Mike Ness knows all about "bad, bad luck." Singer/guitarist Ness, who's the author of that lyric, has experienced plenty of hardship since he formed Social Distortion in 1978, in the midst of L.A.'s burgeoning hardcore scene. The group survived brawls, arrests and revolving membership while making its way through punk's underground club circuit -- and it shared its on-tour struggles in the documentary Another State of Mind. Social D's first full-length recording, 1983's Mommy's Little Monster, packed a powerful punch of clenched aggression and unpolished tracks in a trademark sound that was more accessible than the music of the band's angrier counterparts. But Ness's battles with heroin addiction and self-destructive behavior led to a four-year wait for a follow-up album. Maturing compositions on later releases scored Social Distortion moderate Billboard success, but that good fortune was offset by longtime guitarist Dennis Danell's death in 2000. Fate may not be in its favor, but Ness's band has made an undeniable mark on punk music that's still seen in today's upstart acts. Hot off the release of Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll, Social D brings its legendary, abrasive appeal to the Fillmore on Friday, November 5.
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