|Rikk Agnew on tour. (Courtesy of Rikk Agnew)|
If you dig through our record collection and find The Adolescents' "Blue" album, the vinyl is pretty tattered and it won't play the whole way through without a plethora of skips.
That's a good thing.
It means that we spun that aggressive and melodic classic LP to its fullest -- and that was probably within the first year that we bought the Frontier Records platter when it was first released in 1981 and it immediately made a major impact on our world.
The tag-team, gutsy guitaristry of brothers Rikk and Frank Agnew helps put that album near the top of the all-time punk-rock heap. With songs like "Kids of the Black Hole," "Amoeba," "No Way," "Rip it Up," etc. within its grooves, all copies -- original or reissued -- of the "Blue" album should be ready to snap at any moment from constant play.
"It was and is the Orange County sound. Rikk is pure genius on guitar - Frank is no joke, either. They are like MY generation's Angus and Malcom Young!" TSOL guitarist Ron Emory recently told There's Something Hard in There.
So, here we've got Rikk Agnew on board with us for his top-10 guitarists' list, sent to us via email. Over the last 36 years, Rikk has also honed his six-string craft with Christian Death, D.I., Social Distortion, The Detours, 45 Grave and others... and currently the Rikk Agnew Band.
1. Jimi Hendrix - Jimi made me want to play guitar. I feel he guides my hands and provides me with a clear and powerful connection to the universal muse. I watched him on TV and had a spiritual awakening like never before or after. He taught me to become "one" with the instrument, To "make love" to it.
2. Jimmy Page - Jimmy influenced a lot of my writing (his sloppy approach to solos especially), how to use "silent breaks" in riffs for maximum dynamics, as well as single-note riffing.
3. Tony Iommi - Show me a rock guitarist who says he was not influenced even a bit by Tony and Black Sabbath, and I call LIAR! His dirging riffs were and always will be the epitome of HEAVY. When I was in a cover band, we wanted so bad to cover Black Sabbath songs, but I could never figure them out, until years later I was restringing my guitar, and as I twisted the key to tighten the low E, I accidentally ran into DE-TUNING DOWN. I think I might have cried.
4. Ted Falconi - I love his hit/miss go-as-I-may style. He most definitely has a very unique approach to playing, and it WORKS beautifully.
5. Sickie Wifebeater - Another mind-blowing guitarist who influenced my guitar "hand acrobatics."
6. Keith Levene - Very heavy influence on what I did on the "Only Theater of Pain" LP.
7. Brian James - His work on "Damned Damned Damned" and Lords of the New Church is epic. This man rocks anything he touches!
8. Greg Ginn - His fuck-all music theory attack on guitar is as nihilistic as it gets. Fuck keys, just bash that fiddle, kill it, angst, anxiety, it totally compliments the text of the songs.
9. Dr. Know - What an artist he is, from punk/metal shredding to clean reggae bursts. One of the best ever.