Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Random Rock Star Moment #13: Social Distortion

Social Distortion at The Cubby Bear in Chicago, 1988

Submitted by Miatomic

My brother and The Ramones' got me started on punk, but Social Distortion hooked me. See, I had a crush on this boy named Dean. He was a junior at my high school and I was just a freshman. He gave me a copy of a Social D poster that he'd made in graphics class. And I got one of my friends to drive me to Atomic Records so I could buy the LP. So it all started because I liked a boy...

I got over that crush pretty fast (and that's a story for another post involving The Minutemen!), but I never really got over Social Distortion.

I tried to see them at Cafe Voltaire (or maybe by that point it had changed names and become the Odd Rock Cafe) in Milwaukee. It was 1988 -- Prison Bound was released. I was 18 and a freshman in college.

When I got to the show, Mike Ness was outside lighting firecrackers. My friend's band opened, and then the place was busted by some bored cops who saw a bunch of kids hanging out. They told everyone to leave, that we were over capacity. They kicked us out, chased kids through the parking lot and made plenty of arrests. Lucky for me, I had been returning some borrowed equipment to Social Distortion's van and was hanging out with Dennis when the arrests began. They didn't get to play.

About 2 weeks later, we drove to the Cubby Bear in Chicago. Sham 69 opened. It was incredible. I palled around with Dennis after the show and we had a blast.

In 1992 I saw them open for the Ramones -- and I paid back the punk rock karma by taking my brother backstage.

BONUS Social Distortion Moment from Umlaut friend Kathy G.:

"When I was in high school, around 1983, they played at De Anza College in the basement of the student union. I was waiting by the bathroom when the drummer and someone else in the band came by, looking ill. Back onstage, the drummer, while drumming away wildly, barfed over his shoulder and kept playing. Yikes!"