The Central Scrutinizer

Album: Joe's Garage (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • This is an instrumental track with a voiceover by Zappa who introduces the Central Scrutinizer, whose purpose is to enforce all the laws that haven't been introduced yet, especially those concerning that "horrible force" called music. Zappa's triple concept album Joe's Garage was inspired by the Iranian Revolution of 1979 under which all music was banned, although this total ban did not last long. While Zappa was concerned with the music ban, this album is an attack on all authority, an attitude that became engrained in him after he was entrapped by an undercover vice squad officer for conspiring to "commit pornography". At the time - 1965 - he was running a recording studio, and the heavy-handed treatment he endured at the hands of the police for a victimless crime which they themselves had incited (the production of a suggestive audio tape!) left him deeply embittered against both the police and all forms of censorship for the rest of his life, and indeed against all forms of authority except his own. Zappa was or became a cold, remote individual, and at times treated the musicians who worked with him very badly.
    "The Central Scrutinizer" runs to 3 minutes 28 seconds and segues into the title track. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

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