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Los Straitjackets

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Los Straitjackets is an instrumental rock and roll group. Members include guitarists Eddie Angel and Danny Amis, bassist Pete Curry, and drummer Jason Smay. They use and endorse DiPinto guitars and basses.

Eddie Angel was a noted rockabilly guitarist, having moved to Nashville in the early 1980s to record and perform with the Planet Rockers. Danny Amis recorded and performed with the Raybeats, then worked as a sound engineer in Nashville. The two formed The Straitjackets in 1988 with Jimmy Lester, a Nashville session player who had worked and toured with Robert Gordon. They played several gigs during the summer of that year, but soon broke up.

In 1994, they reformed as Los Straitjackets, adding bass player Scott Esbeck. Their first album, The Utterly Fantastic and Totally Unbelievable Sound of Los Straitjackets, was released the following year on Upstart Records. In the post-Pulp Fiction surf revival, the group began attracting a following, though their music is not entirely surf-oriented.

Over the next few years, the band developed a cult following through its tight instrumentation and gimmicky stage shows. When performing live, band members dress identically, wearing black clothing, gold Aztec medallions, and personalized Mexican wrestling masks. Amis (aka “Daddy-O Grande”) is the only member who speaks, introducing songs in fast, badly accented Spanish.

In 1998, Esbeck left the band during the recording of The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets and was replaced by Pete Curry, formerly of the Halibuts, a 1980s surf-revival group. In 2005, Lester left and was replaced by Jason Smay (aka “Teen Beat”).

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