The Zeros (American band)
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The Zeros are an American punk rock band, formed in 1976 in Chula Vista, California. The band were originally composed of Javier Escovedo (younger brother of Alejandro Escovedo, older brother of Mario Escovedo of The Dragons) on vocals/guitar and Robert Lopez (later known as El Vez) on guitar, who were both attending Chula Vista High School; Hector Penalosa, (bass), and Baba Chenelle, (drums), who attended Sweetwater High School. Sometimes compared to the Ramones, the band was considered a pioneer of punk rock on the U.S. west coast.
In 1977, The Zeros played their first major gig in Los Angeles at the Orpheum Theater. Opening the show was the first performance by The Germs, followed by The Zeros and then The Weirdos. The gig was promoted by Peter Case of The Nerves who later served as the frontman of The Breakaways and The Plimsouls. The Zeros' first single release, "Wimp" b/w "Don't Push Me Around" was released in 1977 on Bomp! Records.
In 1978, Penalosa left the band briefly to live and play in Los Angeles, and was replaced by Guy Lopez, Robert Lopez's brother. Soon after, Robert left to live in Los Angeles as well and his brother quit the Zeros. Penalosa rejoined the band and they continued as a trio, and eventually relocated to San Francisco. In March 1979, the UK music magazine, NME, reported that "punk riots had come to the U.S., when Los Angeles police broke up a Zeros' gig at Elks Hall." In 1980, the band recorded a new single, including the songs "They Say That (Everything's Alright)," "Girl on the Block" and "Getting Nowhere Fast." After more touring that led to Austin, Texas and New York, the band fizzled out.
The band is infamous for playing an entire set consisting of 8 replays of "Beat Your Heart Out" in San Francisco.
In 1995 the band resurfaced with a new album, Knockin' Me Dead. More recently, the Zeros reunited to tour in Spain in early 2007. All four members reunited again for a short West Coast tour that began in San Diego in June 2009. In October 2010, the Zeros embarked on a short U.S. tour of the East Coast.
Cover versions of songs by The Zeros have been released by The Hoodoo Gurus ("Wimp"), Wednesday Week ("They Say That Everything's Alright"), The Muffs ("Beat Your Heart Out"), and the Swedish band Sator ("Black and White").
- 1977 - "Wimp" b/w "Don't Push Me Around" - Bomp! Records
- 1978 - "Beat Your Heart Out" b/w "Wild Weekend" - Bomp!
- 1980 - "Getting Nowhere Fast" b/w "They Say That (Everything's Alright)" - Test Tube Records
- 1992 - "I Don't Wanna" b/w "Li'l Latin Lupe Lu" - Sympathy for the Record Industry
- 1992 - "Bottoms Up" b/w "Sneakin' Out" - Rockville
- 1994 - "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" b/w "Knockin' Me Dead" (acoustic) - Munster Records
- 1995 - "Yo No Quiero" b/w "Siamese Tease" - Munster Records
- 1995 - "Black 'n' White" / "Pushin' Too Hard" - Planet of Noise Records
- 1998 - "You, Me, Us" b/w "Talkin'" - Penniman
- 2010 - "Mainstreet Brat" b/w "Handgrenade Heart" - Last Laugh Records
- 1991 - "Don't Push Me Around" - Bomp! - collection of rare and live tracks
- 1994 - "Knocking Me Dead" - Rockville - also released in Spain / Munster Records
- 1995 - "Over the Sun" - Imposible - live recording
- 1999 - "Right Now!" - Bomp! also released in Spain / Houston Party, Germany / Empty Records
- Nicholas Rombes, A Cultural Dictionary of Punk: 1974-1982 (Continuum, 2009), ISBN 978-0826427793, p. 314. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 324. CN 5585.
- Carrie Borzillo, "Popular Uprisings", Billboard, February 11, 1995, p. 20.
- Steve Appleford, "Zeros reunite for summer shows: After going different ways, the California '70s punk band is back for a series of performances." Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2009.
- Tony Duchane, "The Zeros – When Punk Wasn’t At Your Local Mall", SFGate, June 23, 2009.
- Sara Sherr, "The Zeros' reunion tour heads to Philly", Philadelphia Inquirer, October 22, 2010.
- "The Zeros", San Diego Reader (accessed 2014-01-27).