Slash v2n6 - June 1979

Local Shit

Transvestite slut divine (star of John Water's movies) , 'performed' , a while back at the ever so busy Vanguard gallery for a roomful of real suckers. The bloated sweaty wigged out bean bag actually did nothing but stage a lousy press conference (at 5 dollars a head) and answer flippantly (or so it thought) to the sometimes academic, sometimes frankly hostile questions the audience threw at her. The promised punk video show by Target did not materialize, and the evening would have been a total (and expansive) bore but it was salvaged at the last minute by LA 's newest nouveau techno punkeroos Nervous Gender, who twisted dials, shrieked,  sang and generally behaved as a new band should: uncompromising and fascinating .


Slash Magazine. Vol. 2 No.6 June 1979

Sister Angelica Furiosa, Cheri Gaulke, Nervous Gender, Ann Mavor, Fender Buddies, Tracers, at the Benefit For Los Angeles Women's Video Center

Nervous Gender was supposed to play on Good Friday and they sort of did, passing up an offer to open for the Plugz in order to play this benefit. They had been excellent a month before at a Science Holiday event and I liked the idea of them playing for the women's building. There was a time when lesbians got together for heavy swaying concert where feminist folk singers sang songs that make the Modern Lovers sound pessimistic, but these women are wild and crazy guys and Lace Gallery's Punk Meets Art show a year ago inspired this full moon Easter ritual. The feminists didn't have $2500 for the Heaters (!) so they got the Tracers and Fender Buddies for $100 and Nervous Gender for free.

At first girls disco-danced in one room while punks stood around in another. Then the lights went out, and a Patti Smith tape came on while Cheri Gaulke and Sister Angelica Furiosa performed a skit where a masochistic monk turned into a cobra on the cross and slept with a blind nun. This was followed by the best art of the night, a 20 minute video tape of a vagina laying colored plastic eggs full of toys. One woman commented: "Did you see how many eggs there were? That's how many times a woman can come!"

Then Nervous Gender's Phranc announced "We're not nervous" and the band performed "Suburbia Diptheria" and "Berlin Redhead" for a half-pleased half-offended audience. A member of the Tracers had his fingers in his ears while a girl was dancing and yawning at the same time. Punks and separatists cheered when "Do the Gestalt" was dedicated to Dr. Toni Grant, and Phranc swatted here head with an L.A. Weekly. Later her guitar didn't work for "What Can I Do?" and "Poets" was all noise. Then producer Annette Hunt announced that the 40 minutes were up and she didn't want to stay all night. "Pussies!" screamed Phranc to the audience before doing their last song, "Mommie's Chest." She left the stage snarling about the "goddamn dykes" while Gerardo, Michael and Edward seemed to take it more philosophically. Nervous Gender toys with being the first "out" punk band, "but people think we're weird 'cause we're queer." Their brand of electronic chamber music and their sense of humor makes them one of my favorite bands. By the time artist Ann Mavor emerged from a paper mache egg as a tap-dancing chicken Nervous Gender had left for Bace's Hall while their fans went home to watch tv like intellectuals. As opposed to Gender's music, the Blondie type rock n roll of the Fender Buddies made people want to dance in the worst way. They encored with "House of the Rising Sun"!!! And the Tracers have two lead singers, one who looks like Little Lulu and another who tries to look funny-weird instead of funny-ha-ha. Who knows? They'll probably do an album and be around forever. However, when I learned to draw, tracing was cheating.

So the woman's video center made money, a group of boring people got their Rocky Horror-like thrill but punks and feminists certainly did not connect politically, and Punk Meets Cunt was a failure.


Nervous Gender interview - Slash Magazine volume 2, number 7 - August 1979

Phranc, Michael, Edward & Gerardo

Interviewed at the Atomic Cafe,- Downtown LA

Slash: Phranc, how long have you been playing guitar?

Phranc: oh a long time, since I was about 10, but I was a folk singer, I can't play advanced, I can only play folk music, I would Cheat, just play C, F, G over and over.

Slash: How'd 'you get that strange sound out of your guitar?

Phranc: Never tune it.

Slash: (laughs) What are some of your song titles besides Mama's Chest?

Phranc: Diphtheria, Gestalt ... (pause)

Slash: D'you want to become one of the popular LA bands or would you rather just go on experimenting?

Edward: I don't think we even see it as experimenting.

Phranc: That's what comes out when the 4 of us get together you know.

Slash: What about recording and stuff like that?

Phranc: We made this tape for this record that's supposedly going to come out.

Slash: What is it, a compilation album?

Phranc: Yeah, it's supposed to be called Fun Ahoy and it has a number of different bands on it.

Slash: Where d'you think you fit in the LA scene?

Phranc: In the geek section (laughs) ...

Slash: What did you do before you were in the band?

Gerardo: Sat around and vegetated.

Slash: (to Gerardo and Michael) You were in another band? Which was it?

Michael: They were called The Snappers. It was just basic punk, I was playing bass and synthesizer and we had a guitar and drums.

Phranc: I was a lesbian folk singer, I played a acoustic guitar with all women sponsors ... all that ... I got really sick of the scene down here, I was with women-all the time, it got to be too much and I moved to San Francisco..

