The Misfits

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(Redirected from The Misfits (band))
For the movie of the same name, see The Misfits (movie). A fictional band called The Misfits appears in the animated series Jem.
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Misfits_logo.jpg
The Misfits' canonical skull graphic was lifted from the 1946 television serial, 'The Crimson Ghost,' while the typeface is from the 1950s-'60s magazine, 'Famous Monsters of Filmland.'

The Misfits were a punk rock band formed in 1977 in the town of Lodi, New Jersey, and originally led by singer Glenn Danzig (nč Anzalone).

The band's name is from The Misfits, Marilyn Monroe's last movie. The early lyrical and graphical focus was on retro (1930s-'50s) science fiction, horror films, and B-movies.

The early Misfits were often quite melodic: Danzig's voice was extremely supple, with a style rooted in Italian tenors such as Mario Lanza, and in 1950's doo wop; and with songwriting including strong pop hooks and sing-along choruses -- but grafted onto a very loud, and often cruddy-sounding punk band. (The early Misfits were, in both good and bad ways, a notably aggressive and untrained ensemble.)

By the original band's last album, Earth A.D., they had become a hardcore punk band, with Danzig's standout vocal tone floating over a torrent of thrashing guitar, bass, and drums, courtesy of original member Jerry Only, brother Doyle, and pal Robo, formerly of Black Flag. "Last Caress" was a very rare track for years, and is now commonly regarded as the prototypical early-Misfits song, with blaring instruments and Danzig's melodic vocals putting the rendition somewhere on the crude median between Frank Sinatra and the Sex Pistols(whose bassist, Sid Vicious, at one point offered the rest of the band to back him as a solo artist). The track is quite noteworthy, with aggressively sloppy punk instrumentation and a soaring, Italian-tenor vocal line. However, many other early songs are just as interesting, with the recently-released "Static Age" LP (of '78 studio sessions) filling all such accounts.

Members came and went, with bassist and co-founder Jerry Only (nč Caiafa) holding down the fort in terms of other instrumental players. It is useful to think of the early Misfits as a band of Jersey-Italians (like The Sopranos, but more working-class) who were strangely attracted to punk due to the trends of the time, rather than as a simple 'punk band.' While Danzig lived with his mother (in Lodi), and was supported by her during the band's early career, Jerry and Doyle Caiafa helped finance the band by working long shifts at the family lumberyard, later founding a knife factory in rural Vernon Township (which often employed later members such as Robo, a citizen of Colombia). The Misfits seldom mixed with other NJ punk bands, creating their own small scene locally, while holding early acclaim in NY and expanding it nationally -- via tireless work with mailing lists and other networking, including their once-small, later-considerable 'Fiend Club' (the song, 'We are 138,' referred to early Fiend Club membership).

The original Misfits broke up in 1983, having released several 7" singles and 12" records, in DIY limited-edition (most were hand-assembled by the band), that have long been considered prime collectors' items. Epigones (i.e. imitators) from Lodi, New Jersey, include the bands Mourning Noise and Rosemary's Babies, both of whom released records.

The band often wore ghoulish makeup when performing, and bassist Jerry Only invented a hairstyle called the devilock which is still worn by fans today. This later became quite influential. The band plays and records today as a Jerry Only project, with rotating members.


Contents

History

The earliest lineup was a trio, with Danzig singing and playing electric piano. This version didn't last long, recording one single(Cough/Cool b/w She) and playing only a few gigs before the band ditched the piano (and the original drummer Manny) and recruited a guitarist.

Many early members came and went, in shifting combination; Danzig and Only being constants.

During their original career, the Misfits were exemplary practitioners of the DIY ethic: The band (especially Danzig) booked their own shows, assembled and sold their own records, and ran their own fan club, the Fiend Club.

Like many punk bands of that time, the Misfits had brushes with the law. Danzig and guitarist Bobby Steele were jailed in the London district of Brixton for "threatening behavior" on December 2nd, 1979. Glenn's jail time would become the inspiration for the song "London Dungeon" despite his stay only lasting two days. On October 17, 1982, the band was arrested in New Orleans on the charges of grave-robbing while in search of the burial place of voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau. The Misfits denied the charges, and a witness reportedly attested that they had not even entered the cemetery gates. The band bailed themselves out of jail and skipped court to drive to their next performance in Florida.

