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Riot Fest 2011: Danzig Legacy | Concert preview

Glenn Danzig is singing his beloved Misfits tunes again at Riot Fest! Hooray. Kinda. Wait, should we be excited?


Putting aside debates about Weezer’s punkness, the most buzzed-about show at the 2011 Riot Fest is “Danzig Legacy.” Glenn Danzig rarely performs the music he wrote and sang in his legendary horror-hardcore band the Misfits, or its more metallic successor Samhain. After Misfits bassist Jerry Only legally wrangled the band name from Danzig in the mid-’90s, a full-blown reunion has a snowball’s chance in hell. Thus, punk fans were jazzed when Danzig announced he would croon and scream beloved Misfits material with the group’s erstwhile guitarist, Paul “Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein” Caiafa.

We asked folks who have some investment in Mr. Danzig if this concert will be a glorious event, a sacrilegious violation or a half-assed cash-in.

Eerie Von, bass player in Samhain and Danzig 1983–95 “Glenn’s been doing this for years. He’s done sets with Doyle and Samhain ‘reunions.’ He’s just calling it ‘Danzig Legacy’ now. It’s a marketing thing. It makes no difference to me what he does.”

Wes Texas, guitarist for Misfits cover band Children in Heat “I think it’s great that he’s doing it. These are his songs, after all.”

Joe Losurdo, documentary director of You Weren’t There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977–1984 “I saw an earlier tour where Danzig had Doyle come out and play some Misfits songs. It was fine. But it doesn’t sound like the Misfits without Jerry Only.”

Dennis Dread, heavy-metal album-cover artist, Destroying Angels zine editor “I saw Danzig for the first time in December 1988. Through a string of incredible coincidences and good fortune, I was escorted backstage. I was a 16-year-old dork in a Tales from the Crypt T-shirt. Glenn could’ve crushed my soul in his black leather grip. Instead he told me my shirt was cool and invited me to have a seat. He tried talking horror movies and comics, but I was mostly speechless and dumb. Ever since that evening I’ve fiercely defended Glenn from the nonbelievers and shit talkers, even though he started wearing rubber shirts and praising Korn.”

Losurdo “Jerry Only’s background vocals were really important for the band’s sound. His bass playing was distinct—overdriven, straightforward, reminiscent of Gene Simmons.”

Texas “It’s not about putting dollars in his pocket, that’s for sure. If that were the case, he would have reformed the Misfits years back, toured the world 20 times over and made millions. He’s never been one to go back and rehash what once was. He doesn’t talk about the Misfits in interviews nor relive the past.”

Dread “The last time I saw Danzig perform was Halloween 1990, when he stubbornly refused to pull out the vintage treats that would’ve perfectly suited the occasion. So this Legacy tour is awesome! The Internet has proven that truly nothing is sacred, certainly not the brilliant Misfits and Samhain songs of my youth. I would be delighted to see these songs performed in a live setting no matter how questionable the motivations.”

Losurdo “I know they can’t get along, but [the Misfits] should just do a real reunion. Cash the checks and get separate buses.”

Von “I’m as sentimental as the next guy, but I prefer to move forward, not back.”

Danzig Legacy haunts Congress Theater Friday 7. Riot Fest runs Thursday 6 through Sunday 9.

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