Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Love the Captive needs a little bit of love


There’s no doubt that Fresno concert promoter Love the Captive had its most ambitious year to date in 2010. It booked shows at Starline and Audie’s Olympic, had its own venue called The Captive for a short time and was the chief promoter behind the resurrection of Frank’s Place this summer.

Acts such as Mayer Hawthorne, A Place to Bury Strangers, Avi Buffalo, Dan Black, Designer Drugs, Admiral Radley and many others came to Fresno in 2010 because of Love the Captive. And LTC also organized a big local benefit concert for Haiti.

Well, not everything penciled out for Love the Captive, so it has put together a benefit dinner for Dec. 27 at Veni Vidi Vici. VVV’s head chef Tony Briceno is preparing a four-course meal that starts with appetizers at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $32 and are available in advance via Ticketfly.

Writes LTC’s head honcho Johnny Quiroz:

In the 6 years of our existence, we’ve worked with some great bands and met some amazing people. Unfortunately 2010 had its share of hardships and trials, thankfully we made it through the year alive. It has always been a pleasure helping bands chase their dreams, to me that’s what LTC is all about. And, for the first time in six years, LTC is crying out for help. This dinner is designed to help us pay off a few LTC bills that are over our head.

Money raised, he says, will help Love the Captive recover from 2010 and plan for 2011.

Responses to "Love the Captive needs a little bit of love"

Stephen says:

I like Johnny.

I think he has brought in some big bands.

But I think Johnny brought in some big bands without the means or education to do so.

The bleeding liberal in me wants to help a good guy like Johnny, but the conservative in me wonders how he can be in such dire straits while still wearing those sweet clothes and drinking that sweet alcohol and living in a place with a roof.

This, to me, is a pull-up-the-bootstraps moment. A ‘get a job at 7-11 moment.’ A chance for Johnny to look inside and eat some of Vini’s delicious Humble Pie and start re-learning his business. Relationships are the key to promoting, and you can’t afford to muck up – trust me, I’ve mucked more than most.

I’m sorry you can’t pay your bills, JohnnyQ. And I do so love Vini’s delicious food.

But this is one meal I’m going to have to skip. I hope you get a chance to reinvent yourself, recover some relationships by paying people back that you owe, and learn how to promote and live within your means.

Best of luck to you. I really do mean that.

Michael says:

Really? I mean really?

Israel says:

I also like Johnny, and I wouldn’t hesitate to attend this dinner. Love The Captive is not just about him. I know there is more people involved that do this more for Fresno than for money. How do I know? Because I have worked on LTC shows where I seen Johnny take nothing or next to nothing. Most does go to the bands and other people involved, but the biggest benificiary here I think is the fresno “scene”.

Gil Vasquez says:

I think this comment pretty much says it all – and I agree 100%.

Michael says:

@ Stephen:

I barely know Johnny Q, but in the spirit of community, he does not deserve this attack. Whatever his or Love The Captive’s books are, is none of our business. I believe this to be extremely tactless on your part.

Bradley says:

Cheap shot Stephen.

JohnnyQ says:

Honesty is the best policy.

I like you too Stephen.

But i wont play your game of belittlement.

For you reading this:

This benefit is to help recoup some monetary losses that Love the Captive experienced over this year.(We lost a few battles but we will win the war)
Unfortunately, i made a few bad decisions this year. Combine that with a lot of bad luck and it snow balled us into unknown territory, and we were playing catch up all year. Thankfully we have some great friends and supporters who stuck by us in all the mess. I’m not perfect, I’ve failed at many things this year, i’m not even sure how i got through it all. I worked my a$$ off this year!

I can sit here and make a very long list of accomplishments and the tons of ways I have helped bands and the people in them.
But, i don’t do this for the pat on the back. It’s really tough to keep a good name in this business.
And when you mess up or something bad happens, thats all people remember and they forget the good in the past.

I love this city, i love my family, i love my friends, i love my enemies and i’ll take a bullet for any of them.

I hate letting people down. That eventually lead to me hating myself, and that took me down a road i didn’t know existed.
Depression is a mutha trucker!
I hope to never experience that again.

My favorite promoters have all gone through something somewhat similar. Hopefully i come out gold like them.

This year i actually lived and re-learned what “Love the Captive” really means. The “Captive” is you – love yourself in every circumstance.

