Social Distortion Guitarist Dies
Dennis Danell, founding guitarist
of the seminal Southern California punk band Social Distortion, died Tuesday
in his Newport Beach home after apparently suffering a brain aneurysm.
He was 38.
He started Social Distortion in 1979
with high school buddy Mike Ness. Originally the group's bassist, Dannell
switched to guitar after some band defections and helped define the group's
signature jangle on such albums as Mommy's Little Monster (1982), Prison
Bound (1985), Social Distortion (1990) and White Light, White Heat, White
"I am saddened beyond any possible
form of expression," Ness said in a statement. "Dennis and I have been
friends since boyhood, starting Social Distortion while we were in high
school. My deepest regrets to his family."
After Social Distortion went on hiatus
following the release of Live at the Roxy in 1998, Danell produced numerous
bands at the band's recording studio, Casbah, in Fullerton, California.
His production credits last year included Fanmail (BEC Records), Value
Pac (Four Door Entertainment), Fraidy Cats (Gray Dot Records), Deluxe Tone
Rockets (Sublime/Essential), and Rock Star Barbecue, the debut artist on
Danell's new independent label, Masterpiece Records. By
2000, Danell was quickly becoming
a much sought after producer in the Orange County area.
Last year, Danell also started a
new side band called the Strung Gurus with Michael Knott of the Orange
County band the Aunt Bettys (formerly on Elektra). Danell produced, cowrote,
and played guitar for Strung Gurus, who worked all last year on their first
full-length album. The Strung Gurus debut, to be the second release on
Masterpiece Records, was near completion with an expected release date
of late May.
In an interview for the Strung Gurus
promotional bio, Danell had said, "I am very excited about Strung Gurus
because the music is high energy and commercial, but it does not sound
like Social Distortion. The new band allows me to stretch as a songwriter
and producer by tackling a sound outside my comfort zone." Rough mixes
of four Strung Gurus songs were already in limited circulation and had
started a buzz among fans and local journalists impressed with Danell's
versatility and writing abilities.
Danell's passions included cars,
surfing, and producing bands. He was recognized by those around him as
a down-to-earth friend and loving church-going family man.
He is survived by his wife Christie,
a three year old son and a 6-month-old daughter.
A private memorial for family and
close friends will be held this weekend.
The family of Dennis Danell, Social
Distortion's guitarist who died
of an apparent brain aneurysm on Tuesday
(Feb. 29), have requested
that in lieu of flowers, well-wishers
are encouraged to make donations
in Danell's name to the Orangewood Children's
Donations can be sent to Orangewood
Children's Home, 401 The
City Drive South, Orange, Calif., 92868.
(714) 935-7584. Danell
collapsed in the driveway of his home
in Newport Beach, Calif. on
Tuesday (allstar, March 1) and was pronounced
dead at Hoag
Memorial Hospital at 10:29 a.m. He was
-- Carrie Borzillo
|Dennis Danell, longtime guitarist for
seminal punk rock band Social Distortion, died on Tuesday, February 29th.
Dennis Danell, the 38-year-old guitarist
for punk band Social Distortion, died of natural causes on Tuesday February
29th. Danell issurvived by his wife Christie, 3 year-old son and
6 month-old daughter.
Danell, a founding member of Social Distortion,
enjoyed a prosperous recording career with the band since it's inception
in 1979. Over his 20 years as their guitarist and backing vocalist, Danell
lent his gritty, high-octane style to the band, making him an integral
link in the Social Distortion sound. With Social Distortion, Danell's album
credits include Mainliner (1981), Mommy's Little Monster (1982), the punk
rock documentary film Another State Of Mind (1982), Prison Bound (1985),
Social Distortion (1990) Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell (1992) White
Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996) and Live At The Roxy (1998).
On break from Social Distortion since recording
the live album, Danell was busy recording local Orange County bands in
SD's long time recording studio, Casbah in Fullerton.
Social Distortion singer Mike Ness
said, 'I am saddened beyond any possible form of expression. Dennis and
I have been friends since boyhood, starting Social Distortion while we
were in high school. My deepest regrets to his family.' ~from