Punk legend Steve Soto sadly passed away yesterday (6/27). He was 54. Steve was an original (but brief) member of Agent Orange and an original member of the Adolescents, with whom he remained the only constant member throughout their career to present day. The band had just wrapped up a tour that hit NYC's Brooklyn Bazaar last Saturday (6/23). Steve also played in Manic Hispanic, Joyride, 22 Jacks and other projects over the years.
Collaborator Greg Antista broke the news on Facebook, writing, "I'm sorry to break such bad news in such an impersonal way but the family of Steve Soto would like everyone to know that he passed peacefully in his sleep today. I'm sure this is a terrible blow to all of you. He will be missed. We will be posting details on a memorial as plans are finalized." No cause of death has been revealed at this time.
The Adolescents posted on Twitter, "with heavy heart i share the passing of steve soto, my friend and bandmate since 1979. i dont know what to do. or to say. goodbye my brother."
Several other bands and musicians have paid tribute, including The Offspring, Rancid, Bad Religion, Social Distortion, The Vandals, Suicidal Tendencies, Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms, The Falcon), Frenzal Rhomb, War On Women, Night Birds, Frank Turner, The Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe, producer/Goldfinger member John Feldmann, and more. See their tributes below.
Rest in peace, Steve. You'll be missed, and your impact on punk and music in general will live on.
Revisit some of Steve's classics below:
UPDATE: Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, etc) posted a lengthy and touching tribute that's very worth reading:
Steve Soto was one of the kindest, most talented and effortlessly cool people I’ve ever met. With his band The Adolescents he helped create the blueprint for punk rock as we know it, when I was 16 they were my Beatles. Soon after I had the awesome luck of touring with Steve and the Adolescents when I was in Youth Of Today and still an adolescent myself. As a fellow bass player, Steve took me under his wing and generously shared with me his wisdom of the road and many amazing stories from the early days of punk in LA that he’d experienced first hand. I’d visit him in their RV each day to shoot the shit and hopefully glean more details about Darby Crash, X, early Go Go’s, Black Flag, etc., he’d seen all the bands and knew all the people, he was one of them. Getting to know Steve was like punk rock finishing school for me and I was learning from the best. I’ll always cherish these memories of Steve, he was a truly great guy and gone too soon