John Paul

Ryan says:

Yeah Stephen, how dare Johnny wear clothes, live somewhere, and eat and drink when he has bills to pay. I have a credit card payment due in a few days, does that mean I shouldn’t live somewhere that requires rent? I owe someone else 200 bucks; should I sell my clothes to pay him back? Take another look at your comment; hopefully you’ll realize how absurd of a statement you’re trying to make.

Johnny has given hope to the local music scene by bringing touring national bands that would’ve never made it here otherwise. Sometimes the shows are huge, sometimes they’re not, but he’s putting himself out there in order to make Fresno a better place for live music, and that’s commendable as hell especially in a city that isn’t known for its strong touring acts.

One way of “pulling up the bootstraps” would be to get a job at 7-11. A smarter way, however, would be to invite the people that have benefited from his dedication to give back. He’s upfront about what this is for, and I respect him for having balls to do it. I know for a fact how much Johnny believes in the community and how much money and work he’s put in over the last year, so chastising him like that with such back-handed condescension is both pathetic and unnecessary.

brother luke says:

I’ve known JohnnyQ since before he was in “Most Inspirational,” and I consider him a good friend. We’ve played a lot of shows together with all the different bands we’ve been in.

Is he perfect? -no, but this is the FIRST time “Love the Captive” has ever put on a benefit show for their booking group. I think that says something!

He’s always been someone through the up’s or downs that has always given it to me straight. I’ve dealt with a lot of bookers both in Fresno and up and down the west coast and Johnny is always someone I could depend on. He’s had my back in times when I least expected it.

Like I said he’s not perfect, but given the strange local music scene I think he does good work and I hope the dinner is a success.

much love JohnnyQ

Tim says:

Much love to the LTC family. Thanks for making Fresno a better place to live.

Tony Martin says:

I met Johnny last week. He was referred to me by a friend as someone I should talk to. I am glad I did…….. Here is a man with a passion and love for the music scene of Fresno. He comes with impeccible references, and many of my friends are hard to please. My hat’s off to the folks at Veni Vidi Vici. Here is an opportunity for the music loving fans of Fresno to step up and help a good man. If you are available on Dec. 27 to come out to this dinner, please do! Not only will you be helping a true believer in Fresno, but you will get a hell of a meal to boot!

james says:

Stephen, I was at an event not too long ago where you accepted a grant on behalf of an organization…I sure hope those served by that organization can benefit from that contribution without needing to be naked or homeless.

Johnny, your response is honorable, and I admire what you’re doing here. You put it out there – you’ve made mistakes, but you’re making good on your debt. I only wish I could be in town.

Hat’s off to everyone at Love the Captive for pursuing your ideas and your passion, and for the contributions you’ve made to the community.

Mike Oz says:

My two cents on complaint about Johnny/LTC:

We’ve had a number of no good, swindling promoters come through this town. None of them have swallowed their pride and said “Hey, I owe people money need some help.” In that context, I think what Johnny is trying to do is admirable, should he make good on his debts afterward.

Danielle says:

Excellent response, I agree.

Laura says:

I just want to thank Johnny & the rest of the LTC crew for a really fun year. I went to shows at Audie’s, Frank’s Place and Starline and I always had a great time. Not only did I get the chance to check out bands I had never heard of before, but I also got the chance to meet some cool new people. I can’t wait to see who Love the Captive brings to Fresno in 2011. Much love.

Alisa says:

Although it may put us in an uncomfortable spot when someone needs our help, one of the things I appreciate about our community is the fact that (1) we can humble ourselves and admit our shortcomings, and (2) we can step up when one of our fellow community members and/or friends needs us the most. This is one of those times, for me personally, that I’m putting my own personal philosophies on how a business or promotional group should be run, and helping a friend in need.

I had one of the best summers in Fresno that I’ve ever had, and most of it involved shows put on by LTC. Johnny and the other LTC members sacrificed a great deal to create a vibrant local music scene for us all to enjoy. I hope that once things balance out, wise council will be sought, lessons learned will be applied, and LTC will continue to move forward. I’m sure right now it seems hopeless, and I’m pretty sure one dinner will not solve everything, but it’s a start. I’ll be there.

Toby Byers says:

I love fresno and how the support grows so quickly. I love ltc and Johnny. I have no doubt that this will turn out for the better.

