2016 appears to be headed to go down as the year that “it can never be done” reunions come to fruition. After classic rock fans were blessed with a Slash/Axl/Duff Guns ‘N Roses reunion, now it is the goths’ and the punks’ turn. Today it was announced that vocalist Glenn Danzig and bassist Jerry Only – both original members of the Misfits – plus guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (who happens to be Only’s brother), would take the stage together for the first time since 1983.
The classic horror-punk band will headline both iterations of Riot Fest, the Denver Riot Fest & Rodeo (September 2-4) as well as the Chicago Riot Fest & Carnival (September 16-18). While the band has continued on under the direction of Jerry Only, Danzig has spent the last few decades focused on his more metal-leaning solo career.
One of the most iconic groups of the late 70s/early 80s punk rock explosion, Misfits were renowned for their iconic dark imagery, Danzig’s low-register growl and pop-injected melodic chorus anthems. Despite only spending six years together, the band set the framework that countless pop-punk, hardcore, goth and rock ‘n roll groups that followed in their wake. Songs like “Last Caress” and “Horror Business” defined a sound that many bands would imitate over the decades.
The idea of Danzig and Only performing together on stage seemed to be all but impossible just a few years ago. In 2014, Danzig filed a lawsuit against his former bandmate, alleging he was owed a portion of the royalties from the band’s many merchandising deals – including with the oft-scorned mall-punk purveyors Hot Topic. The result of this heavy marketing was that for many music fans, the image and aesthetic of Misfits was much more familiar than their music itself. Because Danzig helped cultivate this highly-stylized image, he felt he was owed some of the income that came from the branding of it. A judge disagreed with Danzig’s position, eventually throwing the case out entirely.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado