One tree with much history is that of the iconic Horror Punk outfit The Misfits, who took their name from the Marilyn Monroe’s final film from 1961, and who we take a look at today in this edition of HEAVY Roots. Being one of many bands to reunite; as many bands seem to be doing it today, they are still going strong. And it has sparked the interests of fans all over the globe.
Forming in Glenn Danzig’s hometown of Lodi, New Jersey in 1977 by the man himself and bassist Jerry Only, who goes by this name since his real name Jerry Caiafa was mispelled on the record sleeve on the band’s own label, Blank Records. Their first release was with first single Cough/Cool. In 1978 the Misfits went to record their first album, with 17 songs written. However, no record company would release it, forcing the band to take matters into their own hands. They released a four-track, with Bullet as a single, on their own Planet 9 Records. This was a song about the bullet that killed JFK. It was not until 1997 that those original songs that were recorded would see the light of day, with the release of Static Age, when 14 of the 17 tracks were mastered.
The original drummer went by the name of Manny Martínez, however Danzig and Only, the only consistent members for the next 6 years, were soon accompanied Only‘s brother Doyle, who played guitar on both the ground breaking Walk Among Us; which I picked up on vinyl at a Dwarves gig and spin religiously, and the iconic Earth A.D. and Wolfsblood, from 1982 and 1983 respectivelly.
Two months before the release of Earth A.D./Wolfsblood, the Misfits disbanded due to conflicts between Danzig and former Black Flag drummer ‘Robo’ Valverde. Some crazy times were had by the band, the most notable being charged for grave robbing in New Orleans in search of the grave of Marie Laveau, a voodoo practitioner, during a national tour in 1982. Danzig went on to form Samhain in 1983, focusing more so on goth rock, as opposed to hardcore/punk.
After the demise of Samhain in 1986, Danzig started his solo project that he still fronts today, that being the successful Danzig. After the 10th release only last year, that being Skeltetons, the band are set to release their next record Danzig sings Elvis, as the King himself is a major influence, you only have to hear Danzig‘s low monotone voice.
Since Danzig is concerntrating on his solo career, the Misfits continued as a band, reforming in 1995 with Only and Doyle taking on drummer David Calabrese, known now as Dr. Chud and new vocalist Michael Emanuel, who now goes by the name of Michael Graves. American Psycho was released in 1997 via Geffen, with the the follow up Famous Monsters in 1999, via Roadrunner Records.
In 2000, Graves and Chud quit the band. The two had released an album by the name of Graves together and Graves later went solo after singing for Gotham Road, while Chud formed Dr. Chud’s X-Ward. Doyle took a break, later teaming up with Danzig in 2004. Only just recently after 33 years Danzig, Only and Doyle have come together reuniting The Misfits original lineup with drummer extraodanaire, Dave Lombardo of Fantomas, Grip Inc and Slayer fame behind the kit: a very busy man. He is also a replacement drummer for punk/thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies. Lets hope the Misfits trek Down Under with this incredible line up. \m/