"Mexican Radio" by Wall of Voodoo (Encore)
11/21/2012 6:00:00 AM
Yeah, its a blow-off week so I'm republishing one of my favorite old BBM's. Nothing says Happy Thanksgivng like a song with references to barbequed iguana. Enjoy:
I’m not sure if I was in Tijuana, I’d eat any barbequed iguana. Not sure you can even get the stuff, but the town and the delicacy will always be synonymous because of the sound about high-powered AM Mexican radio stations that beamed into the U.S. influencing many music lovers and at least one other song: ZZ Top’s. “I Heard It On The X”.
Now back to the song under this week’s microscope? It was 1983 and MTV was still a baby. There was this great movement amongst bands wanting to get on the 2-year-old phenomenon and the rules were: 1) Sound different 2) Look different 3) Have a video. Wall of Voodoo had all of that.
Watching the video, the first thing I noticed is that the drummer is playing the main beat to the song. Later it was rumored that there was a quarrel between him and the song’s producer and the main drum track was added later. Therefore the drummer allegedly refused to fake the beat on the video. In fact, every once in a while, the drummer gives the singer a look that seems to say, “Hey look, I’m only
playing the backbeat and this is gonna be on MTV. Ha Ha!”
A couple more observations: 1) there are some great stereotypical Mexican images including a bullfighter and a bowl of pinto beans. 2) The singer appears to be a bit twitchy. 3) I looked through the video a few more times and never actually saw a “Mexican Radio”, though you can see an old TV and it’s static prominently.