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Agent Orange (band)

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Agent Orange
Agent Orange performing at the San Diego House of Blues in 2011
Background information
OriginPlacentia, California
GenresPunk rock, surf punk, skate punk[1]
Years active1979 (1979)–present
LabelsPosh Boy, Enigma, Restless, Invisible, Gunka Disc, Anarchy
MembersMike Palm
Perry Giordano
Sandy Hansen
Past membersScott Miller
Steve Soto
James Levesque
Brent Liles
Derek O'Brien
Tim Riley
Scotty Lund
Sam Bolle
Charlie Quintana
Steve Latanation
Dusty Watson
Dave Klein

Agent Orange is an American punk rock band formed in Placentia, California, in 1979.[2] The band was one of the first to mix punk rock with surf music.[3]

A power trio, the band was founded by frontman and guitarist Mike Palm who has remained the band's sole constant member. The lineup of Palm, James Levesque (bass) and Scott Miller (drums) recorded Agent Orange's first two albums, Living in Darkness (1981) and This is the Voice (1986). The band's third album, Virtually Indestructible (1996) was released with Brent Liles on bass and Charlie Quintana on drums. The band has not released any new albums since. As of 2019, the band consists of Palm, Perry Giordano (bass) and Sandy Hansen (drums).


The power trio's original lineup was Mike Palm on guitar and vocals, Steve Soto on bass, and Scott Miller on drums.[3]

They first gained attention for their song "Bloodstains,"[3] originally appearing on their self-released debut 7-inch EP in 1980.[4] A demo version of the song was given to Rodney Bingenheimer, a DJ at Pasadena radio station KROQ-FM, who placed it on his seminal 1980 compilation album, Rodney on the ROQ, on Posh Boy Records.[4]

With James Levesque on bass (replacing Soto, who left to form the Adolescents[5]), the group recorded their debut Living In Darkness album with Brian Elliot, best known for composing Madonna's hit "Papa Don't Preach." The record was released by Posh Boy in November 1981 and included another, newer version of "Bloodstains" (later used in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4). A 12-inch EP, Bitchin' Summer, followed in 1982 on Posh Boy.[4]

Signing to Enigma Records, the band released another 12-inch EP, 1983's When You Least Expect It...,[4] followed by a second album, This Is the Voice, released in 1986.[4][6]

In 1988, former Social Distortion bassist Brent Liles replaced Levesque,[4] and the following year, Derek O'Brien (also a former member of Social Distortion as well as D.I.) replaced Miller on drums. In 1991, Restless Records released the Real Live Sound live album,[4] recorded at The Roxy in Hollywood on July 21, 1990.[7] It was the only Agent Orange recording to feature the Palm/Liles/O'Brien line-up.

In 1990, the band was featured as the nightclub performers in the Direct-to-Video film, Pale Blood. Songs included were Fire and the Rain, Bite the Hand That Feeds, and So Strange.

Sam Bolle replaced Liles in January 1992, remaining with the band until May 2003, when he left to join Dick Dale's band.

A third studio album, Virtually Indestructible, was released in 1996 on the Gunka Disc label. The album featured drummer Charlie Quintana, formerly of the Plugz and later of Social Distortion.

Greatest & Latest – This, That-N-The Other Thing a compilation of rerecorded older material and new songs, was released in 2000 on Cleopatra Records, and featured Bolle on bass and Steve Latanation on drums. Latanation as well as Dusty Watson alternately played drums through 2008. In 2006, Perry Giordano joined on bass. In 2009, the band added drummer Dave Klein, who had previously recorded with numerous bands including the Bomboras, Ghastly Ones and the Seeds/Sky Saxon.

In 2019, Sandy Hansen joined on Drums.

Former bassist Liles died on January 18, 2007,[8] and former bassist Levesque died on October 19, 2014.[9] Founding member and former bassist Steve Soto died on June 27, 2018.[10]

Band members[edit]

  • Mike Palm – guitars, lead vocals (1979–present)
  • Perry Giordano – bass, backing vocals (2006–present)
  • Sandy Hansen - drums (2019–present)
  • Scott Miller – drums (1979–1989)
  • Steve Soto – bass (1979; died 2018)
  • James Levesque – bass (1979–1988; died 2014)
  • Brent Liles – bass (1988–1991; died 2007)
  • Derek O'Brien – drums (1989–1991)
  • Scotty Lund – drums (1991–1995)
  • Sam Bolle – bass (1992–2003)
  • Charlie Quintana – drums (1996; died 2018)
  • Steve Latanation – drums (1997–2003)
  • Dusty Watson – drums (2004–2008)
  • Dave Klein – drums, backing vocals (2009–2018)
  • Bruce Taylor – bass (2004–2005)




  1. ^ Reardon, Tom (October 21, 2015). "The 10 Best Skate Punk Records of All Time". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Blush, Steven; Petros, George (October 19, 2010). American Hardcore (Second Edition): A Tribal History (2nd ed.). Port Townsend, Washington: Feral House. p. 99. ISBN 978-1932595895. Retrieved April 22, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Lamb, Gordon (February 10, 2016). "Agent Orange's Surf-Punk Is Still Essential". Flagpole Magazine. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 16. ISBN 0-7535-0257-7.
  5. ^ Ensminger, David (2013). Left of the Dial. PM Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-60486-641-4.
  6. ^ "Agent Orange (7) – This Is The Voice (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  7. ^ "Agent Orange (7) – Real Live Sound (Cassette, Album)". Discogs.com. July 21, 1990. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  8. ^ Carpenter, Eric (January 21, 2007). "Early Social Distortion bassist ID'd in wreck". The Orange County Register. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  9. ^ Bennett, Sarah (October 29, 2014). "R.I.P. Agent Orange Bassist James Levesque | OC Weekly". OC Weekly. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Blistein, Jon (June 28, 2018). "Steve Soto, Adolescents Founder and Punk Veteran, Dead at 54". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2019.

External links[edit]