Happy Birthday to the one and only Mike Ness!
Mike Ness is the leader, front man, voice and guitar player of the veteran punk rock band called Social Distortion. A band that successfully combined the passion for the punk rock with the classic rock & roll era of music, and a bit of country. One of the best examples is the self-titled album, released on 1990. For many considered their best work; but I consider every single release to be great.
Let’s be honest here, is there a bad Social Distortion album? I don’t think so. Every release takes several years to see the light. And even though I am eager to see a new album, I see why it takes so long; the passion put on each release is noticeable. Their latest album is called Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, and it was released on 2011. It won’t be a surprise that the next record will be as awesome as all their previous works.
Now, why am I dedicating my time writing a post for Mike Ness’ birthday if he doesn’t even know you exist? Well, that is simple. A few years ago, I fell into a heavy depression. It was a very hard time in my life, and not because I was on bankruptcy or hungry or a bad relationship. Depression hits in weird ways, you don’t know if you’re actually depressed, you just feel like everything you do is not worth; you feel hard waking up, even if the days promises to be beautiful; you just feel everything’s wrong, even when you achieve something. 2016 was the worst year for me, and I never sought for any help. Not many people see depression as an illness; most people see it as if you’re just feeling sad, and I was one of these people. Unfortunately, I fell in it, and it isn’t just feeling sad. It is way deeper than that.
2017 remained the same. I never did anything to help myself. I was just wandering around looking for distractions. Videogames, books, walks, food, and whatever kept my brain occupied. Of course, this wasn’t a long-term solution. As soon as I had finished one of the mentioned activities, my world fell apart. Then, while I was looking at the thousand internet memes, scrolling on my Facebook feed, found an event at the Tricky Falls in El Paso, Texas:
A date for a Social Distortion show, with Jade Jackson as a special guest. To be honest, yes, it took me by surprise, but I was not in the mood to go to any concert. I remember that a few weeks (or months) before the date, Tiger Army played a show; Tiger Army is also one of the bands I wanted to see for years… and I didn’t go because, seriously, I was so down.
I don’t know what happened. Guess I just bought the ticket, and in the end, I thought I wouldn’t go. Fortunately for me, I was really close to downtown (therefore, the Tricky Falls). It was early, but I had nothing to do, I sat there and the line started to gradually increase. After a few hours, they called the people that had bought the VIP tickets, the doors were open an hour earlier for them. I got the regular tickets. Lucky for me, all of the VIPs went to the bar first; though I went in an hour later than them, I got a place right in front of the scenario. Never been so glad in my life for people and their alcoholic priority.
I was there, right in front of them as you can see on the second photo. I took it. Of course my hand is not steady, so I should apologize for the low quality.
There, Jade Jackson opened; started playing her first single, “Aden,” and that’s when I fell in love with a new singer. I got a vinyl signed by her and the band! It was a good moment, yes, but it wasn’t until Social Distortion took the stage that my life changed for good. It is really hard to explain, the energy put into the lyrics and music made my heart explode. Something about Ness’ words between songs, and the songs themselves gave me something that kindled within me. You know, sometimes there’s something unexpected that gives you strength out of nowhere to keep moving forward. Something about words and sounds that grabs your hand and pulls you back to the direction you are supposed to be moving. That is exactly what happened as soon as Mike Ness stepped on the stage.
And for that, I thank you.
Happy Birthday, Mike Ness! A punk rock hero.