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ZZ Top — La Grange
Album: Tres Hombres
Avg rating:
8.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1850









Released: 1973
Length: 3:42
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Rumour spreadin' 'round
In that Texas town
About that shack outside La Grange
And you know what I'm talkin' about
Just let me know
If you wanna go
To that home out on the range
They got a lot of nice girls-ah

''Have mercy''
A-haw-haw-haw-haw, a-heh
A-haw-haw-haw

Well, I hear it's fine
If you got the time
And the ten to get yourself in
A-hmm, hmm
And I hear it's tight
A-most every night
But now I might be mistaken
Hmm, hmm, hmm

''Ah, have mercy''
Comments (261)add comment
 westslope wrote:
So this song is about a brothel called the 'Chicken Ranch'?   Cool.

This was a favourite in the mid-1970s with the boys in the Single Mens' Bunkhouse at the open-pit coal mine I worked at. 
 
Which was the favo(u)rite of the Single Mens' Bunkhouse...the tune or the whorehouse?  
Long Live   Radio Paradise
My rating stays at    8- Most Excellent
"Ah,have mercy "  ...........10   :0)    Naugatuck,Connecticut.
One of the best songs ever.
 cc_rider wrote:

Yes, the Chicken Ranch was the inspiration for 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', along with this little ditty.

The lid was blown off La Grange's secret by Marvin Zindler, an 'investigative reporter' at the time. He's played by Dom DeLouis in the movie. But Marvin was way weirder than Dom could ever be.

His signature news segment, years later, was the health inspection reports. He'd read them off, with kudos to the high scores. But the worst offenders got brutalized. His tag line was 'SLIME! In the Ice Machine!' accompanied with appropriately green goopy graphics.

He was quite a character. A caricature of himself, really. Hilarious if you're in on the joke.
c.

edit: In college I took a 'hound from Montgomery to Austin. 24 hours(!!).  When I saw the La Grange city limits sign, I had this lick running in my head all the way into Austin.
c.
 
I lived in Houston in the early 80's and remember Mr. Zindler. 
I was really into bike racing then and had a painful crash in La Grange. Oh, the memories! 
 westslope wrote:
So this song is about a brothel called the 'Chicken Ranch'?   Cool.

This was a favourite in the mid-1970s with the boys in the Single Mens' Bunkhouse at the open-pit coal mine I worked at. 

 
Yes, the Chicken Ranch was the inspiration for 'Best Little Whorehouse in Texas', along with this little ditty.

The lid was blown off La Grange's secret by Marvin Zindler, an 'investigative reporter' at the time. He's played by Dom DeLouis in the movie. But Marvin was way weirder than Dom could ever be.

His signature news segment, years later, was the health inspection reports. He'd read them off, with kudos to the high scores. But the worst offenders got brutalized. His tag line was 'SLIME! In the Ice Machine!' accompanied with appropriately green goopy graphics.

He was quite a character. A caricature of himself, really. Hilarious if you're in on the joke.
c.

edit: In college I took a 'hound from Montgomery to Austin. 24 hours(!!).  When I saw the La Grange city limits sign, I had this lick running in my head all the way into Austin.
c.
Ah....the argument  that was never resolved: who had better guitar sound: ZZ Top or  Mahogany Rush (led by Frank Mareno)? 
never fails to get my toes tapping and my head nodding. bravo!
Thanks Bill for updating this with the original mix.

I don't remember who it was, but I heard a clip from this song in an ad recently for a car or something. I don't think whoever wrote the ad had any idea what the song was about. Just like when that cruise line used Iggy Pop's "Lust for life." Those square advertising executives need to pay more attention. Or perhaps just leave these little tidbits for those of us to be amused by.
High gain and pinched harmonics. You gotta love it!
Sweet livin'! {#Bananajam}
Thanks for the TEXAS shout out Bill
{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Guitarist} All day long!!!!
Just HAS to be one of my all time favs! {#Guitarist}
 Shaker wrote:
Funny! I love RP, such diversity. May not be the band of my choice but flexibility and change if good for the soul. Thank you for the reminder.{#Bananajam}

 
Kudos to you, Shaker!  A constructive 'negative' post while thanking BnR for the reminder of a valuable life lesson.  Freaking great!!  Long Live RP!!

And this is a 9 for me, another RamFish favorite on Rock Band.  I know Rock Band isn't real instrument playing, although I recall this was the one track that seemed close to how it's probably actually played on the guitar. 