Slash: Are you some kind of a renegade now as far as the women's movement?

Phranc: (laughs) I don't know, they're very wary of me now I think, especially since this last gig where only the other band got paid. (Nervous Gender played at a women's movement benefit type of thing. Ed) I stay away from them now. I used to put my foot down on a lot of the songs, I wouldn't sing, I wouldn't have anything to do with 2 of the songs, I just went up on the side and sat on an amp and smoked a cigarette. When we played that benefit we were supposed to sing this song called Die Woman Die and I refused to do it and then when they cut our set after the first song, we were trying to decide what our first song was gonna be, I said 'Die Women Die'.

Slash: Do you think there's a lot of sexism in the punk scene?

Phranc: There's some ... I think in the punk scene the consciousness is a lot higher than in a lot of other scenes, it's definitely different than the basic rock n roll scene - course there's always assholes.

Slash: D'you see yourselves touring soon?

Phranc: That'd be fun.

Slash: What band would you like to tour with? What band d'you fell kind of close to?

Edward: Human Hands.

Slash: Have you heard yourselves compared with the Screamers?

Michael: We were expecting that.

Slash: How do you survive otherwise?

Phranc: By the skin of my teeth - I sell T-shirts, I usually have an art sale the day the rent's due.

Edward: I work, I design clothes for Penney's and Sears.

(Michael and Gerardo said they get social security)

Slash: Did you get paid at all at Club 88? 

Phranc: We made a little money - it's the first time we've gotten paid for anything ... Although when we played that benefit a friend of mine boycotted the door and collected $20, she ran around saying, 'They're not paying Nervous Gender, don't give your money at the door!'

Slash: Where'd  you get your inspiration? Everyday life or what?

Nervous Gender: Yeah.

Edward: Television.

Michael: Every piece of shit that's on TV we watch.

Slash: What radio shows?

Edward: Just Michael Jackson and Dr. Toni Grant.

Slash: Who's that?

Edward: She's a psychiatrist.

Phranc: She's too much, she's a call-in shrink.

Slash: What about books and stuff?

Michael: No, we're too young to read.

Slash: Have you already been called 'art damaged' by anyone?

Phranc: Art damage?

Slash: (tries to explain) ... I've a feeling that eventually everybody that you see around at gigs in LA is going to pop up in a band.

Edward: We were hanging around a lot. Nobody would talk to you ...

Phranc: Nobody ever would.

Gerardo: Nobody'd talk to me either.

Phranc: (to Slash) I saw you the first time when the Bags played at the Lace Gallery. That was the first time I saw the Bags play and they quickly became my favorite band.

Slash: (to Phranc) I used to see you - now that you're blonde, you're not so incognito.

Phranc: Blondes have more fun.

Slash: (laughs) Are the Bags still your favorite band? 

Phranc: As far as local bands, yeah.

Slash: D'you try and set up gigs yourselves?

Phranc: Things have kind of been happening.

Slash: D'you think of yourselves as the new babies on the scene?

Michael: Yeah.

Edward: I first thought we were hard-core, we were going to be the new Fear.

Slash: (laughs) Then you got kind of slick ...

Nervous Gender: Oh yeah, we overproduced ourselves at Club 88 ... We'll have lights, well have costumes ... I think the color scheme is the best 'cos we decided we'd all wear white and it turns out in 4 totally different geeky whites.

Slash: Are you going to get a manager, or anything?

Phranc: I'm wary of managers - I just keep hearing horror stories from other bands.

Slash: What are the instruments you use?

Edward: 2 arp synthesizers, 1 moog satellite, 1 rhythm box, 1 untuned guitar.

Phranc: We want to play in front and have 5 platforms behind us, all the guest drummers at once - a drum quintet.

Slash: Who's going to be your guest drummer?

Phranc: Karla. Michael: Bruce from Middle Class.

Phranc: Tom Haychon?

Edward: Don from the Germs.

Edward: (later) You should tell them about our fans out in East LA.

Phranc: Oh yeah, our little baby Cholos, this one guy, he wanted my sunglasses, 'Hey Phrankie' (I didn't even think he knew my name), 'I want some of them punk rock glasses!'

Edward: At first they were real hostile.

Michael: After the massacre at Elks Lodge, there must've been something on the news, they saw me the day afterwards, they started saying 'punk rockers!'

Phranc: And then they started coming, they'd stand outside the house for the entire set and scream songs they wanted to hear, one time a guy screamed, 'Let me sing, let me sing!" I was ready to go and grab him, his other friends made fun of him, we yelled through the microphone what did he want to sing ... then he shut up. If he does it again .. We want them to come to the concerts ... great hairdos, y'know, white T-shirts and leather jackets, just great, they looked really cool.

Slash: You should get them to go to the gigs.

Phranc: Oh yeah ... but they're not old enough to drive yet.

Gerardo: They didn't start hearing the end of our set until we started practicing earlier.

Phranc: And then they used to run around and sing the lyrics ... 'Hate my Mommy, hate...' The lady in the back made us turn it down. I kept forgetting that she can speak English; I'm so used to being able to say anything at Gerardo's house, 'cos his mother doesn't speak English. But we were practicing while his sister was over ...

