Alpert set up a small recording studio in his garage and had been overdubbing a tune called "Twinkle Star", written by Sol Lake, who would eventually write many of the Brass' original tunes. During a visit to Tijuana, Mexico, Alpert happened to hear a mariachi band while attending a bullfight. Following the experience, Alpert recalled that he was "inspired to find a way to musically express what [he] felt while watching the wild responses of the crowd, and hearing the brass musicians introducing each new event with rousing fanfare." Alpert adapted the trumpet style to the tune, mixed in crowd cheers and other noises to create ambiance, and renamed the song, "The Lonely Bull". He paid out of his own pocket to press the record as a single, and it spread through radio DJs until it caught on and became a Top Ten hit in 1962.