Roberto Valverde

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Drummer - Horror punk, Heavy metal

Bands: Misfits, Black Flag

Drumsticks: Vater

Robo (born Julio Roberto Valverde Valencia in 1955) is a Colombian-American drummer. He was the drummer for Misfits (1982–1983, 2005–2010), and first gained recognition as a drummer for Black Flag (1979–1981, 2003).

Life and career

Robo (at the time known by his birth name, Roberto Valverde), was a Colombian army defector, born in Cali, Columbia who came to the United States on a student visa in early 1975. He stayed after the visa expired, making him an illegal alien.

Robo began playing drums in 1976, while living in El Segundo, California and working in a plastics factory. In 1978, he joined Black Flag as the band's second drummer, replacing Brian Migdol. He toured and recorded with them through 1981, performing on the EPs Jealous Again, Six Pack, and their first full-length album Damaged. He later toured and recorded with the Misfits on the Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood album.

Robo's drum style is brash and brutal, relying heavily on open high-hat to generate the frenetic sounds on Black Flag's albums. His signature drum kit during that era was transparent to match Greg Ginn's see-through Dan Armstrong guitar, and was unique in that all of the drums and cymbals were level. He was also known for wearing plastic and metal bracelets during concerts and recording sessions; they can sometimes be heard faintly clattering on recordings. His stage name was given to him by his Black Flag bandmates, and is both a play on his name (Roberto) and a reference to his drumming style. Whereas many drummers utilize a style which uses quick movements originating from the wrist, Robo's style consists of stiff, robotic movements of the entire arm.

In 2003, Robo drummed for Black Flag during their reunion shows. He was joined by Dez Cadena on vocals and rhythm guitar, Greg Ginn on lead guitar, and C'el Revuelta on bass. In 2005, he rejoined with the Misfits, now featuring Jerry Only on bass and vocals and fellow former Black Flag member Dez Cadena on guitar. When touring, the band played Misfits songs as well as Black Flag songs, with Cadena singing the Black Flag songs. He appears on the "Land of the Dead" single.

He was briefly mentioned in the Jim Jarmusch short film Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere in California by Iggy Pop, who suggested using Robo's drumming talents to an offended Tom Waits.

Robo has been married once, to Barbara Mazzone Valverde, and they have one son, Vincent Valverde, who was born in December 1985. Robo and Barbara subsequently divorced.

In 2010, Robo dropped out of The Misfits due to passport troubles.

On January 25, 2013, it was announced that Robo would be participating in Black Flag's upcoming reunion show at Hevy Music Festival in Folkestone, their first UK show in 30 years, in August. A few days later, it was announced that Gregory Moore would be the drummer for Black Flag, not Robo.

Robo Drumstick Collection

Current Drumstick Count in Collection: 3.

(0657) Robo - autographed, Vater signature model drumstick, 2007 30th Anniversary Tour, signed by Jerry Only, Dez Cadena and Robo.