Gerardo: At her friends.

Phranc: Yeah ... and they all speak English real well so we couldn't practice Jesus Clone ... 'Jesus is a cock sucking Jew' ... you know.

Michael: A lot of people misinterpreted the chorus of that as 'homicidal nymphomania' whereas it's 'homosexual nymphomania'.

Phranc: Shows what they want to hear.


("Parts of the song were lifted verbatim off a conversation overheard in a restaurant..." Phranc)

Sitting' in a burger joint
Feeling hungry and mad
Sitting in a burger joint
The smell in shrinking fat
I order a hamburger
I order some fries
I order a pizza
And I bite it hard

Then a two-ton white trash lady
Drags in her fat son
Nudging him and bossing him I could have sworn
Before I looked again that she was propylene black

I'll have a short stack
And a milkshake
Set that down go back and get the coke
You always love to fix things
I don't want no pancakes
I don't want no grill cheese
No English muffin
Please please please
Now look here you're not in the school cafeteria
Use your fork, lean over, sit up straight
I'm not a baby anymore, not a baby anymore
chorus ...



Nervous Gender at CLUB 88 - June 1st 1979

Slash Magazine Vol. 2 No 7 August 1979
by Kickboy


Nervous Gender don't exactly go easy on everyone's musical prejudices and habits. They take every thing we know a rock or punk show should be, shake It around, don't pick up what's fallen off and randomly throw what's left in our faces. It could be called musical if you're desperate for labels, but that's really stretching it a bit. Most of the spectators sipping on their draft beer wondered whether or not to stretch it that far. Meanwhile the band didn't make things any easier for the watchers, they shrieked and howled and spat out ugly sentiments and immature curses, pinched their electronic hardware 'til it hissed and throbbed with machine pain, stuck blades in the circuits and pummeled a token electric guitar that must have been last tuned around World War II and buried in the ocean since. All the band members sang, but the guy with the glasses won the cake for sheer terrorizing lunacy. Everything remained fierce and absolutely un-hummable, the audience went from helpless fascination to unreasonable aversion, depending on their need for newness, mental challenge, easy references or a box of Excedrin.

And, since Nervous Gender even look like they sound, the most hostile amongst the victims never really dared to express their doubts out loud. One never knows with mutations: They have a way of striking when you don't expect it ... me, I was amongst the fascinated ones. For reasons not very clear yet. I will keep you informed as to how my investigation is going.

After THAT, it was back to Earth. Eddie & The Subtitles sound okay, they rock in The Ramones vein, with a bit of California beach music thrown in. Dancable as hell and safe for the children, the college kids relaxed and ordered more wine for their date, the punks routinely tapped their toes while talking to each other and the early drunkards pogoed by themselves. The Outer Limits episode was being forgotten by everyone, and the beat went on.

The Plugz terminated the evening with the classic Plugz finale (see other review). They haven't been anything below excellent for a couple of months and they were not about to start that night. They fired everything they had and everyone surrendered. By now this town must have a band for everyone's needs. Take your pick, it's all there.


Flipside Magazine #15

by Al Eddie and the Subtitles played both nights of this sold out weekend. It was so packed that thay wouldn't let anyone else in (you know, fire laws). If you went out you had to wait till someone else left to get in, you know, like the Starwood. Anyway Eddie played and were actually quite good. With a name like that, you don't know what to expect. If was sort of typical rock but it was good old rock and roll and no one was disappointed. Nervous Gender (who opened on Friday) were a real suprise. Devo meet the Screamers-and they beat both those bands (especially the Screamers) at their own game. Three familiar faces on synthesizers and Frankie the lead singer (but they all sang, Gerard was best) and the audience was held captive (literally). Great future for these guys (and girl). I don't want to talk about the Plugz anymore cause I always rave (no exception tonight), only weird thing was when Barry jumped up and hit his head on the ceiling and fell down and broke his bass strings. Oh well.

Next night Eddie and the Subtitles again, again good. Middle class finally go on to the drunken, sweating audience. Since I haven't seen them in months, it was a special event. And they were fuckin' great. Fast still, and tighter and sounding better. The encore was the Crass classic "Do they owe us a living, course they fuckin' do!" It was good, but not great, cause Jeff had to fake the words. The pogo maniacs reminded me of the Masque daze, just perfect. X finished up the night and finished off the audience, Yeah. Xene deserves our cover.



DAMAGE MAGAZINE Volume 1, Number 1  - July 1979

Nervous Gender is an all-electronic neurotic cabaret consisting of three synthesizers, a rhythm box one un-tuned guitar and four vocalists:

Michael Ochoa - Phranc - Edward Stapleton - Gerardo Velasquez



Edward: Ha! It's really green, but I dye light brown to make it look natural.

Gerardo: Coral at the tips, platinum at the roots.

Michael: Grey.

Phranc: Dark brown.


Michael: I used to...I used to plug in the headphone to the mike in my stereo unit to get bird effect. I'm used to being insulted by members of the band.

Gerardo: I almost had an affair with my voice teacher, but she was beyond my age. I stopped being mature enough.

