The Radolescents Revive OC Punk's Glory Days at the Doll Hut

The Radolescents—John O'Donovan (left), Rikk Agnew (center), and Casey Royer (right)EXPAND
The Radolescents—John O'Donovan (left), Rikk Agnew (center), and Casey Royer (right)
John Gilhooley

The "McCartney and Lennon" of OC punk are getting back together. Rikk Agnew and Casey Royer, who performed in the Adolescents together in the 1980s, have joined forces once again as the Radolescents.

The duo, which Royer gave the Beatles-esque nicknames to, along with other Adolescents alumni, will perform the band's classic 1981 self-titled release better known as The Blue Album and the Welcome to Reality EP in full on Sept. 9 at the Doll Hut in Anaheim.

"I saw a picture of the Adolescents now, and it didn't even look like them,” recalled Royer, the former Adolescents drummer, who now fronts punk band D.I. “I thought it was so sad, because Rikk and I were such a big part of the original Adolescents."

When they first started in the Adolescents, Royer and Agnew — who also performed in Social Distortion and the Detours together — were older than the rest of the group. The pair was responsible for a lot of the songwriting and helped to create an infectious sound, Royer said.

"Rikk's guitar work and my drumming are a classic combination," Royer said. "We wrote stuff the kids can't emulate because it's almost like jazz."

Agnew and Royer each pursued other interests after the Adolescents called it quits temporarily due to creative differences after The Blue Album was released. Royer then formed D.I., in which he continues to serve as vocalist. Agnew was part of D.I. from 1983 to 1987 and re-joined the Adolescents from 1986 to 1989. He also began his solo career during this time.

About three years ago, Royer and Agnew began reminiscing about the old days with the Adolescents and how much they missed playing that music.

And thus, Radolescents were born. Former Adolescents John O'Donovan (guitar) and Frank Agnew, Jr. (vocals) will also play alongside Agnew and Royer. Dan Colburn, who was a member of The Adolescents in the mid '80s, will play bass.

Since that announcement, fans have shown strong support, Agnew said.
"The buzz was really surprising," he said. "Mine and Casey's sounds mesh together really well. We don't even have to look at each other or talk."

SPLNTR, Bear Fight and Informal Society will also play the Doll Hut show.

Agnew said the resurrection of sorts of an original Adolescents lineup was a natural choice since the Adolescents today don't play much of The Blue Album or Welcome to Reality live.
He said fans want to hear those songs.

"In my solo band, I do the five songs I co-wrote, and people go nuts over them," he noted.

Royer said the show will not only be a treat for the older generation of fans, but also for younger kids in today's punk scene. The group plans to perform more shows following the Doll Hut performance.

"The people who are in the 50s club, like we are, are all still going to the gigs," he said. "Their kids are also there, and it's just like this amazing musical adventure. Rock 'n' roll has pretty much taken its toll. Punk rock is really its last wave."

For more information about the show, which is open to people 21 and over only, visit radolescentsdollhut.brownpapertickets.com. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.


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