Adolescents – Welcome To Reality

26 Feb

Welcome To Reality EP
Label: Frontier Records
Released: 1981
Producer – Thom Wilson

Tony Cadena – Vocals
Steve Soto – Bass
Frank Agnew – Guitar
Steve Roberts- Guitar
Casey Royer – Drums

1. Welcome to Reality
2. Losing Battle
3. Things Start Moving

This is nearly the same line-up their debut album. At this point Rikk Agnew had left the band, and Steve Roberts replaced him on this EP. Casey would soon leave to form D.I.

Though Rikk isn’t playing on the album, he is on the cover in the cop hat. I don’t know the back-story on this, unfortunately.

Good strong EP, with all three songs written by Tony Cadena, Steve Soto, Frank Agnew, and some help on Things Start Moving from Steve Roberts.

All three songs from this EP were later re-recorded for the Adolescents’ second album Brats in Battalions in 1986. Unfortunately, due to the constant shuffling of Adolescents members and a five-year delay the new recordings weren’t quite as strong as the originals.

The new recordings, on the Brats in Battalions album, were done by Tony on vocals, Steve Soto back on bass, Rikk Agnew returning on guitar, and new additions Alfie Agnew also on guitar, and filling out the line-up Sandy Hanson on drums.

The cover to this EP was photographed by the great Edward Colver, as was damn near every other punk album of any worth back in the 1980’s. Diane Zincavage did Art, and layout.

If you don’t own it go, and pick up this up, or order directly from Frontier Records. It’s good companion for the “Blue Album.”

Stand out cut: Welcome to Reality.

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

On to the story . . .

If you had the opportunity to go back to your favorite punk rock moment, what would it be? Mine? Easy, back in April of 1982, at the ripe old age of sixteen, I got to hang out one night with Chris D., and Chris Wahl of The Flesh Eaters, and Randy Clark of Weasel Music. Randy and Chris were both in Weasel Music together, as well as playing in my old band Cold War.

In my tenth grade year, 1981-1982, I was attending Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, CA. One afternoon, as I was leaving, I walked into the back parking lot, where all the kids were boarding their buses, and as I walked by one of the buses there was a bus driver with real long blonde hair pulled back into a pony-tail. I was wearing my Germs (GI) shirt, and this bus driver yells to me “Great band.” I did a double take; I wasn’t sure if the guy was a fan, or a hippie trying to mess with me. As it turned out, this guy, Randy Clark, was not only a fan of this type of music, but he was a musician as well. We got to talking, and he told me he listened to everything from Pere Ubu to TSOL. It got to be a routine, everyday after school I’d stop by the buses, and we’d rap about music, and when I was trying to put a band together he’d look over the songs, etc.

He was a cool guy. In one of our first conversations he told me he was in an experimental band called Weasel Music, and they play all over Los Angeles, and that I should come see them next time they play. I agreed.

While waiting for the next Weasel Music show I put together one band, U.S. Against Them, and everybody I know wanted to play in it, but no one ever had time to get together, rehearse and/or record. So, I scrapped the band, and a few months later, and about eight new songs, I put together Cold War. After going over all the songs with Randy we settled on two to record. We did a demo with the tracks “Ritchie Dagger’s Eye’s,” and “Ronny the Clown.” Chris Wahl played drums. I was told to keep it hush-hush (or as you youngsters say, I kept it on the down-low) that Wahl was playing on the demo, because Chris D. didn’t want his band mates to play in other bands, but was cool with the Weasel Music project. I believe the bass player’s name was Eric, he was real good guy.

So, Randy set up a rehearsal/recording session in North Hollywood at a small place that Chris Wahl, I believe, also slept at. We ran through the tracks somewhere between eight to twelve times, and then we recorded the tracks. They were pretty decent. Randy, and Chris were really skilled, and it was Eric, and I that were amateurish. I still remember belting out the opening lines to Ronny the Clown:

“Eight o’clock, and the speech is ready to air,
Strings are pulled, and he just sits, and stares.”

It’s not as politically profound as I thought it was, almost thirty years ago.

One day, Randy tells me Weasel Music got a booking at the Valley West club in Tarzana, which I thought was cool. Everybody had been playing there lately, Bad Religion, RF7, Circle One, and a handful of others.

The club was about four to five miles from my house, so I asked my Mom if she would drop me off. Mom drops me off at around 7:45 pm, with the instruction of “go straight in the club, no hanging around outside.” I get out of the car, and Randy Chris, and Chris D. are hanging out at the front door, so I check in with the window (I was on the guest list), and b-line for the front of the club, just as Mom was driving away – she saw me. So, I went back in for a second. But she came back to see what I was up to, at that exact second I came back out. So, she waved me over, and asked what I was up to, I explained that Chris D. was one of the most famous guys in L.A. punk, he had a band with a few records out, he wrote for Slash, and worked with the Germs, engineered the Misfits album, and I wanted to talk to him and Randy and Chris. My Mom was cool, so I wouldn’t lose face, she gave me a couple of dollars, and said so I wouldn’t get embarrassed tell the guys she came back to give me some money. I get back to the door, and the guys ask if everything is cool, I tell them Mom was just dropping off some money. Well, they all start hooting, and hollering and started yelling “Mom, can we have some money too?” Embarrassing. I still managed to hang out with Chris D. for bit, after everybody stopped clowning around.

Eight o’clock came around, and Weasel Music took the stage, Chris, and Randy were fantastic, their singer, a female, I believe, was also pretty good. They played, about, a half hour set. Their token stage prop was a cheap blow-up doll that was next to one of the microphone stands.

After I graduated from High School I lost touch with Randy. I tried to track him down a couple of times, but never found him. He was real good musician, as was Chris, and a good friend.

The night and show was one of the most memorable evenings, of that time, of my life.



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2 Responses to “Adolescents – Welcome To Reality”

  1. 1
    Eddie Cook Says:

    Hey Mike~ Another cool review. You need to interview Ed Colver for this site next! ~Eddie

  2. 2
    Mike E. Says:


    I’ve written the questions for Edward, I just need to find time to go and meet with him.

    Mike E.

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