Liz Gherna Biography
Liz Gherna is a songwriter who writes and performs rootsy rock and music she calls hard folk. Liz has a soulful, melodic, original and edgy voice which betrays her love for early west coast punk rock, Linda Ronstadt, Michelle Shocked and Lucinda Williams to name only a few.
Each original song is a semi autobiographical story, from difficult times in My Stew Blues, strong feelings about LGBT rights in the very clever I'm Not Happy Im Gay and in general her songs are a commentary on the human condition.
"At 17 I really got into local (LA) bands Redd Kross, Alley Cats, X, The Flesh Eaters, Tex & The Horse heads" says Gherna. "I was soaking it in, buying vinyl of what I could though much of what I was listening to wasnt even being recorded. Seven days a week I was going to Hollywood and seeing the shows."
The first music she remembers in the house was Hank Williams: a double Hank Williams best of album she played over and over. Her older sister had Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair and a four part Woodstock album. One of her early favorites was Linda Ronstadt. "She had such amazing song writers and song choices"
By 1986, Liz had joined her first band with guitarist Steve Vasquez. His band, Hood, was a hard rock band with big guitar riffs and the songwriting collaboration really worked. The combination was a hit and they played the Troubadour, Club 88, Music Machine, and more. When the band lost its bass guitar player, Liz picked it up and became Hood's bass guitarist as well as lead singer.
When Hood broke up, She continued her solo songwriting, forming the first Liz Gherna band. The Liz Gherna Band played around the LA/Hollywood scene. In her band was Flying Ike (Mark) Robison, who went on to play with the Bad Town Boys and the Electric Ferrets (two big punk rock bands) and Diana Malouf on drums.
Influences over the years were The Cult (Electric), Motley Crue, Guns n Roses (Appetite for Destruction), Eleven, Audio Slave, Lucinda Williams, Concrete Blonde, Hole, Mary's Danish and L7.
She picked up again with Steve Vasquez who was now a drummer, Dag Flater on screaming guitars, Damion Presogna on bass, Liz on guitar and they continued as Bess Dreader, a modern punk rock meets metal and heavy rock playing all Liz Gherna originals.
Going solo again, she recorded an EP in 2005 with producer Bobby Cuff, entitled Green Waste Mansion and in 2006 an EP with engineer/producer Vincent Damion Presogna entitled Songs for August. In 2006 The Liz Gherna Band toured with Bobby Cuff (guitars, lap steel), Karlee Tittle (violin), Markee O'Pharn (bass) and Zachary Wrobel on drums.
From 2007 and for the next few years Liz played solo gigs around Los Angeles and began a deep involvement in non-profit charity events and benefits.
In 2014 she recorded The Very Best of Liz Gherna a 12-song CD featuring My Stew Blues, Im Not Happy I'm Gay and 10 other stripped down and magnificently produced songs from her extensive catalog.
My Stew Blues, I'm Not Happy I'm Gay, and Hey Me are available on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. The Very Best of Liz Gherna is available for purchase through LizGherna.com or at Liz Gherna Music on Facebook. I'm Not Happy I'm Gay videos are on YouTube and Liz Gherna.com. Liz Gherna plays regularly around Los Angels and most recently in the South Bay at St. Rocke in Hermosa Beach, The Mint in Los Angeles, and at festivals and charity benefits.