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|Origin||Los Angeles, California|
|Genres||Power pop, New wave, Alternative rock|
|Labels||Alive Naturalsound Records, Bomp! Records, Good Vibrations, Nerves|
|Associated acts||The Plimsouls, The Beat, Peter Case, Jack Lee, Paul Collins, The Breakaways|
|Past members||Peter Case
The Nerves were a mid-'70s American power pop trio based in Los Angeles, featuring guitarist Jack Lee, bassist Peter Case, and drummer Paul Collins. All three members composed songs and sang. They managed an international tour in the U.S. and Canada, including dates with The Ramones, and performances for the troops as part of the United Services Organization (USO). The Nerves lasted just a short time and self-released only one self-titled four-song EP in 1976, featuring the songs "Hanging on the Telephone" (Lee), "When You Find Out" (Case), "Give Me Some Time" (Lee), and "Working Too Hard" (Collins). In addition to being the drummer, Paul Collins was also the trio's manager and did most of the bookings and promotion. The Nerves' EP was distributed by independent Bomp! Records and officially re-released to CD and vinyl by Alive Records in 2008, followed by a second release of The Breakaways, an album of post-Nerves recordings made by Collins and Case prior to the formation of Collins' group The Beat.
Despite their limited lifespan and discography, The Nerves remain notable for many reasons. They were the founding vanguard of the LA punk and pop scenes that eventually produced The Knack, The Beat and The Plimsouls. After The Nerves' break-up, Case and Collins formed The Breakaways with Pat Stengl, a group that would have an even shorter lifespan than The Nerves. Thereafter, however, Case and Collins went on to front more famous groups, The Plimsouls (who had a Billboard Top 100 hit with "A Million Miles Away") and The Beat, respectively. But perhaps the most notable legacy of the group is the song "Hanging on the Telephone": popular group Blondie later covered the song on their smash album Parallel Lines and turned it into a UK top 5 hit, and thanks to Blondie's success, the song has become something of a standard, later re-done by groups as diverse as L7, Def Leppard, Cat Power (whose version was featured in Cingular commercials in 2006), and Hep Alien, Lane Kim's fictional band on dramedy The Gilmore Girls. While it is likely some of these artists are unaware of the original Nerves version, others were also from Los Angeles and what was, at the time, its terribly small underground music scene and would most certainly be able to reference the original. (According to some sources, Blondie decided to cover the song after a trip to Japan. Someone slipped in a tape of The Nerves in their car's cassette deck and their Japanese driver, who didn't speak a word of English, started tapping along to the song on the steering wheel.) Blondie included a second Lee composition on Parallel Lines, "Will Anything Happen?" Lee also went on to write a hit for Paul Young, "Come Back and Stay".
"Hanging on the Telephone" and "When You Find Out" were later released on a 1993 Rhino Records power-pop compilation, DIY: Come Out and Play - American Power Pop I (1975-1978), which Allmusic gave the full five stars (review). The Nerves also had the honor of appearing on the album's cover. More recently, Rhino included an unreleased Nerves track, Case's "One-Way Ticket", on the 2005 compilation Children Of Nuggets (AllMusic Review), a sequel to their popular Nuggets compilations. Today, Collins performs songs from both The Nerves and The Beat in his band Paul Collins' Beat, and continues to tour and record new material.
In 2008, Alive Records released One Way Ticket, a CD compilation of the remastered tracks of the Nerves' original EP, along with demos and other previously unreleased material. Following the success of The Nerves' CD reissue, Alive Records released The Breakaways, an album of post-Nerves recordings featuring Collins and Case prior to the formation of The Beat.
Peter Case & Paul Collins 2012 Reunion Tribute To The Nerves 
In Spring 2012, longtime friends and musical partners, Peter Case and Paul Collins announced a reunion tour paying tribute to their bands The Nerves, The Breakaways, The Beat and The Plimsouls. The band lineup for the Collins and Case tour was augmented by members of The Paul Collins Beat (Timm Buechler, bass, and Amos Pitsch, drums), offering audiences with a full-band electric showcase. This reunion was not billed as The Nerves, because Jack Lee chose not to be part of the tour. Paul Collins was dismissed from the tour before its completion due to personality reasons.
Jack Lee has performed annually as a solo artist with his group Jack Lee Inferno.
- The Nerves & Paul Collins' Beat Fan Site
- The Nerves' Story on Peter Case's Official Site
- Includes Nerves info on Paul Collins Beat Official Site
- The Nerves Official Page by record label Alive Records
- The Breakaways with Paul Collins and Peter Case Official Page by record label Alive Records
- Peter Case's official tour dates for the Peter Case & Paul Collins tribute to The Nerves
- South By Southwest 2012 article on Peter Case & Paul Collins' Nerves tribute
- Buzznet article Peter Case & Paul Collins' tribute to The Nerves