Frank Zappa 'Joe's Garage'

By Graham Stevens

Record Mirror, October 20, 1979

'Joe's Garage'
(CBS 66101)

SIT BACK nice and quiet now for Mr Zappa is about to tell you a story in his nice, deep, soothing vice. You've never heard of Mr Zee, much less his famed deep voice? Ah well, let me clarify things a little. He is, I'm afraid, incomparable to current trends and frankly, if you want comparisons, Mr Zappa's records have holes in middle and describe circular motions, but that's about as far as it goes.

Back to the story, which is rude, or at least will offend and embarrass the offendable and embarrassable. Frank goes through the motions and sexual innuendos with descriptive ease, prodding all the normally sensitive areas with his cynical humour. Through every inconceivable event, the police raid on 'Joe's Garage', the ever watchful eye of the 'Central Scrutinizer', the perverse 'Catholic. Girls' (snigger), the roadies groupie song 'Crew Slut', all loosely linked by the antics of Joe and Mary, the central characters in the plot. Who we are told are being led into the depths of depravity by the evil music. Mary is forced by circumstance to enter a 'Wet T-Shirt' competition, 'protruberances' he calls them. Whilst Joe winds up with 'Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?'

Someone described this as the first 'porno concept album' I always thought it was 'bout his tenth. Throughout, Zappa's guitar and band are brilliant.