I grew up in the Chihuahuan desert and Ciudad Juárez was only about 45 miles away. The last time I visited Juárez was in 1995 with my girlfriend from Chicago. My parents had asked us not to go, but we went anyway.
After we crossed the border and looked at some of the colorful knick knacks, we wandered away from the tourist strip trying to track down a music shop so I could buy a guitarrón for my room mate. We ended up being in some strange part of town and so I asked a local for directions to the music shop. He responded with, “How much for your pretty lady?” and we decided it was time to leave.
It wasn’t too long after that when all the shallow graves started being discovered around the edges of the city.
I originally had a longer title for this, but after I painted it on an old 78, I flipped the record over and the name of the song was lil’ Marlene, so I went with that.