Nervous Gender made swift work of attacking every taboo, stereotype, and preconceived notion about religion, sexuality, and punk rock they came across…and made their points using—GASP!—synthesizers to create a racket that often sent the most ardent Black Flag fan scrambling in piss-panted fear for the nearest exit.
This past month it’s been twenty-nine years since my friend Gerardo Velasquez, seen here behind Phranc during a Nervous Gender performance, passed away.
Ahead of the times. Like the blink of an eye. Forty-five years have passed since meeting Gerardo Velasquez, the first friend I made when I moved to Los Angeles.
Punk. This photograph was taken by Gerardo of his school boy friend Mike Ochoa. They were inseparable. The two of them, along with Edward Stapleton, were the nucleus of Nervous Gender.
this night was just plain wild! It was Halloween and everyone was there— punks, disco kids, the artsy/fartsy crowd, rock and rollers, and the very, very curious. The band tore up our eardrums then tore up their instruments! That’s what I was doing forty years ago!
Gerardo Velasquez and Mike Ochoa, after meeting Edward Stapleton, formed Nervous Gender. I auditioned for the band, too, but Gerardo said I was too pop. In fact, when Nervous Gender hit the scene, not even the rowdy punks could handle their sound!
In 2015 I exhibited my photographs of the punk musicians, showcasing the diversity of Los Angeles punk—women, men, gay, lesbian, straight, black, white, brown, red, yellow— EVERYONE! Here two of my favorites. Alice Bag, co-founder of The Bags, and Edward Stapleton, co-founder of Nervous Gender, came to the exhibition.
Although I always felt Mike Ochoa was quiet—even quieter than me—it was more his constitution rather than a sense of shyness. He contributed fully to Nervous Gender and I always loved when he sang lead on the songs, my favorite being “Scandinavian Dilemma.”
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The Snappers, a punk rarity.