My brother and I have worked with JohnnyQ and the LTC crew for over a year. This is what we found:

- A dedicated group willing to sacrifice and take major risks in order to create something special for our town.
- This group not motivated by $ symbols yet their love for music.
- They have created an original diverse culture that never existed in Fresno before.
- They successfully experimented in new locations and venues and proved the dire need for a venue that respects music.

If LTC went wrong anywhere, I’d have to say it was timing. Fulton 55 will be here soon and I’m positive it will be this venue that will fully embrace the culture that LTC has been striving to create. A venue that has a focus on music, not a bar or restaurant that decided to put a stage in. This whole time LTC was lacking the proper medium in which to express themselves. Kudos to JohnnyQ and Crew for stepping up and inviting us to dinner (I guess this qualifies as asking for help.)

Much Love to Fresno and all those who are willing to embrace it as home.

Conlan says:

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been marginally involved with Love The Captive in the past.

I’m almost glad Stephen started this comment thread the way he did. It seems to have put the situation into perspective for most everyone else. Namely, that a person asking for help doesn’t deserve to be kicked when he’s down. Beyond that, as a fan, I’ve got a lot of gratitude for Johnny and LTC.

For people like me who like good, new, independent rock music, Johnny has been the single best thing for Fresno in my lifetime. It would be easier to scoff at mismanaged events and promotions if there was literally anyone else in town bringing these types of acts. But there isn’t. Maybe it was a mistake to bring these acts to a town like Fresno, but I know I speak for many when I say, it was a mistake worth making.

It’s because of Johnny that I got to see Local Natives in Fresno (twice) before they became worldwide indie darlings. Considering that, I’m willing to chip in a couple more bucks to say thanks.

Stephen says:

JohnnyQ’s response = humble and classy.

My initial post = classless expression of my feelings without talkin to the guy first.

Vini’s FTW no matter what.

Johnny and LTC could have easily said “to hell with Fresno” and given up like many promoters before them. Instead, they are choosing to believe in Fresno and ask for help from the community they’ve served. The fact that they want to move forward shows they have a lot of heart.
I couldn’t imagine where the Fresno music scene would be right now if LTC wasn’t around. They let Fresno know that you could go down to Starline or Veni’s on a Tuesday and have fun like it was Saturday. They’ve dipped into various genres and brought the likes of Avi Buffalo, Mayer Hawthorne, and Designer Drugs (and that was all just in 2010!) Local bands also got to share the stage with these bands. Damn…Johnny even let my band open up for Cold War Kids a few years back.
LTC took a lot of risks to make these things happen. Unfortunately, these risks involved money. If I’m back in town, I will definitely be at the dinner.
Thank you, Love The Captive, for all the awesome shows and memories so far. I can’t wait for more!

Johnny was one of my first “new� friends I made after my return from college. I say “new� because when I moved back home I didn’t want to fall back into the same mundane uninspired friendships that I had from high school. He and the LTC crew took me in like family… and I finally found a place & people that inspired me. Ever since, we have been great friends! LTC has been such an integral part of the Fresno music scene and has shaped the way artists/bands look at our town. I’m sure just because they are taking risks and doing what others don’t have the balls or connections to do… they are getting flak for it.

The first comment is ludicrous and small-minded and… sad! It’s so f-ing easy to pass judgment on someone from the outside looking in when you don’t even know them. As creative people in Fresno, we should be supporting one another. We all want to make this place great …so stop casting stones. Let’s unite and work together! In business you make mistakes and it’s all about getting back up after you’ve been knocked down. Haven’t we all been there at one time or another?!

If you don’t want to support LTC, it’s simple: don’t attend the dinner and continue talking trash behind your computer screen. $30 is nothing when you think of all the great music that has been brought to the Central Valley by this crew for cheap …and you get to feed your face!

Love the Captive for life. Johnny Q we <3 you!


Warning: This is not my typical comment.

The number one problem for entrepreneurs in this region is access to capital. Unfortunately, LTC is not an entity that is positioned for an outside infusion of funds (no investment or bank debt). That means LTC must be bootstrapped and funded by a couple of key sources: cash receipts and family & friends.

Cash Receipts…not bad, but like most start-ups, it is difficult to accurately project capital needs. Many businesses fail to break-even in the first year. LTC is not in an atypical position here.

Family & Friends…Dec 27th is our opportunity. Johnny is not walking around with a hat asking people to contribute. He made arrangements (who cares what they might be) to offer a four-course meal to fans of LTC for $32. That is a great way to raise some cash.

