San Ber'dino

Notes and Comments

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She lives in Mojave in a Winnebago
From: (Kerry Yackoboski)
  A Winnebago is a brand name for a type of motor home or recreational vehicle (RV), a sort of small home on wheels that is not uncommon in the USA. I don't know if they still make Winnebagos...
From: (Cliff Heller)
  A winnebago is the most popular brand of mobile home. There are two kinds - those with their own engine and those that are hooked up to a pick up truck (a trailer). There is a bizarre type of community called a trailer park where many of these trailers are semipermanently set up as small cheap housing.
From: "Ottis R." <BOYD@UNB.CA>
  Often referred to in some mythologies as "twister-bait".
From: mpc@mbsmm (Mark Clements)
  Winnebago is a company that makes mobile-homes, usually purchased by retired folks who then travel the country in search of geriatric adventure. Mobile homes are also put up on blocks (making them decidedly non-mobile) and used as permanent housing by many people in the lower economic strata.
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She's in love with the boy
From the rodeo
who pulls the rope on the
when they let those suckers go
  The chute is the narrow fenced in exit, sort of an airlock so the critter (wild horse, bull) is moved from main coral into chute and is pressed tight front and back (by the fence doors) and side to side, so that the idiot cowpoke can get on the critter's back, then someone pulls the rope opening up the front gate and the suckers are let go into the main arena.
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His name is Bobby, he looks like a potato
  From Vladimir Sovetov <> This _Call Any Vegetable_ guy was later many times mentioned by Capt. Beefheart in BONGO FURY _Advanced Romance_ song And of course gloriously reappeared as main THING-FISH character. Funny he ALSO was an ex-convict.
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Well there's forty-four men
Stashed away in
tank "C"
An' there's only one shower
But it don't apply to Bobby
  The lines before are important: He got slobberin' drunk at the Palomino They give him thirty days in San Ber'dino
  This is a song about being in jail, specifically the San Bernardino County Jail (San B is the "county seat" of the county where Lancaster, California. When Zappa was arrested on porno charges and pleaded guilty to this entrapment, he was given six months with all but 10 days suspended. He served the 10 days in San B jail. He was in *TANK C*
  While awaiting trial he was in Lancaster City Jail which had been comfortable with pancakes every morning. In contrast San B was appalling (most of this is quoted from Poodle Play book which quotes from the Real FZ book): one shower for 44 men, cockroaches in the food, 140 degrees of heat, lights left on all night,"They got some dark green air and you can choke all day.
  Bobby with the potato head was echoed later in the closing lines of Advance Romance (Bongo Fury) and of course in the ppotatoe headed Mammy Nuns of Thingfish. Thus the potatoe head is developed as a sympbol of the government inflicting citizens with incarceration and experimentation (if you believe that Thingfish is a story of how the US Government caused AIDS to control undesireables).
  Back to the general meaning Of Tank. There is the obvious tank as in fish tank, a vessel for water. Gas tank Water tank. All wet places. In the most benign jail sense tank is a place for drunks to go overnight to sober up: The Drunk Tank. It is low security and holds alot just like a fish tank. In fact the word tank is a verb also. To tank up means to fill up a tank. Tank up on gasoline. Tank up (on bier). But to "get tanked" means to get drunk. But tank is a dry hot place also. Of course the military armored vehicle, roasting its occupants is a tank. In WWII, the small metal boxes for solitary confinement and baking in the sun were "the tank." So the "Tank" also refers to the entire jail or prison or in the extreme specific meaning (the exact opposite of a wet, open, crowded jail, it can refer to the most secure, solitary confinement cell.
  In the song, Bobby gets drunk (at the Palomino, the name of a type of horse, but here most likely referring to a bar/tavern/pub in Lancaster) and is sentenced to 30 days in the drunk tank, with 44 other men. There's only one shower but it don't apply to Bobby suggests that because of his stupid love for "her" he does not participate in the shower games (drop the soap) of the male inmates (i.e. anal sex).
  The joke of the song is that after getting out of jail Bobby and his girl stay in the town in a trailer park- in a metal mobile house parked in the hot desert sun. So he's still in jail and still has a potato head.
From: Robert Griffin
  Being from San Bernardino, of course I'm interested in the Lyrics but I'd like to point out that "Lancaster" is in L.A. County and is probably not the intended reference as submitted by Mr Scialli.
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Say now
Ain't talkin' 'bout
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Ain't talkin' 'bout the Redlands, no no
From: Foggy G <105175.3267@CompuServe.COM>
  Fontana is a place, out in San Bernadino county in Southern California. Stereotypically speaking, San Ber'dino County is where the white trash lived in SoCal (no offense to those of you from the Inland Empire). Driving t hrough Fontana and such on Interstate 10, one is bombarded with billboards for used cars, junk yards, auto shops, etc. Hence certain lyrics in "San Ber'dino". The Redlands (ain't talking about the Redlands, no, no) is another town in the vicinity.
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ZULCH is the auto work
From: David G. Walley <>
  A dead industrial town in the Lancaster area, very desolate
From: Robert Griffin
  The "Zulch" reference by Mr. Walley is incorrect. Zulch's auto was a car repair shop/tow company located in Downtown San Bernardino ; visible from the 215 fwy between Mill and 2nd st. on the West side of the 215 fwy. It is still there for anyone interested, but the name is now "Big Z" auto. It's a big tall old brick building.

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SOVA NOSE Any proposal? I'd like to hear!
Provocation, compilation and design © Vladimir Sovetov, 1994-2004
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