Many songs have been written about whorehouses, from traditional numbers like “House of the Rising Sun” to “La Grange” (ZZ Top), “Whores in This House” (Frank Ski), “Out of the Blue (Into the Fire),” (The The), and of course the musical Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.
Add to that list “Adelitas Song” by Adelitas Way; both the band and song are named after a brothel in Tijuana’s Zona Norte, Adelita.
Bandleader Rick Dejesus says an impromptu trip south of the border with friends spawned both names. “I fell asleep in the back of the truck,” he says, “and four hours later we were getting arrested in Tijuana and extorted by the cops. They robbed us for all our money. We were so bummed out, [but] I hid my $20 in my sock.”
Dejesus says they ended up at Adelita in search of beer. “There was like fifty young beautiful women in there, talking to old men. One of the prettiest women I ever saw comes up to me and starts talking to me. She looks at me and says ‘Fifty bucks and I'm yours.’ It made me sad. She was so pretty, and anyone could sleep with her for fifty bucks.”
“So I said ‘Why do you do this?’ She broke down crying and said ‘It’s the only way I can live and support my family here in Mexico. You can't make money, and I can't get into the USA.’ It broke my heart.”
After writing “Adelitas Song” (“about a girl with no chance”), Dejesus liked the whorehouse name so much that he decided to use it for his band, as a constant reminder of the lesson learned that day in Tijuana. “Some people are born into hardships and poverty, and can’t help the life they are given,” he says. “We are very fortunate.”
The band’s first single “Invincible” can be heard as the WWE Superstars theme song and has been featured in trailers for the motion picture The Losers, as well as on promo spots for CSI Miami. As of 2009, the band was no longer based in San Diego.
They opened for Guns N’ Roses on November 13, 2011 (Target Center Minneapolis, MN) and November 15 (All State Arena Chicago, IL), though they had to cancel four tour dates with Art of Dying, Emphatic, and New Medicine to make the dates.
They played on the 2012 Avalanche tour with Shinedown and Art of Dying. The former San Diegans kicked off a run of festival appearances in early 2014 (including Welcome to Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, Rock on the Range, and Rocklahoma) as the band released their first new music since 2011 with a single called “Dog On a Leash.”