These guys & gals oozed punk street cred. It seemed these were the people
punk was invented for. Annelle was so cool! She ruled wherever she went
and relished having whatever authority she could shove onto anyone within
earshot. She also never lacked for admirers. From the stage in between songs
she would demand a cigarette, then a beer, then help with her gear. It was
charming and funny in a sick sort of way.
At some point June Beard was replaced with Mark Wills from Hanford on
drums. In '82-'83 the band was operating in a sporadic, on-again off-again
mode. They took a lot of time off in-between gigs.
Fresno had a big connection with San Luis Obispo and a lot of the bands
would go over there and play. The SLO bands would come over here, too.
One of the better bands was DEATH OF GLORY which featured Jimmy Rios on
vocals and ex-CP vocalist Eric Tsuda on drums. One of the most
memorable shows from the early 80's was MINOR THREAT, CP, NBJ,
CAMBODIAN KIDS and DEATH OF GLORY at the Fulton House in Fresno. What a
line-up! What a show! Eric and Jimmy played together in another SLO band,
the UNFIT in the 90's.
|Except for the one song on the Not so Quiet compilation, Dead Porker
no other studio recordings were ever released.
A 1/4 inch, 4-track reel to reel studio recording was talked about for
years. It was held hostage for payment of studio time. But before the
debt could be paid the band came to a tragic end on Oct 23, 1983 with
the passing of lead vocalist Annelle
at only 22 years old.
That was the saddest funeral I ever attended. Not a dry eye was there.
It was attended by most of the Fresno punks and many
family and friends.
NBJ ended up with more than it's fair share of tragedy.
A few years later, bass player Stan Farrington passed away. And in the
mid 90's drummer Mark Wills died in Germany.
I recently bumped into an old friend and he laughingly said, "there's no
one left from the old Fresno punk scene
because they're all dead".
Though it's partly true, it was difficult for me to find any humor in light
of the loss. They were some of my old friends and a lot of people
enjoyed their music. And they had families that loved them. Please show
some respect. Yeah, some of them died. It's no great mystery what
caused it: addiction and mental illness. Some people can't help it, they
were born that way. But through a garage band they triumphed over
tragedy at least for a brief while as they played the angst that was their
music. It gave a voice to the pain. I salute the misfits of society who
against formidable opposition somehow found a way into the
music business through punk rock.
|Steve Bradshaw-guitar, Mark Wills-drums, Annelle-vocals - NBJ, Fat Jerry-vocals-Vicious Bunnyz, cop 1983
Annelle visiting a friend.
NBJ - June Beard - drums, Steve Bradshaw - guitar, Annelle Zinagrelli - vocals, Stan Farrington - bass
|Eric, Annelle, Steve and a friend holding puppies. 1982
|Stan Farrington, bassist for NBJ and Trish Army 1984.
I always thought her name was spelled with one 'n' and I never knew her birth date.
Bob put a rose in the cup on the gravestone and talked to Annelle as if she were listening. I remarked she
was born on April fool's day. The brass plaque was a little dirty and we wiped it off. Bob continued to talk
to her as I listened.
"We sure miss you Annelle and we still love you".
I felt pity for her, that she would do this to herself, to miss out on all the life that had come and gone
since she had died 19 years earlier. I felt sorry for her family. The loss of a beautiful 22 year old daughter
must have been unbearable. An assortment of negative feelings must have lingered for years. A tragic
ending of a life lived ever so briefly but shined so brightly.
Dale Stewart email@example.com
|Mark Wills 1990s photo: Katja Buer
|nnelle and Steve had been friends since they were in their early teens. They
formed NBJ in 1980 with Stan Farrington and quickly became the best and
most popular punk band in the Fresno scene at the time. With their name
and lyrics they were both anti-social and dangerous. Songs about killing cops
and doing drugs. They had a death-a-billy, grungy-punk ala FLIPPER sound
that had a broad appeal.
If you put just about any kind of an audience in front of them, they would
like NBJ. Either because of or in spite of their dangerousness they showed
potential for success. When the DKs played here in 1980 the only band Jello
showed interest in was NBJ. If things would have worked out a little
differently they might have gotten signed to AT.
NEW! UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018
Negotitations are underway for the release of the
NBJ LP! Tapes were made back in the day and
except for Dead Porker nothing was ever released.
It looks as that will change here in the coming
months. Stay tuned to this bat channel for updates.
Burnin Bob and I went to the cemetery on
Villa in Clovis in 2002. We had a discussion as
to when Annelle had passed away. Was it '83
or '84? We could find the truth by going to
her grave. Bob knew which graveyard and
after walking around we finally went to the
office and found the exact location.