The Vandals Took the Handle : 2 Bands Lay Claim to the Name and Legacy of Huntington Beach Group

Times Staff Writer

While one set of Vandals is on tour in Europe, a second band of Vandals has formed and is claiming to represent the true legacy of the long-running punk rock group that formed in Huntington Beach during the early 1980s.

The Euro-touring Vandals band includes one original member, Joe Escalante, and two others who played on the "Slippery When Ill" album that the Vandals released on Restless Records. The upstart Vandals include original singer "Stevo" and guitarist Jan Ackermann, an original member who left the band last year after it recorded "Slippery When Ill." Also on board is bassist Chalmer Lumary, who played with the Vandals for several years before leaving in 1986, and drummer Todd Barnes, whose previous credits include Tender Fury and the original TSOL.

The second group of Vandals -- billed as "The Original Vandals" -- is booked to play July 28 at Cal State Long Beach, on a bill that also features Gherkin Raucous, Tender Fury and Cadillac Tramps. Lumary said Wednesday that he first approached Ackermann about re-forming the band three months ago and decided to proceed despite a warning from Escalante that it would lead to a legal battle over rights to the Vandals name. Lumary said the Stevo/Ackermann Vandals are entitled to the name because of seniority: Ackermann founded the band, Lumary maintains, and it was Ackermann who invited Escalante to join.

Escalante, on tour in Germany, could not be reached, but David Gerber, label manager for Restless, said he expects Escalante to defend his claim to the Vandals name when he returns in a month or so.

"The Vandals, who are Joey Escalante's band, are very active," Gerber said. "Since Joey has continued on with the name and is an original member, I would expect all rights remain with him, and I would expect he would defend those rights when he comes back over here."

Lumary said he would rather settle the issue mano a mano , with guitars and amps. "If they want a battle of the bands," he said, "let both bands play, and people will decide which one they want."

IT'S HAPPY-BIRTHDAY-TO-THE-ROLLING-STONES TIME AGAIN for the Joneses, the Orange County rock band that has a tradition of throwing an annual bash to celebrate the anniversary of the Stones' first gig (July 12, 1962). This year, they'll hold off for a day and have the party July 13 at Bogart's in Long Beach, where the Joneses and guest rockers will play Rolling Stones songs, and Joneses member and Stones memorabilia collector Matt Rosney will present rare videos and tapes from his private collection. Admission: $6. Information: (213) 594-8975.

WHAT HAD BEEN A SLOW OUTDOOR AMPHITHEATER SEASON is beginning to heat up a bit. New additions to the Pacific Amphitheatre schedule include New Edition, Aug. 25; Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe, Sept. 5; and the Judds, Restless Heart and Carl Perkins, Sept. 30 (Perkins also will play Aug. 7 at the Crazy Horse Steak House in Santa Ana). Irvine Meadows additions include the B-52's, Aug. 4; Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Aug. 5; Bobby Brown, Aug. 11; Jackson Browne with David Lindley and El Rayo X, Aug. 26; and Elvis Costello and the Rude 5, Sept. 9.

W.A.S.P., Metal Church and Accept will play Aug. 9 at the Celebrity Theatre, and the Coach House has added two reunion shows featuring the original lineups of 1970s rock bands: Wishbone Ash on July 29, with guests Robbie Krieger and Steve Hunter, and Ambrosia on Aug. 26.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World