Monthly Archives: November 2008

Mama Had a Mohawk

A couple of years ago I was at my neighborhood bar, and met this young kid who was into to punk rock. He was a second generation punk rocker; he said his mom had a blue mohawk. Didn’t know his dad, he was just some guy in one of the bands his mom met. He was working at a tatoo shop on S. Broadway. I mentioned that I liked the song “Story of my Life” by Social Distortion, and he said, “man, that song saved my life when I was in high school”. I thought, “this is a song!” I made a few notes at the time, but just got around to really working on it yesterday and today. I took what he told me, and made the rest of it up. Here’s a first draft of the lyrics. I posted a rough recording on my myspace demo site,

“Mama Had a Mohawk”
by Rob Roper 1st Draft Nov 18, 2008

Mama had a mohawk, painted it blue
black leather jacket, an angel tatoo
Daddy played the drums, in a punk rock band
Mama said, “son, one day you’ll understand”

Mama had a mohawk
Daddy wasn’t around
They let me run wild
on the streets of the town
A rock and roll baby
Born and bred
I look back now
Can’t believe I’m not dead

Sometimes at night, mama wouldn’t come home
I’d have to call my friend, on the telephone
She’d pick me up at noon, and buy me ice cream
and say, “sorry, litle man, I was out with the band”


High school was tough, I didn’t fit in
I was skinny and ugly, only had one friend
We were always skipping school
hanging out, smoking pot
Just sitting in the car
and listen to punk rock


I remember the day, Social D came to town
Mama snuck me in the back, when the guard wasn’t around
Mike Ness looked at me, sang “Story of my Life”
Every word rang true, man, he got it all right


Now I’m ok, work in a tatoo shop
got a hardcore band, and man, we really rock
I watch the kids jump around, from up on the stage
They remind me of me, when I was their age.



I saw a good movie last night. It’s a documentary called “Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme”. “Freestyle” is a type of rap where you spontaneously make up a rap. The lines can’t just rhyme, they have to flow logically and make sense. And you can’t pre-write any of it; it has to be spontaneous. Try it sometime, it’s hard! I think it could be a good songwriting exercise even for songwriters who don’t write in the hip-hop style.

Rent the movie. I got it on Netflix. It’s amazing the stuff these guys come up with on the spot.