Information . . .
AF of M • SAG • AFTRA • AEA
Like many other kids growing up in Ybor City, Joe Lala had dreams of making it big as a musician. Lala wanted to make sure if things didn’t work out in the music biz, he would have something to fall back on, he got his barbers license.
The Jefferson High Class of 1965 grad played drums in several local bands before helping form Blues Image in 1966. The band featured fellow Jefferson chums Mike Pinera and Manny Bertamatti, along with Skip Conte and Malcolm Jones.. They played regularly at Dino’s, then Tampa’s hottest night club. After a couple of years, the band headed for Miami and off to Los Angeles when their million selling “Ride Captain Ride” reached the top of the charts in 1970.
After leaving Blues Image, where he sang lead on “Leaving My Troubles Behind” a prophetic song about his situation in the band, Joe played with Stephen Stills’ Manassas, The Eagles, The Bee Gees, Jackson Browne, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Streisand, John Couger Mellenkamp, Eric Clapton, Dr John, and Herbie Hancock just to name a few.
Joe accumulated 32 Gold records, and 28 Platinum records during his music career. He played on the movie soundtracks of “Saturday Night Fever”, “Staying Alive”, “D.C. Cab”, “Streets of Fire”. “All The Right Moves”, “Breathless”, “Defiance”, “The Lonely Guy”, and “Airplane”.
A severe case of carpal tunnel syndrome ended Joe’s career as a percussionist, but it opened the door to another way of life, acting. I know you have seen him in may projects. His films include "Active Stealth", “Sugar Hill”, “On Deadly Ground”, “Deep Sleep”, “Havana” with Robert Redford, “Out For Justice”, “Marked For Death” “Eyewitness To Murder” and “Born In East L. A.” plus many more.
Joe has made many appearances on TV shows like “Miami Vice”, “General Hospital”, “Melrose Place”, “Seinfeld”, ”Hunter”, “Who’s The Boss?”, and starred in a summer replacement show named “Knight & Daye”. He portrayed another famous Ybor Citizen Dr. Ferdie Pacheco in “Ali”, and co-starred with Andy Garcia in “For Love Or Country” The Arturo Sandoval Story.
Joe can be seen and heard doing movies and commercials all over the country, and on cartoons where he voices many characters. He still keeps his barbers license active, “just in case”.
Joe is now living in the Tampa Bay area again.