Discovering the 90s Swing Revival with Royal Crown Revue’s “Hey! Pachuco!”

It’s #SongLyricsSunday! Today’s theme is to find a song or lyrics that have the words greet, Hey or Howdy. The song I choose for this prompt is “Hey! Pachuco!” by Swing revival (or neo-swing) band Royal Crown Revue. Many people will recognize this song as it was featured in a very famous 90s movie that featured Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz. Keep on reading to find out what movie this is!

In Dedication

Before I discuss the song, I want to first dedicate this post to a dear friend who passed away last Sunday. John was a big guy in every sense: personality, attitude, and heart. He was super generous, kind, and could make your day with his jokes and warm personality. We were in a production of Our Town that was supposed to be performed this weekend but got canceled due to COVID. He was a talented actor but also could ham things up, especially with his portray of Belligerent Man in Our Town.

John was also a great friend. He gave me a couple of (like a packet of M&Ms on my birthday a few weeks ago), but he also gave me lots of support and advice. John advised me on acting, my blog, and also on my career. John was also a great buddy to eat and speak with as we went to various restaurants over the past two years, including his favorite pizza place called Shakey’s. The last time I was with him is one of my favorite memories of him: we sitting on a bench, talking about life, and just enjoying the beautiful sunny weather and the sea of beautiful flowers in front of us.

He also loved music. I can see him dancing to “Hey! Pachuco!” as both the song and John shared the same energy: fun, outrageous, and just upbeat. This one is for you, John!

Just Dancin’ and Swingin’

“Hey! Pachuco!” is a song by Royal Crown Revue that was featured in the 1994 movie The Mask. One will remember this song during the famous dance scene with The Mask and his crush Tina Carlyle at the hottest club in town, the Coco Bongo. A little trivia for you about this dance scene: Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz did the majority of their own dancing during this scene. The only time when they used doubles was when there were any couple moves, and you would notice that during the overheard shots. Also, the band featured in that scene was actually Royal Crown Revue themselves.

Speaking of Royal Crown Revue, the band was formed in 1989 when vocalist Eddie Nichols and guitarist James Achor teamed up with tenor saxophone player Mando Dorame. Nichols and Achor, who were in a Los Angeles punk band together, decided that they wanted to make music that was completely different and went for creating swing music. The band added more members and played at various clubs from the beginning. It was at their residency in the Hollywood nightclub The Derby where the makers of The Mask discovered Royal Crown Revue and asked them to perform for the movie.

“Hey! Pachuco!” helped to bring the swing revival genre (and the band too) into mainstream media. The reason is the band’s ” energetic musical blends of traditional swing, jump-boogie, hot jazz, bebop, and rock”.[1] The tune featured similar sounds as blends as it is upbeat, fun, and outrageous. From the first beat, listeners are hooked to the big entrance of the horns section and the lively drumbeat. I especially love Eddie Nichols’ vocals as they feature that perfect blend of smokiness and cool. I just love how he bends notes at certain parts of “Hey! Pachuco!”

This song by Royal Crown Revue was an important tune to help the swing revival genre become more mainstream, and all for the right reasons. The song is such an infectious one with its upbeat, fun, and outrageous energy.