Descendents Biography

Descendents were formed in 1977 as an acoustic duo by Frank Navetta, and David Nolte. Bill Stevenson soon hooked up with the duo as their drummer. At the end of 1977, Nolte became bass player for the The Last and that group took precedent over David's commitment to to the Descendents, so he was replaced by Tony Lombardo, although David stuck around briefly to sing with the band. Their first release (as a trio at the time with Navetta and Lombardo handling vocals) was the Ride The Wild / It's A Hectic World 7" in the style of melodic garage pop.

In 1980 they enlisted Milo Aukerman, Stevenson and Navetta's classmate and a constant presence at Descendents' rehearsals, as a singer, and reappeared as a 'proper' punk band, becoming a major player in the hardcore scene developing in Los Angeles at the time.

Their debut album the following year, Milo Goes To College, introduced an element of melody and sensitivity that set them apart from most other hardcore bands and Stevenson's songs in particular were to greatly influence the melodic punk-pop bands of the 1990s with themes of love and loss and alienation (themes far less common in the punk scene at the time).

Following the album's release, Milo actually went to college to embark on an education that would take him as far as a doctorate in biochemistry. The band recruited Ray Cooper (3) to handle the vocals but at the same time Bill Stevenson became the drummer with fellow hardcore punks Black Flag. Although the plan was to play in both bands, Black Flag's rigorous touring scheduled proved to be too time-consuming. During this time, Descendents gigs were sporadic.There were a few gigs where the band appeared as a 5-piece, with both Navetta and Cooper playing guitar and Milo on vocals, and other shows by Lombardo and Cooper playing under the name Ascendents. The band did not record again until 1985, when they returned with the album I Don't Want To Grow Up. This was much more sensitive than "Milo...," despite silly songs such as "Pervert" and "No F.B".

The band's lineup changed around the time "I Don't Want to Grow Up". By the time of the recording, Navetta left the band to become a fisherman in Oregon and guitar duties were handled by Ray Cooper. Tony Lombardo left after the recording as touring was incompatible with his career as a postal carrier. Doug Carrion replaced Lombardo on bass. Lombardo has since stated that leaving the Descendents is the biggest regret he has in life.

Their next album, Enjoy! (released in 1986) was not well received by critics, but fans liked it. It was a mix of more 'silly' songs (The last track on the album involving band members farting into microphones and laughing).

After the Enjoy! tour, Ray Cooper got a job working in the emerging software scene and Doug Carrion left for other projects, eventually ending up in Dag Nasty. Stevenson invited Stephen Egerton and Karl Alvarez of Salt Lake City's Massacre Guys to replace them, and the now permanent lineup of the Descendents was in place.

The group released the album All in 1987, which, despite "Van", "ALL-O-Gistics" and the one-second "ALL", was the Descendents most mature 1980s album, and featured emot .... Click here to read the full bio on DISCOGS.

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