mike-ness-cheating-at-solitaireCheating at Solitaire

Cheating at Solitaire is the first solo album from Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness. Released in 1999.

It features cameos by Bruce Springsteen, Brian Setzer, and members of Royal Crown Revue. Johnny Cash was invited to perform on the song “Ballad of a Lonely Man”, but was too ill to record at the time.

Now I first heard Cheating at Solitaire in 2000 and was immdiately impressed.

I had been exposed to Social distortion for the first time in ’99 and I fell in love with the Album “Prison Bound”.  It was that good.


Mikes first solo effort simply reakes of cool. It oozes it.  It is difficult to talk too much about this track or that track but like so many things from Social Distortion and Mike Ness, the entire Album is so worth many many listens.

I remember spending “basket leave” from the Marines and cruising around Los Angeles with Jared Long in his 1968 mint condition Ford Mustand just drinking 40’s, Long smoking insane amounts of dope and us playing this album over and over again.  It was July and really hot and somehow there could have been no better soundtrack to our 10 days of drunkeness and road time.  Long beach to West Covina to Fullerton all the way down into Sand Diego, Mike Ness at Cheating and Solitaire were there the whole way.

Personally…if I was forced to choose…I would pick “Balled of a lonely man” as my personal favorite…but all of it is good. Years later after leaving the Marines I would actually meet Mike face to face in Anaheim.  Interesting experience, I was not disappointed.