Mike Ness, the lead singer of legendary Orange County punk rock band Social Distortion, has revealed that he is battling stage-one tonsil cancer.
Ness, 61, shared the diagnosis on his Instagram account Wednesday, saying his treatment has forced the band to postpone its summer tour.
“We think that life is going to go according to our plan, but it has a way of saying ‘I don’t think so!’” Ness shared.
He says the cancer diagnosis came during pre-production on a new Social Distortion album.
“I was feeling well enough to continue with recording in the studio up until the very day before surgery. The band and I were so inspired and excited to lay down these tracks, which by the way sound f-ing AWESOME!,” he wrote.
Ness formed “Social D” in Fullerton in 1978 at a time when the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Ramones were emerging as major forces in the burgeoning punk rock movement.
The band helped cement Southern California’s impact on the scene, along with The Dickies, The Weirdos, Black Flag and the Circle Jerks – many of whom continue to perform to sold-out crowds today.
Ness says he has undergone surgery, will soon begin radiation therapy, and the prognosis is good.
“I want you all to know that this has opened my eyes to a whole new struggle. I know it’s one that many of you or your loved ones have personally endured, and my heart goes out to you because I now know what it’s like from this heavy experience. I’m surrounded by love and support from my friends and family ESPECIALLY my lovely wife and incredible boys (oh and don’t forget my 3 dogs and kitty) THANK YOU ALL in advance to our unbelievable fans for YOUR love and support right now. ♥️”