This is an extract from an interview in Swedish Radio, from a programme called Nightflite (circus 1980), and this interview was made after the release of Joe´s Garage. Here he explain the words to Bobby Brown, and when I heard it 1980 and got the text explained, I had to laugh.
(Sw-En) means a translation from Swedish to English.
Introduction to the programme
FZ: Hello, this is Frank Zappa and You´re listening to a very special programme where in I will explain the secret meaning of the words to Bobby Brown.
Reporter: (Sw-En): As You maybe know, Frank Zappa has been in town recently and our reporter Ola met him as a matter of fact.
Later in the programme
Reporter: (Sw-En): Frank Zappa tells that he during 1979 released 7 LP´s, and the three latest of them was titled Joe´s Garage part 1, 2 and 3. On my question what Joe´s Garage stands for, he answered this:
FZ: In the United States there are many garage bands. You know what garage is?
FZ: In England they call them church hall bands. But people who just…when they just learning how to play, they go out in the garage and turn up their amplifier. And they get their first set of drums and beats on them and You practise until You can play rock´n roll. Classical musicians go to the conservatories, rock´n roll musicians go to the garages.
(A little Green Rosetta was played)
Reporter: (S-E) I also asked him about the wellknown song Bobby Brown and why it became a hit only here in Scandinavia.
FZ: As a matter of fact. It´s so unusual. I suggested to Stan from CBS, what they should do, is to hire an anthropologist from a major university and bring him to Scandinavia to examine the people here and find out why such a thing could happen. Because it´s very unusual.
Reporter (Sw-En): There are some funny words in the song and I asked him what Tower of Power is. Considering my old aunt I let Zappa himself explain the word.
FZ: The Tower of Power is a..... You know what S&M is?
FZ: It´s a S&M device that they sell at a store in Los Angeles. It´s a stool... small stool, You know to sit on. That has this spindle that comes up, that´s sticks up Your asshole and it has straps on the legs of the stool where You supposed to put a persons ankle into the straps on the edge of the stool. And they actually sell this thing there and it´s called the Tower of Power.
Reporter: Is Bobby Brown someone special guy?
FZ: No. It´s actually talking about that device, cause the words in the song says "I can take about an hour on the Tower of Power, as long as I get a little golden shower". You know what a golden shower is?
FZ: Golden shower is a sexual abberation or sexual activity, where one person pisses on another person. So You get the idea that Bobby Brown in this song as the result of following the advice of Womens Liberation, has wound up sitting on a stool with a thing up his ass while somebody pisses on him. And that´s why I think that´s unusual that the song is so popular here. I mean, when I go to a disco and see people dancing the Bobby Brown, I had to laugh.
Reporter: (Sw-En): Yes, You heard that Frank Zappa said it was strange that the song became a hit here in Sweden regarding the fact that Womens Liberations got this sneer from him in the song Bobby Brown. We returned to peoples reactions to the words in Bobby Brown and I wondered if some religious aspects was the reason for the negative reaction. Not for a moment, he would agree on that.
FZ: Let´s be honest about it. Words can´t hurt You and there´s nothing in that song that should offend anybody´s religious sensibilities. That song talks about things that are real, You know. And if You going to live in a world and deal with the world in a real way, You should face up to what actually goes on. The story of Bobby Brown may not be something that happens every day in Sweden, but I wouldn´t be surprised if there are few Bobby Browns out there. And somebody should write about them.
Reporter: (Sw-En): Regarding religious aspects and the political situation in the world, Frank Zappa say this:
FZ: It´s a terrible thing in the world today that religion generates most of the problems. Everytime You turn around and there´s a threat of war, it´s not based on money, it´s based on religion and that´s not what religion should be used for.
Reporter: (Sw-En): And finally he will only say one thing more:
FZ: I want to thank all the people in Sweden who has enjoyed Bobby Brown and Dancin´ Fool, for whatever reasons. I´m glad You liked it and I hope that maybe there are some songs on the other albums that You´ll likes as much. I´m always pleased if somebody likes the music.
(intervju ärligt stulen HÄRIFRÅN)