Formed by Eric Dinwiddie, Ben Eastwood, Charles Stella, and Paul Jackson, they created one of America’s longest running ska/punk bands. I photographed them for BAM Magazine at the time and found out how much fun their shows really were. Besides selling out the local venues, they were opening for acts such as The English Beat, Oingo Boingo, and Billy Idol. They broke up by the late 1980s, only to reunite in 2002, with the core players keeping the faith and adding Moose Lethridge on guitar. This lineup played together until 2010, when Moose left to join The English Beat, and was replaced by the phenomenal Emily Jayne.
Many bands were influenced by The Uptones. Rancid covered their song "Get Out of My Way" in 1993.
They recorded the cool album Skanking Foolz Unite! in 2008 on Matthew Kaufman’s Fun Fun Fun Records.
For a taste of The Uptones maximum ska sound, check out their website at http://www.uptones.com/. You can listen to "T.V. Guns," from their 2011 release, East Bay Orbits. They’ve posted "Radiation Boy" on Soundcloud (just click to listen). And if you want to get on their email list for notification about future shows, you can sign up there.
And trust me: if you get the chance to see these folks play sometime, it is always a jumpin’ good time.
Pat (with the dancin’ feet) Johnson
Pat Johnson Studios
140 South Park
San Francisco, CA 94107