I think to understand this song, you need to be familiar with the time period in which it was composed. I was in my late teens when Roxy Roller came out in the mid 1970s. This is my interpretation based on a bit of an interest in pop culture.
But first, let’s get past all the crap about drugs. Not everybody was writing about drugs or under the influence of drugs when composing, I think this song is a little too sly to simply be a drug-induced bit of nonsense.
So, onto my thoughts.
I don’t believe any proper names are used in the lyrics. The main character is a good-looking woman, hence ‘Foxy’. ‘Roxy Roller’ is a pseudonym or nickname.
The Roxy is a theatre. Likely one that has seen better days. Don’t forget, this is the mid ‘70s. There is no internet. VCRs are rare. It’s before the multi-channel universe. In the U.S, TV basically offered the three main networks, PBS and some small local channels. Adult theatres and their porn offerings are likely at their zenith. Single screen theatres were starting to fall victim to multi-screen cineplexes. Sometimes the old theatres offered ‘art’ films. Occasionally, they served up porn.
Into such a scene comes the foxy Roxy Roller. The men who come to the Roxy really like her for some obvious reasons. At one time, the term ‘rock and roll’ didn’t refer to a form of music. The phrase was basically a euphemism for sex. For example, in ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’, we know that she sure likes to ball. Any questions as to what that means? We also know that when she’s ‘rockin’ and a rollin’ (having sex) she couldn’t hear her mama call. Hence, the ‘Roller’ in Roxy Roller indicates she was providing sexual services at the Roxy theatre.
It’s dark in the theatre, so it’s a bit of a flashlight dream to see this woman and when you get a glimpse of her, she’s got that peaches and cream look of the girl next door. At least to the theatre pervs, that is. Her ‘five-bob job’ refers to her giving blow-jobs to the patrons . . . for cash, of course. ‘Bob’ was a term for cash in the UK; Nick Gilder was born in London before his family moved to Vancouver. ‘Bob’ has also been used as a slang term for oral sex, especially if the person giving it also plays with the recipients balls. Doing this in a skuzzy theatre, she’s going to end up with bubble gum and other disgusting sticky stuff on her knees.
So you know what she was doing down between the seats at the Roxy. If you were ‘lucky,’ sometimes she’d pass you the keys – as in turn you on, get your motor running . . . you know what I mean.
Her ‘daddy le commissioner’ is not her biological father. More like her pimp. When it comes to her money, he took more than his share. So the woman known to the theatre pervs only as Roxy Roller, left the jerk because it wasn’t fair. Instead, she joined ‘the syndicate’ – perhaps an escort agency operated by other hookers who decided to run things their way.
That’s my interpretation and I’m sticking to it!