Dimly visible through the haze: a snippet of lyrics
June 4, 2010 10:48 AM   Subscribe

[Geezer Filter:] Help me dredge up the name of a rock ballad from around 1969-1970?

Sometime around 1969-1970 I was in my dorm room studying when a song came on the FM radio. I didn't pay much attention at first, but it gradually commanded more and more of my attention. It was a ballad sung by a solo male, backed by instrumentation that included a prominently featured guitar.

All I remember for sure is a snippet of the lyrics. He's telling a story of being adrift in his life for some reason, wondering to himself what to do next. He thinks of hitting the road:

"...maybe Mexico;
I've got a friend down there
just waiting for me to show..."

The danged DJ went from this one right into another song, then at the end of a set of about six, finally rattled off the list of what we had been listening to. I hadn't been paying close enough attention to know which in the series this one was, and when I tried counting backwards, I thought he said Supertramp, but I listened to more of their music and they definitely didn't do this song. Perhaps it was Robin Trower? But I've looked at his stuff and didn't find anything that seemed to fit.

I am positive that it was a rock ballad and not country music.

Anyway, this has been bugging me for 40 years. If anyone here can help me identify it, I will truly be convinced of the awesome power of the Interwebs for doing good in this world.

Thanks in advance.

[Truth in advertising: I posted this for a good friend of mine. Hey, HE may be a geezer, but I'm not there yet.]
posted by crayon to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't find those exact lyrics, but it sounds like James Taylor's "Mexico" to me.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:51 AM on June 4, 2010

Although rereading your post, Mexico isn't really a *rock* ballad, and it sounds nothing like Robin Trower. But 40 year old memories can be faulty....
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:55 AM on June 4, 2010

Is it "Maybe Mexico" by Jerry Jeff Walker?
posted by xenophile at 11:11 AM on June 4, 2010

I'm the one crayon posted the query for. I've joined, but I'm in the one-week cooling off period before my posting privileges kick in, and she very nicely offered to give me a jump start.

Anyway, it's definitely not James Taylor or Jerry Jeff Walker, who has a song named "Maybe Mexico." Its mood is much more like Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs," which is why I mentioned him explicitly as a possibility.
posted by dh490311 at 11:15 AM on June 4, 2010

Gilbert Paul's "Down to Mexico", perhaps?
posted by backwards guitar at 11:27 AM on June 4, 2010

Sorry; not Gilbert Paul, either.
posted by dh490311 at 11:56 AM on June 4, 2010

maybe a longshot, but possibly zz top's 'goin' down to mexico' ?

posted by lester's sock puppet at 12:17 PM on June 4, 2010

There are lots of versions of "Hey Joe," plenty of them from 1969-1970, and most of them prominently mention the possiblity of going to Mexico.
posted by ROTFL at 2:10 PM on June 4, 2010

I'm familiar with the ZZ Top song and "Hey Joe"; I'm afraid it's not either of them.

As part of my research I did a search in iTunes for "down to Mexico" and listened to the snippets of every song that came up. None of them was what I'm remembering.
posted by dh490311 at 2:23 PM on June 4, 2010

Steve Miller Band: Going To Mexico (1970)?
posted by Snerd at 5:08 PM on June 4, 2010

When you say it sounded like Robin Trower do you mean that it was heavy and kind of psychedelic?

In 1969-70 Trower was still with Procol Harum. The lines you quoted don't sound like any Procol that I know but they do sound familiar.

David Gilmour sounds like Robin Trower and my boyfriend says that a Jack Bruce album might sound like Robin Trower.
posted by irisclara at 6:05 PM on June 4, 2010

Maybe it was actually Supertramp (Mexico)? Scroll to the end of this article where they say:

...The 1971-73 era yielded a number of songs that never made it to vinyl, including “Pony Express,” “Mexico,” “Hey Laura” and a rocker called “Black Cat.”

“Some of the early songs were recorded at different times,” Hodgson remembers. “The versions weren’t really good enough to be put on an album, although ‘Mexico’ and ‘Hey Laura’ and ‘Pony Express’ were songs we played live. Later we either lost interest in them or other songs came along and replaced them.”...
posted by prenominal at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2010

Well, I dropped in to suggest Steely Dan's My Old School, though teh wikipeida's say it wasn't released until '73.

It does contain the pre-chorus lyrics: "well, I hear whistle but I can't go ... gonna take her down to Mexico ..." & some wicked good guitar licks ...
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 10:13 PM on June 4, 2010

Could it be You and Me and Mexico by Edward Bear?

Cause I'm thinking of you down in mexico,
Feeling free as the air,
Here I am stuck in the city,
Still going nowhere.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:55 PM on June 4, 2010

Then there's always "Mexico" by the Jefferson Airplane but I think I'm off track. Love it anyway.

posted by andreap at 5:24 PM on June 6, 2010

Thanks, everybody!

irisclara: Yes, when I said it sounds like Robin Trower, I meant that it sounded heavy and kind of psychedelic, much like his song "Bridge of Sighs."

prenominal: That's fascinating info about Supertramp. I wish the lyrics for their Mexico song were available.
posted by dh490311 at 11:17 AM on June 7, 2010

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