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Los Straitjackets: Surf, Garage, Rock In Lucha Libre Masks

Updated on March 16, 2009

Midnight Cowboy

Itchy Chicken

Los Straitjackets, Kaiser George (guest vocalist) & the World Famous Pontani Sisters:
Los Straitjackets, Kaiser George (guest vocalist) & the World Famous Pontani Sisters:

Piledriver Rock n' Roll From The Top Rope

Los Straitjackets is a phenomenal primarily instrumental band who's sound really shouldn't be catagorize into any one certain rock music genré. Originally called The Straitjackets, the band formed in 1988 in Nashville, Tennessee. The original band's line-up comprised of former Raybeats guitarist Danny Amis, well- known rockabilly guitarist Eddie Angel and Nashville session drummer L. J. "Jimmy" Lester. The Straitjackets played several gigs during the summer of that year, but soon broke up. 1994 found The Straitjackets reunited with the original line-up, plus one addition, bassist E. Scott Esbeck. In 1994, right before the newly reunited band's first gig, Danny Amis pulled out a bag full of wrestling masks he'd bought while in Mexico City... Los Straitjackets ere born.

In 1998, Esbeck left the band during the recording of "The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets" and Pete Curry, formerly of the Halibuts, a 1980s surf-revival group, took his place. Drummer Jason "Teen Beat" Smay in 2005 jumped into the vacancy left behind when co-founding member "Jimmy" Lester quit the band.

The Lucha Concert Experience

Over years, Los Straitjackets have developed a cult following through their impeccable musicianship and quirky live stage preformances. When on stage, the band dresses identically, usually wearing black clothing, a gold Aztec medallion, and personalized Mexican wrestling masks. Amis (aka "Daddy-O Grande") is the only member who speaks, introducing songs in fast, badly accented Spanish. The shows often feature guest vocalists like "The Chief" Eddy Clearwater, Kaiser George (of the Scottish band the Kaisers) and Big Sandy (of Big Sandy and his fly-rite boys) in addition to the burlesque dancing troupe, The World Famous Pontani Sisters. Los Straitjacket have even staged festive Christmas Shows during the holiday season.

Los Straitjackets are a band of surf that has been out in the sun too long... crazy from the heat...with a Nacho Libre style musical assult. Make no mistake these guys have serious musical chops; with a guitar bending, legendary fuzzed-out sound, and body-slamming burning hot licks...laced-up tight with some serious combination punch humor. Yet, Los Straitjackets are slick enough even for the groovy, tune- snob hipster looking for that rare, cool, but still obscure cover that just blows your mind.

 Los Straightjackets are a no holds barred type of band, that is amazingly cool, a lot of fun to see and you must hear live.

Turning Out Tomahawk Chop Swinging Tunes

Los Straitjackets are music's favorite rockabilly luchadors, maybe best known as a surf rock instrumental band. But let's not forget these guys have churned out some of the coolest 60's garage rocker tunes (The Kinks "All Day and All of the Night"), serious make-out music ("Anna") and the almost forgotten songs (Brook Benton's suave, mid-tempo rocker, "Gimme a Little Sign"). Face it music fans... surf rock as a genré still has some creative wiggle room left in it, and Los Straightjackets are heading up the challenge. They are willing to take the listener out on the Banzai Pipeline of musical madness, and they never lose you to the undertow. 

These Mexican wrestling mask-wearing musicians play their role as the ultimate backing band with confidence of the famed luchadors. Unafraid of stepping it up by using plenty of reverb and drop kicking out the Kinks-style guitar riffs without upstaging their lineup of talented guests vocals:

 Mavericks frontman Raul Malo (One of my favorite vocalists of all time) 

 Big Sandy of  Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys (killer Western Swing combo) you must hear the hip shakin' Spanish version of "Tallahassee Lassie"! 

Reverend Horton Heat ( another concert favorite)

ex-Paul Revere and the Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsay (does some great vocals)

Sixpence None the Richer’s Leigh Nash (takes the lead for the masked-marvels)

 Dave Alvin (Grammy winning songwriter and solo artist)

Just to name some of the vocal standouts, that have teamed up with the band for a sonic battle royale. 

Los Straitjackets have found influence and inspiration by the California beach party sounds of the Ventures, Link Wray, and other voiceless Rock bands from the 50s and 60s. The band has been known to show-off their melodic chops and sense of humor through the dueling guitars of Danny Amis and Eddie Angel, backed up by rhythmic assult of Jason Smay's pulse pounding drums and pure power bass of Peter Curry.

Putting A Hammer-Lock On Their Audience

In Mexico City, Los Straitjackets have been in front of stadium sized crowds of 70,000 strong, and the band gives them the full tilt experience of mind-bending guitar theatrics, group choreography, and fuzzed-out high fidelity rock and roll showmanship. Taking a cue from the lucha libre, Los Straitjackets apply their brand of guitar-fueled, instrumental sturm and twang. In the post-surf punk revival, the group still carries a loyal a following, through music that is not only surf-oriented.

