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by BARRY M. KLEIN - (Archived)

Eddie Angel:
Talented musician, record producer, guitar virtuoso, creative artist, husband, father, and a nice guy to boot!


WHO'S THIS UNMASKED MAN?
I CORRALLED THE EVER-BUSY EDDIE
JUST BEFORE HE TURNED INTO HIS ALTER EGO.


The First opportunity I had to interview and get to know Eddie was at the Green Bay Rockin' 50's Fest in 2002. Known by rockabilly fans as the lead guitarist for The Planet Rockers and the owner of Spinout Records, Eddie was on tour with Los Straitjackets when we hooked up on July 10, 2005 for his appearance at the Magic Stick in Detroit. We spoke quite a bit about the steamrolling success of Los Straitjackets. The 8th Los Straitjackets' CD was just released, "Los Straitjackets Play Favorites," which features 15 cuts.

The history of Los Straitjackets began when Eddie formed, in 1989, a group called The Straitjackets. It was a short-lived band that played in Nashville a few times, but never recorded or toured. Then in 1994, the group became "Los Straitjackets," started to wear masks, speak Spanish, and began touring and recording. Danny Amis is the second guitarist, who is known as "Daddy O," and Pete Curry is the bass man (he is the one in the mask with ears). Joining the group for this tour as drummer is Jason Smay from Rochester, New York. Jason played drums for Bones Maki & the Sun Dodgers on the last night of the Rockin' 50's Fest II at Green Bay in April 2005, and has also been playing with The Lustre Kings and The High Risers.


LOS STRAITJACKETS DO SOME VOCALS.


In the public performances, "Daddy O" is usually the only one to speak into the microphone, and it is all in Spanish.


THE WORLD-FAMOUS PONTANI SISTERS JOIN LOS STRAITJACKETS.


Joining Los Straitjackets for this tour are the world famous Pontani Sisters, who have toured with Los Straitjackets several times, and bring to the stage animated choreography in skimpy costumes, infusing a substantial sexy burlesque treatment to their dancing.


KAISER GEORGE SANG AND PLAYED SAXOPHONE.


Another familiar personality taking the stage with Los Straitjackets was Kaiser George, who lent his saxophone and vocals to the ensemble.


THEY PIVOT THIS WAY ...


... AND THAT WAY!


As soon as Los Straitjackets begin to play, the audience gets as close to the stage as they can, enjoying not only the sounds, but also the visual effects of the band, and the appearances of the world famous Pontani Sisters after each costume change. The band doesn't sit still either, and the audience is treated to some virtuoso playing, as well as simultaneously staged movements by the guitarists and bass player.


EDDIE AND DADDY O DEMONSTRATE THEIR VIRTUOSITY ON GUITAR.


Eddie Angel also has a sixties group called The Neanderthals, and they dress up like cavemen when they perform. The Neanderthals have released four CD's, the latest one called "The Neanderthals from Space" and is available on Eddie's Spinout Records label. All of The Neanderthals and Los Straitjackets CD's can be ordered from www.spinoutmusic.com, and I believe they are also available on www.amazon.com.

A recent solo release by Eddie Angel is a CD called "Eddie Angel Meets the Beatles," which does not actually contain Beatles songs, but songs that were being played in the early Beatles era of the 60's. I informed Eddie that I was really gassed up by the performance in Green Bay by Big Sandy and Los Straitjackets singing Freddy Cannon's "Tallahassee Lassie" in Spanish. I told him that this set was not only one of the top 2 or 3 sets out of 130 in Green Bay, but that "Tallahassee Lassie" was one of my favorite Freddie Cannon songs, along with "Buzz Buzz a Diddle-It." Eddie raised his eyebrows and informed me that "Buzz Buzz a Diddle-It" is one of the songs on "Eddie Angel Meets the Beatles," which made me anxious to get my hands on that CD.


JASON SMAY IS THE DRUMMER.


If you plan to see the 2005 remake of the movie "Bad News Bears," in theaters since July 22, you might listen carefully and hear the tune "Close to Champagne" in the movie, and it will also appear on the soundtrack. "Close to Champagne" originally appeared on "The Velvet Touch of Los Straitjackets," their third CD.

Robert Gordon, who always has the best axe-men, features Eddie Angel on guitar on the newest Robert Gordon CD, "Satisfied Mind."

Eddie Angel and Marco DiMaggio both played with Robert Gordon on stage at the Green Bay Rockin' 50's Festival I in 2002, so "Satisfied Mind" was a reunion for Robert Gordon and Eddie Angel.

Eddie Angel reminds us of a timeless business axiom: "If you want something done, ask a busy person!"


Editor's Note: Barry Klein writes for the Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ, and his book, "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll", was published in 1997. To contact Barry, email him at bmk@bmkre.com



ŠRockabilly Hall of FameŽ