DiMaggio, Joe (Joseph Paul DiMaggio), 1914-99, American baseball player, b. Martinez, Calif. One of the most charismatic of 20th-century sports figures, "Joltin' Joe" joined the New York Yankees of the American League in 1936 and quickly rose to stardom, winning the league's batting title with a .381 average in his fourth season. In a career interrupted by World War II, the center fielder became the celebrated epitome of grace and humility. In 1939, 1941, and 1947 he was the American League's Most Valuable Player, and in 1941 the "Yankee Clipper" established one of baseball's best-known records by hitting safely in 56 consecutive games. He retired in 1951 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. His quiet heroics and brief marriage (1954) to Marilyn Monroe made him an icon of popular culture, although later biographical study has tended to deflate that status to some degree.

See biography by R. B. Cramer (2000).

His brother, Dominic DiMaggio, 1917-2009, b. San Francisco, was also a major-league baseball player. Although always in his elder brother's shadow, the "Little Professor" was a talented centerfielder and an aggressive hitter, who began playing pro ball in 1937 and spent most of his career with the Boston Red Sox (1940-41, 1946-53). A seven-time All-Star, he had a career average of .298 with the Sox.

See his memoir (1990, with B. Gilbert, repr. 2004).

Hill, Joe, 1879-1915, Swedish-American union organizer; b. Sweden, as Joseph Hillstrom. He came to the United States in 1902 and, as a maritime worker, joined the Industrial Workers of the World in 1910. He wrote many labor songs, including "Casey Jones" and "The Union Scab." Found guilty in 1915 of murdering a prominent Salt Lake City man, Hill was executed. He has become a legendary hero of radical labor.
Louis, Joe (Joseph Louis Barrow), 1914-81, American boxer, b. Lafayette, Ala. His father, a sharecropper, died when Louis was four years old, and in 1926 his stepfather took the family to Detroit, where Louis became interested in boxing. At 18 he began an amateur career in the ring. After winning (1934) the National Amateur Athletic Union light heavyweight title, Louis turned professional. In a meteoric rise, Louis—with magnificent physique, lightning punches, and stolid calmness—fought his way from the ranks of beginners to become (1937) the world heavyweight champion by knocking out James J. Braddock in the eighth round at Chicago. In 1938 he knocked out Max Schmeling—who had been the only man ever to defeat Louis (by a 12-round knockout in 1936) in professional boxing—in the first round in New York City. By the time he announced his retirement from the ring in 1949, Louis, often called the "Brown Bomber" by his admirers, had won 60 bouts, 51 by knockouts, and defended his title a record 25 times, scoring 21 knockouts. Louis came out of retirement in 1950, lost a decision to Ezzard Charles, and was knocked out (1951) by Rocky Marciano, after which he retired. In 71 professional bouts Louis was defeated only three times.

See his autobiographies (1947, 1978); biographies by C. Mead (1985) and R. Bak (1996); L. A. Erenberg, The Greatest Fight of Our Generation: Louis vs. Schmeling (2005); D. Margolick, Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink (2005).

Namath, Joe (Joseph William Namath), 1943-, American football player, b. Beaver Falls, Pa. Namath's brilliance as a quarterback at the Univ. of Alabama earned him a three-year no-cut contract for $387,000 from the New York Jets before he had played a single minute of professional football. Namath's high-priced deal sparked an all-out contest for new players between the National and American football leagues and ultimately produced a merger between the two. Although hampered by knee and shoulder injuries, Namath led the Jets to a victory in the 1969 Superbowl game and in 1967 passed for a total of 4,007 yards, a season record. He retired from football in 1977, spending his last season with the Los Angeles Rams. In 1985 he was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Candid, outspoken, and controversial, he was nicknamed "Broadway Joe" for his fast and free lifestyle. He appeared in several motion pictures.

See biography by M. Kriegel (2004).

