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Music / Dos Gringos

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Proof that the American military is full of Bunny Ears Lawyers.

"Being a fighter pilot is a privilege and an honor. It is fun and it is stressful. And the difference between a bunch of guys who fly fighters and a group of shit hot fighter pilots flying in the world's best fighter squadron is camaraderie. And I can't think of any better way to build camaraderie than by singin' songs, drinkin' booze, and telling stories at the bar on Fridays."
Chris Kurek

Dos Gringos is an American folk rock band, whose two members (Chris "Snooze" Kurek and Rob "Trip" Raymond) are F-16 fighter pilots of the United States Air Force. Together, they're trying to keep the tradition of the "fighter pilot song" alive.

Dos Gringos' origin starts at Luke Air Force Base, where Chris Kurek was first exposed to fighter pilot songs during his training. The instructors had the students sing a song at the bar on Friday nights—but it eventually became apparent that most of these songs were from the Vietnam War and didn't have much relation to the things a modern USAF pilot experiences. That inspired Chris to start writing his own.

Later, Chris befriended Rob Raymond on their first base assignment after training. Rob's talent with the guitar was just what Chris needed, and the two started playing together at nearly every squadron function. Eventually, when asked what the name of their band was, Rob impulsively said, "Dos Gringos!" Though Chris was initially concerned that they might get mistaken for a mariachi band, the name's stuck.

If you're planning on checking these guys out, though, be aware—most of what Dos Gringos does are Bawdy Songs full of audacity. Suffice to say, these guys wouldn't be work safe to listen to at a lot of places. Second, as they were written for the fighter pilot community (and associated personnel), their songs will sound like a second language to civilian listeners, unless they know quite a bit about NATO brevity code, fighter pilot slang, and USAF jargon. Well, except for the profanity. That's a universal language.

Even though their tours and album-making are severely limited by being active duty pilots, they've become quite popular in the U.S. Air Force, other branches of the American military, and even with other national militaries. They have a site here, where you can preview some of the songs (as well as read the lyrics).

Their songs include:

  • World War III
  • 2's Blind
  • I Dropped the Bomb
  • Jeremiah Weed
  • The Predator Eulogy
  • I'm A Pilot
  • JDAM Blues
  • Last of the Breed
  • The Bitch Spent All My Money
  • The Wingmen
  • The Hound War Song
  • Last Song on the CD?
  • Going In For Guns
  • I Wish I Had A Gun Just Like the A-10
  • I Want to Takeoff From A Carrier
  • At Least I'm Not the Snacko
  • You've Gotta Be in the Guard
  • The Legend of Shaved Dog's Ass
  • S.O.S.
  • Sammy Small
  • Back in the USA
  • Has Anybody Seen My Wingman?
  • 12 Inch Penis
  • Heat's Not Gay
  • Squiggly Porn
  • Ballad of Thunderbird 2
  • I'm a FAIP
  • Boots on the Ground
  • You Told Me I Would Be a Fighter Pilot
  • TAMI 21
  • Code Brown
  • A F N
  • I Don't Want to Join the Air Force
  • Left Behind
  • That Thing We Never Talk About
  • Thank You

Provides Examples Of:

  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: The Predator Eulogy. Fighter pilots hate unmanned airborne vehicles.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Happens in 2's Blind:
    We got spiked, and Lead went to the notch / When he did I had my eyes down in my crotch ('CAUSE I HAD AN ITCH!) / When I looked up only jack shit did I find / GOD DAMMIT! "2's Blind!"
  • Bawdy Song: Yep.
  • Butt-Monkey: At Least I'm Not the Snacko. New Meat in American fighter squadrons are tasked with restocking snacks and beer for everyone else. The Legend of Shaved Dog's Ass also implies that the titular pilot was a snacko himself.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Dos Gringos' favored ordnance.
  • Content Warnings: The entire cover of "El Cuatro".
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The Legend of Shaved Dog's Ass. Yes, the pilot in the song was nicknamed "Shaved Dog's Ass"—and yes, Real Life fighter pilot callsigns usually are Embarrassing Nicknames (though they're abbreviated if they're that long).
  • Gag Penis: 12 Inch Penis. Though not for the purpose you might expect.
    • Also hinted at with the "who the hell did they model it on?" line in My Wife's Vibrator.
  • Gargle Blaster: Jeremiah Weed, a drinking song about the eponymous bourbon whiskey liqueur that's 100 proof (roughly 50% alcohol). It tastes awful (the song describes it as "something in between Lysol and alcohol, with a touch of gasoline"), but the drink is part of the USAF fighter pilot culture. As the song explains, fighter pilots drink it because it tastes so bad.
  • Gatling Good: Chris would put an A-10's gun on his F-16 if he could.
  • Image Song: Last of the Breed says a lot about what USAF fighter pilots are like.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Most obvious in I Want to Takeoff From A Carrier. Navy aviators mock Air Force pilots for not having the skills necessary to land on a carrier. Chris and Rob beg to differ—landing on a carrier is easy. It's living on a boat in the middle of the ocean with five thousand other men that's hard!
  • Jack of All Trades: I Wish I Had A Gun Just Like the A-10—starts off by fantasizing about all the awesome things that the A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, and F-18 Hornet have ... then boasts that the F-16 can do all of their missions and do it better than them.
  • Last of His Kind: Last of the Breed's lyrics suggest a future where manned fighters have been completely replaced by unmanned aircraft.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The Wingmen. "Oh we're the Tac Lead, and we... err... Aww, fuck it, FOX THREE!"
  • Listeners Are Fighter Pilots: The more you understand military aviation terms, the more you'll appreciate the music. (Or you can just ask a fighter pilot to translate for you.)
  • Ludd Was Right: JDAM Blues has shades of this, where new technology replaces the skill required of pilots on ground-attack missions.
  • Military Academy: S.O.S. deals with the Squadron Officer School. S.O.S. is coming for you!
  • Mistaken for Gay: Heat's Not Gay.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The first half of I Don't Want to Join The Air Force (contrast with fellow fighter pilot musician Dick Jonas' effort at an English accent in his recording of a more traditional version of I Don't Want to Join the Army).
  • Old-School Dogfighting: Going In For Guns.
  • Political Correctness Is Evil: You Gotta Be in the Guard criticizes the increasing restrictions on pilot conduct in the U.S. Air Force—to the point that the Air National Guard is far more lax than the "real deal."
  • Red Baron: F-16 Fighting Falcon? Pssh, we call that the Viper, thank you very much.
  • Refuge in Audacity: A crucial ingredient in many, if not most, of their songs. To quote the album cover for El Cuatro:
    Contents: Wildly varying musical styles, simple melodies, kick-ass guitar solos, off-key singing, foul language, extreme sarcasm, total defilement of the Queen's English, bathroom humor, political incorrectness, disregard for authority, juvenile behavior, excessive references to genitalia, occasional wit.
    Contains 1% or less of the following: Intelligence, class, subtlety, good judgment, concern.
    Warning: Produced in places that routinely process pure filth and garbage.
  • Self-Deprecation: I'm A Pilot, which is a song written about pilots from the crew chief's perspective, and all the stereotypes that come with it.
  • Shoot Everything That Moves: Going In For Guns.
  • Soap Punishment: Referenced in the second verse of Jeremiah Weed after the narrator at a tender age told his parents of his life ambition to "fly the fucking F-16".
  • Wingman: Featured in a number of their songs. The Wingmen specifically pokes fun at new pilots who think of themselves as The Ace.
  • Write Who You Know: A few songs are based on actual things that happened to their friends—such as The Bitch Spent All My Money.