Album: All By Myself
. . .
So the story goes like this: there was a hardcore band based out of Fullerton, CA called The Adolescents, whose self-titled debut album is still well-regarded today. One of the principal songwriters on that album was multi-instrumentalist Rikk Agnew, brought in by his brother Frank to play drums — he’d also been the bassist for Social Distortion — but who ended up on guitar. As you do.
In any event, despite the good reviews and (relatively) good sales, Agnew left the Adolescents and somehow had the good fortune to hook up with four other guys also named “Rikk Agnew.” Or at least that’s what the back cover of his debut album, All By Myself, would have you believe. I mean, what are the odds!?!?!
Drums: Rikk Agnew
Bass: Rikk Agnew
Guitars: Rikk Agnew
Keyboards: Rikk Agnew
Vocals: Rikk Agnew
I don’t know why I’ve always gotten a kick out of that, but I always have and I always will. In any event, All By Myself was an early staple at by college radio station, 90.7 KFSR, Fresno especially the opening track “O.C. Life,” where guitarist Rikk Agnew channeled East Bay Ray while railing about how fucked up Orange County was. In my mind, that song will forever be associated with the legendary “Too Hip” Chip, who would shout “this one’s for you, Fullerton” along with Agnew at the beginning of the track. (Unless, of course, he didn’t.)
In any event, while I liked “O.C. Life” well enough, the song on All By Myself that I loved was the long and soaring “Everyday,” an absolutely unabashed love song that opens with a massive near-jangly guitar hook by guitarist Rikk Agnew.
Ive wanted you to be all mine, since the time we met
The wreckless past you wandered through, I’d rather soon forget
But memories are history, and I am here today
I’ll never leave your life, my dear
My love will never fray
And while singer Rikk Agnew struggles to get all of the words that lyricist Rikk Agnew has written, it doesn’t even matter, because bassist Rikk Agnew is pumping out hook after hook underneath and drummer Rikk Agnew is throwing in rolls in and around the chorus while keyboardist Rikk Agnew is underpinning with organ.
Want you everyday
Need you everyday
The thought of you gives me a rush in a special way
Want you everyday
Need you everyday
I really want you to believe in what i have to say
In a weird way, it’s almost too unabashed, too cheesy — no one would mistake this for hardcore in any way, shape or form — and yet, it’s so incredibly sincere that it gets a pass. You’re really kind of rooting for Rikk Agnew here, despite the incredibly clumsy phrasing.
Sure we have our bad times, but most of them are grand
Sure you had another guy, I tried to understand
But im not into sharing you, the best thing that I’ve got
I want you to be my own, till we reach reaper’s lot
I mean, I’ve been cringing at “till we reach reaper’s lot” for nearly 40 years now, and all it’s gotten me is that much closer to reaper’s lot, so I guess the joke’s on me.
After that verse, there’s a long wordless bridge, where guitarist Rikk Agnew jingles and jangles and jingles some more, just in case you weren’t already scandalized enough by the whole thing. This is followed by one more verse.
As I sing these words to you, I want them to sink in
You make me feel like millions, my feelings from within
Please let’s be forever girl, so wonderful is fate
I dedicate this song to you, to you my chosen mate
I love this so much. I mean, just the tortuous language of that final couplet. Which is totally “backwards ran sentences until reeled the mind.”
Want you everydayyyyyyyyyyyy
(Want you everyday)
Need you everydayyyyyyyyyyyy
(Need you everyday)
In the end, lead singer Rikk Agnew and backing vocalist Rikk Agnew do a nice call-and-response as “Everyday” fades into the night.
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