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Mike Ness


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Mike Ness (born Michael James Ness, born April 3, 1962) is a music singer and guitarist, best known as the vocalist, guitarist, and chief songwriter for the American punk rock band Social Distortion.

Ness was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts and raised in Fullerton in Orange County, California. Kicked out of his parents’ home in Fullerton at the age of fifteen, he dabbled in drugs and petty crime, involving himself in the punk scene and founding Social Distortion in 1978. The band signed a contract with Posh Boy Records in 1981, releasing the Mainliner/Playpen 7” record. Then the band moved to 13th Floor Records in 1982 and released the album Mommy’s Little Monster (1982).

By this time, Ness’s drug addiction and self-destructive behavior had deepened to the point that the band almost broke up. The turmoil was captured on a video, Another State of Mind, which chronicled a cross-country tour. Five years passed before Social Distortion released their next album, 1988’s Prison Bound, on Restless Records but Ness emerged from the time off free of his addictions and ready to work.

In 1989, Social Distortion signed a deal with Epic Records and released four albums with that label: the self-titled album (1990), Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (1992) and White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996).

The band left Epic Records after White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996) and joined Time Bomb Recordings, releasing Mainliner: Wreckage From the Past (a collection of old recordings and singles that were done in the early ’80s) and Live at the Roxy (1998).


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