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This article is about the American ska punk group. For the British country rock group, see Meal Ticket. For the system of paying for meals, see meal voucher.
Spring 1997 - Clockwise from top: Dennis Leipert, Jim Cushnie, David Ferreria, Ricky Estrada, Genai Canale, Richard Ferreria
Background information
Origin Los Angeles County, California, USA
Genres Ska punk
Years active 1991–1997
Labels Pork n Beans Records/Asian Man Records
Associated acts Pushover
Past members --Final Lineup--
Genai Canale (Vocals)
Ricky Estrada (Guitar)
David Ferreria (Bass)
Dennis Leipert (Drums)
Richard Ferreria (Trombone)
Jim Cushnie (Tenor Sax)
--Former Members--
Winnie Lee (Vocals 1991-1992)
Bill Meadows (Guitar 1991-1996)
Edwin Portillo (Bass 1991-1992)
Chris Taylor (Drums 1991-1994)
Carlos de la Garza (Drums 1994-1995)
Pat Phelan (Keyboard 1991-1992)
Alphie Larreiu (Tenor Sax 1991-1992)
Derrick Conyers (Trumpet 1991-1994)

Mealticket was a ska punk band formed in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California in late 1991. Although part of the larger third wave ska revival, Mealticket offered a unique sound thanks to its serious musicianship, complex compositions, and silky, jazz influenced female vocals.[1][2]


The band formed in 1991 in Van Nuys, California and consisted of members of the Van Nuys High School Marching Band. The members of the band in 1991 were Alfie Larreau (saxophone and vocals), Edwin Portillo (bass guitar) Bill Meadows (guitar), Richard Ferreria (Trombone), Derrick Conyers (Trumpet), Chris Taylor (Drums) and David Ferreria (keyboards and guitar).

After playing their first gig at the Natural Fudge Cafe in Los Angeles in 1991, the line-up went through some shifts as Edwin and Alfie left the band and David switched to bass. David was originally going to take up the Pan Flute after hearing the magical playing of Zamfir (AKA 'Master of the Pan Flute') but changed his mind when he realized just what he was doing. The band went through a number of singers before the band was joined by Genai Canale in 1992. The band often played shows at the Cobalt Cafe on Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

Mealticket began playing the Orange County ska scene regularly in 1994. That same year they released their debut CD Misconceptions. Influenced by the American punk rock scene, the band decided to release the album DIY on their own label "Pork 'n Beans Records." Soon thereafter, the CD became a hit among the rapidly growing national ska scene.

In 1995, Mealticket went through another lineup change as Derrick and Chris left the band. They were replaced by Jim Cushnie on saxophone and Carlos De La Garza (formerly from the OC band Suburban Rhythm) on drums on the interim. Mealticket's next permanent drummer, Dennis Leipert, joined shortly thereafter. This new lineup recorded and released the second Mealticket CD 13 Apologies in 1996.

In 1996 Mealticket changed guitar players. The new guitar player, Ricky Estrada, recorded the last Mealticket release Lisa Marie. Unlike the previous two releases, Lisa Marie was released by Asian Man Records.

The band's relationship with Asian Man Records also yielded a Japanese release Superpositive, a retrospective of the band's earlier releases. It was to be the band's last release. Mealticket disbanded in 1997 amicably.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1994 Misconceptions Pork n Beans Records
1996 13 Apologies Pork n Beans Records
1998 Super Positive Tachyon Records (Japanese Import)

EP's / 7" vinyl releases[edit]

Year Title Label Tracks
1993 Appetizers - EP Pork n Beans Records Side A: "Looking Glass"/"Back Later"/"Defunct"/"Brass Man"
Side B: "Bus Driver"/"Her"/"98"/"Mealticket"
1997 Lisa Marie - 7" Asian Man Records Side A: "Lisa Marie"
Side B: "Picture This"/"Parachute"


Year Title Track
1994 Blackpool Skampilation Vol II "Brass Man" (live)
1994 We Don't Skare (French Import) "Looking Glass"
1994 Step to it: Best of Ska Parade "Brass Man"
1995 Misfits of Ska "Neanderthal"
1995 Generic Skaca "Stale"
1996 Salad Bowl Theory "Bust of Instinct"
1997 California Ska-Quake, Vol. 2: The Aftershock "Bliss"
1997 Punk Goes Ska "No Message Here"
1997 Girls Go Ska "Worried ABout You"
1997 Ska Down Her Way "Super-Positive"
1997 Disc Makers Annual Top SoCal Acts "Better Half"
1997 Black, White & Red All Over - (Video Comp) "Live Performance"
1998 Punk Trash (Japanese Import) "Lisa Marie"


Members of Mealticket would go on to form the basis of Pushover. This band would also sign to Asian Man Records and release two full-length records.


External links[edit]