Joe Nelson may have the greatest memory of anyone who came out of the mid/late 80s Orange County Hardcore Scene. He was in the mix of it all...Sloth Crew, Insted roadie, travelling hardcore kid...he really just saw it all over the last 25 years and has lived to have countless great stories. We wanted to get him to shed some light on some of our favorite topics. This will be the first of many contributions by Joe and we're happy to have him on board as a guest columnist. What better place to start than by asking him about Pat Dubar of Uniform Choice, and specifically, "how tough was Pat Dubar?" -DCXX
Pat Dubar was fucking tough. During U.C. days he was not only a big dude and in great shape, but he was fearless. You have to also keep in mind that the era of U.C., which was the mid 80s, was the most violent time to be a punk/hardcore kid in Southern California. Punk/Hardcore shows back then were in the middle of the ghetto, so you had those kind of gangs to deal with on occasion. You also had these psycho punk gangs who actually fought for control of the clubs, such as Fender's or the Olympic. The L.A.D.S., Suicidals, South Bay Skins, Sons of Samoa, Circle One, etc., were actual gangs that were 20 - 40 members deep. The fights that happened at clubs during the 80s were like 30 on 30 sometimes. I'm talking crazy, crazy, full on brawls were happening 3 - 4 times a night.
Also, shows at the time were averaging about 2000 people. Out of those people, maybe 20 - 25 kids were straight edge, and all of us were still in High School. We were always the minority, and by far not the scariest dudes in the room. Pat was our little straight edge scene's protector back during that time. Without him we would not have exited some of those shows with all our teeth still in place. He definitely saved my ass a couple times.
I remember always being extremely cautious of where to stage dive during U.C. sets. The last thing you wanted was to land on some gang banger's head, because they would just brutalize you. A couple times I made that mistake only to have Pat come into the crowd swinging at all of them, and to my rescue.
There's actually a great video of Pat's brother Courtney doing a stage dive during a U.C. set. He goes off camera and ends up getting pummeled by the L.A.D.S. in the crowd. In the video you see all the kids run to Courtney's aid, only to have all of them come scattering back on stage into the video. Pat however stayed right smack in the middle of it. You can actually hear him punching dudes with the mic..."boom".. "boom". .."boom".. "boom"....."boom." He must have hit and dropped 10 dudes. We're not talking some dumb jock from the suburbs either, we're talking about dropping guys who if they didn't get killed 2 - 3 years later, are now all lifers for murder, armed robbery, or some other major crime. I mean these people were hardcore criminals.
So yeah, Pat Dubar was fucking tough.