Fullerton Punk - The Detours
The Detours, a pioneering Southern California punkband from Fullerton, formed in July of 1977, by Gordon Cox, Rikk Agnew, Jeff Beans. Guitarist Bruce Boyd served in the early days- playing the first gig, with the band eventually settling on the machine gun style of power chording guitarist Mike Koerber.
In mid 1979, Casey Royer, only months after co-founding Social Distortion with Mike Ness, quits to play drums in The Detours, rounding out the quintet and allowing Rikk Agnew to move from drums to lead guitar duties.
The Detours point to The Damned, Iggy and the Stooges, The Ramones, and David Bowie as the influences for the band's sound.
In the late 70's this Fullerton punk rock crucible created the now familiar OC sound and anthems covered years later on albums by the Adolescents, and DI as well as showing up later on Rikk's solo projects. Members of The Detours have gone on to play in Social Distortion, Adolescents, TSOL, Christian Death, DI, 45 Grave, White Zombie, and many more. former members of the band include drummers Casey Royer, the Mighty Stevie Drt, Paul Kostabi, Jon "Carrot" Stevenson, Craig Briscoe, John Knight, Shawn Coe, Steve "Gee" Guevara, Noah Lysek, and guitarists Bruce Boyd, Mike Koerber, Dan Colburn, Frankie Agnew Jr, Steve "Gee" Guevara, Leo Atreides, Craig "chicken head" Jewitt.
The Detours, along with the The Middle Class, represent the first generation of OC punk bands to break into the Los Angeles Punk scene- as the earliest days lacked any venues for punk in Orange County - beyond back yard parties.
In Fall of 1977 Rikk and Gordon take a "borrowed" car to Hollywood for the first of many nights to hang out at the legendary "Masque" . Befriended by Brendan Mullen, the two teens are extended an open welcome into the LA punk scene by one of its true progenators. Encouraged and influenced by introductions to the likes of the Weirdos, the Bags, and the Controllers in the clubhouse like confines of the Masque, they return to Orange County and continue to pen their own view and commentary of life south of the County line. Through these early friendships the band quickly rises to play LA venues and share stages with the likes of the Germs, Controllers, Circle Jerks and more...
Late one evening, in the Spring of 1979, Rodney Bingenheimer of KROQ radio allows the Detours into the old Pasadena location, and plays their newly recorded 3 song single, launching "Amoeba", "Hang Ten in East Berlin", and "the Saint" over the airwaves for the first time....
In the late seventies in North Orange County only a few bands could be found pushing this new, in your face genre of music, and those that did, came together as contemporaries and friends. On any given night it was not uncommon to find a sorted mix of members of the Detours, Agent Orange, Social Distortion, Naughty Women,and punk precursor- the Mechanics, flopped in each others rehearsal studios, engaged in consumption and orgies at Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness' legendary Fullerton apartment "the Black Hole", carpooling to the Starwood and Whiskey a go-go in Hollywood, pounding $1 pitchers in downtown Fullerton watering hole "(I drink with) My Shrink", partying in a bungalow complex known as "Brea Beach", late nite forays into the historic Yorba cemetery, debauchery in the Anaheim Hills, jam sessions at the Detours (and eventually the Adolescents) rehearsal shack - the "Chicken Coop", and even nights that ended in drunken sing alongs of Ramones songs gathered around Berlin drummer and record producer Dan Van Patten's grand piano. The times and behavior spawned the Detours credo and first Agnew tattoo: be proud, live fast, carry on.
These "Pioneers of OC Punk", the Detours,can be found playing a few select Southern California shows a year- providing the rare treat to witness these Godfathers of OC Hardcore live. The addition of permanent members and OC music veterans Sean Elliott and Alfie Agnew (Professor and the Mad Man) and drummerStevie Drt, the no-compromise approach to their "OC sound" has purists and fans of the genre looking forward to the near future as the band prepares for a release of all new music, re-releases of their earliest recordings dating back as far as 1977, and shows with old friends up and down the West Coast of the US.
Each new year promises to bring out these OC punk pioneers together for a few more shows and surprises - until then, Be Proud, Live Fast, Carry On.
OC Punk - the Detours
The Detours Current Line-Up
Gordon Cox- Vocals
Rikk Agnew- Guitar/vocal
Jeff "Beans"- Bass
Sean Elliott- Guitar/vocals
Stevie Drt- Drums/vocals