I know this is a world wide service, but it's great timing for a Friday afternoon at work, as we are about to finish work and crack open a beer here in Perth, Australia. Great stuff, RP.
{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Bananapiano}{#Bananajam}
 VH1 wrote:
I always wondered: What's behind those beards? {#Cowboy}

 
John Lee Hooker?
Oh my.

That album cover.  You could "roll, roll away" on it! 

Yeah baby. Michmacan. 
Oh, yeah!!! {#Music}
Another song, along with Lust For Life,  with a good riff that has gotten used in TV commercials, when I don't know if whoever chose it knows what it's about.
 westslope wrote:
So this song is about a brothel called the 'Chicken Ranch'?   Cool.

This was a favourite in the mid-1970s with the boys in the Single Mens' Bunkhouse at the open-pit coal mine I worked at. 

 
At least, that is what you heard...............{#Devil_pimp}
 


hayduke2 wrote:
aah How How  Hoooowwwww

deep

kinda cool driving music though 

 

 

                                    BALLS deep.

                                        'Though'.



Bill - This is the bad 80's remix.

Play the original it's on - RHINO 78966

Thanks 
aah How How  Hoooowwwww

deep

kinda cool driving music though 
 we need more early ZZ Top..{#Cheers}
Gotta say - one of the most kick ass tunes and grooves ever!
We need the original mix! :)
This is the 80's Remix. The Original 1973 version got remastered for the first time in 2006 - Rhino 78966
 slaven41 wrote:
Is this some sort of remix? I don't remember the drums being this echo-ey. I don't think I like that. 

 
I heard what you were referring to.  But everything else sounds the same.  Granted almost all of my listening to this was on vinyl or tape sound systems owned by middle and high school friends.   A tape deck through Pioneer 6x9 coaxial speakers was big time back then.
So this song is about a brothel called the 'Chicken Ranch'?   Cool.

This was a favourite in the mid-1970s with the boys in the Single Mens' Bunkhouse at the open-pit coal mine I worked at. 
 slaven41 wrote:
Is this some sort of remix? I don't remember the drums being this echo-ey. I don't think I like that. 

 
Hm, I'd not say so. To me it sounds the same from good old days:-).
 westslope wrote:
Contemporary American folk music.

I like.   

 
Yes indeed !
Folk is what they did at La Grange.
 
Contemporary American folk music.

I like.   
Is this some sort of remix? I don't remember the drums being this echo-ey. I don't think I like that. 
More than any other song, I am happiest when this one comes on the radio, and most bummed out when I turn the radio on halfway through.
I always wondered: What's behind those beards? {#Cowboy}
Funny! I love RP, such diversity. May not be the band of my choice but flexibility and change if good for the soul. Thank you for the reminder.{#Bananajam}
sweet - this is why I love this station coz use gets all of da choices
Gota love RP. Bless you Bill.
Z Z Top to Phillip Glass.
Love it, hate it and everything in between.
The way it should be.
You're better than this Radio Paradise. 
Ewwww
Is this the crappy CD mix?
 LowPhreak wrote:

What - he shoulda changed his name to Frank Moustache?

 

Thanks for that one {#Roflol}
 passsion8 wrote:
Sounds more better without cassette tape hiss!

 
No that wasn't tape hiss, it was the hiss of beers cracking open. {#Cheers}
Most excellent! {#Bananajam}{#Drummer}{#Bananajam}
have mercy... a haw haw haw.. {#Dancingbanana_2}
One of my all time favourite bands.
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers next please. {#High-five}
Can't get hurt with ZZ Top.
Sounds more better without cassette tape hiss!
 birdland wrote:
I didn't give this the time of day in 1973 when it was released. I was stuck in Stones and Zeppelin, Dead and Who, etc. 

Now, Can hear the brilliance of these musicians (testify for this guitar and kit work), and the homage to blues roots.

This is a great piece of work.
 

 
Explore back a ways. They had some really good stuff preceding this that gets little airplay. Seems I have heard "Just Got Paid" here and there, but sooo much more deserving attention. Try Rio Grande Mud, for starters. Don't buy the "first album" remix  that is out there- just not the same as the original with the "Eliminator"-style additions IMHO.
Simply epic and immortal. Speakers are at significant risk of spontaneous combustion whenever La Grange visits.


No way I can leave that at 9.
Up to 10, oh yeah  {#Dance}  
Thank you for not playing this to death. Every now and then is great.
 keller1 wrote:
Yes, this tune is way overplayed.  It does provide, however, the best example extant of the "Texas shuffle" —- nobody on earth does it better than the ironically named Frank Beard.

 
What - he shoulda changed his name to Frank Moustache?

