Tag Archive | Black Sabbath

Too Much Misfits Business

Misfits news lying on a table of filth, Misfits news to which I’ve not yet replied.

Although an exact reason for his departure was not given when Dez Cadena left the current incarnation of the Misfits back in June, it turns out the guitarist is battling throat cancer. You may contribute to the “Help Dez Beat Cancer’s Ass” GoFundMe page here. Bassist and vocalist Jerry Only’s adult son Jerry Junior has been christened as Dez’s replacement; Jr.’s crazy if he doesn’t adopt the stage name Jerry Also (first suggested by Misfits Central message boarder “Mega Man”). In September the Misfits will embark on a U.S. tour wherein, at each stop, they will perform Static Age in its entirety. Why not? Gotta do something to commemorate the album’s 37th anniversary.

By the way, Dez Cadena played with the Misfits for fourteen years (2001-2015), approximately four times longer than his legendary stint in Black Flag. Does that mean he’ll go into the Punk Rock Hall of Fame with corpse paint? Can you even imagine a Punk Rock Hall of Fame? That’s what they should do with that abandoned Burger King on Governors Island in New York. Refurbish it as a shrine to everything Lou Reed wrought.

In July, Jerry Only told Metal Hammer he is in the midst of writing a book about his life. Now I don’t feel so bad about Jer never responding to any of my invitations to lend his voice to This Music Leaves Stains. Jerry’s book will include “a lot of the tragedies,” he says. You’re expecting me to make a Devil’s Rain joke here but I refuse to give you the satisfaction.

On the other side of the tomb: this Friday, Danzig (the band) will release single the first from their long-awaited covers EP Skeletons. Unfortunately, said single, a rousing rendition of the Devil’s Angels theme backed with a version of the Nightriders’ “Satan,” is confined to the European market via a limited edition vinyl run of 500 copies from AFM Records. If there’s a plan for digital release it remains secret for now. There is also no street date in place for the entirety of Skeletons, which shall find Danzig barreling through hits made famous by Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, and ZZ Top. Guys, we wanna buy your stuff. Why make it so challenging? Is that how Lucifer dictates it in the blood oath? I’d have your lawyer renegotiate that parchment.

Meanwhile, Danzig (the man) recently filmed a guest shot for the Peabody Award-winning comedy show “Portlandia.” Details are scarce, but somehow Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen convinced our Hellhound to unbutton his shirt and hit the beach. A vaguely iconic photo was produced, if only because it suggests Glenn has reached a new level of self-comfort.

Coincidentally, this pic popped up the same day “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” co-creator Dave Willis appeared on Tom Scharpling’s “The Best Show” to talk about the “Aqua Teen” series finale…and, at the behest of Scharpling, Danzig. Glenn voiced an animated version of himself on Willis’s cult cartoon in 2002 and famously caused a rigamarole before he could even step in the recording booth. Given final say on his two dimensional likeness, Danzig kept rejecting what the animators drew for not having the correct musculature.

“I’m way more cut than that,” was the Danzig money quote relayed from Willis to “Best Show” listeners. In order to circumvent any squabbling about the singer’s height (or lack thereof), “Aqua Teen” simply made him six feet tall from the start. Strategic move.

Now, on “Portlandia,” Danzig has no qualms about his physical definition (or lack thereof) and even told one news outlet he “had a blast.” Thirteen years can sure change a man. Who knows, maybe the people at “Portlandia” are just that much more charming and/or convincing.

And what of Joey Image? Over the Summer the percussionist who plays on the original storied “Horror Business” recorded a new version of that song—plus “Teenagers From Mars” and a couple originals—with Orlando-based punks Awesome & The Asskickers for their free release AAK. Download it here. Sounds like Joey can still rip it the hell up. Adrenalin O.D. drummer Dave Scott provides backup vox on the Misfits tracks (as well as drums on two A.O.D. revivals: “Nice Song” and “White Hassle”).

