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, network news and 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 had been a couple gigs with big attendance and more gigs were being planned and talked about.
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 got into farming and Wayne played drums for several different
bands. He still plays in a local jazz band.
The SUBS did make a studio recording which at the time of this
writing had never seen the light of day.
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
There is something that's so good when these types of movements
are in the beginning stges 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 email@example.com
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
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 SLAGS. On the gig flyer for the
1980 Dead Kennedys show it says, a Slag 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.