Local Wire

Social Distortion

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.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea