Right now, police in Sacramento are investigating Mike Ness, longtime frontman for the legendary California punk band Social Distortion, for punching a showgoer at a gig at Ace Of Spades last month. The fan, 30-year-old Tim Hildebrand, is saying that Ness spat on him, then jumped offstage to punch him. And, as The New York Times reports, Hildebrand took his complaints to the police.
Before you get too sad for Tim Hildebrand, you should be aware of the full context. Hildebrand claims that Ness had called Donald Trump a racist and a bigot between songs. So Hildebrand, a Trump supporter, had held his middle finger up to the band for a few songs. Hildebrand also claims that he yelled, “I paid for your music, not your politics,” and he says that other people in the crowd were visibly upset about Ness’ anti-Trump comments, too.
Ness allegedly gestured for him to come forward, then spat on him and jumped in the crowd to scuffle with him. Hildebrand says that Ness punched him in the head. There’s video, though it’s hard to tell exactly what’s happening:
Hildebrand says that he filed a report with Sacramento police and that he was left with two black eyes, a busted lip, and a concussion, though he did not go to the hospital over it. A spokesperson for the Sacramento Police says that the department is “aware of the allegations” and is investigating.
Now. Let’s get into this. It is, admittedly, generally bad form for musicians to leave the stage mid-show to attack the people who paid to see them. However! Anyone who goes to a punk rock show should have enough common sense to realize that it is generally not a good idea, from a common sense standpoint, to flip off an old punk. It is especially not a good idea to do this in defense of the current President of the United States. And if you have to call the police because someone who is 26 years older than you knocked you around at a punk show, I mean, I don’t know what to tell you.
In related news, Social Distortion fucking rules.