top of page

Hot Chili - Steve Miller Band

the UK's hot this week, and the Les Paul track two posts ago reminded me that Steve Miller’s Mum and Dad were good friends of Les Paul and Mary Ford, so much so that Mr Miller senior was best man when they got married, and his wife was bridesmaid of honour.

Having left for Mexico in his last appearance on Uncle Stylus (see April 11th 2017), we may as well follow Steve and Co to their destination.

This light-hearted little number is also from Number 5 with drummer Tim Davis on vocals.

Straight off we have a Mexican feel, with Mexican style trumpets and Spanish style acoustic guitar, the words hook you with a series of rhymes that seem as simple as the idyllic world he is evoking:

"sitting here thumbing

through the pages of a magazine

the pictures tell me to come right away

- you know what I mean

the air is so spacey

the ladies are lacy

and there is nothing you've gotta do

but eat hot chili……………….."

yer man is pining for his favourite dish

"it's hotter than noon, it will melt your spoon...."

but what is hot on this record is the fabulous guitar of Miller regular Curley Cook bubbling along like water tumbling down a brook somewhere near the border.

Then there's this fabulous bit in the middle where triple-tracked trumpet by Bud Billings repeats the motif four times before trumpet and guitar trip up a scale together and the guitar alone comes down again before purring and arpeggio-ing its way gloriously to the end of the song and off we go:

"Passport in hand

I made my plan

to get away

hopped on a plane

rode out of the rain the very same day

as soon as I landed

my wish it was granted

with lovey senoritas I was drinking tequila

and eating hot chili"

the tune fades into the Mexican night with the guitar riffing gloriously over the trumpets and Davis making bandido on a bender noises to complete the local soundscape.

But he's right: sunshine, good company, something alcoholic to drink, good food - that's what it's all about.

And good music. Like he says

"it's not silly

to eat hot chili."

bottom of page