Paterno, Joe (Joseph Vincent Paterno), 1926-, American football coach, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. A former quarterback at Brown Univ., he has been the head coach since 1966 at Pennsylvania State Univ., where his Nittany Lions have won two national championships (1982, 1986). In 2001 he surpassed Bear Bryant's record for most games won, placing Paterno first among Division I-A coaches in college football history. Paterno is widely admired for his loyalty to Penn State and for his emphasis on education as well as on sport.
Clark, Joe (Charles Joseph Clark), 1939-, prime minister of Canada (1979-80), b. High River, Alta. He entered the Canadian House of Commons from Alberta in 1972 and became leader of the Progressive Conservative party in 1976. In the 1979 elections he led his party to victory and briefly replaced Pierre Trudeau as prime minister. His election represented the new political importance of W Canada, especially oil-rich Alberta. Brian Mulroney replaced him as party leader in 1983. Clark served as external affairs minister (1984-91) and constitutional affairs minister (1991-93) under Mulroney. Clark left politics in 1993; UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali appointed him special UN representative for Cyprus. In 1998, Clark again became leader of the Progressive Conservatives, who faced a strong challenge on the right from the Reform party (now the Canadian Alliance), and in 2000 he was elected to parliament from Nova Scotia. Clark resigned as party leader in 2003, and became an independent later that year when the party joined the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative party of Canada. He retired in 2004.
Bonanno, Joe (Joseph Bonanno), 1905-2002, American crime boss nicknamed "Joe Bananas," b. Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. He came to the United States illegally in 1924, settled in Brooklyn, and soon became a bootlegger and mob enforcer. In 1931 he founded the Bonanno crime family, one of five families that dominated organized crime in New York City, and also became one of the original members of the Commission, which settled internal Mafia disputes. Bonanno's crime family, which he ruled until the mid-1960s, eventually extended from Brooklyn to Arizona, California, and Canada and controlled such illegal enterprises as gambling, loan-sharking, and drug trafficking. During the 1980s, well after his retirement (c.1968), Bonanno served his only prison terms, one for obstruction of justice, the other for civil contempt of court.

See his autobiography (with S. Lalli; 1983, repr. 2003); Joe Bonanno: The Last Godfather (video documentary, 1999).

Torre, Joe (Joseph Paul Torre, Jr.), 1940-, American baseball player and manager, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. Torre first played major league ball as a catcher for the Milwaukee Braves (1960-68), then moved (1969-75) to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1971 he led the National League (NL) in batting and was named the National League's Most Valuable Player. Traded to the New York Mets in 1975, he retired from active play two year later and managed (1977-81) the team, but did not have a single winning season. He later skippered (1982-84) the Atlanta Braves, was a sportscaster in the later 1980s, and managed (1990-95) the St. Louis Cardinals. Hired (1995) by the New York Yankees, Torre led the team to a dozen consecutive American League (AL) playoffs (1996-2007) and four World Series titles (1996, 1998-2000), and became baseball's highest-paid manager. In 2001 and 2003, however, the Yankees lost the World Series and in other years failed to reach it. After 2007's disappointing season, Torre declined the Yankees' offer of a one-year contract and signed (2007) as the Los Angeles Dodgers' manager.

See his Chasing the Dream (1997) and The Yankee Years (2008).

