The Stains’ Robert Becerra Dead At 64
Robert Becerra, guitarist for the pioneering LA punk band the Stains, has died. A post on the band’s Facebook account reads, “It is with great and heartbreaking sadness to announce that we lost our beloved Robert Becerra yesterday to liver cancer. He was a true fighter and fought til the very end. We will always have him in our hearts and his music and legacy will live on. He is going to be rocking in in heaven. Sending peace and love to his friends and fans.” Becerra was 64.
Becerra co-founded the Stains in 1976 in Boyle Heights, an East Los Angeles neighborhood known for its Chicano population. The group (not to be confused with the Stains from Texas who morphed into MDC) played technical yet chaotic music at unhinged speeds, nudging hardcore punk in metal’s direction years before crossover thrash became a trendy sound. Becerra’s playing was an influence on Black Flag’s Greg Ginn, who put out the Stains’ sole, self-titled album on SST in 1983; it was produced by SST’s in-house engineer Spot. All Music Guide’s review sums up the appeal of Becerra’s playing nicely: “Becerra slides into wild flurries of soloing whenever the mood hits him, reaching for licks well beyond his technical skills and ending up in much more interesting territory as a result.”