Joe's cover and Thing-Fish link

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Why Frank Zappa painted his face black??????????
What is the meaning of the white broom??????????
From: Clayton Kusaj
  I got Joes when it first came out in '79 and have allways thought the cover to be some sort of take on, in essence, SLAVERY of some sort or other as it is a subject befitting the material contained within the package. And of course we all know what the white mop means, don't we?
From: Dave Lane <>
  It's actually a mop, not a broom. I remember reading an interview shortly after Sheik Yerbouti came out--he mentioned that the title of his next album was going to be "Arrogant Mop", and it would be a concept album about a society in which music is illegal. Other than that, I don't know what the significance of the mop would be.
From: Bill <>
  Well, the picture more accurately reflects the original title of the album - "Arrogant Mop". Frank was in black face to represent a janitor, most likely. The whole "Arrogant Mop" angle was jettisoned when Frank created the "Joe's Garage" story.
From: (Biffyshrew)
  This is correct so far as it goes, but no one has yet pointed out that the _Joe's Garage_ photos date from 1977 and were originally intended for the cover of _Lather_.
  Also this Frank The Ministrel with the Mop is the earliest manifestation of the Thing-Fish idea (check out THING-FISH. Mammy Nuns). Below is a little unedited discussion about this connection.
From: (Paul Hinrichs)
  Me too. One of the more intriguing things about the Show Boat soundtrack I recently purchased (and have plugged here probably too much) is the restoration of the original lyrics and dialogue, which freely uses the n-word without disrespect. Just presenting a typical picture of the time and place in which the show was set. I also think there was a Broadway (or off-) production of a minstrel show last yeat or so in which all the performers were black. It's oh-so-odd that stuff like this, Amos & Andy too, is normally just no longer done, as though censoring that period can make it just go away. That's why I admire FZ for doing Thing Fish - I think it was the ballsiest thing he ever did. It evidently "didn't get noticed" or there would have been hell to pay.
From: (Paul Hinrichs)
  Minstrel shows were loaded with mechanics, it was one form of entertainment where you could drive and not have to worry about your car breaking down.
  BTW, way off topic now, the Lions Club in the small town where I grew up gave a minstrel show in 1960. That's not that long ago when you consider how absolutely politically-incorrect these things were, with Mr. Interlocter trying to control a whole stageful of ThingFish stereotypes. It was nothing at the time, Amos & Andy were still on TV and the main thrust of the civil rights movement was still years in the future. My dad was Mr. Bones and he found a mostly mummified cat up in the hayloft that he used for a prop for his punchline after Mr. Interlocter asked him to use the words defense, defeat, and detail in a sentence: "de feet of de cat went over de fence before de tail", he said, swinging the dead (and smelly) cat in a wide arc over his head. Mind you, this was the Lions Club - dedicated to the community and high civil standards. It was all harmless fun - but I can't imagine any community group doing that now, it would get national attention.

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SOVA NOSE Any proposal? I'd like to hear!
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