I don't even know where to begin.
Seems like I first saw Steve Soto before I actually met him - he was everywhere back in the day, a huge presence both physically and musically on the scene, showing up to every gig everywhere, hanging out with the coolest people you could imagine and yet had the time to be drinking with the rest of us in the parking lot. He knew everybody cool but was always accessible, smiling, joking around, just a really genuinely nice guy who who would take the time to talk to you no matter who you were or where you were from, if you get what I mean. He was one of us, no Rockstar BS posturing whatsoever. His bands were all changers of the game. Watching the Adolescents take the stage in the early days, it was like watching one of our own get their just due, and seeing the havoc they caused from playing music they created inspired all of us to do better than we were doing in our respective bands. Steve Soto was responsible for creating and defining a sound that would change the world as we knew it from that point on - the classic "So Cal Punk Rock" sound. Their music shook the world, and Steve's driving yet intricate bass playing was a huge part of that. I loved watching him play. The Adolescents used my rehearsal spot to get ready for their Brats In Battalions album, and jamming with Steve on all those classic Adolescents songs I grew up with was nothing short of breathtaking and life changing. Just spending time hanging out with him, waiting for the others in the band to arrive, talking to him, reminiscing about past gigs, and listening to his stories about famous people - he had a million of them, was the stuff that made Steve the nicest guy in Punk Rock. Watching him play those classic bass lines he invented with the greatest of ease was a highpoint of my life. And when him and Gabby started Manic Hispanic together? It was all over. My life was forever scarred because of him and his bands and his music - even worse than it already was already! hahahaha Our paths crossed often; we had the same mutual friends who run in the same mutual circles, we played the same clubs, and even shared the same stage more than a few times, Hell, Steve even got the Vegascendents a later slot at Punk Rock Boring when we played it, because he wanted people to be there to see us when we played, and he was one of the first to congratulate us for playing so good when we were finished. He always had a kind word for me every time I saw him, and I arrogantly assumed that he was always gonna be around somewhere, that he was gonna be that crazy wizened old Punk Rock survivor that people in the future went to for true tales about how things really were back in the days, I mean, better him than Keith Morris, ya know, and to hear about him passing away is just fucking tragic and heartbreaking. The words are starting to fail me. The Adolescents song I Love You just came on shuffle. The tears are a coming. Steve Soto really was a sweetheart of a guy. I hope you all got to know him and interact with him while he was here on this Earth. This really is a huge loss, not only to the Punk Rock Music Scene but to the world in general. This one really hits home. This one really hurts. Oh Hokie... godspeed you amazing person you. Your rest is well deserved. We're the lucky ones to have known you for as long as we did.
If you come back and it's just for a day
There's only 3 words we all wanna say
I LOVE YOU
Go easy... step lightly... stay free.
To say it was quite an honor to play the Navajo Nation Outreach Festival 2018 is a huge understatement.
It was a day full of eye opening amazement and lots of Love and Appreciation from everyone I met and ran into and spent time with.
I even saw a 3 legged Rez dog that looked just like my dog Yahoo but black in color! LOL
The land was beautiful, the people even more so. Hospitality like no other I've ever encountered before. It was humbling to say the least.
I was having flashbacks the whole time I was there just watching the little kids running around wild and crazy and carefree, not a care as to what was going on around them, just happy to be playing with friends and with no idea of the abject poverty they were living in - just like I was when I was a kid. I was in tears a lot of the time I was there. I saw ghosts everywhere, and a lot of people I was talking to and seeing walking around reminded me of family members back home. Just goes to show you that a Rez is a Rez, no matter where you are.
That band Reliance was pretty good. Total Fat Wreck Chords sound. They did an OPIV cover that people actually knew the words to. Weird. Some of the other Rap artists that played were worth mentioning, but I'll have to look at the line up listing to see who was who and what was what.
People dug the shit out of us when we played. Rob saved some ladies life during the Headnoise set. That's not something you see everyday.
The drive home was gorgeous. AZ has some really beautiful scenery. All in all it was a life affirming experience, one I won't forget as long as I'm breathing. Can't wait to get back out there next year and do it all again. 💖