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The Nerves

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Biography

The Nerves refers to three bands:

1. A mid-’70s power pop trio based in Los Angeles, California, featuring guitarist Jack Lee, bassist Peter Case, and drummer Paul Collins.

In the earlier of the three bands all three members (Jack Lee, Peter Case, and Paul Collins) composed songs and sang. They managed a national tour, including a few dates with The Ramones, but they lasted just a short time and self-released only one self-titled four-song EP in 1976, featuring the songs “Hanging on the Telephone” (Lee), “When You Find Out” (Case), “Give Me Some Time” (Lee), and “Working Too Hard” (Collins). The EP was distributed by independent Bomp! Records. According to his website, Paul Collins is presently re-releasing The Nerves on vinyl and compact disc through Alive Records/Bomp Records in 2006.

Despite their limited lifespan and discography, The Nerves remain notable for many reasons. They were the founding vanguard of the LA pop scene that eventually produced The Knack and The Plimsouls. After The Nerves’ break-up, Case and Collins formed The Breakaways with Pat Stengl, a group that would have an even shorter lifespan than The Nerves. Thereafter, however, Case and Collins went on to front more famous groups, The Plimsouls (who had a Billboard Top 100 hit with “A Million Miles Away”) and The Beat, respectively. But perhaps the most notable legacy of the group is the song “Hanging on the Telephone”: popular group Blondie later covered the song on their smash album Parallel Lines and turned it into a UK top 5 hit, and thanks to Blondie’s success, the song has become something of a standard, later re-done by groups as diverse as L7, Def Leppard, and Cat Power (whose version was featured in Cingular commercials in 2006).

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