The Adolescents are an American punk rock band formed in 1980 in FullertonCalifornia. It is a punk supergroup, made up of early members of Agent Orange and Social Distortion. They are often credited as one of the leading bands of the 1980s hardcore punk scene.

For more than 30 years after its inception, the Adolescents have had many 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 splitting up again in 1989. After a short-lived reunion in 1994, the band reunited for a third time in 2001 for a 20th anniversary tour and have continued performing ever since. They released OC Confidential, their first studio album in 17 years in 2005, followed by 2011's album The Fastest Kid Alive.[1]

The band has influenced many notable punk rockalternative and hard rock/metal groups, including Bad ReligionNOFXFace to FaceGood Riddance,[2] The Offspring,[3] Pennywise,[4] Red Hot Chili PeppersFu ManchuMudhoney,[5] Blink-182[6] and The Vandals.


 [hide*1 History


The beginning, first album and hiatus (1980–1985)[edit]Edit

The Adolescents were formed by Steve Soto and Tony Cadena in January 1980 after Steve left 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 punk single "Amoeba" on Posh Boy Records. The track also appeared on the Rodney on the ROQ compilation, assembled by L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer. It is one of the band's best known songs.

The Adolescents signed with Frontier Records in January 1981 and recorded their debut album, Adolescents, the following month. It quickly became one of the best-selling California punk albums, behind the Dead KennedysFresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Despite this success, Rikk Agnew left the band in 1981, shortly before the band's second release, a 7" EP named "Welcome to Reality." He was replaced by Pat Smear, formerly of The Germs. This lineup lasted until the end of June, when Smear left. Cadena formed The Abandoned, Steve Soto and Frank Agnew joined Legal Weapon, Royer fronted and formed D.I., and Rikk Agnew joinedChristian Death.

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

Two reunions (1986–2000)[edit]Edit

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 albumBalboa 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.

On October 22, 1994, The Adolescents reunited for a one-off performance at the Independence Day '94 festival, which was held as benefit show for the Huntington Youth Shelter.[7]

Third reunion and the future of the band (2001–present)[edit]Edit

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, OC 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.[8] In late 2007, the Adolescents announced in a MySpace blog entry that they were working on the new album originally expected to released in the spring of 2008. In March 2009, the band announced that they were in the process of writing lyrics to the album and were to begin recording shortly. The record, "The Fastest Kid Alive" was released June 3, 2011, on Concrete Jungle Records. The Adolescents toured the record in Europe in 2011, and 2012.

In 2012, the Adolescents recorded and released American Dogs In Europe, a chronicle of their 2011 European tour, in which the band and their crew were held in Bavaria, and their van and luggage searched for four hours. The band were tested, x-rayed, and released. Early in 2013 the band's European driver and tour manager, Chris "Big Rock" Shaefer died in Prague, Czech Republic. Their friendship is chronicled along with the trials of Tony Cadena's autistic son in the July 26, 2013, release Presumed Insolent.


Current members
  • Tony Cadena - Vocals (1980–1981, 1986–1987, 2001–present)
  • Steve Soto - Bass (1980–1981, 1986–1989, 2001–present), Vocals (1988–1989), Guitar (2007 and 2008 European tours)
  • Dan Root - Guitar (2011–present)
  • Gilbert Picardo - Guitar (2013–present)
  • Mike Cambra - Drums (2013–present)
Former members
  • Frank Agnew - Guitar (1980–1981, 1986, 1988-1989, 2001–2006)
  • John O'Donovan - Guitar (1980)
  • Peter Pan - Drums (1980)
  • Rikk Agnew - Guitar (1980–1981, 1986-1989, 2001–2003)
  • Casey Royer - Drums (1980–1981, 1986, 2001)
  • Pat Smear - Guitar (1981)
  • Steve Roberts - Guitar (1981)
  • Sandy Hansen - Drums (1986–1989)
  • Alfie Agnew - Guitar (1986-1987)
  • Dan Colburn - Guitar (1987)
  • Paul Casey - Guitar (1988)
  • Derek O'Brien - Drums (2001–2008)
  • Frank Agnew Jr. - Lead Guitar (2005-2009)
  • Joe Harrison - Rhythm Guitar (2006–2012)
  • Armando Del Rio - Drums (2008–2013)
  • Matt Beld - Guitar (2006)
  • Warren Renfrow - Bass (2007-2008)
  • Mike McKnight - Guitar (2008-2013)


Studio albums[edit]Edit

Year Title Notes
1981 Adolescents Debut release. Reissued in 1997, then again in 2001.
1987 Brats in Battalions The first Adolescents album since their first break up.
1988 Balboa Fun*Zone Final album before breaking up again.
2005 OC Confidential First album since their second reunion; chosen as one of the "ten best OC albums of the first ten years of 21st Century" by OC Weekly.
2011 The Fastest Kid Alive
2013 Presumed Insolent

Other releases[edit]Edit

Year Title Notes
1980 Amoeba 7"
1981 Welcome to Reality EP EP (Re-released in a re-issue of self-titled album) All tracks re-recorded for Brats in Battalions
1987 Rat Music for Rat People, Vol. 3 CD Presents Compilation
1989 Live in 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
2004 Unwrap and Blow Me EP - All tracks featured on O.C. Confidential
2005 Naughty Women in Black Sweaters: The Complete Demos 1980–1986 Compilation album
2009 Split 12" with Burning Heads split LP with French band Burning Heads
2012 American Dogs In Europe EP
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