The world of punk rock and hardcore music is mourning the loss of a true legend. Robert Becerra, an American guitarist known for his contribution to the iconic ’70s/’80s-era LA punk/hardcore band the Stains, passed away at the age of 64 after a battle with liver cancer. The sad news was shared via a heartfelt post on the band’s official Facebook page.
In the post, the band expressed their profound sadness at the loss of Robert Becerra and praised him as a fighter who never gave up. They assured fans that his music and legacy would continue to live on, and they envisioned him rocking in heaven. The message also conveyed their gratitude to Robert for his music and the inspiration he provided to countless fans.
Born on December 17, 1958, Robert Becerra made an indelible mark on the punk rock scene, and his legacy will forever echo through the annals of music history.
The Stains: Pioneers of Punk
The Stains were a pioneering force in the world of punk rock. Formed in 1976, they were among the first LA punk bands, playing a crucial role in bridging the gap between punk/hardcore and heavy metal. Their debut album, released in 1983, became a defining moment in their career. This landmark record was released on Black Flag’s SST Records and was produced by the label’s legendary in-house producer, SPOT, who regrettably passed away earlier in the same year.
Becerra’s guitar skills were truly exceptional and had a profound influence on the work of Greg Ginn, the renowned guitarist of Black Flag. Ginn even sold Becerra the Ibanez Flying V that he had used to record the iconic Nervous Breakdown EP for a mere $200. It’s worth noting that, according to SPOT, Becerra had never used a whammy bar until the day the Stains’ LP was recorded, showcasing his adaptability and talent.
A Legacy That Endures
Even though the Stains may not have received the widespread recognition they deserved during their time, their impact on the punk and hardcore music scene was immense. Eyehategod’s Mike IX Williams, reflecting on the band in 2021, described them as “aggressive, manic, and twisted,” and emphasized that those who truly understood their influence recognized their genius. The Stains left behind a self-titled piece of punk-metal brilliance that was ahead of its time and continues to resonate with fans across the globe.
In the wake of Robert Becerra’s passing, tributes have poured in from all corners of the music world. Jim Ruland, who authored the book “Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise and Fall of SST Records,” paid homage to Becerra, acknowledging his massive influence and lamenting that he was often under-appreciated.
As we remember Robert Becerra, we celebrate a musician whose talent and dedication helped shape the punk and hardcore music landscape. His legacy will continue to inspire and resonate with generations of fans, ensuring that his music lives on forever.