Thursday, January 24, 2008

Logo #163: The Misfits

Originally designed for the 1946 Republic serial "The Crimson Ghost" by Russell Kimball and Fred Ritter, this deeply iconic image was borrowed by Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only from a poster for the film in 1979. For years I pooh-poohed and pshawed The Misfits - psychobilly is less "Down to the Sea in Tweed" and more "Moby Dick" - but when I finally saw Danzig and Doyle in Los Angeles at the end of 2004 for one of Danzig's solo tours, I had this to say about the show in the subsequent month's issue of Terrorizer (and keep in mind that the assassination of Dimebag Darrell - born Darrell Lance Abbott, of Pantera; August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004 - was still fresh in our minds):

"Rousing cries of "fuck you!" punctuate the night in electric anticipation - the horns of the goat are the only things bar heavy metal itself that can cut through this excitement. Opening bands make heads nod like sleepy babies strapped into a minivan barreling down the road to...Satan? Very emotional, these saints of the pit, as their fellow demons start a pit of their own as the crowd crushes tight and does the wave in sympathy with recent tsunami activity. Even in the face of recent on-stage death that is not just a comically frightening backdrop, here is the defiant Glenn Danzig, touching open hands of an audience so rapt in adulation that the mental faculty required to fire a gun simply is not there. It's an odd inverse of gospel call-and-response, singing as his fans scream back lyrics at him, especially fervid as the band seamlessly rockets into "How the Gods Kill". It's a deeply, visibly rewarding situation for Danzig, or anyone who writes songs, really: that people are so moved by words that they would commit them to memory and return them from whence they lovingly sprang. A quick sudden darkness, and with the molecular excitement of an atomic bomb detonating, the enormous Lurch-like shape of The Misfits bassist Doyle steals onto the stage, devil-lock of forward hair firmly in place and face painted bone-white. The group immediately annihilates The Misfits' "20 Eyes" and the floor erupts in countless slam-dances borne from desire unleashed after literally two decades. A metal trashcan surfs the crowd. The setlist - "Earth A.D.", "Skulls", "Die Die My Darling ("...because Metallica fucked it up!") - surprises everyone through the more more encore. We must not weep for these misfits when they do die - but rather remember what talented people the worms are eating when they get to them."

2 comments: said...

i wish i could be there.
but i live in fuckin italy and mr.danzig never come in europe

Brian Damage said...

Doyle was the guitarist, not the bassist.