintance from Encino. Moon Unit uses a similar name, Ondrya (pronounced "On-dree-AH") Wolfson, in the song. "A friend called me up," says Andrea, "and said, 'Moon's written a song about you.' And I said, 'You're crazy. What are you on? You've jumped off the deep end.' "
Andrea is indeed the very model of a modern-day Valley Girl. She comes from an upper-middle-class family (her father is a physician) that moved to the Valley about 10 years ago, first to affluent Sherman Oaks, then to the even more affluent hills of Encino. Like most Vals, she loves to shop, especially at the Sherman Oaks Galleria and even more especially for shoes and clothes.
"Right now," Andrea said recently, "Vals wear like a total miniskirt. And they're into, like, the metallic stuff. Ruffled blouses. Laced trimmed anklets. Costume jewelry and strange things so if you walk down the street, people will look at your clothes."
A few weeks later Andrea gave her Valley Fall Fashion Forecast: "The frilly look is going out with miniskirts. Skirts are straighter. What's coming in are short pants, cut above the ankle, double-breasted blazers and bow ties with polka dots." That style will probably go out in the time it takes to describe it. "They go out," concedes Andrea, "as fast as they come in."
Andrea acknowledges that Valley Girlism is expansive. "You have your Gucci Vals," she says, "who hang out in Beverly Hills. And then you have your Rocker Vals who hang out in Hollywood and go to the Whisky A Go Go to watch all the bands. There are your Surfer Vals who surf all day long, and wear penny loafers with no socks. There are Punk Rock Vals, and even Studious Vals who spend their weekends in the library." You don't even have to live in the Valley to be a Valley Girl. What ties them all together, says Andrea, whether they're on Ventura Boulevard in Encino, Pulaski Road in Chicago or Park Avenue in New York, is that "most Valley Girls work, but their parents give them pretty much what they want."