ADOLESCENTS – Sept 14th 2013

Tony_Val

 

ADOLESCENTS – Sept 14th 2013

 

When I first heard about the upcoming pairing of the ADOLESCENTS and PENTAGRAM at a Colorado snowboard festival, I was pretty wary.

And here were two bands that couldn’t seem to be more diametrically opposed.  PENTAGRAM representing the drug-addled heavy rock of the 1970’s and the ADOLESCENTS being somehow the response to that.  The punk kids rejecting the slow and heavy with speed and intensity.  However it very probable that the kids of the black hole never even heard PENTAGRAM back then.  But that is probably some other discussion….

Now all you who know me know I am not a hater.  Especially when it comes to bands reforming and doing their thing.  I think its a very personal thing, being in a band, and if someone wants to pick up the torch of their youth and carry it in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s that is their choice, and if they get some personal satisfaction from it then great.  I know that I still want to be involved in our punk scene and i’m over 40.  I have grown tired of 20 year old punks telling me and others that we don’t belong and our perspectives are somehow invalid due to our age.  I’ve been here too long to let it all go.  Punk is in my blood and that’s it.  That being said, it often, as we all know, can be a pale comparison to former glory.  I have seen it play out both ways.  I have watched as Jerry from POISON IDEA ruined the band forever for me, but I have also seen DEVIATED INSTINCT return and be better than ever.  So when old bands come around I always am a little fearful that they will somehow fall flat.  Sometimes its just a bad rip-off, a sort-of going thru the motions with absolutely no spark, and sometimes its clear that they want to do better than they can.  Other times it can be brilliant…

As I stood and watched PENTAGRAM with Tony Adolescent standing next to me it seemed a bit of farce.  I have been a long time ADOLESCENTS fan, but was introduced to PENTAGRAM in the past 10 years or so.  PENTAGRAM did some amazing stuff back in the early 70‘s and they sounded good but Bobby was so whacked-out and creepy that it was kinda hard to watch.  Tony had never seen them and didn’t really seem to know much about them.  I almost asked him to verify my theory of their polarity as bands, but thought it would be pretentious so we talked of other things.  When talking to the old guard I try to avoid the whole “tell me what it was like” discussions.  I am a more present kind of a person and find that looking backwards too much causes undue stumbling.  Some people let you know quickly that they prefer to discuss the fun and chaos of their past, but I knew that Tony was different having just read the outstanding “We Got Power” book where he clearly states that he is much the same.  “…a creature of the present.”  We talked instead of parenting our kids and his segments in the recent documentary “The Other F-Word” about punk parents.  We did, however, end up discussing Greg Ginn and the whole BLACK FLAG vs FLAG thing, the only time where nostalgia crept into the conversation.  We ended up discussing the great community that is Fort Collins, Colorado, of all things, a town that he had clearly been to a number of times and really liked.  Finally he got the call to head to the stage that they would soon occupy and he took off.  I wish I would have had time to ask about the other current members of the band.  Tony was a super-nice guy, and another example of a life-long punk that is a better person for having been a part of it all.  But now I was really worried.  What if the ADOLESCENTS didn’t perform now?  Now, after our long conversation, it would seem all the more tragic if there was no spark onstage.

I ended up wandering away from PENTAGRAM before they were finished just so that I wouldn’t miss any of the ADOLESCENTS set.  I hadn’t taken the time to see who was still playing in the band and was glad to see Steve Soto on bass still.  Steve had been in AGENT ORANGE before forming the ADOLESCENTS in late ’79 and is a great bassist.  Alas, my fears evaporated and I greedily ate up their great set.  Tony still seemed the pissed off OC punk but all the wiser for the past 30+ years.  They hammered thru classics such as L.A. Girl, Who is Who, Amoeba, and of course, Kids of the Black Hole, among others.  A seemingly short set but maybe I just wanted more – a clear sign that they were still fully functional and powerful.

 

I only wish I would have had some more time to talk to him and had asked him to “do the Eddie” onstage. (Val)

 

 

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~ by thrashpunx on September 20, 2013.

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