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Social Distortion’s Mike Ness Reveals Tonsil Cancer Diagnosis

Band's summer tour and upcoming album have been postponed
Social Distortion
(Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Social Distortion leader Mike Ness has been diagnosed with stage one tonsil cancer and is expected to make a full recovery from surgery, the singer/guitarist shared in a social media post this morning (June 7).

Ness, 61, said he was diagnosed before Social Distortion went into the studio to record its eighth studio album at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. “I was feeling well enough to continue with recording in the studio up until the very day before surgery,” Ness said. “The band and I were so inspired and excited to lay down these tracks, which by the way sound f-ing AWESOME!”

Continuing, Ness said that it is “a day-by-day process and in three weeks we start radiation and that should be the last therapy I need.”

To allow Ness time to recover, the band has postponed its Midwest, East Coast, and Canadian summer tour dates as well as the planned early 2024 release of its first album since 2011’s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. While it will take a little longer, I promise you that it will be delivered and it will exceed your expectations,” Ness said.


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In late 2022, Social Distortion played a string of West Coast dates, during which it performed several new songs. Earlier this year, the seminal Orange County punk rockers toured Australia and New Zealand with Epitaph labelmates Bad Religion.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Social Distortion’s debut album, Mommy’s Little Monster. On the band’s website, Ness wrote that “we’re working on a special vinyl reissue remastered from the original analog tapes, coming later this fall.”