When I was 14 we were living in the projects on Clinton and Fresno street and I saw the Beatles on tv. It had a huge
effect on me. Whatever it was they were doing I wanted to be a part of it. It started a sunday night ritual of
watching the Ed Sullivan Show just to see the rock bands appear. After many months of guitar practice I ended up
playing in a couple of teenage cover bands in the 60's. My first real gig was at the Fresno Veterans Memorial
Auditorium in 1966. It was a Battle of the Bands and the name of our band was Copasetic Copulation, a name I
thought up that we quickly dropped by the time we played our second gig because it was too edgy. That second gig
was to be our last and we were billed as Muscle, a name chosen by our lead singer at the time, David Urrutia,
because none of us had muscles. It was at the Sunnyside Swim and Raquet Club and was our first-ever paying gig,
$35. It's funny how I remember every well-paying gig and every gig I got stiffed at. After that I played only
occasionally into the 70's. But I always had an acoustic guitar handy and played it from time to time. In the 70s I
would jam with Tom Moore on 3-chord blues progressions from every angle: as one guy played rhythm, the other
played lead. Then, next bar, trade off. That honed our basic guitar chops.
In the late 70's I got a job at Tower Records and that introduced me to record collecting. I built up my general
knowledge of music through countless hours of listening and reading. I eventually joined a new band that was
starting up called the Subtractions. They were playing this new kind of rock called punk. Almost no rules except to
be punk, whatever that was. Defining it ended up becoming it's main feature. Sometimes it seemed like it was as
many different things as there were people in it.
After brief stints in a couple of punk and new wave bands I finally settled in on a band with my soulmate,
Joceylin in 1981. Our first lead singer, Eric Tsuda thought up the name
Capitol Punishment. We continued to do this band as it drifted away from punk and into metally hardcore. Time
went by. A lot of time went by. From '81 to '95 we went through several different lead singers and drummers. We
ended up going on a couple of US and European tours (got to play at CBGB in NYC in '89) and played a lot of
recording sessions. We put out a variety of records on several different independent labels.
In 1983 I released our first record on my newly-formed, Stagedive Records label and continued to release records
over the years to this day. From '85-'92 I operated a brick and mortar record store in Fresno under the same name.
In 2001 I finally joined the digital age and continued to distribute various content online. All in all it has been good
fun. Still playing in a band, occasional solo performances and always working on new material and new projects.
Dale Stewart 9JUN2009.
I'm really into politics, history and music.
I have found some of my most inspiring motivations in life from Democratic policy and
politicians, journalists, civic leaders and musicians. You could say I'm a fishing and hunting
Democrat, minus the hunting part or a Labor Union Democrat only I'm not in a union. I call
myself a Left-Leaning Centrist with a guitar and an opinion.
|Here are some of my recordings at
| Funston Terrace Projects 1980s Fresno Bee photo
From the Projects to CBGBs