Classic Album Review: Joe’s Garage by Frank Zappa

I’m not real big on rock operas. There is usually a big story arc to follow and that involves more thought than I’m willing to expend listening to music. But if there is one that is worth the time to digest, it’s Joe’s Garage by the mad genius Frank Zappa

Originally released in 1979 as a triple album

Joe’s Garage is a whimsical tale of a future where music is outlawed and an oppressive church and state keep the citizens in line. It is a strange and twisted tale, full of jail rape, poop jokes and robot sex. In other words, perfect for the TGO crowd. I will give a track by track break down

1-Central Scrutinizer

Each song starts or ends with narration by The Central Scrutinizer. His job is to enforce the laws that haven’t been passed yet. This is an introduction to that character

2- Joe’s Garage

This is a straight up rock song. It starts the story of Joe. How he starts a band in his garage. (Go figure!). But after initial success, finds the record business to be a sham. He runs afoul of the law for playing music too loud. His old lady neighbor turns him in.

3- Catholic Girls

Since it was only his first offense, The Central Scrutinizer sends Joe to church to get his life in order. There he discovers the joys of horny Catholic Girls. Soon he is getting a blow job from his new girlfriend Mary.

4- Crew Slut

Mary soon becomes dissatisfied with church life, so she leaves Joe behind and starts following a big rock band around as a crew slut. Don’t make a fuss, just get on the bus! Some hilarious lyrics here

5- Fembot In A Wet T-Shirt

Mary becomes corrupted by the evil rock and roll life style. She wins $50 in a wet t-shirt contest

6- Toad-O Line

Joe finds out about Mary’s infidelities and breaks up with her. He meets a new girl friend Lucille to keep him company

7- Why Does It Hurt When I Pee

Joe discovers that Lucille isn’t so sweet and innocent. She has given him a venereal disease

8- Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up

Joe laments his lost loves and wonders if he will ever find someone who loves him

9- Scrutinizer Postlude

Joe seeks advice from the Central Scrutinizer, who tells him to see L. Ron Hoover at The First Church of Appliantogy

10- Token Of My Extreme

This is a mock out of Scientology. They tell Joe, to his shock, he has an appliance fetish. They send him to a place to meet a nice fuckbot

11- Stick It Out

Joe is sent to a club called The Closet. Here he meets a robot named Sy Borg who dresses like a housewife and speaks German.

12- Sy Borg

Joe goes back to Sy Borg’s place. He has wild sex with him and his roommate who is a vacuum cleaner shaped like a pig. Things get too wild and Joe fucks the robot to death

13- Dong Work For Yuda

Joe is arrested for killing the sex robot and sent to prison

14- Keep It Greasy

Many bad things happen to Joe in prison. He is raped by Big John. John’s got a sausage that will make you fart, it will break your heart.

15- Outside Now

To escape the horrors of prison, Joe plays imaginary guitar solos in his mind.

16- He Used To Cut The Grass

Joe is released from prison but discovers that all other musicians are gone and the world is a squeaky clean society of consumer goods. Once again he retreats into his mind with guitar playing

17- Packard Goose

Joe spirals into madness in his mind. It also stands as a statement against music critics

18- Watermelon In Easter Hay

This is an instrumental number. Many call this Franks greatest guitar playing of his career. Zappa himself said as much. This is to represent Joe going batshit crazy

19- Little Green Rosetta

A silly little song to finish off the album. Joe works out his days at a muffin factory putting little frosted rosettes on each one as the pass by him on a conveyor.

The music on this ranges from rock, soul, funk, jazz, reggae, to do whop. He has an all star band of insanely talented musicians playing with him. Do your mind a favor and check this classic album out.