Maybe it's all those amphetamines. But punk rockers, more than any other musicians, have shown a keen desire to work outside their regular bands. Some tackle solo projects as one-offs, others embrace them as new careers, but seldom have the results achieved infamy. Looking at this subjective list, it's no wonder.
As early as 84, the human doodle pad discovered that grinding guitars weren't the only way to pummel your following. There was also... poetry! Hank's spoken-word shtick, first with Black Flag and later as an aside to the Rollins Band, has not only provided an outlet for vein-popping rants against airports and bad English weather, but it's also ably demonstrated that rock gods are as mundane as the rest of us.
With the Damned splitting and regrouping almost daily, the goofy bassist-cum-guitarist tiptoed off to release Happy Talk in 82. To everyone's surprise, it became a novelty hit, although the queue of folks waiting for the essential follow-up eventually left their phone box to pursue normal lives. Word is, the Damned, with Sensible, just signed to Dexter Holland's boutique imprint, once again raising grave concerns about a Happy Talk II.
Recorded alone at home in the aftermath of his marriage breakdown, then released with zero promotion in 97, the Bad Religion leader's American Lesion disc is a grocery list of bitterness and loathing laced with the kind of name-calling presumably common among men who've lost the mother of their children to another man. Needless to say, Graffin's bandmates didn't bring sandwiches to this little picnic.
The most viable solo star of the lot, the Social Distortion screamer's love of vintage rockabilly and country has translated into solo discs of supreme quality, with some damn righteous covers to boot. Now, if only Ness could have a chin-wag with Billy Idol.