Montana, Joe (Joseph Clifford Montana), 1956-, American football player, b. New Eagle, Pa. After playing at Notre Dame Univ., he starred (1979-93) for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League, before moving (1993-95) to the Kansas City Chiefs. Montana came to be regarded as the greatest quarterback in NFL history and was known especially for his collaboration with such receivers as Jerry Rice. He had the second highest pass completion rate on record (63.2%, behind Steve Young); his records included 5 consecutive games with over 300 yards passing (1982) and 22 consecutive completed passes (1987). He led San Francisco to four NFL championships and was the most valuable player in the Super Bowls of 1982, 1985, and 1990. In 1989 and 1990 he was the NFL's most valuable player.
Orton, Joe, 1933-67, English playwright, b. John Kingsley. After studying acting, he wrote farcical comedies noted for their cynical humor. His plays include The Ruffian on the Stair (1963), Entertaining Mr. Sloan (1964), Loot (1966), and What the Butler Saw (1969). He was murdered by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who then committed suicide.
Weber, Joe: see Weber and Fields.
Joe's Garage: Acts I, II & III is a 1979 rock opera by Frank Zappa. The album features Ike Willis as the voice of "Joe", a stereotypical garage band youth who unwittingly journeys through the miasma of the music business. Zappa provides the voice of the "Central Scrutinizer" character—a mechanical voice which narrates the story and haunts Joe's psyche with McCarthyistic 50s-era discouragement and "scrutiny."

The album was originally issued in two parts, the first part being a single LP of Act I, and the second part being a double-LP set of Acts II & III. All three acts were later issued together as a box set, and on compact disc as a double-CD. The major themes of the story include groupie migration, mockery of Scientology, appliance fetishism, garage bands, and above all censorship of music as an artform (eerily predicting the formation of the PMRC).

Joe's Garage is particularly noteworthy for its extensive use of Zappa's xenochrony technique, in which guitar solos from older, completely unrelated recordings were extracted and overdubbed onto new songs. With the exception of "Watermelon in Easter Hay" and "Crew Slut", all Zappa's solos on the album were constructed in this way.


Act I

The opera begins with the Central Scrutinizer's introduction. He explains that his job is to enforce laws which will be passed in the future—including the coming total illegalization of music. The Scrutinizer offers a "special presentation to show what can happen to you if you choose a career in music," introducing the opera's protagonist, Joe, who used to be a "nice boy" and cut his neighbors' grass. When he discovered rock music, he would spend all his time playing loud music in his garage, where the neighbors would often call the cops on him. A "friendly counselor" at the police department tells Joe he should "stick closer to church-oriented social activities." Joe finds a new girlfriend named Mary, with whom he would "hold hands and think pure thoughts." However, Mary, a Roman Catholic girl, abandons Joe in order to get a pass to see a band called "Toad-O" with whom she goes on the road—having sex with the band's roadies. Eventually, they abandon her in Miami when she is too tired to do anything.

Mary enters a wet t-shirt contest to try to make enough money to get back home. Joe hears of her exploits, becomes depressed, falls in with a fast crowd, and has sex with a girl who works at the Jack-In-The-Box named Lucille, who gives him an "unpronounceable disease", although he claims it came from a toilet seat.

Act II

Joe turns to religion for help, and "pays a lot of money to L. Ron Hoover at the First Church of Appliantology." Hoover identifies Joe as a "latent appliance fetishist". When Joe asks if he should "come out of the closet" he is instead instructed to "go into the closet" to achieve "sexual gratification through the use of machines". In the next song, we learn "The Closet" is the name of a club where humans can copulate with appliances. Joe locates a machine he likes, named Sy Borg, and they return to Sy's apartment. There Joe and Sy have a "groovy orgy" with Sy's roommate, a "modified Gay-Bob doll."

Joe ends up destroying Sy, (whom the Central Scrutinizer calls a "XQJ-37 Nuclear-Powered Pansexual Roto-Plooker") with a golden shower. Joe is thrown in prison after being unable to pay for the damage (having given up all his money to the Church of Appliantology). In jail, Joe is repeatedly gang raped ("plooked") by former musicians and record executives when they're not snorting lines of detergent. This gang is led by a shockingly endowed former promotional agent of a major record company, known as "Bald-Headed John: King of the Plookers".


When Joe is released from prison, music has become illegal. He loses his sanity, and begins imagining all the guitar notes he cannot play and a journalist documenting his thoughts. Eventually, he comes to terms with the fact that music is gone, and gets a job at the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, frosting muffins.


