Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Their use of heavily distorted keyboards and synthesizers made them, along with the Screamers, one of the original innovators of what is today called "Synthpunk", although they could equally be considered an early industrial group. The group was confrontational and experimental, mystifying audiences of the day. Phranc's androgynous appearance was the embodiment of the group's name and added to their mystigue, garnering them much press in zines such as Slash . Despite their somewhat high profile, the groups' habit of provoking the audience, obscene material and harsh erotics guaranteeded they would never gain commercial acceptance. At their first show in 1979, a benefit for the Women's Video Center, Phranc called the audience "pussies" and "dykes" when the band was requested to stop playing, and songs like "Jesus Clone", with lyrics such as "Jesus was a cocksucking Jew" were not destined for radio airplay. In 1979, Don Bolles of The Germs joined as drummer. The next year Phranc left the band and Paul Roessler of the Screamers joined. At this time they recorded the tracks for the compilation Live At Target, released as an LP and a video, both seminal not only in the punk scene but also as early industrial recordings; fellow contributors Factrix and Zev (listed on this recording as "UNS") were early industrial acts, and Nervous Gender found more acceptance among that scene initially. All the artists involved in Live At Target were experimenting with atonality, noise and concepts not common until post punk groups emerged later. Nervous Gender played with bands such as SPK, Factrix, Non, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Psychic TV during the early 1980s. In 1981 they released their LP Music From Hell and, unfortunately, did not record in the studio again. After the LP came out, Paul Roessler moved to New York to play with the Nina Hagen Band and was replaced by Bill Cline, and Don Bolles left the band to play with 45 Grave. He was replaced by an eight-year-old boy, Sven Pfeiffer. In 1982, Sven's mother took the young drummer back to live in Germany. During their career Nervous Gender managed to accumulate a certain reputation, being called by one critic, "...the thorn in the side of the L.A. music scene...", which the band revelled in. During the mid 80s, the band was on the verge of breaking up when members of Wall of Voodoo Bruce Moreland, Marc Moreland and Chas Grey, who were fans, stepped in and offered to collaborate with them. It was at this point that a guitar-driven version of Nervous Gender emerged. During this time Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave was a frequent guest performer with them, and they played shows with bands such as Christian Death, Super Heroines and, most often, Kommunity FK at venues such as the Anti Club . Gobsheit , a side project of Stapleton's with Patrice Repose, also rounded out the bill on occasion. In 1988, Edward Stapleton played his last show with the band, and after this the group played only two more shows, the last one on April 18, 1991 with original members Gerardo Velasquez and Michael Ochoa and newcomer Joe Zinnato. Gerardo Velasquez died on March 28, 1992, at age 33, the final end to Nervous Gender.
Edward Stapleton, with Karene Stapleton, now records under the name Kali's Thugs.
- Live at Target (also featuring Factrix, UNS, and Flipper), (1980) on Subterranean Records
- Music from Hell split LP with Beelzebub Youth (aka Nervous Gender) (1981) on Subterranean Records
- Live at the Roxy
- Live at the Scream
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