Eddie Angel was a noted rockabilly guitarist, who 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 in 1995 on Upstart Records.
The band developed a cult following, performing live in identical black suits, gold Aztec medallions, personalised Mexican ‘Lucha Libre’ wrestling masks.
In 1998, Esbeck left the band during the recording of The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets and was replaced by Pete Curry. Jimmy Lester left in 2005 and was replaced by Jason “Teen Beat” Smay.
In 2010, Danny Amis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and was sidelined from recording and touring while under treatment. Los Straitjackets recruited guitarist Greg “Gregorio El Grande” Townson to fill Amis’ role during his absence.
In 2012, Amis announced that his cancer was “under control” and he would return to recording and limited touring with Los Straitjackets – in time for the band’s new studio release Jet Set and debut of new drummer Chris ‘Sugarballs’ Sprague.
In 2014, Nick Lowe recruited Los Straitjackets to be the backing band on his ‘Quality Revue’ tour in support of his Christmas album Quality Street. A live album documenting one of the shows, The Quality Holiday Revue, was released in 2015.
Los Straitjackets next recorded a full album of instrumental versions of songs from Lowe’s back catalogue. The LP, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets, was released by Yep Roc Records in May 2017.
Danny ‘Daddy-O Grande’ Amis
E. Scott Esbeck
Pete ‘Mr Pete’ Curry
Jimmy ‘LJ’ Lester
Chris ‘Sugarballs’ Sprague
Greg ‘Gregorio’ Townson
Jason ‘Teen Beat’ Smay