|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 was the main man in promoting punk gigs in the Fresno area for several years. From 1982
to 1986 he put on punk gigs in the Fresno area with integrity. Well-liked and trusted, Vence had a
lot of friends, myself included. And it was a great time to be his friend in those days.
He 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 violent shows.
Sometimes the violence was between the punks but usually it was jocks/rednecks/thugs from
outside the scene beating up on the punks. It was way hard to be promoter, doorman, security,
musician, financial backer, all at the same show.
The scene was expanding and other people were coming forth to help out. Vence was cool,
responsible and available. His girlfriend at the time, Carol helped out a lot, too. Vence
understood the concept of the punk movement and was perfect for the role as promoter. He
truly loved alternative lifestyle, art and music in general and punk rock in particular. A pacifist and
fair to everyone in the scene, giving each band a chance at playing. Fair with the money. He put
on gigs for all the right reasons. He was into having fun and he put on some of the best punk
shows ever right here in podunk city, Fresno. 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 8MAR11 ds
|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