The Nervous Eaters was one of the bands that represented the heart and soul of the Boston punk scene at the end of the 70‘s and the birth of a local scene that would foster dozens of influential and successful American artists in the 80’s and beyond. That needs to be said because the “Eaters,” as the group was affectionately referred to locally, never achieved a whole lot of attention outside of Boston or New York City, yet its presence was critical and energizing here at home. Featuring singer, guitarist and songwriter Steve Cataldo, the Nervous Eaters was considered the house band at Kenmore Square’s Rat by virtue of its many appearances there and a pair of 7” singles released on the club’s Rat Records. One of those songs, “Loretta,” became and remains one of the city’s enduring rock and roll anthems powered by a scorching four-piece attack and Cataldo’s husky and fervent vocals.
Ric Ocasek of the Cars became a fan and his interest, although never officially acknowledged, must have helped land the Nervous Eaters a deal on Elektra Records, also the home of his platinum-selling group. It was here on the national stage, though, that the group floundered. Hobbled by label expectations and a poor choice of producer, their eponymous 1980 album lacked most of the punch and sincerity of the band’s live show and original singles. After the album sank without a trace, the Nervous Eaters withdrew as well and soon became inactive. But the 1986 reunion album Hot Steel and Acid on the local Ace of Hearts label became a fan favorite and really summed up what this band was all about.
(by Carter Alan)