Their name inspired by Thomas Harris's book Red Dragon, the Dragons were together for around thirteen years, releasing six albums. The band essentially formed from the ashes of a band called M-80, whose second and final line-up was Ken Mochikoshi-Horne and Mario Escovedo (MFX), alongside Kevin Chanel (the Front, Ghetto Scheist), and Baba Chanel (Ghetto Scheist). Though they landed opening slots for touring acts like Johnny Thunders at the Bacchanal, M-80 didn't last long, so Mochikoshi-Horne and Escovedo formed the Dragons.
Drummer Jarrod Lucas says it was an odd era to be playing around town. “I remember once, many years ago at the old Casbah, the Dragons were on stage and it happened to be my birthday. There was no mention of it and the show was running smoothly when, all of a sudden, the crowd separated to make way for a topless woman who appeared with a birthday cake and a lit match on each nipple, waiting for the song to end so I could blow out the 'candles.'”
After they split in late 2004, Mario Escovedo formed the Mario Escovedo Experience, or MEX. Members include former Dragon Jarrod Lucas on drums, Gerry Wasson (who has played with the Georgia Satellites and other Atlanta alums) on bass, Robbie Dodd (from Convoy) on guitar, and "Mocha" Joe Camacho on slide guitar and guitar.
Encinitas-based guitarist-turned-Jarana-player Ken Horne joined the Bronx (sometimes aka Mariachi El Bronx) in 2006. Local violinist Ray Suen (Louis XIV, the Killers) joined Mariachi El Bronx in early 2010.
The Dragons played a reunion gig at the Casbah in January, 2010. Guitarist Ken Horne appears on the 2012 Bob Dylan tribute full-length Chimes of Freedom, performing with Mariachi El Bronx. Locals Matt Hensley and Flogging Molly also appear on the tribute.
Bassist Steve Rodriguez - who also played with Saint Shameless, Ziggy Shuffledust, and others - passed away in July 2015. The August 2 tribute concert included a surprise appearance by former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, who performed with the Dragons.
As of 2019, the band still featured Hector Penalosa, guitarist Ken Mochikoshi-Horne, drummer Jarrod Lucas, and singer-guitarist Mario Escovedo. On September 21 of that year, the band played its first L.A. show in 14 years, at Mondo Hollywood.
In early 2021, the band's Live at the Casbah album, previously only available on CD, was released on colored vinyl.