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Mark & the Escorts

     This page, the seven gallery pages, gig page, and reunions page linked one to the next comprise the story of my teenage band, Mark & the Escorts, whose time period was from 1963 through early 1966.  We had our first reunion in at Blowout 2009 in Van Nuys, California and have followed that with shows at the legendary Paramount Ballroom in East L.A. and Tiki Oasis at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego in 2011; and Viva Cantina in Burbank and The Echo in Los Angeles in 2013.  We currently fit into the exotica/garage rock movement as well as East L.A. "Eastside Sound" retro shows.  Although this was my very first band and during the band's run the average age of the members were 13 when we started to 16 years of age when we changed our name, because we were part of the legendary "Eastside Sound" of the 1960s and the two singles we recorded on GNP Crescendo Records, particularly an instrumental called "Get Your Baby," we've been mentioned or featured in more than a half dozen books, included on five compilation CDs, and have been invited to perform the music we played when we were rocking as teenagers in the golden age of rock & roll well into the 21st century.
 



The Mark & the Escorts Story

by Mark Guerrero

     Mark & the Escorts were born in 1963 when Ernie Hernandez, age 12, walked three doors down to my house on McDonnell Avenue in East Los Angeles.  He had been playing drums for a year and had a guitar player friend of his over, a 14 year old African-American named Robert Warren.  Ernie knew I had recently acquired a Gibson electric guitar and amp so he invited me over to his house to play with them.  I was thirteen at the time and had nothing better to do so I went over.  Soon we were The Escorts, playing all instrumentals, mostly surf tunes like “Wipe Out,” “Pipeline,” and various songs by the Ventures and Dick Dale.  Occasionally, we threw in a blues song for good measure.  We started playing parties, weddings and dances for pay, sometimes for as much as five dollars a piece!  After about six months, we decided we needed a bass player so I asked my friend Rick Rosas (then known as Richard Rosas) to buy a bass and he could join the band.  Our next move was to add a lead singer and since I felt my voice was too young sounding, we added my childhood best friend, Ricky Almaraz.  A few months later, Robert brought a friend over who played a mean tenor sax for a teenager.  His name was Trini Basulto.  Trini had print shop at Garfield High School and created some business cards for the band on which he printed “Mark & the Escorts.”  The name stuck.  At the time, East L.A. was the home of countless teenage bands, many had names with the leader’s name attached such as, Art & the Niteliters and Ronnie & the Casuals.  Our repertoire by this time included rock & roll, r&b, and British invasion music.  We played at popular venues such as, the Big and Little Union Halls, St. Alphonsus Auditorium, Kennedy Hall, the Alexandria Hotel, and the Montebello Ballroom.

     It was at this point that we came to the attention of East Los Angeles manager/producer, Billy Cardenas.  He was managing many bands at the time including The Blendells, The Premiers, and Cannibal & the Headhunters.  He started booking us into other venues such as, the Belair Rollerdrome in Pico Rivera and Rainbow Gardens in Pomona.  On February 21, 1965, we performed at the Shrine Auditorium with all the top eastside bands at a show called the “West Coast East Side Revue.”  An album of the same name was eventually released on Eddie Davis' Rampart Records containing studio recordings by the participating bands.  By this time we had lost our lead singer and added Richard Magaña on baritone sax and Joe Cabral on Farfisa organ to our lineup.  In June of 1965, Cardenas took us into Stereo Masters studio in Hollywood where we recorded two instrumentals, “Get Your Baby” and “Tuff Stuff.”  "Get Your Baby" was written by two members of The Mixtures, Randy Thomas and Wayne Edwards.  The Mixtures were a multi-racial band, as the name suggests, produced and managed by recording impresario Eddie Davis.  "Get Your Baby" was also recorded during the same era by two of East L.A.'s most popular bands, The Blendells and The Premiers.  I received writers credit for the flip side, "Tuff Stuff."  In October, we returned to the studio and recorded a vocal number entitled “Dance with Me,” with a singer Billy Cardenas brought into the project, and an instrumental called “Silly Putty.”  Strangely enough, nobody remembers who the vocalist was, including Billy.  "Dance with Me" was written and first recorded by another East L.A. band called The Fabulous Desires.  It was written by two of its members, Ricky Sanchez and Benjamin "Spider" Velasquez.  The song was also recorded by The Blendells.  I believe Billy Cardenas had us record it because The Blendells had broken up after recording the song.  Mark & the Escorts continued to perform for about another year, several members came and went, and then we changed our name to the Men from S.O.U.N.D.

