INTERVIEW

"The Lonely Bull"

Featuring: Herb Alpert
Time: 3:32 minutes
Excerpt:"There was a disk jockey friend of mine, B. Mitchell Lee, who was one of the number one jockeys in Los Angeles. Played it for him he, he almost passed out on the floor, I mean he just thought that thing was fantastic."
full transcript

 

     Well I had many trips to Tijuana.  We used to go ah to see the bullfights.  And at the time it was ah, I thought a really beautiful experience watching some of the greatest matadors in the world.  Ah but as I look aback on it man it was cruel. [laugh] and I don’t get it.  But at the time I saw a spectacular fight, I saw this Carlos Arusa who fought on horseback on a white horse, reigns around his waist never touched the horse with his hands. Maneuvered the horse with his body motion and whhhiiish put some bandoliers in the, in the bull and then put the horse away, walked across the arena to, to do the kill on foot.  And the ah the bull is like within ten feet of him as he walked across the arena, but he never looked at the bull he was just looking at the crowd as he was, you know had his hat off and waving.  And I was thinking wow, man.  This is courage under fire. 

     So that was as you know like a pivotal moment in terms of… Of course I was drinking.  I mean I had a botta bag filled with, with wine.  Didn’t hurt.  But you know there was this ah, it wasn’t a mariachi band it was like a trumpet section in the, in the stands that announced each event.  So they would do a [vocalizing music] whatever.  So that was the thing I was I was trying to ah capture, you know not that sound but the feeling of that day and the bullfights and all the people yelling Ole when it was happening.

     When I finished the recording ah of The Lonely Bull, it felt incomplete.  It felt like it needed one other element because everybody in that period of time, 1962, everyone was talking about the hooks, where’s the hook?  You know the bridge that you could hear the record once and end up whistling.  We didn’t have that.

     So I came up with a really good idea to put those Ole’s right in front of the ah the fanfare.  And luckily enough an engineer friend of mine named Ted Keeps [sp?] had a tape of like thirty thousand people yelling Ole.  So we put that on the record.  And then whenever we played it for people prior to it going on the radio like there was a disk jockey friend of mine, B. Mitchell Lee, who was one of the number one jockeys in Los Angeles.  Played it for him he, he almost passed out on the floor, I mean he just thought that thing was fantastic.

     So that was the general reaction.  We put the record out, it, it just about promoted itself.  I mean it went from LA to San Francisco and across the country and two days later we got a call from distributor in Australia wanted to put it out. Don’t know how he heard it so quickly.  In Eur, I mean everybody just wanted that record. And then ah as the record was just going crazy we get a call from our distributor in Washington DC who says, “You guys got a smash record, this Acapulco 1922 is fantastic.”  So man you’re on the wrong side.  So we were on a on a roll man, even the back side started selling.