The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico. Photos by Ken Salerno.
Fear/Mentors - March 16, 1986
Carl Humenik (City Gardens security): Fear was the first band that came up to me afterwards and were like, “We love to have you up there [working security]. We saw you singing every single song and having a 152 no slam dancing, no stage diving, no spikes great time.” I would get up on stage, and I knew everyone was jealous that I was standing right next to the band, singing along with them. And that was a band that wouldn’t care if I punched someone.
Neal Dallmer (City Gardens regular): Some kid had recently gotten a broken arm, so Randy was holding the security guys to the “no slamming” rule. There was a real lockdown on that stuff, but there was no way you could stop it. The crowd was like a herd of cattle, and you could see them getting ready to go at it hard and strong. Everybody was waiting. Fear came out and played a few songs, then during “Let’s Have A War,” I looked at Repo—who wasn’t working security that night— and he looked at me, and we went for it. And from there on out it was mayhem. It was gorgeous, just absolutely beautiful. Repo and I were going at it along with everyone else, and the security guys rush in, grab Repo, and toss him out. Even though they knew us, and Repo was a bouncer there, no one was doing anyone any favors.
Mark “Repo” Pesetsky: Yeah, even though I worked there, I got thrown out. Neal and I talked about it. We knew we were going to get thrown out. I didn’t work a lot of shows during that time, because I didn’t like throwing people out just for mixing it up.
Neal Dallmer: Repo was my ride, so I had to leave too. And there was mayhem in the parking lot.
Don Rettman (City Gardens DJ): I remember driving [Mentors’ lead singer] El Duce around. I was stopped behind a cop, and he’s like, “Hey, is that a pig up there?!” I sat there, like, Oh God, no.
Randy Now: Say what you want about The Mentors and El Duce, but of all the bands I worked and toured with, El Duce was the only guy who would call me up and say, “Just wanted to call and let you know we made it home okay, and thanks for everything!” The only one!
Sadly, one tragic night El Duce did not make it home okay. In the mid-nineties, after the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, El Duce began making the claim that Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, had offered him money to kill Cobain. El Duce told his story to The Jerry Springer Show, The National 1985–1986 153 Enquirer, and in the documentary “Kurt & Courtney.” On April 19, 1997, El Duce’s body was discovered on railroad tracks in Riverside, CA. He had either fallen asleep on the tracks while walking home from a bar or stumbled in front of it. Some believe he was pushed to his death in an effort to silence him. -editors