Jennifer Miro - keyboards, vocals; Richie Detrick - drums; Mike Varney - bass; Jeff Olener - vocals; Alejandro Escovedo - guitar, vocals
Although never a household name, the Nuns did make a sizable impact on the Bay Area punk scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They have had about a half dozen releases during their on-again, off-again existence, but one of their bigger claims to fame is the fact that they were the opening act for the final show of the Sex Pistols, the year after this recording was made, in 1978. They were also one of the earliest punk bands to feature female members, which opened doors for acts like Siouxsie & the Banshees and later, the B52s.
The band was formed in 1976 when the sultry vocalist and keyboardist Jennifer Miro (nee Jennifer Anderson) decided to embrace the growing punk movement with drummer Richie Detrick and bassist 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 (a transplanted Transylvanian gypsy) 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 (among their popular songs was a cheerful ditty entitled "Suicide Child.") This show, taken from the Bill Graham archives, was part of triple bill that also featured the Dictators and the Ramones.