|This photo shows some of the people in the Fresno punk scene in 1984. Man, what a
fun time we had! There was a lot of partying, but there was a lot of hard work, too.
And no one worked harder than Vence Barela promoting punk gigs in Fresno.
Vence and Carol were the main force promoting punk gigs in the Fresno area for
several years. From 1982 to 1986 they put on punk gigs in the Fresno area with
integrity. Well-liked and trusted, they had a lot of friends, myself included. And it
was a great time to be their friend in those days.
Vence was getting into promoting right when Joceylin and I were getting out of it. A
turning point for us was one of those early gigs where we not only put on the show
but, we played it as well. While we were on stage playing I could see at the back of
the hall some jerks laughing as they punched and kicked holes in the sheetrock wall.
It was just too much. I couldn't leave the stage in the middle of a song and stop them.
And there always was some sort of similar crowd management at these sometimes
Sometimes the violence was between the punks but usually it was
jocks/rednecks/thugs from outside the scene stirring up trouble. It was way hard to
be promoter, doorman, security, musician, financial backer, all at the same show, but
that was 80s punk rock.
The scene was expanding and other people were coming forth to help out. Vence
and Carol were cool, responsible and available. They understood the concept of the
punk movement and were perfect for the role as gig promoters. They truly loved
alternative lifestyle, art and music in general and punk rock in particular. Pacifists and
fair to everyone in the scene, giving each band a chance at playing. Fair with the
money. They put on gigs for all the right reasons. They were into having fun and put
on some of the best punk shows ever right here in podunk city, Fresno. Many bands
came from all over the world to play at VHB's all-ages shows at several different
venues in Fresno. Most were at the Knights of Columbus hall at Floradora and Fresno
streets but some were at the Wilson Theater, Eagle's Hall and other venues. Although
he put on a few shows here and there he pretty much stopped putting on punk shows
in '86 and others came to take his place. Link to Vence's gigs list
Next to him is Rick Struhar, bass player for HARSH REALITY and a smoke jumper for
many years. And Mike Branum, drummer for CAPITOL PUNISHMENT from '82-'87.
Then there's Mike Waldhart, guitarist for DEATH CAMP and THINK TANK ,bands that
appeared on the Fresno Compilation-Hardcore 84. He also played in CP for a few gigs
as second guitarist.
Next to him is Mojo who would go on to sing lead in the S.A.D. BOYZ. Next is Todd
Sharp lead singer of HARSH REALITY. And last but not least is Ralph Lotspeich lead
singer for CP trying to give Todd a little tongue in the ear. How nice.
Have you ever laughed so hard you cried? It truly was a wild and fun time.
To make sure all these colorful people and memorable events were not forgotten, I've
been documenting the Fresno punk scene with gig flyers, records, demos and photos
since 1979. But, by the mid-90's I had lost some interest in the local scene. Although, I
still collect some punk stuff to this day it's not with the purpose of completeness I had
back in the 80's. So, my main focus is from '79 to '86.
Dale Stewart 2001 punksnax at hot mail daught com
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|Last Update 31MAR21
|Fresno punk scenesters at the Clovis warehouse 1984 L to R , Sandy, Vence, Sam, Rick, Kim, Mike,
Pokey, Stephanie, Mike W, Girlfriend, Mojo, Rokie,Todd & Ralph.