Speaking of the post-Static Age pre-Walk Among Us Misfits, Bobby Steele’s band the Undead continue to live up to their name: the group has scheduled an appearance at this year’s Chiller Theater convention in Parsippany, New Jersey. October 23-25 with a special performance on the 24th. For more info creep over to their website, TheUndead.com. Also appearing at Chiller 2015: Julie Newmar, Burt Ward, Adam West, and Antonio “Huggy Bear” Fargas!

Having authored a book about the Misfits you’d think I’d write about them here with more regularity. What stops me is concern over becoming trapped as “the Misfits guy” and also a perception that fiend-dom is shrinking as time goes on. Then I see viral stuff like the photo above, a Misfits t-shirt at Wal-Mart, coupled with endless “thumbs down” emojis from disillusioned ghouls of all stripes, and I realize the committed may actually be growing. So I rekindle my own flame. Once again, bonfire burnin’ bright.

Until the next batch of macabre happenings, consider this: the ex-Misfit Doyle is, as of last year, a vegan. No longer is the man who played on “Brain Eaters” a brain eater. Do they make soy brains? If so they must taste terrible.

Jockin’ Fair Use To Their Dismay

On the one hand, “Girls” is probably the stupidest song in the Beastie Boys’ storied catalog (in both concept and execution) and if reality could be bent in certain ways I’m sure even the band themselves would at least consider replacing the original Licensed to Ill version with a kinder, less chauvinistic rewrite. On the other hand, if toy company GoldieBlox did indeed violate the basic rules of fair use with their (admittedly clever) parody and the surviving Beasties just look the other way, that welcomes anyone to manipulate the group’s existing works on the precedent, “Well, those people didn’t get in trouble, why should we?”

Thus, I understand why Ad-Rock and Mike D (pictured, L-R) are now full-on suing GoldieBlox. It’s as much about preventing future headaches as it is about enforcing whatever legal doctrine may have been violated. And who knows how this plays into the stipulation deceased Beastie Adam Yauch placed in his will forbidding advertisers from using his likeness or image. GoldieBlox may have the best intentions about shaping young minds, but they’re still trying to sell something by piggybacking on a more successful and recognizable entity that does not necessarily want to be piggybacked upon.

Of course, the Beastie Boys did some blatant mainstream piggybacking of their own when they started, sampling no less than Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin on their 1986 debut, the aforementioned multiplatinum Ill, but the difference is the BBs were refolding art into other art. They did not rewrite “Sweet Leaf” to sell a toy—they just rapped over part of it. I also assume the Beasties obtained whatever legal permission they had to to use those samples, considering the fact their first single, 1985’s “Rock Hard,” was pulled after AC/DC objected to their anthem “Back in Black” being used as that song’s skeleton (“Rock Hard” remains unreleased despite the fact the Beastie Boys have become the AC/DC of hip hop, by which I mean classic rock radio stations now play “Fight For Your Right” at 5 PM on Fridays).

Disclaimer: I am not any kind of authority on Beastie Boys history. Maybe they didn’t clear any of that shit on Licensed to Ill and AC/DC were the only rockers paying any attention to the “new-fangled” hip hop thing. All I know for sure is fair use laws were very different in the ’80s (read: it was much easier to get away with reworking other people’s songs) and that “Girls,” which also appears on Licensed to Ill, samples nothing. It is two minutes of xylophone-based frat boyishness born entirely from the Boys of Beast. So they have the right to complain about people messing with it (even if said people are improving it by leaps and bounds).

Still, as a fan, I wish Ad-Rock, Mike D, and the estate of MCA could settle this fussin’ and a-feudin’ with a water balloon fight or a round of “Star Trek” trivia. What a shame this massive fortune-generating commercial entity has to act like a massive fortune-generating commercial entity. Let that be a lesson to anyone wishing their crude, underwritten anthem sell a trillion units. Do you really want to open yourself up to the possibility of one day going to court over a song that includes the phrase “new wave hairdos?”

