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Social Distortion (often known as Social D) is an old school punk band of the early '80s. The band was formed in late 1978 by front man Mike Ness as a teenager. They played with fellow Orange County bands such as the Adolescents, China White, and Shattered Faith to form what is now known as hardcore punk rock. Their music was fast, angry, and energetic. The band is best known for their popular singles like "Ball and Chain", "Bad Luck", "When She Begins", "I Was Wrong" and of course their new single "Reach for the Sky".

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 Agnews left to join the Adolescents, Ness's 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.
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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.

Current Members
Mike Ness - Vocals, Guitars
Johnny Wickersham - Guitars (joined after the former guitarist Dennis Danell died, see also Cadillac Tramps)
Matt Freeman - Bass (joined in 2004 after the replace of John Maurer, see also Rancid)
Charlie Quintana - Drums (joined after the replace of Chuck Biscuits)

Older Members
Rikk Agnew - Guitars (joined in 1978, replaced in 1980)
Frank Agnew - Guitars (joined in 1978, replaced in 1980)
Timothy Maag - Guitars (joined in 1979, replaced in 1981)
Dennis Danell - Bass & Guitars (joined in 1979 as bassist until 1984, he died on leap day 2000)
Brent Liles - Basses (joined in 1980, replaced in 1984, see also Agent Orange)
John Maurer - Basses (joined in 1984, replaced in 2004)
Casey Royer - Drums (joined in 1978, replaced in 1980)
Derek O'Brein - Drums (joined in 1980, replaced in 1984)
Chris Reece - Drums (joined in 1984, replaced in 1993, see also The Lewd)
Randy Carr - Drums (joined in 1993, replaced in 1995)
Chuck Biscuits - Drums (joined in 1995, replaced in 1999, see also Danzig)

1945/Playpen (1980, single)
Mainliner (1981, single)
Mainliner (The Wreckage of the Past) (1981 & 1995 - re-issue, EP)
Mommy's Little Monster (1983)
Prison Bound (1988)
Social Distortion (1990)
Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (1992)
White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996)
Live at the Roxy (1998, live)
Live in Orange County (2004, live, released on DVD)
Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll (released on September 28th, 2004)

External links