What bugs me about many entrepreneurs is that they surround themselves with people who cannot share the vision. LTC has not done this. Many in Fresno have bought into the vision, have benefited from some cool shows, and now have a chance to help keep this vision alive.

Johnny, I love ya, brother. Keep us entertained in 2011.

Stephen says:

Let me back off a bit and be a bit clearer:

Promoters who bring in a band and don’t have the cash in their pocket to pay everyone BEFORE the doors open is taking a risk…a big risk. They risk hurting their reputations with bands, with venues, security, sound people, etc.

You all have said it well – JohnnyQ is simply asking a community that has benefitted from the music he’s brought here, asking for a little financial boost. And you’re right, he’s not just passing a hat, he’s offering Tony’s deelish food at a discount, a win/win for those who attend.

But again, the father figure in me wants to remind Johnny as he begins anew: Try not to get in over your head counting on door numbers to pay people. Make sure you have the funds in your pocket before the downbeat. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t lie.

And most of all: Good luck.

I’m wishing Johnny the best – I’ve been able to work shows of his that were jam packed with happy folks. Shows that weren’t jam packed but the folks were ecstatic to be there.

But as a promoter, if you promise money, you’ve got to pay the money. JohnnyQ in his post here seems to realize that, and it takes a VERY big person and strong man to admit he ‘didn’t like who he was’ in a public post.

That alone is worth the $32 dollars for the dinner.

Trevor William Church says:

Stephen, why don’t you shut the f*** up! No one cares about what you have to say.
I’ve known John Q for a long time. He is one of my closest and dearest friends. He has tried to build a music scene in Fresno. What the f*** are you doing Stephen?
Ill be at the dinner benefit I believe in Johnny and I want nothing but success for him. This city needs John Q! Without him good luck playing shows or even going to them for that matter. So, with that said buy a dinner ticket and show some f***ing support! Ciao.

kolt says:

Black dante for life!!

Ryan says:

Seriously man, enough with the father figure bulls**t. He’s admitted to making mistakes and that he wants to make amends for them, but you continue to wag your finger at him. In one breath you tell him both “good luck” and “don’t lie”, so despite your attempts at softening the original low blow, you still come across as demeaning and ignorant of the situation.

marco says:

so am i

isaac huerta says:

I am in full support of what the homie johhny Q is doing, & as a Father I can relate to the point stephen is trying to make, but i would also encourage my child to take risks in life, cause u never are going to know until u try something that you have not before. With that also being said , I think the benifit dinner is a brilliant idea ! What better way to give back to LTC & show support by having a fab meal & chillin with all the homies. More memorys to be made..

kumar says:

I think the “Condescension Lock” key on Stephen’s keyboard is stuck.

Justajust says:

Oh another overreaction to a internet commenter. I received word of this nonsense from a phone call from a friend today and realize more than ever the amount of energy that is wasted in this community on such as so ::sigh::

Trevor Jones says:

The pressing issue at hand is being subverted by the age old issue: arts vs business. In America, the latter always triumphs and in Fresno, neither do. We must all (band) together and truly love one another as the captives that we all are; captives to the great beast of our age: Capitalism.

Any person on this thread who was attacking another human with any vulgarity, is missing the macro-picture entirely. Like entire nations and many other communities, Fresno is trapped by the incessant demand for the Almighty Value Abstraction; money.

Maybe it is time for Fresnans to stop nagging one another over nonsensical dilemmas and collectively unite their energies to overthrow the real *f***er* here: the constant demand for and worship of money? Johnny is not on a get-rich-scheme here, he is simply trying to surive so the arts can thrive.

Then quite possibly, the arts in this community could be an expression of the true human abstraction; soul enjoyment and liberation.

Johnny Q, I love you. I wish your creative efforts could flourish with efflervescent beauty at all times. Maybe in our next life we can dance together forever.

Conlan says:

No reincarnated dancing without a permit.

You aren't as important as you think says:

It wouldn’t be a good Beehive comment thread until the “Everything in Fresno is lame but I still live here and do nothing to make life better” crew arrived. Do us a favor and don’t waste our time on this “nonsense”.

Trevor Jones says:

Well played my friend Conlan, however I doubt “permit” exists in the anarchist dictionary.

Benji McEntee says:

As a local musician i can attest that John Q has always gone out of his way for musicians and bands in fresno.

John, I tip my hat to you and hope that financial solvency will be in Love the Captive’s very near future.