Social Distortion is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Fullerton, California. The band currently consists of vocalist and guitarist Mike Ness, guitarist Jonny Wickersham, bassist Brent Harding and drummer David Hidalgo, Jr.
Social Distortion temporarily disbanded in 1985, due to frontman Ness’ drug addiction and troubles with the law, which resulted in extended stints in various rehabilitation centers, that lasted for two years. However, the band reformed around 1986 and has remained active since then, even after the death of longtime guitarist Dennis Danell, who succumbed to a brain aneurysm in 2000. Since its inception the band lineup has been a virtual revolving-door of talent, with many members coming and going – Ness being the only constant member.
In 1982, the band—now consisting of Ness, Danell (who now played rhythm guitar), Brent Liles on bass, and Derek O'Brien on drums—embarked on their first international tour (US and Canada) with fellow punk band Youth Brigade, a trip chronicled in the punk rockumentary Another State of Mind, which was not released until 1984.
To date, Social Distortion has released seven full-length studio albums, two compilations, one live album, and two DVDs. The band released its debut album, Mommy’s Little Monster, in 1983, which was quite popular in the United States. Social Distortion did not release a second album, Prison Bound, until 1988. That album attracted the attention of Epic Records, who signed the band in 1989 and issued their highly successful self-titled third album a year later, which peaked at number 128 on the Billboard 200, and featured their well-known hit singles “Ball and Chain,” “Story of My Life,” and the cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” The next two albums, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell and White Light, White Heat, White Trash were also well-received but not as successful as the self-titled album. Social Distortion released thier sixth studio album, Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll, on September 28, 2004.
"The enduring L.A. punk band Social Distortion has overcome numerous personnel shifts, the demise of the Los Angeles hardcore scene that spawned them, and the heroin addiction of singer/guitarist/bandleader Mike Ness to achieve a measure mainstream acceptance for their rootsy, hard-hitting punk without compromise. Inspired by the fertile L.A. punk scene, Ness formed the group in 1978 with drummer Casey Royer and brothers Frank (bass) and Rikk Agnew (guitar). When the brothers left to join the Adolescents, Ness' schoolmate Dennis Danell joined on bass; the next few years saw a revolving-door membership. When the group finally recorded its debut album, Mommy's Little Monster in 1983, the band consisted of Ness, Danell (now on guitar), bassist Brent Liles, and drummer Derek O'Brien. Their music was often described as a punk version of the Rolling Stones, and ""Another State of Mind"" was one of the few punk videos to air on MTV in 1984. However, the band took four years to record a follow-up, as Ness descended into heroin addiction and self-consciously rebellious behavior. Liles and O'Brien left, and Ness, after straightening himself out, finally regrouped in 1988 with John Maurer on bass and Chris Reece on drums. This lineup recorded Prison Bound, a mature album broadening Social Distortion's roots rock influences with a country feel. Their self-titled 1990 effort included a cover of Johnny Cash's ""Ring of Fire"" and returned the group to MTV via ""Ball and Chain."" Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell became their most popular album to date, producing a minor radio hit in ""Bad Luck"" and keeping with their now-established blend of punk, blues, country, and rockabilly.
Social Distortion took an extended hiatus following the release of Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, returning in 1996 with White Light, White Heat, White Trash, which proved to be a moderate hit on MTV and modern-rock radio; former Black Flag and D.O.A. drummer Chuck Biscuits made his debut on the album, following the departure of Reece. Live at the Roxy followed in 1998, and a year later Ness issued a pair of solo albums, Cheating at Solitaire and the covers collection Under the Influences. Danell died February 29, 2000 of an apparent brain aneurysm; the guitarist was just 38-years-old. In the fall of 2000, Jonny Wickersham signed on as the group's new guitarist, and Charlie Quintana took over on drums from the often busy Biscuits. After extensive touring, the band went back into the studio in 2004 to record Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll. Another six years passed before Social D returned to recording. Produced by Mike Ness himself, 2011's glossy-but-muscular Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes featured a new lineup, with bassist Brent Harding and the son of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, drummer David Hidalgo Jr. joining Wickersham and Ness."
Social Distortion (sometimes referred to simply as Social D) is an American rock band formed in 1978 in Fullerton, Orange County, California.
The group briefly disbanded in 1985, due to frontman Ness' drug addiction, but reformed around 1986 and have continued being active today, even after the death of longtime guitarist Dennis Danell, who succumbed to a brain aneurysm in 2000.
Among mainstream audiences, Social Distortion are best known for their hit singles "Ball and Chain", "Story of My Life", "I Was Wrong" and "Reach for the Sky" as well as a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire."
In February 2006, Ness was injured and broke his wrist in a skateboarding accident. He had his good friend, TSOL guitarist Ron Emory fill his place on guitar for the tour while he continued to sing for the band with his arm in a cast and sling.
The band has consistently used a skeleton logo during their career, nickname Skellie by fans. It has been used by the band as a mascot. It is frequently used during live performances as well as album covers.
High school seemed like such a blur
I didn't have much interest in sports or school elections
And in class I dreamed all day
About a rock 'n' roll weekend
And the girl in the front of the room
So close yet so far
Y'know she never seemed to notice
That this silly school-boy crush wasn't just pretend
Life goes by so fast
You only want to do what you think is right
Close your eyes and then it's past;
(it's the) story of my life
And I went down to my old neighborhood
The faces have all changed, there's no one left to talk to
And the pool hall I loved as a kid is now a seven eleven
I went downtown to look for a job
I had no training, no experience to speak of
I looked at the holes in my jeans and turned and headed back
Good times come and good times go
I only wish the good times would last a little longer
I think about the good times we had and why they had to end
So I sit at the edge of my bed
I strum my guitar and I sing an outlaw love song
Wonderin' bout what you're doin' now and when you're comin' back