Music Video of the Day: Mexican Radio by Wall Of Voodoo (1983, dir. Francis Delia)

I’d like to commemorate suddenly finding my TV on a Spanish-language station a few days ago that I didn’t know existed where a guy was cutting an apple in his mouth using a chainsaw. That’s a thing that happened when I was simply trying to switch between movies on my DVR.

Ah, good old Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo. This is right up there with songs like Safety Dance and Come On Eileen as the stereotypical 80s one-hit wonder. It’s fun, catchy, and a genuinely good song. There’s one problem though. Just like many SNL sketches, I don’t see how this was supposed to translate into a career. Of course I thought of that, and then I had to look into what happened to them.

After this song, they basically broke up the band. I say basically because some of the members continued under that name even though lead singer Stan Ridgway had left the band and went solo. They would even go on to do at least one other music video for a song called Far Side of Crazy. It’s pretty good. I’ll have to do that one someday. I also found out that Westerns were a theme with them beyond just this one song and the video for it that they shot in Tijuana. You can find them doing a cover of Ring of Fire. However, at the end of the day, it’s not really something I see as sustainable. It’s more of a novelty than anything else. Ridgway on the other hand, is sustainable. I hope the video is still up. Here is Ridgway performing his song Camouflage in 2015.

This stuff works for a solo artist. I get why it flopped for an entire group. I could probably go into more detail about what happened to the group, but I don’t need to do that because there is an interview with Ridgway over on Songfacts where he explains it.

The music video is timeless. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s another one made by Francis Delia. I have done two other music videos of his so far. He has brought us a dead shark in Shooting Shark, a cooked pig for Somebody’s Watching Me, and now an iguana being barbecued. I can’t wait to see more of his music videos to see if this is a recurring thing like rocking chairs are in Anton Corbijn videos.

Oh, and that is Carel Struycken near the end as the director.


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