Tag Archives: racial slurs

Def Leppard Scandals

Joe Elliott got into trouble with the police and arrested, which was kept out of the press, soon after I met them.  Not knowing if the Rock Till You Drop tour (late May 1983) would continue, Pete Willis wanted Joe kicked out of Def Leppard.  Instead, Pete left the band though he remained friends with them and would show up at times to talk to me over the years.  At the same time, two members of the opening act for the tour Krokus also left their band claiming “personal” reasons.  I was sitting backstage at Boutwell Auditorium  when Joe made the quick decision to bring in the man who goes by the stage name Phil Collen.

To deal with his legal problems and claiming a sore throat, Joe canceled several dates of their tour in June and later.  Joe would walk around with a towel wrapped around his neck and would only speak in a whisper during this time.

Joe Elliott overheard the conversation I had with Michael Hutchence about the band Wall of Voodoo who performed at the US Music Festival in May 1983 with the hit song “Mexican Radio”.  I told Michael about living in Texas, my father’s home state, for a while and taking Spanish, the pink donkey piñata in my bedroom, and about my little Mexican friend José.  One of my best friends at the time was a girl with the surname “Riddle” used in the lyrics for Mexican Radio.

Though he knew better, during a September 7, 1983 performance in Tucson, Arizona, Joe’s attempt to rile up the crowd during the “Rock of Ages” crowd sing-a-long. He tells the crowd: “Last night, we played in El Paso, that place with all the greasy Mexicans, and they made a lot more noise than that.”

I feel a hot wind on my shoulder
And the touch of a world that is older
I turn the switch and check the number
I leave it on when in bed I slumber
I hear the rhythms of the music
I buy the product and never use it
I hear the talking of the DJ
Can’t understand just what does he say?

I’m on a mexican radio
I’m on a mexican whoa-o radio

I dial it in and tune the station
They talk about the U.S. inflation
I understand just a little
No comprende, it’s a riddle

I’m on a mexican radio
I’m on a mexican whoa-o radio

I’m on a mexican radio
I’m on a mexican whoa-o radio

I wish I was in Tijuana
Eating barbequed iguana
I’d take requests on the telephone
I’m on a wavelength far from home
I feel a hot wind on my shoulder
I dial it in from south of the border
I hear the talking of the DJ
Can’t understand just what does he say?

I’m on a mexican radio
I’m on a mexican whoa-o radio
I’m on a mexican radio
I’m on a mexican whoa-o radio

Radio radio radio radio radio…
What does he say?

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