Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Heroes Have Always Been Monsters Part 17

When I was sixteen and transitioning from metal to punk the thing that was always missing was the horror. The Ramones had a great song about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but I had spent the last five years immersed in Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden. I missed the theatricality of metal, but punk rock was   hitting me where I lived. I started with the English bands (Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, The Exploited) and then started getting the American hardcore bands (Black Flag, who I saw on the punk episode of VH1's My Generation, and Dead Kennedys, who I learned about on an anti-metal Christian documentary). Black Flag music was the soundtrack of my life and continue to inspire me to this day, I don't care which singer we're talking about, which album-it's all Flag and all powerful. 
One day, in a lame ass record store, in that lame ass mall in Oak Ridge, I found it...Little black rectangular cassette case, neon greenish yellow skull, and song titles like Teenagers From Mars, I turned Into A Martian, Skulls, Die Die My Darling, Ghouls Night Out. Somehow I knew the Misfits were a punk band, but that's all I knew (I had no idea this was Danzig's old band, this was pre-internet). Misfits Collection became my obsession, it had two big things that made me happy-aggressive music and horror lyrics. I kept checking back at the three record stores in Oak Ridge until I got my hands on Walk Among Us, Evil Live, Earth AD and Legacy of Brutality. Then I was given the bad news; that's it. That's all there is. There's nothing else out there that the Misfits recorded. I couldn't believe it. About three years later I found a bootleg vhs tape called Video Hell which featured a great cable access show appearance, an unreleased Flipside Video that was very dark in the wrong way and the video below...   
I don't remember the exact order of things happening or what year was what, but Collection 2 was released and then the box set. It wasn't much longer that word got around that the Misfits would be reforming without Danzig and was touring and had an album coming out. There was no end to agonizing over whether they'd be any good without Danzig, and while many people would argue, I think Michael Graves did an admirable job for two great albums. 
I got to see the Misfits live at the Middle East in Cambridge MA while I was living in Boston. This was the Jerry Only/Dez Cadena (Black Flag)/Robo (Black Flag, Misfits)/Marky Ramone(Ramones) line up and oh hell yes I had a blast! They tore through every greta Misfits' song and Dez took over vocals for a slew of Black Flag tunes and at the end of the first set Robo stepped out from behind the drums and Marky took over and they ripped through a bunch of Ramones covers and ended with a rousing rendition of Monster Mash!
Say what you want about the 1950 Project, I thought it had some good moments, not what I was looking for though, but this year we finally got our new Misfits album, Devil's Rain. For me; two thumbs up! Skeptical? Try out this fan made vid for the title track (featuring footage from the 1975 film Devil's Rain starring William Shatner and Ernest Borgnine (God rest his soul, you were awesome, Ernest!)...
Keep watching the sky, nerds!

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