CHRIS ISAAK Biography - Musicians


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Name: Chris Isaak                                                                   
Birth name: Christopher Joseph Isaak                                                 
Born: 26 June 1956 Stockton, California, U.S.                                       
Christopher Joseph Isaak (born June 26, 1956) is an American rock musician and       
occasional actor.                                                                   
Isaak was born in Stockton, California, the son of Dorothy (nee Vignolo), a         
potato chip factory worker, and Joe Isaak, a forklift driver. Isaak's               
mother is Italian American, originating from Genoa.                                 
Isaak signed a contract to Warner Bros. Records in 1984 for his first album         
Silvertone. The tracks Gone Ridin' and Livin' for Your Lover from this album         
were featured in David Lynch's cult classic Blue Velvet. Isaak's second self-titled 
album Chris Isaak was photographed by fashion photographer Bruce Weber. Isaak's     
contract was renewed in 1988 when Warner Bros. moved him to their Reprise           
Records label. His best-known song is "Wicked Game". Though released on the 1989     
album Heart Shaped World, an instrumental version of the song was later featured     
in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart (and also years later in the 2000 film The     
Family Man). Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who was           
obsessed with David Lynch films, began playing the full version and it quickly       
became a nationwide top ten hit. The music video for the song was directed by       
Herb Ritts and was a big MTV and VH1 hit; shot in black and white, it starred       
Isaak and Danish supermodel Helena Christensen rolling on the beach, embracing       
and whispering in each other's ears. Another less-seen version of the "Wicked       
Game" is directed by David Lynch and comprises scenes from the film Wild at         
In 1999, Isaak's "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" was featured in Stanley Kubrick's       
final film, Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The song is       
on his 1995 album Forever Blue. The music video for the song is directed by Herb     
Ritts, it was shot in color, it starred Isaak and French supermodel Laetitia         
Casta in a motel room. This was Isaak's second collaboration with Ritts.             
Isaak also composed a theme song for US late-night television variety/talk show,     
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. In 2001, Isaak starred in his own             
television show, The Chris Isaak Show. It aired from March 2001 to March 2004 in     
the United States on the cable television network Showtime. This adult comedy       
show featured Chris Isaak and his band playing themselves with the episode plots     
based on fictional accounts of the backstage world of Chris Isaak--the rock star     
next door. In 2004, his track "Life Will Go On" was featured on Chasing Liberty's   
soundtrack, which starred Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode. His track "Two Hearts"     
was featured in the closing credits of the 1993 film True Romance, directed by       
Tony Scott, written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring Christian Slater and         
Patricia Arquette.                                                                   
Isaak's longtime producer, Erik Jacobsen, was instrumental in his sound for 15       
years. Jacobsen is known for his production work with The Lovin' Spoonful, and       
solo albums from Spoonful's John Sebastian and Jerry Yester. Isaak ceased           
working with Jacobsen on his 2002 album, Always Got Tonight.                         
Isaak was ranked #68 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.                                   
Many guitarists have thought Isaak's main electric guitar is a Gretsch 6120,         
however Isaak revealed in a 2002 interview with Acoustic Guitar that it is in       
fact a one-of-a-kind Gibson: "For my electric, I've got a one-off Gibson version     
of a Gretsch 6120, a sort of Chet Atkins thing. They made one of these things       
and gave it to me to see if I liked it, and I liked it so much I've been playing     
it ever since. People told me they thought it was a White Falcon, but it's not.     
It's just a white Gibson. I don't think they ever manufactured any of the things.   
They strung up this one prototype, scratched their heads, and said, 'Huh. Give       
it to Isaak".