Michael: That never stopped you before.

Edward: I used to play records a lot and then they let me be in a band once: "Paul is Dead."

Phranc: I used to be a lesbian folksinger.

Gerardo: No, Michael, that one was only 27.


Gerardo: Boots.

Michael: I don't have any. I do have one I dislike intensely.

Gerardo: What's that?'

Michael: Belts.

Edward: Gerardo's tight pants and a pair of pointy shoes.

Phranc: Socks, brand new socks. Every time we play, I wear brand new socks.



Michael: I had none! I hated everyone in elementary school! I hate kids!

Edward: We used to pinch each other's tits a lot.

Gerardo: Handball. I used to do "grounders" real well.



Edward: Cadbury's chocolate fruit and nut and Toblerone from Switzerland.

Michael: What's that candy called? Ice Cubes. They're little and they used to cost 2 cents each until inflation came and now they're 5 cents

Gerardo: I don't have one unless you count LSD and sugar makes me sick to my stomach, but I love it. My biggest fear in life is throwing up.

Michael: You're a sissy at throwing-up.

Edward: Well that's just mentally retarded. Anyone that's into torturing himself that much has gotta be a Catholic.

Phranc: I hate mints - I love my artificial Barton's chocolates that I got for an Easter present. It looks like a real one-pound box of candy.



Michael: Oh god!

Gerardo: I wish!

Edward: Never.

Gerardo: He doesn't need to.

Michael: (censored)

Edward: I'll tell Christine what you said.

Michael: She loves me!

Phranc: I get nervous.



Gerardo: She can't help it.

Michael: No comment.

Edward:' She can't read English.

Michael: ... she did say it was going to my head.

Edward: What was?

Michael: The band.

Edward: Both my parents totally agree that it is wonderful that I'm getting out at last.

Gerardo: Yeah, Edward, you deserve to be. Hated.

Phranc: I hate my mommy. I hate my daddy. I hope they don't see this.

Edward: When I go over there, they won't say anything about my hair. They're frightened of me. I throw screaming fits.

Phranc: That's what I say to them - "Do you want to see me at all- Do you want to see me at all?" - and they shut up too. They've shut up.



Edward: Mentally, but not physically.

Gerardo: I practice alot at home.

Michael: I never know what the latest Fashions are. I can't afford to be one.

Edward: It's a belief to me. What I think a poseur is someone who wouldn't come to their mother's friend's house. We should define the difference between a poseur and a dandy . . .

Gerardo: You go to the bank . . . you dress a bit of bank.

Edward: Traditional poseur or non-traditional poseur?

Gerardo: I'm not saying they are two kinds.

Edward: The country poseur, the city slicker poseurs.

Michael: (singing) We're all poseurs from different suburbs...

Phranc: I don't know. I use the word a lot



Gerardo: I don't know. I've been out of listening to records for so long, I don't know what's going on.

Edward: I haven't had much time, but I do like "Guerre Deson."

Phranc: Peter, Paul and Mary - "Moving."

Michael: I like a tape that I have of the Bags like at Madam Wong's the night they were banned.

Gerardo:' I don't understand why the Bags don't like people to get wild.



Phranc: Yeah, I'm having a great time.

Gerardo: I'm nervous . . .No! No! Retract that. I'm not nervous. I'm not nervous.

Edward: Yeah, I like this interview a lot.

Gerardo. Yeah, I'm having a good time. I'm only saying that because I'm amongst friends


Gerardo: I want to be a genetic engineer.

Michael: I want to be an electronics engineer specializing in communications. I want to work in an inner space station.

Edward: Sex symbol and retire at an early age.

Gerardo: Fat chance! You're never gonna grow up.

Phranc: A fireman.



Edward: Glendale.

Michael: Boyle Heights, right across the bridge from the Atomic.

Edward: How trendy!

Gerardo: I live in Chololandia, right down the street from Michael.

Phranc: I live in a rat hole on Normal Avenue.



Edward: That's a hard one.

Michael: I love the Bags. I think I have a crush, on Alice and Rob.

Edward: No, I've changed my mind.

Phranc: Bags.

Edward: Shirley Bassey. I do like Shirley.

Gerardo: She doesn't count. If she counts, I get Eartha Kitt. She's not an Oreo cookie.

Michael: Have you seen those new billboards downtown, those cancer billboards? With the hand and the breast?

Phranc: Oh yeah, I just saw one.



Phranc: I met Edward one night that the Mutants played at Baceís Hall. I pogoed with him and he stuck his tongue in my mouth.

Michael: Did you bite it off?

Edward: I was the one that suggested it you little bitch!

Michael: I was forced on the band by a close friend.

Gerardo: He's just jealous because you didn't kiss him on the pogo floor.

Edward: I didn't meet Nervous Gender! I made Nervous Gender! Don't put that down!

Gerardo: Edward never delivers.

(NG) Put that down!

Edward: You little Rotters!

Gerardo: I met Edward in an art gallery. He was with this slut that was hanging all over him. She had bought him some trendy shoes. We were standing by the beef tongues.



Edward: To get very theatrical.

Michael: Yeah, we plan to add Mylar to our lives.