On October 29, 1983 (see 1983 in music), Glenn Danzig broke up the band to dedicate his full attention to a new group, Samhain. Samhain later metamorphosed into Danzig.

Legal Battle

Meanwhile, Jerry Only and his brother, Misfits guitarist Doyle, played in a heavy metal band called Kryst The Conqueror with Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist Jeff Scott Soto until Only won the performing and recording rights to the Misfits in a legal battle.

In addition to the rights to the Misfits name and image, Only sought songwriting credits on much of the Misfits early material. He concedes that Danzig wrote nearly all the lyrics and much of the music, but contended that he and Doyle "wrote 25% or maybe 30% of the music," [1] (http://www.citizinemag.com/music/music-0309_jerryonly.htm) and deserved compensation.

Only gained the rights to the Misfits name and Image, and reformed the band in 1995 (1995 in music) with Doyle and newcomers Michale Graves on vocals and Dr. Chud of Sardonica on drums. The new incarnation of the Misfits released two full-length albums, American Psycho and Famous Monsters as well as a collection of rare and unreleased late Misfits tracks, until Michale Graves and Dr. Chud left the band on October 25, 2000 at a performance at the House of Blues in Orlando. Doyle took an indefinite hiatus from performing, Jerry took over lead vocals in addition to his bass duties, and recruited punk veterans Dez Cadena of Black Flag, and Marky Ramone of The Ramones to undertake a 25th Anniversary Tour.

Freed from the Misfits' contractual obligations to Universal's Geffen and Roadrunner imprints, Only and Misfits confidant John Cafiero formed Misfits Records and launched their new label with two releases, the American debut of their Japanese imitators Balzac, and a new Misfits album featuring the band's retakes on ten 50's rock classics, Project 1950. The album featured not only the punk rock all-star Misfits lineup of Only, Cadena and Ramone, but prominent appearances from 60's pop chanteuse Ronnie Spector and Blondie keyboardist Jimmy Destri.

Meanwhile Michale Graves and Dr. Chud had formed their own band, Graves, which released a single album before breaking up. As of 2004, Michale Graves currently sings in Gotham Road and is one of the forces behind www.conservativepunk.com [2] (http://www.conservativepunk.com), while Dr. Chud is pursuing a solo career.

On February 28th, March 1st and March 2nd 2005, Glenn Danzig took to the stage for half an hour shows of classic Misfits tracks. Joining him on guitar was none other than Doyle. It was the first time the two have performed together in 20 years, and the first time Doyle has taken to the stage since he went on hiatus. These shows have prompted strongly backed-up rumours of a reunification of Jerry, Doyle and Glenn; the three staple members of the original Misfits lineup.

Recently, Marky Ramone has left the Misfits 25 lineup, and the new lineup consists of none other then Robo, formerly of the Glenn Danzig days of the Misfits, and originally of seminal hardcore punk band Black Flag. A full European tour has been booked with this new lineup, and some select dates in the U.S. have been announced.

Legacy

The influence The Misfits have had on punk rock, and rock music in general, sometimes seems disproportionate to the publicity and critical attention they have received. Myriad bands have imitated The Misfits' style, such as Blitzkid, and these bands have become known as horror punk. Psychobilly has various similarities with horror punk. A number of bands have recently surfaced which, although in some cases less obviously horror punk, are still strongly visibly and audibly influenced by The Misfits. These include, most notably, bands such as AFI, Tiger Army, Alkaline Trio, Cradle of Filth, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Avenged Sevenfold and the Murderdolls. Many musical groups whose resemblance to The Misfits seems far removed also cite the band as crucial influences, such as Metallica and Guns 'N Roses (who covered the classic Misfits track, Attitude). Other bands who hold The Misfits in high regard are Slayer, Pantera, NOFX and more recently, Slipknot.

Discography

Filmography

The Misfits appeared as characters or in cameos in the following movies.

External links

it:The Misfits pl:The Misfits

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