My life, my business, my greatest joys, and some of my deepest hurts have been shaped by my love for punk rock and music in general. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t PLAY an instrument to save my life. But the majority of my middle school, high school, and college years were spent either at shows or with my headphones in, music turned WAY up and being carried away by anyone from Johnny Cash, Bad Religion, Against Me!, and The Clash to local OC bands that no one’s ever heard of (and probably never will). I wasn’t trying to escape. It was actually the opposite. I finally heard something that sounded familiar, that sounded like everything I thought and felt but didn’t have the words to express. It was my medicine.
This was the first song that I fell HARD for. I listened to it over and over and over…I grew up in Orange County, CA, the same place Social Distortion is from, and so I definitely felt some geographic solidarity. But more than that, I loved the rawness of Mike Ness’s words…and voice…and guitar. And while I realize not everyone appreciates good old fashioned punk rock, the sentiment conveyed by this song in particular rings true for all of us rebel sensitive souls.
It’s the “don’t tell me what to do” combined with the “sometimes it’s all a little (or a lot) too much” attitude. To me the underlying message of the song is this…Everyone’s got some shit in their past they’d rather had never happened. We carry the stories of our ancestors with us. Our families pass on beliefs that we may reject. AND we all have the ability to see it for what it is, say “thanks but I’m done with that”, and go on to do something great with the incredible souls and powerful (albeit sometimes painful) lessons we’ve learned.
For those of us trying to set ourselves apart, to do something different that the world desperately needs, this song is for you…