Five Questions and 10 Songs with the Punk Rock Museum Tour Guides: Joe Escalante

Meet your Punk Rock Museum tour guides! We’ll be featuring five questions—the same five questions—with each of the ongoing punk rock guides scheduled to show people around the museum in the coming months.

Each one is also putting together their own Punk Rock Museum x New Noise Playlist. Today, we introduce you to Joe Escalante, bassist and songwriter for legendary punk band The Vandals, who’s serving as a tour guide today through July 23. Yesterday, we showed you his track-by-track breakdown of the Vandals’ classic Hitler Bad, Vandals Good. Today, he answers our questions about the Punk Rock Museum.

When did you get into punk, and why? (Was it an older sibling, a certain band, etc.. describe your initiation into the world of punk).

In 1978, Someone at my summer camp (Mountain Meadow Ranch in CA) described what happened when a punk band, the Snot Puppies would play At Beverly Hills High at lunch. I was sold immediately, just on the description.  I called my brother ,and he said, “Good news, you have a punk record, that Ramones record I gave you last year”

What was your first punk show?

I was determined to see the Ramones ASAP when I returned home from camp. So at 15, I got a ride to see the Ramones open for Black Sabbath at the Long Beach Arena. Life-changing.

What part of the museum are you most excited about getting into deep detail in as a tour guide?

I like the Ramones vs. The Sex Pistols debate.

What is your favorite era or regional scene?

Orange County, CA,  1981.

What is your personal most prized punk possession?

It is the Orange amplifier from the cover of the first TSOL release. It now sits in the museum. I bought it from Ron Emory in 1981. I gave it back to him in 2007 because it’s one of those things that belongs with it’s true owner, and he put it in the museum.

If you want to catch Joe Escalante before time runs out, tickets are available here. Stay tuned to meet the rest of your tour guides for the Punk Rock Museum!
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