The Zeros – Beat Your Heart Out 7inch

The Zeros – Beat your Heart Out // Wild Weekend (Bomp) 1978. This one goes out to Mike, Otto, Ben, RG, Texas Bell-End, Tom G and Scott. It’s the second Zeros 45 and it’s not as good as the first (Don’t Push Me Around / Wimp). However, it is featured on the amazing and easy to find Bomp compilation The Zeros – Don’t Push Me Around. A lot of people, myself included, have mistaken The Zeros for an East LA band because of their Latino heritage. However, The Zeros were actually from San Diego. They were younger than the Hollywood punks of the time and were sorta looked upon as cool, upstart, little brothers to a lot of the Hollywood bands. As pointed out previously, the Zeros were a combination of a lot of disparate elements; they combined a nascent garage punk look and sound with real Class-of-77 song themes. They used to stay at the Tropicana Motor Inn in LA when visiting and co-resident Tom Waits used to refer to them as “these Mexican kids with pointy shoes”, which I think sums it up.

The lead singer of the band was a guy named Javier Escovedo. His brother Alejandro was in The Nuns up in San Francisco so there was a lot of musical cross-pollination with these guys all up and down the Pacific seacoast. After The Zeros ended, Alejandro (who was at that point playing with Rank and File) and Javier formed the highly underappreciated True Believers in Austin, Texas. Perhaps even more interesting is the story of guitarist Robert Lopez who, after a short stint in Catholic Discipline, went on to become El Vez. Possibly one of the greatest live acts in the history of the world.

This entry was posted in California, LA, New Wave, Punk Rock. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Zeros – Beat Your Heart Out 7inch

  1. MRow says:

    This is a total classic – and I actually prefer the power-poppin’ punk of this one to the first. But that’s just splittin’ hairs: GREAT band all around. Even their reunion record on Rockville from the early 90′s (Knockin’ Me Dead) is good fun – Bill Bartell of WHITE FLAG was behind that one.

  2. Marcel says:

    I believe the Zeros were from the suburb of San Diego, Chula Vista, or as many in SD called it, Chula-juana. It was a stone’s throw from the border. In the 80′s the town had a bit of scene, lots straight edge kids from there, and the old label Vinyl Communications came out of there. Good label that put out some good bands, like Neighborhood Watch, Cringer, A.P.P.L.E., Amenity, Forced Down, and Dead Silence. Bob, who was in Neighborhood Watch, ran the label, and he would have some pretty good shows in the garage way back then. It was pretty hard for a kid from north county to get down there, so I missed alot of great shows. Anyways, Bob had an old British Bulldog named Pedro, and if you touched his balls you wouldn’t go to hell.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m no authority on the Zeros, but I believe I read somewhere they were from Escondido. That’s north of the city of San Diego and a few miles inland from the coast, but still in San Diego county. Ok, too much information I know. The main thing is yes, they were not from LA. And if that is not enough minutia, they also claim the 80′s pop star Shelia E as a realative and a member of the now defunct Dragons is a younger brother I believe.

  4. OTTO says:

    Just love this power-pop garage sound. As you mentioned in another recent post, punk was about getting back to basics. Solid 3 minute, 3 chord songs with a good hook and a memorable chorus. Music made by kids, aimed at kids, talking about things kids care about (not the Battle of Epping Forest, for example). The Zeros’ early stuff just really hits the sweet spot. Thanks for posting.

  5. Rg says:

    I gotta agree with Otto, when he aptly puts the Zeroes sing about what kids care about. That really sums it up well. I can’t even remember how many times I was lying in bed, amazed the Zeroes seemed to be just singing about me. Glad I was wrong. The exuberance to which they belt out these melodious monsters still makes me wanna “remember when” as the hairs on top of my head tingle. Thanks for the awesome posts btw. I’ve been a fan of your site for some time; and am a recovering leech lol >Rg

  6. CK says:

    Marcel is correct. The Zeros were from Chula Vista. I grew up there and although I’m about 10 years younger than the Zeros and missed out on them when they were current I was always stoked on them since they were from CV as well. I ran into Baba this weekend at a show. There is a Zeros cover band in San Diego called Wild Weekend and he was there. They’re really fun. Its 3/4 girls and they pull off the sound well.

  7. Danny G says:

    Many times referred to as the “Mexican Ramones” back in the day… which of course can’t be true ‘cuz Baba ain’t Mexican!

  8. Jim says:

    great stuff! Also, bassist Hector Penalosa formed the truly transcendent power pop band Flying Color in San Franciso in the early/mid 80s with future Map of Wyoming leader Dale Duncan and pop guy Chris von Sneidern……..i had heard somewhere that Javier was briefly in NYC early 90′s glam/hard rock band The Throbs too………

  9. hdvns says:

    The Zeros were always a sweet spot in the SoCal scene! I never get sick of their sound!

  10. Tom G says:


    LDOMOE duly plugged.

  11. Scott says:

    Damnit, I love The Zeros. I could probably talk the girls into covering Wild Weekend.

Leave a Reply