“So just how far down do you want to go?
Or we could talk it out over a cup of joe
And you could look deep into my eyes
Like I was a supermodel, uh-huh”
If you lived through the 90’s and were old enough to be cognizant in the least of the popular music scene, you know that the decade was rife with one-hit wonders. That’s no insult – I’ve never recorded a hit song, and many one-hit wonders will be remembered for decades for that singular musical gem, enjoying royalty checks in perpetuity, so there’s that.
This week on Growing Up 90’s, I’m jumping into one of those random, but memorable and catchy one-off hits, and that song is none other than “Banditos” by The Refreshments (not to be confused with The Rembrandts…you know, those guys who wrote a little theme song for a little show called Friends).
“Well, give your ID card to the motorguard
Yeah, your alias says you’re Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Of The United Federation of Planets
‘Cause he won’t speak English anyway”
“Banditos” is a grungy, yet brightly poppy song about a heist fantasy south of the border. Lead singer Roger Clyne maps out his whole plan for the hold-up that he will carry out with his cohort, The tune is full of pistols, pesos, slashed tires, sugar in gas tanks, and while I was never a Trekkie, I always love a good pop culture reference in a song.
“And everybody knows
That the world is full of stupid people
So meet me at the mission at midnight
We’ll divvy up there
Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people
Well, I’ve got the pistols, so I’ll keep the pesos
Yeah, and that seems fair”
The chorus just lays it out there – indeed, the world is full of stupid people, so that means that it’s easy to double-cross a partner-in-crime. Clyne’s gravelly voice leads the listener through this sordid, but oddly funny tale, and the song concludes with a “big rock ending” of sorts, with an amped-up rhythm and guitar noodling to boot.
“So put the sugar in the tank of the sheriff’s car
And slash the deputy’s tires and they won’t get very far
When the finally get the word that there had been a hold-up
“Banditos” is certainly the only song I’ve ever heard from The Refreshments, but that’s surely enough, as I’m sure they’re still cashing in when the song gets rotation on 90’s countdowns or back-in-the-day grunge rock stations. The music video for the song is posted below for your enjoyment. Come back next Tuesday for another walk down Memory Lane with Growing Up 90’s! In the meantime, check out the rest of my collection of words at noseatbeltblog.com – movies, music, beer, toys, and much more!