  • Central Scrutinizer, Larry, L. Ron Hoover, Father Riley & Buddy Jones – Frank Zappa
  • Joe – Ike Willis
  • Mary – Dale Bozzio
  • Mrs. Borg – Denny Walley
  • Officer Butzis – Al Malkin
  • Sy Borg – Warren Cuccurullo & Ed Mann
  • Bald-Headed John – Terry Bozzio
  • The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen Chorus – Al Malkin, Warren Cucurullo, Dale Bozzio, Geordie Hormel, Barbara Issak & most of the people who work at Village Recorders (circa 1979).

Track listing

All songs written, arranged, and conducted by Frank Zappa.

Act I

Side one

  1. "The Central Scrutinizer" – 3:28
  2. "Joe's Garage" – 6:10
  3. "Catholic Girls" – 4:26
  4. "Crew Slut" – 6:31

Side two

  1. "Fembot in a Wet T-Shirt" (aka "Wet T-Shirt Nite") – 4:45
  2. "On the Bus" (aka "Toad-O Line") – 4:19
  3. "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?" – 2:36
  4. "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up" – 5:43
  5. "Scrutinizer Postlude" – 1:35
  6. On vinyl, "Lucille" and "Scrutinizer Postlude" were indexed as one track.

Act II

Side one

  1. "A Token of My Extreme" – 5:30
  2. "Stick It Out" – 4:34
  3. "Sy Borg" – 8:56

Side two

  1. "Dong Work for Yuda" – 5:03
  2. "Keep It Greasey" – 8:22
  3. "Outside Now" – 5:50


Side three

  1. "He Used to Cut the Grass" – 8:35
  2. "Packard Goose" – 11:34

Side four

  1. "Watermelon in Easter Hay" – 9:09
  2. "A Little Green Rosetta" – 8:15


  • Frank Zappa – Vocals, guitar
  • Warren Cuccurullo – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Choir, Chorus, Organ, Guitar
  • Denny Walley – Vocals, Slide Guitar, Guitar
  • Craig Twister Steward – Harmonica
  • Jeff – Sax (Tenor)
  • Marginal Chagrin – Sax (Baritone)
  • Patrick O'Hearn – Wind, Bass
  • Peter Wolf – Keyboards
  • Stumuk – Sax (Baritone), Sax (Bass)
  • Tommy Mars – Keyboards
  • Vinnie Colaiuta – Drums, Percussion
  • Arthur Barrow – Vocals, Bass
  • Ed Mann – Vocals, Percussion
  • Dale Bozzio – Vocals
  • Al Malkin – Vocals
  • Ike Willis – Vocals
  • Barbara Isaak – Choir, Chorus, Assistant
  • Geordie Hormel – Choir, Chorus
  • Terry Bozzio – Guest Vocals
  • Ferenc Dobronyi – Cover Design
  • Steve Alsberg – Project Coordinator
  • Joe Chiccarelli – Engineer, Mixing, Recording
  • Norman Seeff – Photography, Cover Photo
  • John Williams – Artwork
  • Steve Nye – Remixing
  • Mick Glossop – Remixing
  • Stan Ricker – Mastering
  • Jack Hunt – Mastering
  • Thomas Nordegg – Assistant
  • Tom Cummings – Assistant

Stage Adaptation

On September 26, 2008, Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage premiered as a stage play at Open Fist Theater in Los Angeles, CA. The production featured a live band, choreography and performances that told the story, song-by-song, from beginning to end. This adaptation marked the first time The Zappa Family Trust released the rights to Frank Zappa's music on such a scale.


Album - Billboard (North America)

Joe's Garage Act I

Year Chart Position
1979 Pop Albums 27

Joe's Garage Acts II & III

Year Chart Position
1979 Pop Albums 53

See also


External Links

Behind the Scenes -- Exclusive look at Frank Zappa's World Premiere Rock Opera - L.A. Splash

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