Jennifer Miro - vocals, keyboards; Jeff Olener - vocals; Richie Detrick - vocals; Alejandro Escovedo - guitar; Mike Varney - bass; Jeff Raphael - drums
Listen to the lyrics of the number "Suicide Child" on this rare live recording of the Nuns and you are likely to be creeped out. The song tells the story of a drug addict's girlfriend who bled to death from a knife wound "on that dirty, filthy bathroom tile." The irony here is that the Nuns were opening what would be the Sex Pistols' final show. Only a few months later, Pistols bassist Sid Vicious would wake up from a heroin high to find his girlfriend dead from a knife wound on the tiled bathroom floor of the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan.
This compelling show by San Francisco rockers the Nuns is proof positive that they certainly deserve a place in the legacy of historic punk music. Although they remain essentially a regional act, this was a big show for them since the Pistols' only Bay Area performance had been greatly hyped.
The Nuns opened the show, and were followed by another Bay Area band, the Avengers. With songs like "Mental Masturbation," "Cock In My Pocket," and "Decadent Jew," it's clear that the band certainly knows how to make a statement.
The Nuns formed in 1976 when the sultry vocalist and keyboardist Jennifer Miro (nee Jennifer Anderson) decided to embrace the growing punk movement with vocalists Richie Detrick and Jeff Olener. On guitar was Alejandro Escovedo, who would later go on to become a legendary country punk pioneer. Escovedo is from an impressive musical family. His parents came from Mexico and immigrated to Texas, and his brothers, Coke and Pete, would go on to become members of Santana (and Latin music stars in their own right), while his niece, Sheila E, would become a star and long-time associate of Prince. Escovedo would only spend a few years in the Nuns, and this recording is among the few professional live tapes of the band with him still in the lineup.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the Nuns would see numerous personnel changes (including the deaths of two members), but maintained its pretense with Miro and Olener as the core members. During its heyday, the band was considered the West Coast answer to Blondie, but their music was too brooding and lyrical themes far too dark to become a comparable act commercially.