Hot Burrito #1

Album: The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969)


  • According to Chris Hillman of The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons wrote this song about his breakup with his girlfriend Nancy, with whom he had a daughter, Polly Parsons, in 1968. Even though they never married, Nancy took Gram's last name, becoming Nancy Parsons (she was formerly Nancy Ross).

    On this plaintive track, Parsons can't stand the thought of his girl with another man. "I don't want no one but you to love me," he sings.
  • Parsons wrote this song with Burrito bass player Chris Ethridge while the band was residing in their San Fernando Valley house famously dubbed "Burrito Manor." The song, like the album The Gilded Palace of Sin, barely registered on the music world of 1969 - there was a lot going on that year. However, those who did hear it quickly established a cult following for the band - that includes musicians such as Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

    The Flying Burrito Brothers are one of those acts more legendary within the music industry than in the consumer base. Gram Parsons came from The Byrds, while Ian Dunlop and Mickey Gauvin came from the International Submarine Band. At their peak, they were hob-nobbing with Keith Richards and opening for the Rolling Stones at the Altamont concert, which became a pivotal moment in the 1970 film Gimme Shelter. Most surviving members leaving this group went on to found or join other bands.

    This album is cited as a major influence on the Eagles, as well as being a cornerstone of the New Traditionalist movement in mainstream Country music, influencing future artists such as Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, and Randy Travis.
  • "Hot Burrito #2" follows this track on the album. Written by Parsons and Ethridge in the same session, that one takes a more hard line, with Parsons warning her that she better find some love. More uptempo than #1, it also finds Parsons singing in an emotive twang that is considered one of his best vocal performances. "Those two vocals were tearjerkers," Chris Hillman said. "They give you chills."
  • The cover art for The Gilded Palace of Sin features the band wearing a set of custom country-Western suits from Nudie's Rodeo Tailors, complete with marijuana leaf embroidery.

Comments: 2

  • Rob from Vancouver, BcThanks for correcting that it was Chris Ethridge and not Chris Hillman who wrote this song with Gram Parsons. But, in doing so, you left the reference to residing at "Burrito Manor". As you know, it was Hillman and Parsons who lived there, not Ethridge and Parsons.
    -Rob, Vancouver, BC.
  • Rob from Vancouver, BcActually, this song was written by Chris Ethridge and Gram Parsons. Ethridge had written two melodies many years previously. Two songs were completed from them during the recording of The Gilded Palace of Sin as Hot Burrito #1 and Hot Burrito #2. This is confirmed by the song writing credits for the album. In Gandulf Hennig's documentary film, "Gram Parsons Fallen Angel", Chris Ethridge describes how he and Parsons wrote the two songs.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-Outs

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Tom Keifer of Cinderella

Tom Keifer of CinderellaSongwriter Interviews

Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.

Richard Marx

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

How The Beatles Crafted Killer Choruses

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music Scene

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.