Social Distortion

Settling for Ness

Social Distortion singer Mike Ness wants some respect.
Social Distortion singer Mike Ness wants some respect.

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Scheduled to perform on Wednesday, August 2
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

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When Social Distortion first started cranking out punkabilly anthems like "Mommy's Little Monster" in the early '80s, punk hadn't yet pogo'd into the realm of pop-culture pretentiousness — something Social D front man Mike Ness addresses on the band's 1998 live album Live at the Roxy.Before the band launches into "Prison Bound," Ness waxes nostalgic with the audience: "That was back at a time when society wasn't quite ready for this kind of music. Does anyone remember those days? That's when punk rock was dangerous, right? You couldn't walk into a mall and get your little pussy pierced, or your little Doc Martens boots, or your crazy color for your hair." In more onstage banter at one of Social D's Phoenix shows in 2001, Ness gave props to young punks, but reminded them that "Without the old school, there would be no new school." Three years later at another Phoenix show, some kid threw a cup of water on Ness, who responded with, "Throw water on your mama." Fair enough. Ness has been creating classics like "Sick Boy" and "Bad Luck" for 25 years now, and he just wants kids carrying the punk torch to remember who helped set it ablaze.

 
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