Frank Zappa Joe’s Garage

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Lyrical And Story Themes

Frank Zappa Joes Garage

Eventually it was discovered, that God did not want us to be all the same. This was Bad News for the Governments of The World, as it seemed contrary to the doctrine of Portion Controlled Servings. Mankind must be made more uniformly if The Future was going to work. Various ways were sought to bind us all together, but, alas, same-ness was unenforceable. It was about this time, that someone came up with the idea of Total Criminalization. Based on the principle, that if we were all crooks, we could at last be uniform to some degree in the eyes of The Law. Total Criminalization was the greatest idea of its time and was vastly popular except with those people, who didn’t want to be crooks or outlaws, so, of course, they had to be Tricked Into It… which is one of the reasons, why music was eventually made Illegal.

Joe’s Garage Acts II & III liner notes, 1979

“Catholic Girls” is critical of the Catholic Church, and satirizes “the hypocrisy of the myth of the good Catholic girl.”:151 While Zappa was in favor of the sexual revolution, he regarded himself as a pioneer in publicly discussing honesty about sexual intercourse, stating

This view inspired the lyrical content of “Crew Slut”, in which Mary, Joe’s girlfriend, falls into the groupie lifestyle, going on to participate in a wet T-shirt contest in the following track, “Fembot in a Wet T-Shirt”.

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Tommy Raw........................... No Way That Just Happened: Frank ...

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Relation To Art And Social Theories

In early references to the music, “progressive” was partly related to , but those connotations were lost during the 1970s. On “progressive music”, Holm-Hudson writes that it “moves continuously between explicit and implicit references to genres and strategies derived not only from European art music, but other cultural domains and hence involves a continuous aesthetic movement between and “. Cotner also says that progressive rock incorporates both formal and eclectic elements, “It consists of a combination of factors â some of them intramusical , others extramusical or social .”

One way of conceptualising in relation to “progressive music” is that progressive music pushed the genre into greater complexity while retracing the roots of romantic and classical music. Sociologist believes: “We must never be in doubt that ‘progressive’ music followed rock ‘n’ roll, and that it could not have been any other way. We can see rock ‘n’ roll as a deconstruction and ‘progressive’ music as a reconstruction.” Author Will Romano states that “rock itself can be interpreted as a progressive idea … Ironically, and quite paradoxically, ‘progressive rock’, the classic era of the late 1960s through the mid- and late 1970s, introduces not only the explosive and exploratory sounds of technology … but traditional music forms and a pastiche compositional style and artificial constructs which suggests .”

Years With Frank Zappa

Willis met Zappa during a 1977 concert at his school, Washington University, in St. Louis, his hometown. “Black Napkins,” a track from the 1976 album Zoot Allures, was one of the first Zappa songs that made a deep impression on the singer.

The triple album Joe’s Garage featured lead singer Ike Willis as the voice of the character “Joe” in a rock opera about the danger of political systems, and the suppression of freedom of speech and music – inspired in part by the Iranian Revolution that had made music illegal within its jurisdiction at the time – and about the “strange relationship Americans have with sex and sexual frankness”. The album contains rock songs like “Catholic Girls” , “Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up”, and the title track, as well as extended live-recorded guitar improvisations combined with a studio backup band dominated by drummer Vinnie Colaiuta . On some of the tracks Zappa superimposes material recorded in different time signatures, a process he termed xenochrony. The album contains one of Zappa’s signature guitar pieces, “Watermelon in Easter Hay“.

Willis deeply regrets that Zappa died before he was able to include him in a band that would also have toured in 1996, the 25th anniversary of the release of Zappa’s surrealistic musical pseudo-documentary 200 Motels. The band was also to have included Flo & Eddie and George Duke.

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Watermelon In Easter Hay

“Watermelon in Easter Hay”
Frank Zappa

Watermelon in Easter Hay“, full name “Playing a Guitar Solo With This Band is Like Trying To Grow a Watermelon in Easter Hay“, by Frank Zappa, is the penultimate song on the 1979 concept albumJoe’s Garage. The main character from this three-part rock opera is faced with the banning of all music after being repeatedly raped in prison, and copes after his release by imagining guitar solos in his head for the entire third act of the album. As he “begins to feel depressed now, he knows the end is near”, this song acts as the character’s final goodbye to music as he moves on with his life, detailed in “A Little Green Rosetta“, the next and final song of the album.

The song is introduced by opening narration by Zappa as the Central Scrutinizer, which then gives way to a guitar solo. This guitar solo is the only guitar solo specifically recorded for the album, as every other guitar solo was xenochronousoverdubbed from older live recordings.:154:381 The entire song consists of two alternating harmonies: A and B / E , linked by a G#. This simplicity is made more interesting by the emphasis in the solo on the note D#, a tritone above the bass A, which conveys the harmony A#11. The 9/4 time signature keeps the two-chord harmonic structure sounding fresh.

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