name = Joe Escalante, Esq.
birth_date = Birth date and age|1963|1|30|mf=y
Long Beach, California
Bassist, Record label owner, Film director, Music video director, Radio show host, former Entertainment lawyer, former Televisionexecutive
website = [http://www.joeescalante.com/ www.joeescalante.com]
Joseph Patrick "Joe" Escalante, Esq. (born
January 30, 1963) is an American musician, record label owner, radio host, film and music video director, and amateur matador, as well as a former televisionexecutive and entertainment lawyer. He is best known as the bassistfor southern California punk rockband the Vandals, the owner of their record label Kung Fu Records, and the host of "The Last of the Famous International Morning Shows" on Los Angeles/Orange County radio station Indie 103.1 FM.
Escalante was born in
Long Beach, Californiato a Mexican father and Irish mother and grew up in Rossmoor, California, an unincorporated area of Orange County. As a teenager he learned to play drums and began performing in local garage bands.
After graduating from
Los Alamitos High Schoolin Orange County, Escalante received his B.A. from UCLAwhere he specialized in Old Norse.Fact|date=February 2008 After doing graduate work at the University of Icelandin Reykjavík, he entered Loyola Law Schoolin Los Angelesand received his Juris Doctor, specializing in anti-trust litigation.Fact|date=February 2008
Career with The Vandals
In 1980, at age 17, Escalante joined the
punk rockband The Vandals, becoming their first permanent drummer. He would remain the sole constant member of the band throughout the rest of their career. They released their debut EP" Peace Thru Vandalism" in 1982 through Epitaph Records. In 1984 Escalante and the other band members appeared in the Penelope Spheerisfilm "Suburbia" and released their first album " When in Rome Do as the Vandals". In 1987 they appeared in another Spheeris film, "Dudes". By 1989 Escalante had moved from the drums into the bass guitarposition, and fluctuations in the band's membership had left him as the only member remaining from the original recording lineup. In order to continue the band, he and vocalist Dave Quackenbushset about finding new members, recruiting guitarist Warren Fitzgeraldand drummer Josh Freese. In 1990 this lineup released the album "Fear of a Punk Planet", establishing themselves amongst an emerging new crop of southern California punk rock bands. This lineup would remain consistent throughout the rest of the band's career and would release numerous albums, tour the world extensively, and form their own record label.
After graduating law school in 1992, Escalante worked as a talent and program negotiator in the department of business affairs for the
CBSTelevision Network. He used money from his job to finance the Vandals and his television connections to allow them to play on late-night rock shows. He hosted a number of music programs during his time with the network and negotiated contracts with acting talent. After four years he left CBS to tour full time with the Vandals and operate his record label Kung Fu Records.
Escalante married in 1996. His wife, Sandra Escalante, appeared briefly in the 2005 film "
Cake Boy" which he directed (she appears as a member of the counseling group). The two now live together in Culver City, California.
Kung Fu Records and legal practice
In 1995 the Vandals signed a record deal with
Nitro Recordsand released the album " Live Fast, Diarrhea". The album brought increased attention to the band and Escalante toured with them internationally. He directed their music videofor "I Have a Date," and would continue to direct the band's videos throughout the rest of their career. The band released 3 more albums on Nitro over the next 5 years, with Escalante participating on all of them.
In 1996 Escalante and
Warren Fitzgeraldstarted the record label Kung Fu Records, initially in order to release a debut album by the band Assorted Jelly Beans. Escalante named the label after his study of Kung Fu San Soo. Over the next several years Escalante took over operations of the label, signing acts such as the Ataris, Ozma, and Tsunami Bomb, as well as re-releasing some of the Vandals' more obscure records. He funded the label by opening a law practice and using his industry contacts to build a roster of music clients. Kung Fu grew in size, establishing contracts with other American lables to distribute and promote their releases in Europe and Japan. In 2000 The Vandals moved their operations fully from Nitro to Kung Fu.
Directing and producing
Using his experience in the television industry, Escalante formed
Kung Fu Films(an offshoot of the record label) in 2000, and produced and starred in the independent film " That Darn Punk". He also continued to produce and direct music videos for the Vandals and for other acts on the Kung Fu label. In 2002 he launched the DVD live concert series " The Show Must Go Off!" He directed the independent film " Cake Boy" in 2005 and is presently in pre-production to direct a documentary of the band Social Distortion.