Los Straitjackets, Kaiser George (guest vocals) & the Pontani Sisters: Twist & Grind

Eddie Angel
Eddie Angel
Danny "Daddy-O Grande" Amis
Danny "Daddy-O Grande" Amis
Jason "Teen Beat" Smay
Jason "Teen Beat" Smay
Pete "Pedro Del Mar" Curry
Pete "Pedro Del Mar" Curry


Los Straitjackets


Eddie Angel

Real Name:
Eddie Angel

Favorite Food:
Auto Racing,
Hang Gliding

Previous Affiliations:
The Planet Rockers,
Ronnie Dawson


Daddy-O Grande

Real Name:
Danny Amis

Favorite Food:
International Playboy
Previous Affiliations:
The Raybeats,
Ralph Emery


Teen Beat

Real Name:
Jason Smay

Favorite Food:
French Fries
Classic Cars
Previous Affiliations:
Wanda Jackson


Pedro Del Mar

Real Name:
Pete Curry

Favorite Food:
Thrill Rides

Previous Affiliations:
The Halibuts, The Torquays,
Jon & The Nightriders

Los Straitjackets, Kaiser George (guest vocals) & the Pontani Sisters: Twistin' Gorilla

The Music

  • The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit mp3

  • Los Straitjackets in Concert

  • Rock En Espanol (CD)
    Los Straitjackets featuring Big Sandy, Cesar Rosas, and Little Willie G

  • Twist Party (CD)
    Los Straitjackets with the World Famous Pontani Sisters and Kaiser George

  • Play Favorites Limited Edition

  • Supersonic Guitars in 3D

  • Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets

  • Sing Along With Los Straitjackets

  • Damas y Caballeros,
    Los Straitjackets

  • The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets

  • ¡Viva! Los Straitjackets

  • The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets

  • 7" Vinyl Single
    "At the Drive-In" feat. "My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic)" and "Magnificent 7"

  • 7" Vinyl Single Pacifica b/w Kawanga!

  • 7" Vinyl Single Big Sandy with Los Straitjackets
    (La Plaga b/w Que Mala)

  • 7" Vinyl Single Los Straitjackets Christmas Single
    (Sleighride b/w Marshmallow World)

The band's music can be heard in on soundtracks for TV shows and feature films including:

 Malcolm in the Middle

 Meet the Parents

Harriet the Spy

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Two Days in the Valley.

Los Straitjackets appear as themselves in Psycho Beach Party.

They are also a favorite of NBC Conan O'Brien and have appeared on his Late Night show  at least 6 times,

Other TV show appearances

 Malcom In The Middle

Melrose Place

Squad Car


Submit a Comment
  • St.James profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    I hope you enjoyed the music Julie-Ann... I know your music tastes when it comes to guitarist especially tend to push more toward pop-metal. For me it hard not to love surf instrumental music. I'm a huge fan of Dick Dale, and many other Surf Rockers.

    Not to many other bands have the talent and chops of Los Straitjacks.

  • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

    Julie-Ann Amos 

    10 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

    Great - thanks for this. I also love the way you change your profile pic all the time! I wish i had the time...

  • St.James profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    BlondePoet... Thank you for all the information, and support. Icould follow what you were writing even with your wiener schnitzel-tomato sauce moment. I couldn't ask for a better fan and champion for my cause.

    Thank you again.

  • blondepoet profile image


    10 years ago from australia

    Sorry for all the typing errors as well damn, I was writing to you while wrestling a tomato sauce covered wiener schnitzel in one hand trying to wrestle it into my mouth, lol. Should be 'from your number one fan', and 'I am giving her system a go'.

  • blondepoet profile image


    10 years ago from australia

    St.James I don't know if you have read this but Pgrundy is making more money writing online now than she did in her day job I am giving here system a go too.I don't know if it helps you but I thought I would mention it if you had not already read it

    You put so much hard work and effort in you deserve to be being paid for all your writing

  • blondepoet profile image


    10 years ago from australia

    Yes I agree with Kimberly I hope she has some suggestions St.James, as you deserve to be paid for these stories,they are too good.HERE THAT ALL PUBLISHERS OUT THERE SNATCH THIS MAN UP. From your number fan, Blonde.

  • St.James profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    GoldenToad.. The Jackets Definitely rock! Tex-mex, Surf, Rockabilly straight from Tennessee... (even though now many live in California) Thanks for checking it out

    Thank you Patty...I'm glad you could take the time to breakout those dancing shoes and wrestling tights.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish MS 

    10 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

    Lucha libre! Very entertaining!!

    Thumbs up.

  • goldentoad profile image


    10 years ago from Free and running....

    my kind of jams, that tex mex, rockabilly sound

  • St.James profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Lurking Around Florida

    I need too... I'm just not sure where to start. Kimberly, I'm flattered that you think its go enough to submit to editors.

    Any suggestions?

  • profile image

    Kimberly Michalski 

    10 years ago

    I hope you're subbing your stuff to editors. Too much work for just HubPages.


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