Nervous Gender Interview. Creep Magazine 1979

Nervous Gender started out as four people, one in Dublin Ireland, one in Mexico, one in Los Angeles, and one in an undisclosed location elsewhere in the United States. About a year ago they came together in Los Angeles and since then have been playing regularly in Los Angeles and all too infrequently in San Francisco.

Although they have been referred to as a synthesizers band, according to them, their line-up is as follows:
two ARP odysseys,
one Moog Satellite,
one guitar;
one rhythm unit:
two bass drums with pedals,
one tape loop machine,
one processed rhythm box,
one Don Bowels;
four vocalists:
one Phranc,
one Edward Stapleton,
one Gerardo Velazquez,
one Michael Ochoa.
With this line-up it is not surprising that they have come up with a new-and interesting sound. Off stage they have a bit to say as well. Some samples taken from a discussion with Gerardo and Edward follow.

about the band

Edward and I originally got together because we both had synthesizers and it's kind of hard to find synthesizer players. There are lots of guitar players around, but our original concept was an all electronic band.

We started out wanting to be a pogo band, and a lot of our songs have that kind of rhythm, but people for some reason just sat there and stared. They are real respectful. Sometimes though, they get real crazy, not pogoing, just crazy.

We used to practice at Michael's grandfather's house. It was just the two of us and we would give him some valium to relax.

We are people who are willing to take Chances visually, playing for people who are willing to get excited by the music. The visual thing is very important.

Very few people walk out on our shows which I find strange.


A lot of people use them as fancy organs. but we like to use them as machines.

To play a guitar you have to be able to hold a chord change, but to play a synthesizer all you have to do is plug it in. All you really have to do is turn it on, and put it on automatic.

On their own, synthesizers do a lot. All that we do is capture whatever mood we want and find a patch that is proper for that mood. When we're going through the set we just switch from mood to mood. It's much like a machine.

a record (?)

A lot of people have listened to records so much and heard everything only when it's really polished up ta the point where it has no personality. When' they actually start to go to concerts they can't believe that that's what songs really sound like. When we record, I hope we keep that raw sound because otherwise it's so sterile.

live performance

Places that aren't very controlled are the best. Places where you can scream and shout and do whatever you want to. At places like the Hong Kong which is a sit down restaurant people can only go to a certain point before the owners get upset. We like to play at places where people can go farthest in their reaction toward what's happening

We're not the kind of band that you could go see every weekend. With some bands you don't have to pay attention, but with us, even if you don't like what we're doing, you can't get away unless you leave because it's that kind of sound.

a song:


I hate my parents
for fucking on Sunday
they should have jerked off
when the drug stores were closed
I hate my world
(I hate my race. I hate my race)
I hate the way I scream
(I hate my race, I hate my race)
l hate my world
(I hate the stores, I hate the
I hate the way I dress
(I hate the stores, I hate the
And it's all my countries problem
for not granting asylum
to those racist Aryan Nazis of the
second world war.
And it's all my countries problem
for not adopting selective breeding
they should have murdered daddy be-
fore he was even a boy
And it's stupid in the city with all
the tall and cynic people
And all the tall and cynic people
with their faces in the TV
And it's depressing in the city
So I'm not so long and pretty
NO, no, no, no, no, no, no....
I should sit on a rock of Cornwall
and comb my hair
I should wear tiger pants, I should
have an affair
Meanwhile six million uglies are
born every worker day
If they're lucky they'll be communist
they won't get these consumer blues
I hate my world (chorus)



Slash Magazine, Vol. 3 #1 1979


Nervous Gender, cockroaches, Fear, cockroaches, the Brainiacs, and more cockroaches. It was sometime after the second round that I noticed that the spots on the bar were moving. Not only that, they had antennae! I slid over to the pool table where John Doe of X, Top Jimmy, and Derf of Fear toasted sportsmanship and racked-up for some eight ball.
The Brianiacs worked hard proving to be a lot more rowdy than their 45. They need to work up their stage presence, though, and I soon drifted back to the pool sharks.
Fear didn't crack too many jokes tonight because the fuses at the Anticlub could not withstand the onslaught of their artillery. Equipment kept breaking down. The band held onto their cool and spat in the face of electronic adversity. While everyone waited, the bar again exercised its magical spell, an uncanny magnetism that could've had something to do with the price of beer, a mere dollar a bottle. Soon pennies were wedged tightly in the fuse box and Fear, with Lee Ving, the vial of nitro-glycerin in combat boots, muscled their way through to the end of their set.
By the time Nervous Gender came on, the competency of those in the billiards area had degenerated in direct proportion to the number of beer bottles on the floor. On stage, Phranc looks like a 14 year old runaway from a boys' reform school. And when she wacks her head repeatedly in time to the synthesizers in "Gestalt", you wonder if she'll ever be fit to function in "normal society". But a place in genteel civilization is not exactly what Nervous Gender is aiming for.
The Anticlub is one of the best fun-dives in town ... despite the racial conflict generated by the insect population.