Loving this - tap that foot !
ZZ Top before MTV gnawed their souls.
Definitely works best with high sound pressure levels.

 
Recently saw Billy Gibbons on Live from Daryl's House on Palladia.
Great show.

 https://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/currentep.html?ep_id=78
 
I still play this song in my head on the steepest of steep bump runs.
Geez, been doing that for forty yrs and counting! 
A 9 for the original album cover.  
THANK GOD FOR PSD! I was spared the Radiohead drivel for some real R & R....
{#Bananajam}  {#Bananajam}  
The guitar work at the end blows my socks off! Godlike! {#Bananajumprope}
Repeat after me, "A how, how, how, how..." 
Wow. Bill has gone full redneck. I love it. 
This whole album is just fantastic.  But I'm afraid that it was pinnacle.  Some later stuff was pretty good but never as good as this.
The one time I did see them in concert was at the Santa Barbara County Bowl (great outdoor venue) and George Thorogood opened—and completely stole the show.  Thorogood made ZZ seem tame and weak by comparison.
One of my most Favourite bands
I didn't give this the time of day in 1973 when it was released. I was stuck in Stones and Zeppelin, Dead and Who, etc. 

Now, Can hear the brilliance of these musicians (testify for this guitar and kit work), and the homage to blues roots.

This is a great piece of work.
 
Not being a fan of most classic rock, I find this awesome.
Surprised to hear this on RP. Not quite certain if it's a good thing or not. Mehhh.
Thank you SO much for the "lyrics"    aa Hoowww  HHoooowwwww
One of the best albums they ever did and I shave followed their music for my life and I'm no kid Rock On Brothers
 ortallcowgirl wrote:
Yes, but ZZ Top has been playing a lot longer than them.  So when Green Day has reached the status of ZZ Top then we will talk about who has more deserved recognition!
 
edited December 17, 2014:  The day Green Day reaches the status of ZZ Top, I'll ... I'll ... I'll ... I'll probably cry.
I DO NOT CARE IF YOU DISAGREE.  THIS IS SEMINAL ROCK AND ROLL.

That was not shouting, only me speaking in my "seriously authoritative" voice.  Ask any kid who's got an electric guitar. She knows this lick and is always glad to play it.  
Hey kids!  Heads up, this song came out in 1973 NOT 1992 !!!
This a perfect way to accelerate a slow morning start. Thanks, Bill.
 slartibart_O wrote:

The stick-up-the-rears around here don't embrace that sordid bit of history or this song near enough for my taste. La Grange is still a pretty little place though.
- signed about an hour away from La Grange 
 
was in that area a bit back (Had que in Lockhart while down that-a-way) Nice
Saw them last week. Played 45 minutes  5 minute break and 20 minute encore. Music was good but after see Bruce play 3.5 hours and the depth of his cataologue my review was they were lame. Changed my impression of them completely. Go along way on three chords.
 misterbearbaby wrote:
ZZ Top defines power trio better than any before or since. Rush and Cream have had more "musical" moments, but the key word here is "power" and in terms of pure, put-your-foot-down-and-see-what-this-baby'll-do power, no one come clost to the Top. Tone, taste and tenacity, indeed.
 
I agree they are up there. I'd chop Plant out of the mix and add Led Zepplin
When RP adds Jesus Just Left Chicago, then they can say they have a ZZ cross section.  {#Yes}
I loved the Tres Hombres album inside art when I was a kid. 
ZZ Top defines power trio better than any before or since. Rush and Cream have had more "musical" moments, but the key word here is "power" and in terms of pure, put-your-foot-down-and-see-what-this-baby'll-do power, no one come clost to the Top. Tone, taste and tenacity, indeed.
 Dinges,_the_Dude wrote:
intro reminds me of a song from Joan Osborne...
 

That comment reminds me of a person in a coma who can't quite wake up fully...
 Deadwing wrote:
Never been a huge fan of ZZ, but I've always loved "Jesus Just Left Chicago". The guitar is crazy good though   {#Cheers}

 
You just may change your mind after seeing them close one of Clapton's Crossroads concerts (on DVD and maybe streaming from Netflix). I believe it was the 2004 gig in Dallas. 
intro reminds me of a song from Joan Osborne...
Just realized this song and Bottom's Up by Van Halen share some of the same musical stylings...I know, busted for being able to spot that...eclectic, right?
Great song - bad 80's remix

The remastered Tres Hombres has the original mix - 1000 times better.


Never been a huge fan of ZZ, but I've always loved "Jesus Just Left Chicago". The guitar is crazy good though   {#Cheers}

 donna_birichina wrote:
I grew up in Texas and have family near La Grange. There's a coffee shop diner-y place there where we would always stop for coffee and kolaches on the way to Dallas. And I still had no idea what this song was about until I was an adult and had left Texas.
 
