Bobby Brown

Album: Sheik Yerbouti (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • Also known as "Bobby Brown Goes Down" or "Bobby Brown (Goes Down)," this song is a lot deeper than it appears, and is easily misunderstood.

    One misunderstanding that need not be entertained is any connection with the former husband of Whitney Houston, who was not ten years old when Mr. Zappa wrote it.

    Zappa explained the song to the Swedish radio program Nightflight (the date of this interview is given variously as March 7, 1979 and January 1, 1980, but apparently the recording is extant). The former date is almost certainly correct, because Zappa's European tour took him to Sweden in March 1979, while in 1980 he was there later in the year.

    "Bobby Brown" was a big hit in Europe and a massive hit in Sweden but not in his home country because it wasn't played on the radio - for reasons that need no explaining!

    It is probably best in the interests of good taste and decency if we omit his explanation for the tower of power. And if you don't know what golden showers are, it is best not to ask. The following is verbatim from what is claimed to be the transcript:

    "So You get the idea that Bobby Brown [is] 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 *** while somebody ****** 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."

    In response to a question from the reporter, he made a very dubious claim:

    "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 [are] 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." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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