Considering this is my maiden voyage into the blogosphere, it’s fitting that I start with something dear to my heart. In this case, the finest rock band ever to grace the third rock from the sun – Social Distortion.
With a few notable exceptions, Social D is the last band standing from the late 70’s Southern California punk rock explosion. Thirty-plus years of living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle would have killed most people. Lead singer Mike Ness and his coterie of band-mates are still touring like madmen. Three decades haven’t dulled the band’s trademark rockabilly/punk twang or the pain soaked emotion that permeates every gravelly syllable.
Their now mythic live show is equal parts punk, rockabilly and dirty jokes. Ness has a lifetime’s worth of war stories and is easily one of rock’s finest tale tellers. With eight full length albums under their belt, they can afford to pick and choose their live sets. I’ve seen them perform just about all of them at one point or another. They tend to save their best for last and cap off most nights their two all-time greatest tracks – underground classic Story of My Life and a searing rendition of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. Experiencing these two songs alone was worth the price of admission.
The attached photo was taken February 17th, 2005 at Club Metropolis in Montreal. Photo by David Strange.
For those of you unfamiliar with the band, be sure to check out www.SocialDistortion.com
Social Distortion. By Social Distortion (Musical Group). Los Angeles, CA: Epic, 1990.
- Contains the band’s most iconic tracks, including Story of My Life and Ring of Fire.
Somewhere between heaven and hell. By Social Distortion (Musical Group). New York, Sony Music, 1992.
- Widely regarded as Social D’s finest album. Perhaps the band’s deepest foray into pure rockabilly. Worth it for the twangy guitar solos alone.
Live at the Roxy. By Social Distortion (Musical Group). New York: Time Bomb Recordings, 1998.
- Social D must be seen to be truly appreciated. If you can’t see them live, this is the next best thing.
Sex, love and rock and roll. By Social Distortion (Musical Group). New York: Time Bomb Recordings, 2004.
- The band took a slight step back from their cowpunk roots and headed towards a more traditional rock sound. Still, some of the most poignant, introspective and heartfelt lyrics Mike Ness has ever written.