Say No To Black Sabbath Without Burt Ward

Forget Bill Ward—I’m not listening to another note of Black Sabbath without Burt Ward. Our Boy Wonder’s due for a comeback, and I bet “Orange Colored Sky” would sound totally boss with Geezer Butler playing bass.

Also, obviously, Burt’s Sabbath inclusion would provide an incredible excuse to dress Ozzy Osbourne up like Batman. Kapow!

Sabbath Gaudy Sabbath (or Hey, Let’s Make Fun Of The Crap Some Rock Stars Wore In 1985)

Black Sabbath—true Gods of heavy metal. The undisputed inventors of it, actually, right? I’m a little dicey on their history, but I believe original singer Ozzy Osbourne quit Black Sabbath in 1979 so he could do heroin full-time and dick around with Randy Rhoads before the latter died. The band soldiered on without the Blizzard of Oz for some time after that, but they weren’t against reuniting with Osbourne for the occasional multiple continent charity event. That’s exactly what happened on July 13, 1985, when the original Black Sabbath lineup reformed for Bob Geldof’s much-ballyhooed Live Aid concert.

On the plus side, Ozzy and the boys sounded really great on that sunny Reagan afternoon. On the minus side, they looked totally fucking ridiculous. Let’s review the video tape:

0:03 – I know from other YouTube clips of this same performance that the person introducing Black Sabbath here is Chevy “I Used To Be In Steely Dan” Chase. This footage is edited down; the band actually opened with “Children of the Grave.” What I cannot tell you is the correct wingspan of Ozzy’s fully extended cape at 0:08.

0:22 – I see you’ve been in my grandma’s closet, Ozzy. Jeez Louise. I didn’t know the Prince of Darkness went through a Rue McClanahan phase.

0:43 – Hey, who’s that guy who ate Bill Ward, and why is he dressed like Richard Simmons? The giant metal cross does not make up for those matching wrist warmers, Billy Boy.

0:45 – Uh, FRINGE MUCH? Way to look like Zorro’s cougar mom. At 0:48, Iommi actually has to push his guitar away from all that fringe. That’s how you know you’re wearing too much fringe. If it’s interfering with your day job.

1:14 – Bassist Geezer Butler is the most normal-looking of this 1985 pre-Poison freakshow we’re witnessing here, but that’s not really saying much. He still looks like he’s auditioning for Night Ranger. Also, the guitar Geez is using is a little too pointy and a little too fire engine red for the band that wrote “Symptom of the Universe.” Gotta love the matching pants, though.

1:35 – Those drums are the property of Live Aid AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!

1:38 – Check out Ozzy’s hair. It’s at that perfect stage where the perspiration has yet to compromise the integrity of the Farrah Fawcett blow-out.

1:48 – Hey, I just noticed Iommi’s fringe nightmare is also adorned with an obscene amount of metal crosses. Did Black Sabbath buy metal crosses wholesale and just stick ’em on every necklace and jacket they owned? No way Tony got through airport security with that thing on.

3:05 – Iommi’s expression suggests he is proud of his female biker ensemble. In fact, every member of Black Sabbath seems very not ashamed of their duds. This is your brain on money, fame, drugs, and Philadelphia. Any questions?

Black Sabbath didn’t always dress like the Golden Girls. I think all rock fans fondly remember their dingy, leather-jacketed ’70s look:


Yet even back then, they couldn’t resist a little a lot of fringe. Here’s a 1974 clip that finds Ozzy and Iommi sporting some threads that would make the Bee Gees blush:

Who knows, maybe these guys never had it together fashion-wise. Maybe those leather jackets and belt buckles were a fluke. Maybe fringe is fucking HUGE in working class areas of England. Well, at least Black Sabbath managed to write some killer rock tunes in between their numerous visits to Dress Barn.