The origins of this song are about as mysterious as the lyrics itself. Jeff and I came up with the main riff when we were jamming together late one night, and I fleshed out the rest of the music. The lyrics were pieced together by some phrases I had been kicking around for years about the old children's game, red rover, which always struck me as having sexually perverse overtones. I wrote the rest of the lyrics leaving them somewhat vague and mysterious.
It was long after I had written them that I read an article in the L.A. Times about these Taxi dance clubs all along the Mexican U.S. boarder in which men pay women to dance with them and keep them company. Amongst the dancers there is an urban legend about a daper and debonair man who comes in one night and sweeps one of the girls off her feet.
In one version she leaves with him (which the girls aren't supposed to do) and is found dead the next morning. In another version, she is just about to leave when she notices his red tail as she is hugging him, and pulls back covered in her own blood recognizing him as the devil. Interestingly enough, there was for a time apparently a serial killer who was stalking these girls for real who fit the description in the urban legend to a t (minus the tail one suspects).It was a strange case of life imitating art, and my art imitating something that happened in life I had never heard about, which if you think about it, is pretty mysterious in and of itself.