     The nucleus of myself on guitar, and by now vocals, Rick Rosas on bass, and Ernie Hernandez on drums, stayed in tact through the mid-seventies.  The Men from S.O.U.N.D., who played the East L.A. circuit through 1968, evolved into “Nineteen Eighty Four” in 1969, playing songs by artists such as, Cream and Buffalo Springfield.  Named after the classic George Orwell novel, we recorded two singles  for Kapp Records that year, “Three’s a Crowd" b/w "Amber Waves" and "No Matter How Long It Takes" b/w "Baba."  "Three's a Crowd" was written by L.T. Josie, who the year before had written the hit song, "Midnight Confessions."  The flip side of "Three's a Crowd" was a song I wrote called "Amber Waves," a psychedelic style song very typical of the era.  I wrote both sides of the second single.  In the early 70’s we added John Valenzuela on guitar and went by the name of “the Mudd Brothers,” which was changed to “Tango” when we recorded an album of my original songs for A&M Records in 1973.
 



Members of Mark & the Escorts (1963-66)

Members on GNP Crescendo Records 45 rpm singles:
“Get Your Baby” backed with “Tuff Stuff” and “Dance with Me” backed with “Silly Putty":

Mark Guerrero, lead guitar 
Robert Warren, rhythm guitar
Rick Rosas, bass
Ernie Hernandez, drums
Joe Cabral, Farfisa organ
Trini Basulto, tenor sax
Richard Magaña, baritone sax
Lead vocal on “Dance with Me”- unknown,
Background vocals on “Dance with Me”- Mark Guerrero and Richard Magaña

Other members of Mark & the Escorts:
Ricky Almaraz- lead vocals (1964)
Richard Morin- vocals, guitar (1965)
 



Mark & the Escorts Recordings Reissued


"Logan Lucky" Soundtrack

      "Get Your Baby" by Mark & the Escorts is in the 2017 movie "Logan Lucky" directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Katie Holmes, and Hillery Swank.
The recording is played in its entirety in the movie and is on the soundtrack album, along with Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Denver, and Bo Diddley.
 

 

 

 


 

"Eastside Sound, Vol. 2, Featuring Mark & the Escorts"

     In 2000, Dionysus Records released a CD and vinyl album called "Eastside Sound, Vol. 2, Featuring Mark & the Escorts.  It includes the four recordings we released in 1965 on GNP Crescendo Records, "Get Your Baby," "Tuff Stuff," "Dance with Me," and "Silly Putty."
 

Left to right: Ricky Almaraz, Trini Basulto, Rick Rosas, Mark Guerrero (seated), Ernie Hernandez, & Robert Warren (1964).

mp3 Sound Bytes

Click a link to sample a sound byte of Mark & the Escorts

"Dance with Me"      "Silly Putty"      "Get Your Baby"
 



"Mindrocker: The Complete Series: Volumes 1-13"

     In 2002, Past & Present Records in the U.K. released a 13 CD Box Set called "Mindrocker."  Disk one of the set includes "Get Your Baby" by Mark & the Escorts.  Some of the other artists in the set are The Knickerbockers, The Trolls, The McCoys, Johnny Winter, The Standells, The Rising Sons, The Leaves, The Music Machine, and many more.  Since it's been off the market, used copies of the set are going for hundreds of dollars!  You might find it cheaper if you look around the net.  I found one on amazon.com used for $58 and it was in perfect shape.  Below is the paragraph in the CD package about Mark & the Escorts and our recording.
 

