By now you’ve probably heard about Come Join Friends, the California underground music video archive effort manned by So Cal Hardcore scene veterans Joe Nelson (Triggerman/Ignite) and Brian Balchack (1134/Ignite). Already the pair have digitized and made available (via Youtube) a mind-blowing catalog of classic and previously-thought lost live videos from heavy-hitters like Inside Out, Carry Nation, Bold and Pushed Aside (among many others!)
I asked the boys of CJF how this massive undertaking came about and if we could be of any assistance. Here’s what Joe had to say:
A few months ago Brian Balchack of 1134/Ignite fame started a YouTube channel called “Come Join Friends” along with a slew of accompanying social media channels, his only goal being to archive and showcase as many Hardcore/Punk/Metal shows that took place in California as possible. So many of these shows are lost due to the disintegrating properties that are VHS tapes or the fact that nobody has a VCR anymore to watch them. These shows are important, even if only to our little Hardcore world. This is our history, and we MUST preserve it.
Ballmetal (as he is known in certain circles) has already spent a ton of hours digitizing old shows and throwing them up for the world to enjoy. He’s already found a few gems such as Inside Out shows nobody had ever really seen before or the Agnostic Front show at the Reseda Country Club. However there is still a long way to go.
We are not done. We need everyone’s help with this. Even if you don’t possess any shows you may know somebody who does. If you are thinking to yourself, “I wonder if they would be interested in this VHS tape I have at my mom’s house of (insert band name here)” the answer is YES! Even if it’s some lame band nobody ever heard of playing a backyard party (in California) we want to not only see it but digitally preserve it so that other people can make fun of it or perhaps even enjoy it. Who knows? The sky’s the limit.
The dream of Come Join Friends, the mission statement if you will, is to become the one-stop digital library for everything and anything that happened in the California Punk/Hardcore/Metal scene between the years of 1690 to present day.
However, it really won’t happen without your help. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what Come Join Friends is going to become. There’s shows such as Fugazi at the Country Club in Reseda that I personally shot but then, somewhere down the line, the tape was lent out and lost forever. We need that show back! Do you have it? What about Gorilla Biscuits at the Country Club with Porcell on bass during their “We wear all white phase”? They played a song that night called “The Machine” that they never played again. Where is that show? Do you have a copy? There’s also 4 or 5 Uniform Choice shows that I once had but no longer can find. They were not original copies so somewhere out there they must still exist. Maybe your friend has them? See what I am getting at? This is a group effort brothers (and sisters.) This is our history and we all must join together as friends and preserve it. Please COME JOIN FRIENDS!
Please contact Joe and Brian at Come Join Friends at comejoinfriends[at]gmail[dot]com or through their Come Join Friends Facebook Page.