Though they're classified with rockabilly, country punk, and all that fonzie stuff, Social D. was one of the original horror punk bands. They wore makeup, and played shows with bands like 45 Grave.

The lines between the two genres is pretty thin, actually. They're all about haircuts, clothes, and guitars. The main difference is that goth is gay, while rockabilly pretends that it's not.

Social Distortion are a hell of a lot of fun. Before the band stopped drinking (I've heard they have) they played my club at my university.

Warning: Anecdote

...we'd had the Feelies the night before and they were really, really, really annoying; making ludicrous demands, acting as if we were the seventh pit of hell, etc. So I (as house manager) wasn't in a great mood the next day when I got a phone call.

Me: "Yo."
Voice: "Uh, hi, this is Mike Ness, from Social D...we're in Philly, and we're wondering how to get there."
Me: "Sure." (gives directions)
Mike: "Say, we've been on the road a bit and are wondering if it's okay if we get there early and chill out?"
Me: "Absolutely. Anytime."
Mike: "Cool. Say, you guys have beer?"
Me: (wide grin spreading over face) "Oh sure. We're on tap. C'mon up."

...and so they did, arriving maybe 90 minutes later, with a gaggle of latex-clad gum-chewing groupies, who were happy enough to giggle and sit on my lap because we'd hired their boys. The band comes in, sizes the place up, grins, and Mike offers a hand. "Hey! Which way to the beer?"

...and a splendid time was had by all. I was asked later in the week to describe the band to someone who'd missed the party; I thought about it a moment, and said: "You know how if you're in the forest and you pick up a flat rock, there might be a lizard or two underneath it? Okay, well, if you were in some incredibly stuck-in-the-70s part of L.A. and you picked up a greasy old hulk of a wrecked car, you'd probably find Social Distortion under it."

They were without doubt the best show we had that year, and were a blast to hang with besides. Later on (early 1990s) somebody tried to package them into being an Arena Rock Band(tm), but they couldn't do that, it being fundamentally against the nature of their music. So they went back to playing big clubs and small dives, and (I hear) were happier for it.

The Social Distortion discography:

Studio recordings
Mommy's Little Monster(1982)
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)
Live recording
Live at the Roxy(1998)

Mainliner--Wreckage from the Past

Lead singer Mike Ness also released two strange country punk records, when Social Distortion was on hiatus between 1998 and 2001.

Mike Ness solo career:
Cheating at Solitaire(1999)
Under the Influences(2000)

Rhythm guitarist Dennis Danell died of a brain aneurysm in the fall of 2000. He was the only remaining original member of Social D besides Mike Ness. Ness put together a new lineup and took to the road for a few West Coast dates in 2001. A reunion album was released in September 2004, after which bassist John Maurer left. The band now consists of:

Mike Ness--Vocals and Lead Guitar
Jonny Wickersham--Guitar
Matt Freeman--Bass
Charlie Quintana--Drums

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