Frank Zappa

He's So Gay

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

Of all the offensive material Frank Zappa wrote, "He's So Gay" is generally considered to be among the worst. The lyrics make fun of various alternative sexual practices commonly associated (rightfully or wrongfully) with homosexuality: bondage, sado-masochism, scatology, and cross-dressing. While "Bobby Brown" covered the same grounds, "He's So Gay" adds an extra humorous dimension, as it presents homosexuality as some kind of natural evolution. The last verse states that "Maybe later/We'll all be/Gay-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y!" The song appeared on the 1984 album Thing-Fish, a pseudo-musical, so its lyrical contents must be taken in relation to "Harry-as-a-Boy"'s previous explanation: He turned gay because he lost all interest in women when they became businesswomen. Throughout the studio version of the song, Brown Moses (Johhny "Guitar" Watson) can be heard making comments about the lyrics. The coda quotes Culture Club's 1983 hit "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?," which Zappa probably perceived as the ultimate manifestation of gayness in pop culture at the time.

"He's So Gay" is one of three or four songs written especially for Thing-Fish. It was performed on stage after the album's release, from July to December 1984, usually followed by "Bobby Brown." A live recording (very faithful to the original) was included on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 and the studio version understandably appeared on the theme collection Have I Offended Someone?

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Thing-Fish 1984 Zappa Records 2:44
No Image 1984 EMI Music Distribution
No Image 1985 Tangooo
Does Humor Belong In Music? [Video/DVD] 1991 EMI Music Distribution
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 1992 Zappa Records 2:34
No Image 1992 Rykodisc
Have I Offended Someone? 1997 Zappa Records 2:45
No Image 1999 DBN 2:34
blue highlight denotes editor's pick