Friday, Nov. 4 – Social Distortion with Chuck Ragan and Off With Their Heads at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. (305) 673-7300. General admission tickets $35 (plus service charge). All ages welcome. Doors at 7 p.m. Buy tickets | Facebook event
After more than 30 years of living the hard life they document on record and on stage, Mike Ness and Social Distortion deserve to bask in a little success. Frontman Ness and Social D have been slogging it out since 1978, earning the title of punk godfathers for their heartfelt brand of straightforward and melodic roots rock and rockabilly.
The Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes album, released in January, is the group’s most popular ever. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200 as well as No. 4 in digital album sales, No. 3 in rock albums, No. 2 in alternative, and No. 1 on the independent album chart. It’s the band’s first album in seven years, but obviously the fans have not moved on to the latest trend.
Social D is timeless, like a shot of fine whiskey. And the lyrics are just as stripped-down and honest. It’s also good to see that success has not spoiled Ness, who remains as candid and no-nonsense as any struggling bar band singer. Sure, the music has mellowed and gone a little more country, but the punk fire still burns.
To critics who complain about his more mature direction, Ness has a direct response. As he recently explained to The Orange County Register: “There’ll be some people who’ll probably say, ‘What are they, a classic rock band now?’ Well … yeah, we are! We’ve been doing this for 30 years. You got a (bleeping) problem with that?!”
So, to gear up for Social Distortion’s long-awaited return to South Florida next week, here are a few classic shards of trivia about a band that remains as sharp and biting as ever: