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The Adolescents

The Adolescents

The Adolescents are a hardcore punk band formed in 1980 in Fullerton, California. It is a supergroup band made up by early members of Agent Orange and Social Distortion. Along with Bad Religion, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Social Distortion, and many others, they are often credited as one of the leading bands of the 1980s punk revival.

For 27 years after its inception, the Adolescents have had many constant member changes. The band broke up and reformed twice, sometimes with different guitarists, bass players and/or drummers. Their first break up was sometime after the release of their 1981 self-titled debut release, which is often considered an influential punk rock album, when some members of the band were involved in their own projects, including Agent Orange and D.I.. However, the Adolescents reunited in 1986 and released two more albums (Brats in Battalions in 1987 and Balboa Fun Zone in 1988) before spltting up again in 1989. The band once again reunited for good in 2001 for a 20th anniversary tour and had continued performing ever since. They released one reunion album (O.C. Confidential in 2005) and are currently writing/recording new material for their next album, which is possibly due for release sometime in 2008.

The band has influenced many of today's later punk groups, including Bad Religion, Face to Face, Good Riddance, The Offspring, Pennywise and The Vandals.

History

The beginning, first album and hiatus

The Adolescents were formed by Steve Soto after leaving Agent Orange in December 1979. The original line-up was led by frontman Tony Cadena, with Steve Soto on bass, Frank Agnew on guitar, John O'Donovan on guitar and Peter Pan on drums. Both O'Donovan and Pan left in June . Later that year, the group released the classic hardcore single "Amoeba" on Posh Boy Records. The track also appeared on the Rodney on the ROQ compilation, assembled by L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.

The Adolescents signed with Frontier Records in January 1981 and recorded their debut album, The Adolescents, the following month. It quickly became one of the best-selling California hardcore albums, behind the Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Despite this success, Rikk Agnew left the band. He was replaced by Pat Smear, formerly of The Germs. This lineup lasted until the end of June, when Smear left (he would later go on to join Nirvana during its final years, and then Foo Fighters, although he would leave that band to go solo again in 1997).

The Adolescents broke up in August 1981. Cadena formed The Abandoned, Steve Soto and Frank Agnew joined Legal Weapon, Royer formed D.I., and Rikk Agnew joined Christian Death.

Rikk Agnew made his solo album in 1983 then joined D.I. with Alfie Agnew, Frank and Rikk's younger brother.

Reunion and second hiatus

In 1986 The Adolescents reformed with their original line-up and started to work on a new album. Before recording Casey Royer and Frank Agnew left the band. Royer had wanted to keep D.I. going (until 1995), and Agnew lost interest. Sandy Hansen took Royer's place on drums and Alfie took Frank's place on guitar. They recorded Brats in Battalions in the late summer. The record came out in August 1987 due to the band deciding to produce and release the album themselves with little cash or backing.

At the end of 1986 Alfie went to college and his place was taken by Dan Colburn; by the end of the year Cadena and Colburn left.

In 1988 Rikk Agnew and Steve Soto decided to replace Colburn with Paul Casey and start singing themselves. Casey left after four months and Frank Agnew replaced him on guitar, after touring the band recorded their then-final album Balboa Fun Zone.

The Adolescents broke up in April 1989. Steve Soto, Sandy Hansen and Frank Agnew started Joyride and Rikk Agnew did a couple of solo albums.

Second reunion and the future of the band

The band regrouped to tour for the 20th anniversary of their self-titled album in 2001 and have continued to perform. Live guitarists can vary depending on who is available--their summer 2006 tour had Joe Harrison and Matt Beld in place of the Agnews. They released their first reunion album, O.C. Confidential, in 2005 on Finger Records, a label owned and run by Mel Schantz out of Orange County, California.

In March 2007, bassist Steve Soto confirmed that The Adolescents had begun writing material for their follow-up to O.C. Confidential, which was possibly due for release "by the end of" that year. According to the band's Myspace blog, The Adolescents are now working on the new album and expect to release it in the spring of 2008.

Previous Members

Current members

  • Tony Cadena - Vocals (1979-81, 1986-87, 2001-present)
  • Steve Soto - Bass (1979-81, 1986-1989, 2001-present), Vocals (1988-89), Guitar (2007 and 2008 European tours)
  • Frank Agnew - Lead Guitar (1980-81, 1986, 1988-89, 2001-present)
  • Derek O'Brien - Drums (2001-present)
  • Matt Beld - Rhythm & Lead Guitar (2006-present)
  • Joe Harrison - Rhythm Guitar (2006-present)
  • Warren Renfrow - Bass (2007 and 2008 European tours)

Line-up is always two guitars, but who those two are varies from show to show, depending on performer's availability.

Discography

Studio albums

Year Title Notes
1981 The Adolescents Debut release.
1987 Brats in Battalions The first Adolescents album since their first break up.
1988 Balboa Fun Zone Final album before breaking up again.
2005 O.C. Confidential The first Adolescents album since their second break up.
2008 Untitled 5th album The band is currently working on their follow-up to O.C. Confidential.

Other releases

Year Title Notes
1987 Rat Music for Rat People, Vol. 3 CD Presents Compilation
1989 Live 1981 and 1986 Live album
1997 Return to the Black Hole Live album
2003 Live at the House of Blues 10/3/03 (The Show Must Go Off!) Live album; CD/DVD Set
2005 Complete Demos 1980-1986 Compilation

References

External links

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