Jerry Salas biography
Jerry Salas started playing guitar when he was about ten, and singing even younger. He was taught and inspired by his father Bill and brother Curly. Through his father and brother Jerry was exposed to a wide range of music, Country Western, Hawaiian and Mariachi from dad who played in all these types of groups professionally, and Rock and Roll, R&B and Jazz from brother Curls. Throw in a little Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett from uncle Ray who had a beautiful voice and there you have it.
By the mid-sixties Jerry and Curly were playing up and down the Sunset Strip in their own band "The Sticks"" with drummer Snoopy Pfisterer and bass player Ken Forssi who would leave to form the group "Love"" with Arthur Lee. During this period Snoopy brought in a TV producer to see the band and he loved Jerry’s look and voice and offered him a weekly spot on his show Shindig which was hugely successful at the time. He only wanted Jerry and not the band, so Jerry passed (oops). The Strip was an amazing place at the time, he would see bands like "The Doors", "Byrds", "Seeds" "Buffalo Springfield" among others, playing the same clubs and hanging out at Canters till four in the morning. During the late sixties the band was also recording original music every weekend.
In early 71 Jerry was drafted into the army and sent to Vietnam where he drove an armored personnel carrier for five months until he was heard singing at a hootch party at which time he was put in special services entertaining the troops all over Vietnam. Jerry was blessed with an early out of Vietnam and the army.
Upon returning to the States Jerry started playing L.A. clubs for almost a year, then was asked to sing for "El Chicano". His first album resulted in the hit single "Tell Her She’s Lovely", but prior to its release "El Chicano" was touring constantly and at one of the concerts in Seattle Jerry met Burton Cummings of the "Guess Who". Burton and Jerry hit it off and jammed for almost six hours after the show. The next night Burton showed up and asked Jerry to join the "Guess Who" and work on his upcoming solo project. Jerry had to decline due to contracts and his upcoming release that had "Tell Her..." on it.
Jerry recorded five albums on MCA Records with "El Chicano" and one on Shady Brook Records before leaving.
After "El Chicano" Jerry worked in the Jingle studio session field, got married, got divorced, then got married again and had two girls, Sara and Amanda with wife Debbie. During this period Jerry sang on other friends’ albums, like Roland Bautista, guitar player for "Earth, Wind and Fire", with whom Jerry also toured. Roland and Larry Dunn, keyboardist for The Fire, also produced several tunes on one of Jerry’s solo projects.
In 2003 Jerry’s wife Debbie lost her 7 year battle with breast cancer and the family moved back home to L.A., where Sara, Amanda and dad are currently recording the first CD with production help from long time friend John Avila, who played bass for "Oingo Boingo" and co-produced with Danny Elfman.
Upon returning to L.A. Jerry got the call from "El Chicano", asking if he would be interested in doing some concerts, which Jerry was happy to do. So with Sara and Amanda occationally singing backgrounds the music has become a family affair once again!