Punk Legends the Zeros Reunite

 

Don’t call ‘em wimps,
bucko…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

 

The mighty
Zeros return for some selected summer dates after 15 year hiatus. The band is
reuniting with the original lineup that played a key part in the rise of Punk on
the West Coast with Javier Escovedo, Robert Lopez (“El Vez”), Hector
Penalosa, and Baba Chenelle. They’ll play a string of shows in late June and
then later in mid July; see dates listed below.

 

The back
story:

 

The
teenaged Zeros blasted out of the South
Bay suburb of Chula
Vista at the dawn of the punk explosion in 1976, and played their
first major show the following year at L.A.’s
decaying Orpheum Theater, known as the Hollywood Punk
Palace. That gig was
notable as well for being the debut of The Germs, and also an early appearance
of quirky art-rockers The Weirdos. All three bands would become integral to West
Coast punk, and epitomize its sometimes destructive collision of collective
musical passion and personal excess. The hook-laden garage punk of The Zeros,
with influences that ranged from the New York Dolls, Stooges, David Bowie,
Velvet Underground, T-Rex, and Kiss to ’60s proto-punk bands like the Seeds,
Standells, and the Animals, earned them a recording deal with Bomp Records,
which released the raucous single, “Wimp”/”Don’t Push Me
Around” in ’77, followed a year later by “Beat Your Heart
Out”/”Wild Weekend.”

 

The
Zeros, after relocating in San Francisco, would
go on to play at such renowned venues as The Masque, Whisky Au Go-Go, and the
Starwood in L.A.; San
Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens, Deaf Club, and Temple
Beautiful; and CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in New
York. The band often found itself at key moments in
the evolutionary punk/new wave timeline. On March 17, 1979, returning to L.A. to play a show with
X, The Alleycats, The Go-Go’s, The Plugz, and The Wipers at Elks Lodge Hall,
The Zeros barely got to relax after their set when the show was interrupted by
the notoriously punk-hating, baton-wielding LAPD. The night ended in a minor
riot. The “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” became the stuff of history.

 

Over the years both Escovedo and Lopez have hinted that a
Zeros reunion might happen; talking to BLURT some time ago (back before we were
BLURT), Lopez, prior to an El Vez performance, enthused about how much fun the
band had been as he signed several Zeros record sleeves.

 

So here we go!

 

Tour Dates:

 

6/25/2009 AT BAR PINK IN SAN DIEGO, CA

6/26/2009 AT 924 GILMAN IN BERKELEY, CA

6/27/2009 AT 924 GILMAN IN BERKELEY, CA

7/16/2009 AT THE TROUBADOUR
IN LOS ANGELES, CA

7/17/2009
AT ELBO ROOM IN SAN FRANCISCO,
CA

 

Spotty
but viewable, and rare, footage of the band on TV in the late ‘70s, followed by
a very odd but compelling looking homemade live clip:

 

 


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