Louis Jacinto Photo Column - The Snappers: The Spawning of Nervous Gender

Aug 08, 2015

(click photo for full size)

In 1978, Gerardo Velasquez and Michael Ochoa formed The Snappers along with guitarist Robert Becerra (later of the notorious East Los Angeles punk band The Stains) and drummer Jessie. They were booked to play at GRONKPATSSIPARTY, an art opening hosted by two members of the East L.A. art collective Asco, Patssi Valdez and Gronk.

That night the show began with general signs of confusion within the band. The drummer, who needed no electricity, mouthed incomprehensible screams as the rest of the band fiddled with their cords for power. After a barrage of starts and stops, singing and playing with electricity and then without electricity and then with electricity and then without electricity, frustration—or alcohol consumed by the band—made everything stop. Gerardo walked off the stage. Robert kicked a hole in one of his speakers. Jessie toppled over his drums.

The host, Gronk, did not suspect The Snappers had encountered such difficulties since the previous band had made similar noises during their set.

This was the band’s second and last show. But that evening, Gerardo and Michael met Edward Stapleton. The three of them decided, that night, to form Nervous Gender and begun their journey to become—as described by the Los Angeles Times—“the thorn in the side of the L.A. Music Scene.”

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