Slash Magazine V N 1979 - Live Reviews

VOXPOP, at King's Palace, 11/18/79

In this, their first performance, Voxpop managed to amuse, excite, and blast the ears off of the small, but appreciative audience. Heavy metal meets psychedelic punk. Featuring personnel from bands current (Nervous Gender, The Germs) and past (Consumers, Yvonnes). Tonight was the first time all the members of the band have played together. Guitarist/singer Jeff Dahl has a whole repertoire of heavy metal poses that are too funny to be faked, and Don Bolles offers ear-wrenching guitar leads and feedback, with his surprisingly powerful vocals. Paul Cutler is simply amazing, prowling around the stage, eyes bugged, looking like an over-active I satyr. He plays his bass in more ways and positions than I thought humanly possible. In her stage debut, Mary Sims looks fetchingly post-mortem with her too-white skin and hair, and wanders around the stage, singing, talking, laughing, adding her most effective presence to the proceedings.

Add to all this Michael Ochoa's slippery synthesizer, which saves several numbers from complete overkill and provides a frantic, humorous backdrop to the wall of heavy metal.

The songs range from the Consumers' original "Punk Church", to the classic "Heroin", with a particular standout medley of Faust with "We're an American Band", featuring rousing vocals by Don, Mary and Paul. Completely unprofessional, fun to watch, and hard to listen to. Voxpop is for the hard-core with a sense of humor.

- Laurie O'Connell


Slash Magazine Vol. 3, No. 3

Local Shit
Big shot promoter Gary Perkins, proprietor of Avalon Attractions, who dropped by the Whisky for the Mommy Men / Nervous Gender show thought Gender was "horrible" "repulsive" and "thoroughly despicable" since, he said, they were trying hard to "disturb" the audience and not to "entertain" them by "working out their personal anger and frustrations on stage". Come on, Gary, we never thought of Nervous Gender as easy listening either! Meanwhile, a gaggle of top flight "square" musicians from Donna Summers' band who recently befriended the Mommy Men loved it! They ate it up and wanted to know when both bands were playing again. 



Nervous Gender's primary virtue is that they exist at all. They're condemned to languish out this existence in an awkward and haltering position - but they persevere with a peculiar, near reverent integrity toward it. If one can transform a dolorous fate into a poetic vision then harrowing monsters may be born. Nervous Gender's visions came with birth, not by invention. They stand out by their fading away, like a stranger in a dark corner who needn't show his face.

Like this stranger, they stand little chance of acceptance by the crowd. Their estrangement takes the form of an alluring aloofness - a decisive emotional distance from the goings-on. Theirs is not the way of cleverness - if they remain "unapproachable", it's not by an elaborately modeled persona (like the Pistols or Screamers), but by their grim nakedness, their ability to show scars.
Surprisingly, Phranc's departure left them collectively stronger and more cohesive than before. Her personal magnetism made them top heavy and unbalanced, like an idea in need of a vehicle or passion without a body to experience itself. Now, Paul Roessler's discreet percussive effects lend a spine and solidity to the music - a will to live ... if you will. Punctuated thus, their sound becomes integrated into muscle tissue. Relax goes to reflex.

Gerardo, Edward, Mike and Paul are all powerful vocalists, and the rotation between them is real good. Gerardo is the most disturbing presence, (silently) pulsating with some kind of psychological gravity. The lowlight of this show was seeing Paul, who is usually stuck behind the keyboards with The Screamers, belting out vocal blisters on Carly Simon's "The Slave". For his efforts, the little angel blew the guts out of the sound system. Bravo, Paul.

Nervous Gender's only comic relief is Sven, the drummer, who's about eight years old. But even then you wonder what the little fellow's seen to make him look forty. Nervous Gender is not for lightweights, but neither is life.

-Will L'Amato



Slash Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 5

Subterranean Records (SF)

Factrix delivers the two best cuts on the album right off. "Night to Forget" is, if you have to draw comparisons, Black Sabbath meets PiL. Wonderful dirge guitar that isn't the familiar experimental jerk-off groans throught a blasted mental nocturne. Likewise "Subterfuge." Never went much for Nervous Gender except when Phranc was in the group. However, "Miscarriage," "Scandanavian Dilemma," "Poet" and "Confession" aren't bad. Side 2 isn't as intriguing. Uns is formless and, even now, I've no definite impression of them except for somebody doing non-sequitor arty jokes through what sounds like an airport P.A. speaker. Flipper closes things out. Never much liked them either. I thought "Earthworm" sucked, cutesy, smark-aleck stuff undeserving of the pseudo-cult status built up around it. What's on this is the same psychic sludge, but I liked it, especially "Low Rider." "LIVE AT TARGET" doesn't quite live up to my expectations. But it remains a shadowy trip through the underworld, the kind of thing you'd enjoy listening to on Halloween around midnight.



Flipside magazine #27 1980

NERVOUS GENDER was interviewed at Shakey's Pizza in Little Tokyo by R. Hill.

FS: Your songs are pretty extreme, should they be taken seriously?

Gerardo: They're not extreme, they're pop songs. We followed the music formula the Beatles set down.

FS: Who writes the music?

Gerardo: Well we both (Gerardo and Edward Stapleton) write the music, usually whoever writes the song.

FS: Who does most of the lyric writing?

