Nervous Gender ’83 L-R Bruce Moreland (RIP), Sven, Michael Ochoa, Gerardo Velasquez (RIP), Edward Stapleton
Along with fellow synth-punks the Screamers, Nervous Gender were one of the most underrated, perverse and impacting bands in L.A.’s late-’70s/early-’80s punk/industrial/wave scene. Started in 1978 and led by Edward Stapleton Michael Ochoa and Gerardo Velasquez, NG featured many of the city’s punk luminaries in its lineup and as guests, including Bruce & Marc Moreland (Wall of Voodoo), Alice Bag, Dinah Cancer (45 Grave), Don Bolles (Germs, 45 Grave), Paul Roessler (Screamers, Nina Hagen, 45 Grave), Phranc (Catholic Discipline), and at one point an 8-year-old German drummer named Sven.
Noise, rhythms and harsh erotica pretty much sums it up…Gerardo died in ’92, but the band reunited to play a show in L.A. which I would have liked to have seen…After missing them for most of the time I knew of them as a teen growing up in LA, I saw them open for Psychic TV at the Roxy in Hollywood while I was visiting during my freshman year in college ’86.
I’m pretty sure, though not certain, that this was one of the many bands in which my friend and teen music collaborator Brad Laner (a natural musical genius, that guy) played during the early ’80s. He definitely loved them, and they were definitely one of the influences of Earth Dies Burning, the post-synthpunk band we were in.