Tequila (song)

Tequila (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Tequila

Artist = The Champs
from Album =
B-side =
Released = 1958
Format =
Recorded = December 1957-January 1958
Genre = Surf/Instrumental
Length =
Label = Challenge
Writer = Daniel Flores
Producer =
Certification =
Chart position = #1
Last single =
This single = Tequila
Next single =
"Tequila" is a 1958 surf instrumental by the band The Champs. The title of the song constitutes the entire lyrics, and is spoken three times during the song. "Tequila" became a number-one hit at the time of its release and remains popular amongst fans of the golden age of rock and roll, but the band was a one-hit wonder.

"Tequila" has been heavily referenced in American popular culture, and was notably featured in the 1985 film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure".


In 1957, Gene Autry's record label, Challenge Records, signed Dave Burgess (born 1934), a rockabilly singer-songwriter from California who often recorded under the name "Dave Dupree." At the end of 1957, having produced no hits, Challenge Records looked to Burgess, who organized a recording session on December 23 in Hollywood. In the studio that day were Burgess on rhythm guitar, Cliff Hills on bass guitar, the Flores Trio (Danny Flores on saxophone and keyboards, Gene Alden on drums, and lead guitarist Buddy Bruce),cite web | title=The Champs (1958-1965) | author=Tony Bentivegna| url=http://www.sealsandcrofts.com/champs.html | accessdate=August 21 | accessyear=2006] and Huelyn Duvall contributing backing vocals.cite web | title=Memories of the Tequila Recording Session | author=Huelyn Duvall| url=http://www.huelynduvall.com/champs.htm | accessdate=August 21 | accessyear=2006] They gathered primarily to record "Train to Nowhere," a song by Burgess, as well as "Night Beat" and "All Night Rock."

The last song recorded was "Tequila," essentially just a jam by the Flores Trio. There were three takes, and Daniel Flores (d September 19, 2006) was the man who actually spoke the word "Tequila!" The song served as the B-side for "Train to Nowhere," which was released by Challenge Records on January 15, 1958. Duvall recalls that the record initially found little success, but, after a DJ in Cleveland played the B-side, "Tequila" skyrocketed up the charts, reaching #1 on the Billboard chart on March 28, 1958.

Daniel Flores had written "Tequila," but, because he was signed to another label, the song was credited to "Chuck Rio," a name he adopted for the stage. Those present for the December 23 session began recording together again on January 20, 1958, under the name The Champs; the group technically formed "after" recording its most famous song. The song has been noted to have the same sound and structure of Bo Diddley's 1958 release "Dearest Darling".


*Eddie Platt took the song to #20 in the U.S. in 1958.

* The song also appears one of Wes Montgomery's albums. In late 1960s Joe Loss Orchestra, British light music band, recorded their danceable version, available today on a Latin jazz compilation album "The Best Latin Jazz Album in the World... Ever!".

* Jazz guitarist Larry Carlton recorded a version of the song on his 1983 album "Friends".

* A Latin hip hop cover in 1992 by A.L.T. was a Top Ten in numerous countries and entered the Billboard Top 40.

* Tony Levin and his band released a version of the song on his 2002 album "Pieces of the Sun", though this version bears next to no resemblance to the original, aside from a quiet utterance of the title three times during the course of the song.

* An instrumental segment of the song also appears in the song "What Happened?" by California Punk/Ska band, Sublime. The song is about the morning after a party and the word "Tequila" is replaced with "What happened?".

* Industrial Metal band Klutæ released a reworking entitled "Tequila Slammer" on their 1995 EP Excepted, using samples of the original lyrics and horns layered with drum machines and heavy guitar.

"Tequila" in pop culture

In the 1985 film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" featured a scene in which Pee-wee Herman knocks over a row of motorcycles, then proceeds to win over the angered bikers by selecting "Tequila" from the jukebox and comically dancing to it. The "Pee-wee dance" has since been closely linked with the song in popular culture. This usage of the song was further referenced in rapper Joeski Love's track "Pee Wee's Dance", which also utilized the song's melody.

The song also appears in the television shows "Happy Days", "Spider-Man", and the films "The Sandlot", "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (where the Turtles substitute the call-out "Ninjitsu!" for the original "Tequila!"), "Night at the Museum", "Spongebob Square Pants", and the video game "Samba de Amigo".

"Tequila" has also been used in advertisements for TGI Friday's and in a Papa John's commercial for the "Fajitas Pizza", with the call-out altered to 'Fajita'. In Australia in 2005, the song was similarly altered to advertise Toshiba televisions.

Stand-up comedian Pablo Francisco has imitated the song in his comedy routine, using it as an extremely inappropriate song to play during sex. [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=Uuw0SEHCkfs YouTube video clip of Pablo Francisco's comedy routine: 0:38 to 1:00] ]

In the "Drawn Together" episode "Freaks & Greeks", a cutaway gag shows Ling-Ling's father Jun-Jee attempting to sing the song on stage in a karaoke bar. The joke is that the song's lyrics consist of only one word, and so it is unlikely that the song would be performed in a karaoke bar.

Professional wrestler Matt Cross performed the Pee-Wee dance as well during Pro Wrestling Guerilla's event "The Battle of Los Angeles" after performing a top rope plancha to 2 other wrestlers. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU7h16TKYYc YouTube video clip of the dance: 3:20 to 3:37] ]


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