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Steve Soto: a Memory of my Friend During his Final Interview

Steve Soto

Introductory Memoire by Erin Marie
Interview by 
Pat Society, Recorded by Rachel Hoeflich


I can’t even remember the first time I met Steve, as he’s just always been there.

I do recall an incident in the mid-90’s when we first started really talking.  It was at an old local place in Huntington Beach, California called Java Jungle.  A coffee shop on the corner of 6th Street and Pacific Coast Highway overlooking the sand and water.  If we stood on the chairs, we could see if the sets were any good to surf that day… 

It was a hangout for punks of all ages, and you were guaranteed to run into one of the local Orange County musicians and get a decent cup of coffee and usually a chat.  I was 14 years old at the time but told everyone I was 18 because that was the only way I could get anyone to listen to me seriously.  I can’t tell you why I started talking to Steve.  But next thing I knew, we were talking about his band 22 Jacks (that I had somehow managed to sneak in and see at an over 18 venue in Orange County). 

We talked about music and various mutual friends we had in common before I had to sneak back to Huntington Beach High for 5th period.  I walked back to school thinking, “I wanna be as smart and cool and sweet as that guy when I grow up!” 

When I told Steve about that encounter many years later over tacos at Linda’s (our fave Mexican food place in Long Beach) thinking he wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about, he sat up and started laughing.  Steve said “Oh yeah, I remember!  You were super loud as well as opinionated about music! And you admitted to liking Fleetwood Mac! UGH! How could anyone forget?”

On a side note, Steve absolutely HATED Fleetwood Mac.  He told me they represented everything he and his friends were fighting against. He also never stopped making fun of me for it either.

I remember blushing and blaming it on the red sauce on my tacos.  Steve had been all over the world, played with practically everyone at one time or another, and probably knew half a million people.  I was completely blown away that someone like him could remember a loud, arrogant, teen punk in the mid-’90s.  But that’s the kind of person Steve was.  He had a GREAT memory, he had a WICKED funny sense of humor and he was just so fucking, genuinely, NICE. 

Steve had a laugh that was contagious.  I can’t remember hanging out with him once without a good laugh being involved.  Over the years, I supported and watched his many different musical adventures, from getting back with the Adolescents in the ’00s to Manic Hispanic, 22 Jacks, Joyride, CJ Ramone, and one of my faves, the Black Diamond Riders.

He encouraged me to sing Descendants songs when he was playing with Punk Rock Karaoke. He then began laughing hysterically at me when I butchered the song to pieces.  I could never finish a song because I was laughing too hard at him laughing at me! 

Steve was one of the most real people I ever have met.  You’ll hear a lot of people say this because it’s true.  He always had time for you, no matter how busy he was.  In this day and age, there aren’t many people I can say that about.  He didn’t just wait for his turn to speak during a conversation.  He really did listen and value what his friends and fans had to say.  I think that is just one of the many reasons that losing him has hit everyone so hard. 

As you’ll see in this very last video interview he did, he always had time.  He always made people feel at ease and he always made people laugh.  That is what I remember most about my friend. 

We hope this video brings you a smile and a chuckle and reminds you that Steve is never far away. 

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