Social Distortion Guitarist Danell Dead

Dennis Danell, guitarist for Social Distortion, dies of an apparent brain aneurysm
Posted Mar 1, 2000 at 12:00am
Seminal Orange County punk band Social Distortion lost longtime member Dennis Danell Tuesday, when the rhythm guitarist died of an apparent brain aneurysm. According to band manager Jim Guerinot, Danell collapsed in his driveway while in the process of moving into a new home in Newport Beach, Calif. He was thirty-eight.

"I am saddened beyond any possible form of expression," Social D founder Mike 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."

Guerinot, who was unavailable for comment at press time, told the Los Angeles Times that Danell was "healthy as a horse -- he surfed or ran every day and was very much a family man. With Social Distortion's history, I don't want people starting any rumors." The band's reputation was often linked to Ness' infamous heroin addiction, but it was reportedly Danell who helped steer Ness clean.

Ness invited Danell, a childhood friend, to join Social Distortion in 1979. At the time of his recruitment, Danell did not play an instrument, but he started out on bass and moved to rhythm guitar by the time the band recorded its first album, 1983's Mommy's Little Monster. While other members came and went, Danell remained the only other permanent Social D member aside from Ness.

When Ness put the band on hiatus to record his two solo albums (last year's Cheating at Solitaire and Under the Influences), Danell busied himself selling real estate and producing other Orange County bands.

In an interview with around the release of his second solo album last November, Ness said that he was looking forward to going back into the studio to begin work on a new Social D album. According to a spokesperson for Ness, the frontman had been writing material for the album, but the band has not yet begun recording.

Danell is survived by his wife Christie and two children, a three-year-old daughter and a six-month-old son.

Written by RICHARD SKANSE for News

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