The stick-up-the-rears around here don't embrace that sordid bit of history or this song near enough for my taste. La Grange is still a pretty little place though.
- signed about an hour away from La Grange 
 pinto wrote:
Overplayed.  I don't care how great the song is.  It's overplayed.
 Unsure about that. I think I need another couple million hits to decide.

 pinto wrote:

Overplayed.  I don't care how great the song is.  It's overplayed.
 
Maybe for you, but I can't remember the last time I heard this. 9  edit to. . . 10


Yes, this tune is way overplayed.  It does provide, however, the best example extant of the "Texas shuffle" —- nobody on earth does it better than the ironically named Frank Beard.

Combine excellent musicianship with a bunch of good songs and you get ZZ's equation for success.  Well deserved, IMHO.
 Ntropy wrote:
Probably the last great song they wrote. After this, it was all downhill.
 
Overplayed.  I don't care how great the song is.  It's overplayed.

 WonderLizard wrote:
I always get a kick out of the fact that the only guy in the band without a "ZZ Top beard" is Frank Beard. {#Propeller}
 
The story goes that both of them showed up after a break with the same long beard, simply due to synchronicity.
Love em so much our band...Driving While Blind was named after their old tune..."Arrested for Driving While Blind"

Har-Har-Har
 WonderLizard wrote:
I always get a kick out of the fact that the only guy in the band without a "ZZ Top beard" is Frank Beard. {#Propeller}
 
That has always cracked me up too!

Oh no, it's the 'digitally remastered' version with those AWFUL drums drowning in some horrible digiverb...
There is a remaster of the original Tres Hombres album out that have the same nice sound as the original London vinyl.

Remember, this was released in 1973.

I always get a kick out of the fact that the only guy in the band without a "ZZ Top beard" is Frank Beard. {#Propeller}
 earthbased wrote:
Only John Lee Hooker's.
  They worshiped at the feet of the Masters, they've never tried to hide their adoration. It's 'homage', not 'plagiarism'.


Simple, but greatly made.
Probably the last great song they wrote. After this, it was all downhill.
 KevinM wrote:

Um... Green Day is an overblown 3-chord band has received more recognition than they should.

 

Yes, but ZZ Top has been playing a lot longer than them.  So when Green Day has reached the status of ZZ Top then we will talk about who has more deserved recognition!
 Lrobby99 wrote:
Oh yes it is possible. Tell me ZZT has not received a great deal more fame than any 3 chord band ever should. Like, yes. Great, no.
 
Um... Green Day is an overblown 3-chord band has received more recognition than they should.

 buddy wrote:
Love the old ZZ stuff
 
YES! Let's hear some Rio Grande Mud!!


 Lrobby99 wrote:
Oh yes it is possible. Tell me ZZT has not received a great deal more fame than any 3 chord band ever should. Like, yes. Great, no.
 
Sorry, I wasn't being argumentative.  I, personally, don't get tired of it.

Oh yes it is possible. Tell me ZZT has not received a great deal more fame than any 3 chord band ever should. Like, yes. Great, no.
 crockydile wrote:
I've heard this song too many times. {#Cry}
 
That's not possible!  {#Snooty}


I always knew, I'd been waiting for something on RP.

Now this was it.

ZZ Top by ~JSaurer
©2008-2010 ~JSaurer

"sharp dressed men", the crazy blues guys from Texas!
airbrush, water colours, 1992


I grew up in Texas and have family near La Grange. There's a coffee shop diner-y place there where we would always stop for coffee and kolaches on the way to Dallas. And I still had no idea what this song was about until I was an adult and had left Texas.
 crockydile wrote:
I've heard this song too many times. {#Cry}
 
How I love this song though I agree, it seems to be played more today than when it was released.

I've heard this song too many times. {#Cry}
Turn it up!
 pdhski wrote:
Has anyone noticed the *censored* album cover above?  Here's how it originally looked:


 
...OK the title...

Whoohoo!

Iron & Wine And Calexico - Red Dust  —->   ZZ Top - La Grange
Nice transition!!

                   {#Drummer}
{#Bananajam}                              {#Guitarist}
                    

            {#Dancingbanana}{#Moon}{#Dancingbanana_2}
 mandolin wrote:

...okay, i've only given it a quick glance, but i can't see the difference...

 
Take a closer look at the title.  See how that hanging light interferes with the word "Hits"?

Sometimes little things make a big difference.