In the late 1990s Escalante took an interest in the sport of
bullfighting, taking lessons in Mexicoand performing as an amateur. This led to matador-themed artwork on the Vandals' 2000 album " Look What I Almost Stepped In...". Escalante continues to take lessons and participate in the sport and is considered an amateur toreador.Fact|date=February 2008
In 2003 ex-Vandals members Steven Jensen,
Jan Nils Ackermann, Chalmer Lumary, and Steve Pfauter initiated legal actions against Escalante, alleging that he had mismanaged the band's back catalogue and had withheld royalties that were owed them. Jensen and Ackermann asserted that most of the songs on "Peace Thru Vandalism," which had since been reissued with the credit "all songs by Joe Escalante," had been written before he joined the group. [cite web
title =Peace Thru Vandalism/When in Rome Do as the Vandals
accessdate =2007-08-18] Escalante stated that Epitaph Records had relinquished the copyrights and master tapes to him, and that the older members had relinquished control of the band's name and rights in exchange for permission to play an "original Vandals" reunion show. The others, however, denied that this agreement took place. They claimed that Escalante had misappropriated their intellectual property and had not paid them royalties due from the licensing of several early Vandals songs for use in commercials and films, in which the songs had been credited only to Escalante. [cite web
title =For the Record: Quick News on R. Kelly and Jay-Z, Britney Spears, Deftones, Norah Jones, Stray Cats & More
date =April 8, 2003
accessdate =2007-08-05] [Citation
title =Credit Theft or Just Bad Blood Between Vandals?
Los Angeles Times
pages =sec. E, p. 43
date =April 6
url =http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/321738681.html?dids=321738681:321738681&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Apr+6%2C+2003&author=Steve+Hochman&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&edition=&startpage=E.43&desc=POP+EYE ] [cite web
title ="xXx" soundtrack listing
The Internet Movie Database
accessdate =2007-08-18] [cite video
people = Film credits
year = 1999
medium = Film
Sony Pictures Classics
Culver City, California
accessdate = 2007-08-18
time = 1:36:45
quote = ] Lawsuits ensued, resulting in an undisclosed settlement which allowed Escalante to continue licensing the band's back catalogue. A subsequent licensing of the song "Urban Struggle" for the movie "
Jackass Number Two" credited the group as a whole. [cite web
title ="Jackass Number Two" soundtrack listing
The Internet Movie Database
accessdate =2007-08-18] Legal processes regarding the issue, however, are ongoing.
weet and Tender Hooligans
In 2004 Escalante joined the
Sweet and Tender Hooligans, a Smiths/ Morrissey tribute bandcomposed primarily of Latinomembers. In 2006 he traveled with them to the United Kingdomto celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Smiths album " The Queen Is Dead".
In June 2005 Escalante retired from legal practice after 12 years in the profession. During this time he also began hosting the call-in show "Barely Legal Radio" on the Los Angeles/Orange County radio station Indie 103.1 FM, where he dispensed entertainment and legal advice to aspiring musicians. [cite web
title =Joe Escalante joins Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles
date =May 14, 2005
accessdate =2007-08-05] In May of 2006 he became the host of the station's morning drive-time program "The Last of the Famous International Morning Shows," replacing former Mighty Mighty Bosstones singer
Dicky Barrett. [cite web
title =Joe Escalante takes over Indie 103 morning show
Escalante's morning show includes daily appearances by film director
David Lynch, who serves as a weatherman on the show, and Timothy Olyphant, star of the HBOseries "Deadwood", who serves as a sports commentator. Escalante also features a weekly wine tasting and education hour called "Wino Wednesday" as part of the program. He has also booked a number of celebrity guests such as Crispin Glover, Christina Ricci, Pat Buchanan, Will Ferrell, Maynard James Keenan, and Andy Dick. On the air, Escalante is a paid endorser of companies and products such as iPod, iTunes, and AT&T.
Religious and political views
Escalante is a
Catholicand attends church. [cite web
title =The Vandals official FAQ
accessdate =2007-08-05] He has been labeled by some contemporaries in the music community as a political and moral conservative, which has prompted some criticism from members of the punk community, traditionally known for its liberal values.Fact|date=September 2008
Discography with the Vandals
Peace Thru Vandalism" (1982) - drums, backing vocals, songwriting
When in Rome Do as the Vandals" (1984) - drums, trumpeton "Rico", songwriting
Slippery When Ill" (1989) - drums, backing vocals, drum machineon "(Illa Zilla) Lady Killa", songwriting
*"Fear of a Punk Planet" (1990) -
bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
*"" (1991) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
Live Fast, Diarrhea" (1995) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
The Vandals / Assorted Jelly Beans split 7"(1996) - bass guitar, backing vocals
The Quickening" (1996) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting, cover photo
*"" (1996) - bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Here I am Lord," songwriting
Hitler Bad, Vandals Good" (1998) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
The Vandals / Longfellow split 7"(unknown) - bass guitar, backing vocals
The Vandals Play Really Bad Original Country Tunes" (1999) - drums, bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
Look What I Almost Stepped In..." (2000) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
*Fat Club 7" (2000) - bass guitar, backing vocals
Internet Dating Superstuds" (2002) - bass guitar, backing vocals, trumpet on "My Brother is Gay," songwriting
*"Live at the House of Blues" (2004) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
Hollywood Potato Chip" (2004) - bass guitar, backing vocals, songwriting
Kung Fu Records
Kung Fu Films
* [http://www.barelylegalradio.com Barely Legal Radio]
* [http://www.joeescalante.com/ Professional website]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0260122/ IMDB profile]
* [http://www.celebrityaccess.com/news/profile.html?id=257 CelebrityAccess Interview]
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