Riot Fest announced this week that the Misfits would reunite to play the festivals in Denver and Chicago later this year. Like, the real Misfits, not that mostly awful cover band that has occasionally released records since 1997. (The reason I say “mostly awful” is because American Psycho wasn’t that bad.) Anyway, Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only, and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein will appear on the same stage together for the first time since 1983.
Admittedly, I didn’t really start listening to the Misfits until I was in my late teens. In high school, I listened to a lot of punk rock, mostly “new school” bands, but sort of stayed away from older punk bands. I couldn’t — and, to some degree, still can’t — get into a lot of them. I didn’t like crust punk, and I just didn’t most of the bands who were still around from the 80s who were more classic punk bands. To this day, I still don’t particularly care for Bad Religion, for example, but I like the Ramones. I can’t stand The Casualties, but I dig Minor Threat. It’s weird; I know.
I picked up American Psycho when it came out. It was my first real exposure to them. Obviously, I’d heard of them before, but I couldn’t tell you anything about them. So, yeah, judge me. My introduction to the Misfits was the band fronted by Michale Graves. Over time, though, I got into the band’s older stuff, with Danzig, who has libertarian leanings on political issues, on vocals. I got hooked. I burned a bunch of their stuff on a CD and constantly listened to it. Several years ago, and I can’t remember when, my significant other bought The Misfits Box Set for me for Christmas, which is now on display in my office at FreedomWorks.
Supposedly, a reunion was going to happen several years ago. Unfortunately, it all fell through, with Doyle pointing the finger at his brother, Only. In 2004, Danzig and Doyle played 30-minute sets of Misfits songs during the former’s tour. “It’s the closest thing to a Misfits reunion anyone is ever going to see,” Danzig said at the time. Only and Danzig had been at odds for years, including legal battles over royalties and use of the band’s name and “Crimson Ghost” logo. Most recently, in 2014, Danzig sued Only over breach of contract related to merchandise. The case, however, was dismissed.
It’s unclear how the reunion all went down. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Only explained the weird way it all worked out. “We went in there wanting to cut each other’s throats,” he told the magazine. “It was turning into another court battle and it turned into a reunion. We walked out the door knowing we were going to play together. It’s a very cool thing.”
It’s unclear who will wind up playing drums for the Misfits’ two shows. Only did offer a glimpse at setlist, though. “We went through all the songs. We got ‘Halloween,’ ‘Die Die My Darling,’ no doubt, ‘Last Caress,'” he said. “We picked out the songs and we came up with about 30 songs. We’re still messing around with the order.”
I’ve had the chance to see a couple bands that I’d never thought I get to watch perform live, such as the Refused and Braid. Seeing the Misfits, though, would just be amazing. I’m excited about it, and my goal is to make one of these shows. Part of me wants to make the Denver show, which is the first one, because I’m not entirely sure Danzig and Only won’t piss each other off and cancel their appearance in Chicago. All I’m saying is, I wouldn’t put it past them.