Edward: Gerardo does most of the lyrics, I do some of them. The lyrics come first and we fill it up with sounds that are appropriate to the words.

FS: What are your lyrics based on, personal experiences or just fantasy?

Gerardo: Both.

Edward: Some of them are fantasies that hopefully we'll come across in time.

Gerardo: Some are other peopleís experiences.

FS: How did you think your opera came out?

Gerardo: It's not an opera, it s a thing.

Edward: A thing.

Gerardo: It fell apart, the first part was good but it was too much to do in a short amount of time.

Edward: But a lot came out that we can use for other things.

Gerardo: Weíre going to do a video of it. 

Edward: In the video we'll have a lot more control and be able to use stronger images.

FS: Was that the first opera you've done.

Edward: The first one we've performed.

Gerardo: We have others written.

FS: Will you perform any of those in the future?

Gerardo: I'd like to put them out but most of them haven't been completed yet. We'll get them out, God willing.

FS: 'God -willing?' Some of your religious songs don't seem to be on Gods side too much.

Gerardo: They say nothing about God, only about Jesus Christ.

Edward: People always associate one with the other.

FS: What do you think about Jesus Christ?

Gerardo: If he existed...

Edward: He was a fascist pig.

FS: But arenít you fascist pigs?

Edward: Yes, but he was a bad one.

FS: And you're good ones?

Edward: We're practicing.

FS: Do you want authority over people.

Gerardo: Oh total.

FS: Over everyone, or just particular people?

Gerardo: All the good looking ones.

FS: Are any of you songs meant to be antagonistic towards women?

Gerardo: One of them was, or not actually it wasn't.

Edward: Are you talking about 'Fat Cowí?

Gerardo: That one was.

Edward: It was towards a woman.

Gerardo: See, all our songs are love songs.

Edward: I generally don't react strongly towards people I don't like, so I donít write about them. That song was about one woman that I did love but it didn't work out so I felt anger.

FS: For about the last year, youíve kept a low profile. Is there any reason for that?

Gerardo: Because we haven't gotten much press coverage, but we've consistently played once a month.

Edward: Even when, we do get press coverage, they edit a lot of the things we want to say.

FS: When will your album be out? Gerardo: About 3 weeks.

Edward: The Opera, "our thing" will be on it.

Gerardo: That's the other half of our album.

Edward: You shouldn't say that we did both because some of the opera really will offend and I get paranoid sometimes.

FS: Why?

Gerardo: We're scared to shit of Christians and Jews.

FS: Do you think they will take any direct action against you?

Gerardo: I hope they burn the record. I really do. You know how they have had record burnings lately? Itís sort of like "We always knew that rock and roll was devil music, but this one isn't even trying to hide it".

Edward: I've had reactions towards Christians. When we talk about being fascist, a lot of it is the accepting in yourself about wanting control. The problem with the Christians is that they want to control everything, which is not a bad concept if you have something to offer.

FS: Do you have something to offer?

Edward: Oh yeah, good times.

Gerardo: Repression. Total control. Everybody wants total control.

FS: Not everyone can have it.

Edward: That's true.

Gerardo: I want to become Emperor. That's my goal in life. You just have to start brainwashing the populace.

FS: Through what means are you going to do that?

Edward: Weíll start with visual images in Flipside.

Gerardo: Weíre already working on our second album. Itís going to be called "The American Regime" and itís all about implicit fascism. The songs range from one about how great it is to be totally controlledÖ

FS: Depends on who is controlling.

Gerardo: If youíre totally controlled it doesnít matter. Americans have this false idea of Freedom. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. In order for that, you first have to lose your sense of individuality. You can lose your life then youíll be totally free.

FS: If you donít believe in individualityÖ

Gerardo: Itís not that I donít, but I think it should be programmed into you.

FS: Youíd rather have people be a massÖ

Gerardo: No, No. I think there should be little groups of people. I think everything should be in its place. If youíre a misfit, you must become a heroin addict and kill yourself. Either way you enjoy your self.

FS: You want order.

Gerardo: Yeah, but to the outside world it will look like anarchy.

FS: Donít you think there will be a lot of conflict?

Gerardo: I certainly hope so! Thatís the difference between Marxism and Fascism. Marxism thinks there is this world with peace and everyone will love each other. Thatís stupid, that can never happen because people are not equal. Some people are born to control and others to be controlled.

FS: And youíre one born to controlÖ

Gerardo: I certainly hope so. Deep down inside everyone wants to control. That is why everyone is a fascist pig. Whether they try to avoid it or not, thatís something else.

Edward: We already live under a fascist regime. They still want control. What they do control is disgusting.

Gerardo: Thatís because they made the stupid mistake of telling everyone they were free. Thereís no such thing as that.

FS: You think they should be totally honest?

Gerardo: Yeah. Itís a lot more frustrating for me to be watching television and watching their stupid attempts at propaganda. It comes to a point were we just laugh at it. Then we get depressed. Not that Iíd like to be in Russia because they are even worse at it. But the government should defiantly take control and take responsibility for the way I think.

FS: Do you think that one person or one body of people should control?

Gerardo: I totally believe in the American constitution. It should be a body of people with a system of checks and balances.

