4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Zeros to Heroes

Joey thought “the Mexican Ramones” had an original sound.
Joey thought “the Mexican Ramones” had an original sound.

Three and a half decades ago, a dapper quartet of Chula Vista rockers called the Zeros set the groundwork for the West Coast punk sound with their bombshell single “Wimp” b/w “Don’t Push Me Around,” released by Bomp! Records.

Guided by their idolization of groups such as the New York Dolls and the Velvet Underground, the Zeros and their trademark pointy boots went on to share the stage over the next four years with the likes of the Clash, Devo, Patti Smith, and John Cale.

They survived the notorious Elks Lodge debacle of 1979, when 60 Los Angeles riot police turned a concert by X, the Go-Gos, Los Plugz, and the Zeros into a bloody melee that went down in rock-and-roll history.

In recent years, the band even garnered the loyalty of an all-girl San Diego tribute band, Wild Weekend.The Muffs, Hoodoo Gurus, Mudhoney, and Sator all did covers of Zeros tunes.

In 2009, the Zeros regrouped for a summer tour with an all-original lineup and was crowned hometown hero at the San Diego Music Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer.

Now, signed to Panache Booking and armed with an arsenal of covers and a few dozen classics, the Zeros are embarking on a series of dates with frontman Javier Escovedo’s younger brother Mario (the Dragons) on second guitar while original guitarist Robert Lopez performs an ongoing theater gig in Seattle as El Vez, the Mexican Elvis.

Sure, they’ve been called the Mexican Ramones (though they hadn’t even heard of the New York punk stalwarts when they first cranked up their amps as teenagers in 1976), but Joey Ramone may or may not have been quoting a magazine review when, a few decades ago, he told Javier, “You guys have a really original sound.”

Apart from a growing cult fascination with the Zeros and the era of attitude that they commanded alongside bands such as the Germs and the Weirdos, what’s different this time around?

Not much, says Javier, who anticipates a purely rock-and-roll showing of “pointy shoes, broken strings, and dropped picks,” adding, “I want us to play like kids at recess.”

The Zeros hit the Troubadour in L.A. last Friday with the Muffs and the Flytraps.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Belmont Park coaster company pays Newsom’s fixer

UCSD clinics need more Spanish
Joey thought “the Mexican Ramones” had an original sound.
Joey thought “the Mexican Ramones” had an original sound.

Three and a half decades ago, a dapper quartet of Chula Vista rockers called the Zeros set the groundwork for the West Coast punk sound with their bombshell single “Wimp” b/w “Don’t Push Me Around,” released by Bomp! Records.

Guided by their idolization of groups such as the New York Dolls and the Velvet Underground, the Zeros and their trademark pointy boots went on to share the stage over the next four years with the likes of the Clash, Devo, Patti Smith, and John Cale.

They survived the notorious Elks Lodge debacle of 1979, when 60 Los Angeles riot police turned a concert by X, the Go-Gos, Los Plugz, and the Zeros into a bloody melee that went down in rock-and-roll history.

In recent years, the band even garnered the loyalty of an all-girl San Diego tribute band, Wild Weekend.The Muffs, Hoodoo Gurus, Mudhoney, and Sator all did covers of Zeros tunes.

In 2009, the Zeros regrouped for a summer tour with an all-original lineup and was crowned hometown hero at the San Diego Music Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer.

Now, signed to Panache Booking and armed with an arsenal of covers and a few dozen classics, the Zeros are embarking on a series of dates with frontman Javier Escovedo’s younger brother Mario (the Dragons) on second guitar while original guitarist Robert Lopez performs an ongoing theater gig in Seattle as El Vez, the Mexican Elvis.

Sure, they’ve been called the Mexican Ramones (though they hadn’t even heard of the New York punk stalwarts when they first cranked up their amps as teenagers in 1976), but Joey Ramone may or may not have been quoting a magazine review when, a few decades ago, he told Javier, “You guys have a really original sound.”

Apart from a growing cult fascination with the Zeros and the era of attitude that they commanded alongside bands such as the Germs and the Weirdos, what’s different this time around?

Not much, says Javier, who anticipates a purely rock-and-roll showing of “pointy shoes, broken strings, and dropped picks,” adding, “I want us to play like kids at recess.”

The Zeros hit the Troubadour in L.A. last Friday with the Muffs and the Flytraps.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Drive further north on I-5, Ian Anderson

Lies about Anza-Borrego
Next Article

Belmont Park coaster company pays Newsom’s fixer

UCSD clinics need more Spanish
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close