Social Distortion Biography
Social Distortion was formed in Fullerton, California USA, in the summer of 1978 by 17-year-old singer + guitarist & songwriter Mike Ness who recruited guitarist Rikk Agnew, bassist Frank Agnew and drummer Casey Royer.
They soon started performing live in Los Angeles-area Punk scene and in 1981 the quartet released their first single titled "Mainliner" on the independent label, Posh Boy. They then embarked on their first cross-continental tour in a run down old school bus.
Two years later, with a revamped line-up, Mike Ness on vocals, Dennis Danell on guitar, Brent Liles on bass and Derek O'Brien on drums, Social Distortion recorded its official debut full-length disc, "Mommy's Little Monster", earning great critical acclaim in the national Punk circles; but the Punk-Rock group nearly broke-up when Ness descended into heroin addiction and parted ways with the rhythm section of Liles and O'Brien.
The singer cleaned up his act and five years later regrouped Social Distortion with John Maurer on bass and Chris Reece on drums, the revitalized band released "Prison Bound".
In 1990, they released their first album on Epic Records; the self-titled
major label debut cracked The Billboard Top 200 chart going gold. It contained
"Let It Be Me" and "Ball And Chain", both the tracks
climbed The Modern Rock chart peaking at the #11 and #13 spots, respectively;
the cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire" entered the top 30
on the same chart. The band was asked to join Neil
Young on tour, beginning the process of bending Punk expectation.
The group's star continued to rise and the follow-up to their eponymous LP peaked at #76 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart, "Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell", which was issued in 1992, generated three Modern Rock top 20 hits, including the #2 "Bad Luck", the #11 "Cold Feelings" and "When She Begins".
Social Distortion took an extended hiatus following the release of its fourth album and returned to the studios in the fall of 1995 to record "White Light White Heat White Trash", Chuck Biscuits joined the band as the new drummer at that time; the record peaked at #27 on the Billboard's Top 200 list, reaching the highest position in the band's history, it included "I Was Wrong" which rose to the #4 slot on The Modern Rock chart and to #12 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks; the follow-up single, "When The Angels Sing", made its way into the top 40 on the same charts. The quartet became part of the 1997's Vans Warped summer tour sharing the stage with the likes of Pennywise, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Helmet.
In the spring of 1998, Social Distortion recorded three nights at the Roxy and release it as an album on Time Bomb Recordings; the set, the first for the new label, reached #121 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Mike Ness during 1999 recorded two solo-albums, "Cheating At Solitaire"
and a collection of cover songs.
On February 29, 2000 Dennis Danell, died from a brain aneurysm at the age of 38.
By the end of 2000 frontman Mike Ness announced the new Social Distortion's line-up, that consited of guitarist Johnny Wickersham, bassist John Maurer and drummer Charlie Quintana who took the place of Biscuits.
In September of 2004 the foursome released the long-awaited follow-up
to "White Light White Heat White Trash". The band's sixth album,
"Sex, Love And Rock 'n' Roll" debuted at #31 on the all-genre
Billboard 200 listing and the lead single, "Reach For The Sky ",
reached the #27 position on The Modern Rock chart.
Upon the album's completion Maurer decided to leave the band, he was replaced by Brent Harding, a member of Ness' solo touring band.
2005 saw the Rock 'n' Roll icons contribute the cover of The Clash's "Death Or Glory", to the soundtrack of the movie "Lords Of Dogtown"; the film follows the surf and skateboarding trends that originated in Venice, California, during the '70s.
The first ever career spanning collection from Social Distortion arrived in stores in June 2007; "Far Behind" was the hard charging new song recorded just for this "Greatest Hits", the song quickly catapulted into the top 20 of The Hot Modern Rock chart. That November, the band embarked on another wildly successful West Coast concert tour, playing 44 sellouts, with more than 50,000 tickets sold.
After ten years behind the drum kit for Social D, Charlie 'Chalo' Quintana
announced in April 2009 that he would move on to explore other musical
opportunities. He was later replaced by David Hidalgo Jr.
In January 2011 Social Distortion put out their highly anticipated seventh studio album, "Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes", the disc rocketed to #4 on The Billboard 200 and the lead single "Machine Gun Blues" bulleted into the top 10 of The Alternative Songs list and reached #20 on The Rock Songs chart.