FS: So deep down insideÖ.

Gerardo: No, Iím not into democracy at all. I believe smarty people should rule the country not the moral majority crap. Have you heard them on television? They donít know the first thing about any thing. Theyíre totally led by their emotions and by the half-baked way they understand what it said in the bible.

FS: Itís obvious you have pretty strong political views, why arenít they in your songs?

Gerardo: I sing about love, but also my frustrations about love. Take this one song Edward wrote ĎChristian Loversí. Itís about mutilating Christians and eating them. Itís all because they are responsible for sexuality of any sort, be it bestiality or whatever to be considered evil. In the old world, people didnít care. Weíre trying to start a pagan religion cause we want people to feel the same way, that what people do on their own time is no sin against god.

FS: What happens to the people who donít believe your religion?

Edward: If we are successful at the brain washing, we wonít have to get rid of anybody.

Gerardo: No we wonít. Now were getting into the bad side of me. I started to think of all these horrible things to do to them.

FS: There is a bad side to you?

Gerardo: Thereís a bad side to everyone. Even Yoko Ono admitted that in the last Rolling Stone.

FS: Are you a fan of hers?

Gerardo: I like her a lot because sheís really self destructive. One thing I hate about John Lennon dying is it made her un-self destructive. She stopped writing songs about smashing her face thru a clear glass window, and started writing these weird songs.

(Talk drifts back to Ďcontrolí and how Hitler was "ideologically pure"Ö..)

Gerardo: Hitler became power crazy & tried to take it all too fast.

Edward: He should have made an album first.

FS: So it has to be a slow process?

Gerardo: It does. I was checking out some books on fascism the other day, there werenít any good ones of course, because the Germans lost the war. In one book it said the problem with communism and fascism is that it takes one leader to carry it through. Now that is true but that doesnít make it any less proper than democracy. Democracy goes nowhere as opposed to where you have one person that wants to create something or take society towards one goal then it means something, but it takes so long to wipe out the memory of how things were. Itís still the best choice we got.

FS: What is selective annihilation?

Gerardo: First you kill off all the people who believe in stupid things like Christianity. Itís like it said in the opera. "Ours is not a war Ė it is a mission. We are here to educate and if necessary annihilate".

FS: Is there any reason you never play with punk bands anymore?

Edward: They donít ask us. Generally most bands are paranoid to play with us no matter who they are.

FS: Do you think a punk audience would like you?

Edward: The early punks did.

Gerardo: One of the things that stood in our way is that we donít have guitars. Itís not my fault I canít play guitar. What do you mean by punk audience?

FS: Say your average Black Flag audience.

Gerardo: You mean those Nuevo punks. They see us onstage and donít see a guitar so they go "like man we donít comprehend. They must be like art rock or something". So they donít like us. I succeed in getting the synthesizer to sound like a guitar on tapes but live there isnít one. The electronic bands hate us for the same reason. We donít sound like Kraftwerk or disco.

Edward: Iíd like to see more unity in the scene, either the punk scene or the art scene or any scene. But its just not happening. It was going on in the beginning but now there are so many punks, many became punks just because of the TV shows and the media image.

Gerardo: Donít you just love the Go-Goís?



Flipside Magazine #31,
April 1982

Brave Dog Party with Nervous Gender, Strong Silent Types and Gobshite 3/82 by Robert Hill

This invitation only private party was not only for the closing of L.A.'s only truly alternative club, but also a release party for Nervous Gender's long awaited album "Music From Hell". I had expected a small gathering but the place was more crowded than it had ever been during it's regular gigs. Nervous Gender played just about all the songs off their album plus old favorites that they seldom do like "Jesus Christ", "Gestalt" and "Mommy's Chest". Their set didn't suffer too much from the absence of drummer Don Bolles and all of them seemed to have a good time. Preceding N.G. were Strong Silent Types and the very minimal Gobshite, who use only a rhythm box and a flanger. Things started to gradually disintegrate after Nervous Gender's set and various people took over the stage. Juan Gomez, Craig Lee and Bill Bartell played Velvet Underground songs and then there was a surprise reunion of the Speed Queens. It was a shame when it was all over because there will never be another Brave Dog.



BEN IS DEAD #13 May 1991


Hammerhead is an 'industrial dance' club held on Thursdays at Que Sera, a lesbian bar in Long Beach. Nervous Gender was asked to play on short notice, so they had to quickly throw together a show, which was difficult because their program and sample discs had been stolen at their last gig and they had to reconstruct all their material from scratch. The resulting 25-minute set was short, but intense.

Does programmed music sound like a wimpy idea? Think again. Keyboardists Mike and Joe, with Gerardo confronting the audience with lyrics about all aspects of sexuality, spare nothing. This leaner, meaner Nervous Gender would have sounded best pounding thru a more powerful PA, something the band has yet to find. Maybe at Al's in May? Not a chance.

Even though they got enthusiastic hoots and hollers from the audience, the band decided not to encore with 'Fat Cow.' With lyrics like 'Fat cow / moo moo / four teats / cow hips,' the crowd might have listened with a sense of humor and loved it. Why not take a risk? (Wild Don)

[Wild Don is Don Lewis]