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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, November 29, 2002

Punk band Social Distortion rages on

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

The Southern California punk rock group Social Distortion is heading to Honolulu for a concert tonight at World Café. The band released its debut album, "Mommy's Little Monster," in 1983.

Social Distortion

7 p.m. today

World Café



Before Southern California began churning out the Sam Goody-ized pop punk of blink-182 and its ilk like so many cartons of orange juice, so-called "real" punk bands like Social Distortion were the export norm.

Formed during the late-1970s golden age of SoCal punk that also produced genre godfathers X, The Germs and Black Flag, Social Distortion took a while to get its brooding, hard-hitting blasts of angry fury on vinyl. Members came and went before the band released its rock-solid 1983 debut "Mommy's Little Monster" smack in the middle of MTV's revolution of British-based, TV-ready mousse rock.

Flash forward two decades later. The band has survived dozens of punk permutations, frontman Mike Ness' years-long (now long-gone) battle with heroin addiction, and the unexpected death of rhythm guitarist Dennis Danell in 2000 of a brain aneurysm.

Social Distortion has also survived with its musical soul intact — still clinging to a signature blues-tinged punk sound it stubbornly wears like a badge of honor.

The band (singer/lead guitarist Ness, bassist John Maurer, drummer Charlie Quintana and Danell replacement Johnny Wickersham) is in Honolulu for a single concert tonight at World Café.

After a brief hiatus and a year of well-received (and mostly sold-out) West Coast dates in 2001, Ness finally decided earlier this year to take Social D out for its first tour without Danell.

The band's current live set list has been drawing heavily from its entire catalog — from "Mommy's Little Monster" to a new CD Social D hopes to have out early next year. Also in the band's set are "hits" like "Ball and Chain," its churning remake of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and tracks from 1996's underrated "White Light, White Heat, White Trash" album.