Wall of Voodoo formed in Los Angeles in 1977 and released three albums before Ridgway left for a solo career in 1983. Stan Ridgway has a dedicated following, but for many Americans who grew up on early MTV, this is their only exposure to his work, which is an eclectic mix of narrative songs with a cinematic feel. Ridgway told us: "We all dug 'Mexican Radio' when we finished it. But we also knew that there were other things that we were doing, other things that were going to be more important, and that this was a good, fun song.
To some, it's a one-hit wonder. To others, it's just part of the catalog of songs. To the great wide open American world public, 'Mexican Radio' is known in America; when I go to Europe, it was never anything there. The song over there is 'Camouflage.' I go to Switzerland or Germany and it's a song called 'Calling Out To Carol' which was on Mosquitoes. So I'm not trying to overly wave my flag here, but there's lots of songs, and every song is part of a symphony, it's the only way you can look at it. And philosophically speaking, as an artist, first impressions are hard to beat.
It's funny. You can't diss it, because first impressions are hard to beat from people, and it's a complicated life, people get lost. You become just a memory for them, that song, actually, for one part of their lives, especially if it only lasted a certain amount of time, or they lost track of you. So a lot of music is like a floating buoy: it sits on the ocean, dips down beneath the water, every now and then something pops up, you go, 'There – what's that thing over there? Is that coming up again?' I've always just tried to keep making music and moving forward with it. So I play the song when I feel like playing it. And we've played it several different ways. Sometimes I'll play it the original way, sometimes I'll have fun with it and play it as a bossa nova or something."