Hits From Hell:
Five Things You May Not Know About The Misfits
Because liner notes, lyrics, and zines were much more relevant and informative to the teenage mind than reading Byron, fans of the good ol’ punk rock truly have an uncanny ability to noggin-store kinda useless information about their favorite bands.
In many ways, it was and still remains a rite of passage. And perhaps the only fans to rival the Ramones in this category are that of The Misfits. Now, plenty of that has to do with their short-lived—yet highly influential—initial scope of work, Glenn Danzig’s musical transition into Samhain and then Danzig, the 1995 reformation with Jerry Only, Doyle, Michael Graves, Dr. Chud, litigious court battles and pretty much anything else that has continually fueled the decades-long Misfits’ intrigue.
Even though the above is pretty matter of fact because it’s been written and spoken about ad nauseam, there are still plenty of less-known tidbits about one of our most favorite bands:
All The Yanks in British Hell
According to Misfits Central, on the eve of December 2nd, 1979 Glenn Danzig and Bobby Steele were arrested after getting into an altercation with a group of Fascist Skinheads outside of a Jam show in London. According to the website, Danzig grabbed a piece of glass from a nearby broken window while Steele ran to get the police. Consequently, both members were arrested for “A BREACH OF THE PEACE MAY HAVE BEEN OCCASIONED. CITING TO SECTION 54(b) METROPOLITAN POLICE ACT 1839.”
But all was not lost. Rather than dig an escape tunnel, Danzig sublimated his two-day stay in the clink and penned the Misfits’ classic, “London Dungeon.”
What Would Kryst Do?
In 1987—four years after the Misfits disbanded—Jerry Only and brother Doyle Von Frankenstein formed the somewhat Manowar-tinged Christian metal band Kryst the Conqueror. Although Doyle kept his christened Misfits name, Only took on the signature of Mocavious Kryst or, for short, Mo “The Great.”
Joining the band on vocals was former Yngwie Malmsteen’s singer Jeff Scott Soto and on beat duty was a guy named The Murp, who was then later replaced by future Misfits’ drummer, Dr. Chud.
Although the band never performed live nor was Kryst’s full-length album Deliver Us From Evil ever released, there is still an interesting segue here in that the final track on the album was Dr. Phibes Rises Again which became the lead instrumental track on 1997’s Graves-era Misfits’ album American Psycho. Ironically, Kryst’s Dr. Phibes was track number 13.
Lodi High School Class of 138
How about this for a high school talent show? Eight current or former Misfits members attended the Home of The Rams, better known as Lodi High School in Lodi, New Jersey. The alumni list includes: Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only, Doyle Von Frankenstein, Diane DiPiazza, Manny Martinez, Mr. Jim, Franché Coma and Dr. Chud.
Now, if you throw in past and present Samhain/Danzig members Eerie Von and Steve Zing, you’ve got one hell of a high school prom band.
The Spaghetti Bolognese Incident
On the night of Feb. 1, 1979, Jerry Only broke bread with Anne Beverly and her son, Sex Pistol bassist, Sid Vicious. As it turned out, it would be the now bailed-out musician’s last meal. The following day, Vicious was found dead from an apparent overdose.
In an interview with the Miami News Times, Jerry Only described his encounter:
“I had met Sid’s mother at the Max’s Kansas City show, and I was driving her around town while Sid was in jail, helping her do stuff ’cause she was from England, y’know. We had made him dinner the night he got out and talked about doing great things. He was on and on about all the things he wanted to do. Meanwhile, he was shooting dope all night and overdosed twice while I was there. It’s one thing to talk about doing karate and starting a new band, and utilizing your fame for something greater. And it’s another thing to talk about it with a needle in your arm while you’re turning blue.”
And what was Vicious’ last meal? According to Only, a hybrid version of Spaghetti Bolognese:
“I’m Italian, y’know. We made a red sauce, and his mom threw a bunch of big vegetables in. It was a kinda thin, wet sauce. It was British spaghetti. That’s why when the Romans were conquering the world, they left the UK alone. They can’t make spaghetti sauce anyway.”
Thanks Pere Ubu
Unaware that The Misfits were already using and owned the copyright to the name of Blank Records, Mercury Records released Pere Ubu album on their own short-lived imprint Blank Records in November 1977.
In exchange for permanently owning the name Blank Records, Mercury offered the Misfits 30-hours of studio time at New York’s C.I. Recording Studios, along with a release option. The guys took the deal. Thus, in the beginning of 1978, the band entered the studio with Dave Achelis. The Misfits’ recorded a total of 17 songs—mixing 14 of them for the now classic album Static Age. In the end, Mercury Records chose not to pick up the album, prompting the band to release four of the songs on the Bullet 7″ EP on Plan 9 Records later that summer.