Social Distortion's Mike Ness reveals he has tonsil cancer; summer tour postponed

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Friday, June 9, 2023
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FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness has revealed he has tonsil cancer, prompting an outpouring of support from fans of the iconic Orange County punk band.

"We think that life is going to go according to our plan," Ness wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday, "but it has a way of saying 'I don't think so!'"

The stage 1 diagnosis was made while the band was in the midst of pre-production for a new album, Ness said.

"I was feeling well enough to continue with recording in the studio up until the very day before surgery," the singer-guitarist added. "The band and I were so inspired and excited to lay down these tracks, which by the way sound ... AWESOME!"

According to ness, the recovery from surgery is a day-by-day process "and in three weeks we start radiation and that should be the last therapy I need."

Mike Ness
Mike Ness of Social Distortion performs at Welcome to Rockville at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP

He and his doctors "expect a full recovery enabling me to live a long and productive life."

Ness said he was heartbroken to postpone the band's previously scheduled summer tour and the album's release.

"I can't thank our loyal fans enough who have been waiting so patiently for this," he said. "While it will take a little longer-I promise you that it will be delivered and it will exceed your expectations."