The criminally overlooked GEARS formed in 1977 amidst the then emerging Los Angeles punk scene. Singer Axxel G. Reese and drummer, Dave Drive from The Shakers formed the original lineup with Crazy Rueben on guitar and Gabriel Shock on bass. 

The foursome recorded the “Let’s Go To The Beach” seven inch EP. After an incident where Rueben launched a cueball at a roadie Axxel and Dave retooled the lineup in late ’78 with Kidd Spike from The Controllers on guitar and Brian Redz on bass. The newly hopped up quartet hot rodded their SoCal brand of Ramones punk with the feral rockabilly bop of Gene Vincent, Charlie Feathers and Joe Clay. 

They avoided the anarchic trappings favored by their peers, instead filling their 1980 “Rockin’ At Ground Zero” LP with songs about fun (Don’t Be Afraid To Pogo, Rockin’ At Ground Zero), drugs (I Smoke Dope), anxiety (Teenage Brain) and girls (Baby Runaround, Trudie, Trudie). 

They were extraordinarily tight and developed an incendiary live show that incited uncontrollable fits of pogoing. As a regular draw at both The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Starwood they cruised the scene with The Weirdos, The Plugz, The Alley Cats and The Last. The Gears remain revered amongst devotees to the early Los Angeles punk scene. It is however unfortunate that they rarely roamed far from their Southern California stomping grounds; other than a handful of forays to San Francisco and hence never enjoyed the widespread notoriety of The Germs, Gun Club and X.

Born Outta Time