Social Distortion is a punk band from Orange County (part of the Los Angeles metro area), fronted by Mike Ness. The band was formed in 1978 with Mike Ness, Rikk and Frank Agnew, and Casey Royer. The band got their name when Royer gave Ness his distortion pedal because, as Royer recalled, "back then he was no good."
He got a high-school buddy of his, Dennis Danell, to join in, even though Danell said he never played an instrument before in his life. When he joined, the others left to join a different band called The Adolescents. Ness and Danell remained the only two founding members of the band until Danell died of a brain aneurysm in 2000.
They got plenty of radio airplay thanks to Rodney Bingenheimer, who was a radio DJ in Orange County, taking a liking to them, and to this day, Social Distortion is one of the best-selling punk acts of all time.
- Mommy's Little Monster (1983)
- Prison Bound (1988)
- Social Distortion (1990)
- Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell (1992)
- White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996)
- Sex, Love, And Rock 'n' Roll (2004)
- Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (2011)
Tropes associated with their songs:
- The Atoner: I Was Wrong details the regret the narrator feels for his rebellious nature.
- Born Unlucky: Ball And Chain.Times are hard, getting harderI'm born to lose, and destined to fail
- Cover Version: They have done a punk cover of "Ring Of Fire." They also covered "Up Around The Bend" for the Free Birds soundtrack.
- Greaser Delinquents: Sick Boys describes one.
- Growing Up Sucks: Story Of My Life
- I Am the Band: As of 2000, Mike Ness is the only original member left.
- In Memoriam: Sex, Love, And Rock 'n' Roll was this to Danell.
- Longer-Than-Life Sentence: 99 To Life is about a man who got 99 years for stabbing his girlfriend to death.
- Revolving Door Band: Except between 1984-1994 and 2010-2018.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: Story Of My Life, again.
- Taught to Hate: "Don't Drag Me Down" is about the history of racism in the United States and how it persists into the modern day. It opens with a straightforward explanation for why the problem has persisted so long: "Children are taught to hate."