 

 



"Jump, Jive & Harmonize"

     In 1995, Teenage Shutdown released a compilation in Germany called "Jump, Jive & Harmonize," which included "Get Your Baby" by Mark & the Escorts.  Other artists included were Thee Midniters, Del Shannon, The Preachers, The Incrowd, and others.  The collection was named after the song by Thee Midniters, which was featured on the CD.  The foldout insert has photos of many of the original record labels, some photos, and a paragraph on each artist.  The paragraph on Mark & the Escorts is amusing.  There's a scan of the paragraph below, which is a little blurry.  This is what it says:  "Mark & the Escorts "Get Your Baby" Original release: GNP Crescendo 350 (1965)-  More Chicano chicanery from 'Boss' Angeles.  "Get Your Baby" was also recorded by the Premiers from San Gabriel, CA, but we award the prize to these cats.  Their other 45, "Dance With Me" on GNP is another cool disc to spin at your next taco 'n tortilla bash."

 

 



"60s Garage Nuggets"

     On February 1, 2009 and 2 disk mp3 CD was released called "60s Garage Nuggets," which includes "Get Your Baby" by Mark & the Escorts.  Other artists on the compilation include Blue Cheer, The Grass Roots, The Spencer Davis Group, The Electric Prunes, Bobby Fuller, Sky Saxon, The Troggs, The McCoys, and many others.  Since the songs are in mp3 format each disk contains 59 songs for a total of 118 tracks!
 


 



"The Magic Cube"

     In 1999, U.S. label El Cid Records released a compilation of garage rock, psychedelic rock recordings, which includes "Get Your Baby" by Mark & the Escorts among the 24 tracks by 24 different bands and solo artists, such as Human Jungle, Children of the Mushroom, Painted Faces, Front Page News, and Keith Green.   
 


Click here for track list and to download

 



Books

Mark & the Escorts are featured or mentioned in the following books:

(Books can be purchased at amazon.com by clicking on the links below each title.)


"Land of a Thousand Dances- Chicano Rock & Roll from Southern California"
by David Reyes and Tom Waldman, University of New Mexico Press (1998) and (2009)

1st Edition


New Edition

 



"Turn Up the Radio: Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956- 1972"
by Harvey Kubernik, Santa Monica Press (2014)
Mark Guerrero talks about the East L.A. music boom of the 1960s and other topics related to rock music in general in Los Angeles in the period.

 

"Turn Up the Radio" available at amazon.com at the link below


 



"It Was Fifty Years Ago Today- The Beatles Invade America and Hollywood"
by Harvey Kubernik,
Otherworld Cottage Industries (2014)
Includes four pages of Mark Guerrero talking about the Beatles impact on his life and career and on the bands of East L.A. in the 1960s.

 

"It Was Fifty Years Ago Today" available at amazon.com at the link below


 


 

"Barrio Rhythm- Mexican-American Music in Los Angeles"
by Steven Loza, University of Illinois Press (1993)
 

 



"Encylopedia of Latino Popular Culture, Vol. 1"
(volume 1 of a two volume set)
edited by Cordelia Chavez Candelaria, Arturo J. Aldama, Peter J. Garcia, and Alma Alvarez-Smith Greenwood Press (2004)
 

 



"Chicano Soul- Recordings & History of An American Culture"
by Ruben Molina, Mictlan Publishing (2007)
 

 



"Riot On the Sunset Strip"
by Dominic Priore, published in the U.S. and U.K. by Jawbone Press (2007)
Includes a chapter called "The Roots of Los Angeles Rock 'n' Roll," which has five pages devoted to the East L.A. Chicano rock music scene of the mid-sixties.
 

 


"Mexican-American Mojo-
Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935-1968
"

by Anthony Macias, published by Duke University Press (2008)
Has information on the East L.A. music scene of the 60s and the music and career of Lalo Guerrero, Don Tosti, Chico Sesma, and others.
 

 



"Mexican-Americans In Los Angeles"
by Alex Moreno Areyan, published by Arcadia Publishing (2010)
Chapter one is on "Entertainment and the Arts," which includes photo of Mark & the Escorts with caption.  It also has photos and info on Lalo Guerrero, Mark Guerrero, Dan Guerrero, Don Tosti,
Andy Russell (Andres Rabago Perez), Ritchie Valens, Chan Romero,
Geraldine Gonzalez (Geree), and El Chicano.
 


Click here for the Mark & the Escorts Gallery
 

Contact me at:  info@markguerrero.net

Mark Guerrero
P.O. Box 2558
Palm Springs, CA 92263

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