Jerry Silverstein

The Whole Enchilada

Performer: Jerry Silverstein
Writer: Jerry Silverstein


People often ask where songs come from, and the answer is an easy one for "The Whole Enchilada." Elaine and I were driving down from visiting her brother in Oakland to spend a couple of nights at a Ventana, a beautiful hotel that we love in Big Sur. On the way we passed a Mexican restaurant called The Whole Enchilada and I wrote down the name as a potential hook. When we arrived at Ventana, I thought of how many people go to beautiful vacation destinations only to bicker and lose sight of what's important. The song came quickly except for the bridge which I added years later. Elaine had the expression, "would you rather be happy or would you rather be right." Once I started writing the bridge, I realized that sentiment was perfect and now the song really works. Whenever I sing it, I particularly enjoy the internal rhymes.