They went on and played at Fresno City College, house parties and several other hall shows all the while refining their
leadership position in the developing punk scene. Between Rick and Richard they had the biggest punk record collections
around. They ended up putting on a really big punk show on wednesday July 9, 1980. The DEAD KENNEDYS, the
SUBTRACTIONS and the SHORT ORDER COOKS at the Belmont Ballroom. It was one the first big out-of-town punk band show
put on by punks for Fresno. 400-500 people showed up! At the time it seemed easy to get a lot of people to come out and
that inspired a lot of scenesters. They had been hearing about this punk rock stuff in the mainstream media for a couple of
years by then. For a while the SEX PISTOLS were making the front pages of major newspapers and network tv shows.
Looking back at the photos from that gig, what everyone thought was punk was obviously something different. But, it was a
funtastic gig that gave our little scene a definite shot in the arm. From then on there were more gigs and a bunch of bands
popped up. And there seemed to be a focus that we were all working together on something that could be beneficial to all in
the group. All you had to do was come and be a part of it. People who were just thinking about playing in a band started
rehearsing since there were now gigs coming up.
The SUBTRACTIONS were the spiritual fathers of the Fresno punk scene. The people who went on and continued building the
scene after them were associates of the SUBS. In fact, Richard Wineland was the one that got me into punk record collecting.
I was working at Tower Records and he introduced himself and little by little began to proselytize. Ironically he also was the
one who, a year earlier had gotten Joceylin into punk as well. They went to SF and saw the GERMS at the Deaf Club with
Pam and Rick Reneau.
|Practicing in an auto body shop THE SUBTRACTIONS
formed in 1979. A few months later I was added on as
second guitarist and the band became a 5 piece. I played
the first few gigs. One, a Fresno State frat party at a rented
hall put on by scenester Pat Farley, which I believe was one
of thee first, actual hardcore punk gigs in Fresno that
featured a local punk band and another at the Wild Blue
Yonder with a band called AYNUL SPEW. But then my
drinking and bad attitude at practice got me kicked out of
the band. They went on as a 4 piece just fine without me
after that. But, that was the first real 'modern' punk band I
played in and I learned a lot from those guys.
Rick Reneau was a great influence as well. Another record collector. [Whenever musicians are not
record collectors I can't help but be skeptical of their talent] A great punk guitarist with a
lightning-fast, all-downstrokes style of staccato rhythm playing similar to Johnny Ramone.
If they just could've stayed together a little longer they would have made it. But, somewhere in '81
they broke up. Rick went on to form NBJ and Richard became obsessed with computers,
long before anyone else I knew, [the cutting-edge personality again]. Marcus sold crop insurance and
Wayne played drums for several different bands. He still plays in a local jazz band.
The SUBS did make a studio recording which to my knowledge has never seen the light of day.
Which is a shame because there's some good songs on there. Marcus wrote some great punk lyrics.
Some of the songs were "Fresno's Dead", "Young Girl", "Modern Kids", "I'm the Slime" and a great cover
of The Stooges' "I wanna be your Dog".
There is something that's so good when these types of movements are in the beginning stages
because it's so pure. As soon as the beginning is over and the next part of the growth starts certain
people feel compelled to leave. And the feel of everything changes because those types of risk-takers
and trailblazers are gone. As the years went by the average age of the people in the scene got
younger. It was difficult for a young teenager to be deeply involved in the punk scene early on
because it took a car and money and there was danger hanging out in these seedy, over-21 bars. There
were a few younger teenagers here and there. But, it was mostly an older crowd of progressive, arty
types. But, it got younger and more macho as punk expanded into the early 80s.
Dale Stewart firstname.lastname@example.org
This mini-documentary is
the work of Wayne
Garabedian, drummer for
the Subtractions and Dale
Stewart, guitarist for the
first few gigs. Wayne
wrote the script and tells
the story from his point of
view. I’m glad we had the
blessing of Marcus
Marootian for the project.
Since this has been
published I've been in
contact with Rick Reneau
and he is still playing
guitar and singing in several
different projects in San
Francisco. He came to
Fresno and we jammed on
some old Subs songs.
Modern Kids 1979-1980.
ds 9:44 2013
Some new material from Rickey Reneau 12AUG2014:
It was at Tower Records Fresno that Richard met Dave Propp hanging
out by the punk 7-inchers. And some months later in '79 was where I
met Richard, too.
A pre-SUBTRACTIONS project was THE SLAGGS. On the gig flyer for the
1980 Dead Kennedys show it says, a Slagg Production. Richard
Wineland on bass with Dave Propp on guitar and Rick Reneau on guitar
and vocals. No drummer and no actual gigs. But that was to change
soon after they hooked up with drummer Wayne Garabedian and
vocalist Marcus Marootian who were jamming, too. I think the project
was called SOVIET ARMENIA. One night they called the
Maximumrocknroll radio show and referred to their band as
his is where the 80s Fresno punk scene started. Before the
SUBTRACTIONS there were no gigging punk bands in our little burg.
There were some new wave bands like ORCHID who became the
CLAMS, but no gigging hardcore punk bands.
The influence of Richard Wineland on just about everybody in the
first Fresno punk scene from the earliest days was immense. A trail
blazer and proselytizer he was collecting rock records from the early
70's and by the time punk hit in '76 with the SEX PISTOLS Richard was
there listening and taking it all in. Primed in the early-70's by acts like
THE NEW YORK DOLLS, HAWKWIND, IGGY and ROXY MUSIC it was no
great leap to understand and enjoy punk rock when it hit. Often trips
to SF and LA to punk/new wave gigs and record stores kept the fires
burning. And Tower records here in Fresno had a decent selection of
punk records, too.
|NEW! 2FEB15 The Subtractions have a new Facebook page with lots of
new photos and info about what is happening with the release of their
4 song 7-inch ep of unreleased studio recordings from 1980 on
|Marcus Marootian Wild Blue Yonder 1979
|Dale Stewart & Rick Reneau The Subtractions The Wild Blue Yonder 1979
|Wayne Garabedian - Drums 1980
|NEW! 15APR15 The new issue of Savage Damage Digest
is out with the Subtractions Bassist Richard Wineland on
the front cover! Photo taken in 1980 in the auto body shop
where the Subtractions rehearsed.