The warring parties of Only and Danzig in 1983. Photo by Bill Daniel.
You bet your life there’s gonna be a fight: Misfits bassist Jerry Only and his lawyers have moved to dismiss the lawsuit Misfits founder Glenn Danzig brought against Only in May for trademark infringement and breach of contract, claiming Danzig has no evidence to back his myriad allegations and also that the singer waited too long to make this legal move.
“By his own insistence, Danzig has had no association with the Misfits since at the latest 1994,” Only’s filing state, going on to make the accusation that the singer is attempting to “unfairly profit” from “belatedly recogniz[ing] the [Misfits’] value” (Danzig is seeking $75,000 in damages from profits lost due to Only’s activities). The term “naked money grab” is also used at one point, which conjures up quite the image if you’re not expecting it in relation to Glenn Danzig.
Danzig’s original suit alleges that in the early 2000s Jerry Only fraudulently put his name on various Misfits logos/trademarks that, per a previous legal settlement, were supposed to be co-owned by band members. Only now claims that original settlement did in fact grant him full use of those logos and trademarks, and that even if they hadn’t, Danzig waited too long to do anything about. The statute of limitations in a situation like this is six years; Danzig had patent objections pending against Only for “nearly ten years” with no conclusion, and his lawsuit comes “approximately fourteen [years]” after the disputed breaches of contract.
Danzig concedes that by 2005 he even had actual knowledge of the underlying facts to exercise his purported rights…yet chose to wait nine more years before bringing his claim.”
This could play into Only’s other serious counter: that Danzig can offer no concrete evidence Jerry’s merchandising activities have cost him business. Indeed, there is no specific example cited in Danzig’s claim of a licensing deal gone south thanks to Jerry Only’s interference.
Touching on the aforementioned legal settlement, a.k.a. the 1994 Misfits Agreement: it states that “the parties shall be co-owners of the name and trademarks of the Misfits and all logo(s) and artwork…previously associated therewithin.” However, Jerry now argues that in “renouncing” the band at that time Danzig also renounced his claims to these logos and trademarks. Although there is no specific language in the ’94 Agreement that covers the contingent of a Misfit abandoning his rights, the “Merch” section ends by saying “the plaintiffs and Danzig will each retain 100% of what each earns from the exploitation of merchandising rights and neither [party] has any obligation to account to the other for revenue derived…”
That sounds like it might be tough to beat. Do note the entire merch outline in the ’94 Agreement is but a paragraph long. It would seem Danzig (at that time the defendant) had little idea as to the exact windfalls of cash the Misfits logos would yield in the following decade—thanks, mostly, to his letting Jerry get out there and reform the band without him.
Not everything with Jerry is rock solid here, though. The bassist’s legals throw out a few sentences that are sure to rub longtime fans as dubious at best. To wit: the part about the Crimson Ghost (a.k.a. “the Fiend Skull”) being “uniquely developed by and identified with” Jerry’s ’90s version of the band, a logo he’s claiming “the 1977-1983 incarnation of the Misfits never used as a trademark.”
If he’s referring to the weird 3-D Crimson Ghost that popped up around 1997, sure, that’s undoubtedly a “NewFits” logo, but there is no staggering difference between that emblem and the “Fiend Skull” that appeared on the front of the 1979 “Horror Business” single and the back of the 1980 Beware EP and on the back of 1981’s Walk Among Us album and all over the Misfits’ amplifiers and wrist bands and guitar straps circa ’82.
[Never mind the fact that every “Fiend Skull” in Misfits history is a shallow derivative of something “uniquely developed” by Republic Pictures for a 1940s film serial.]
Even stranger: Jerry’s motion literally says that what is even worse than Danzig making all these claims is the fact the singer filed his papers in California. “[Danzig] seeks to drag [me] 3,000 miles across the country to defend against his deficient claims.” Methinks the $75k Danzig seeks in damages is more crippling than a plane ticket, but who knows, maybe Jerry’s got some paranoia about earthquakes.
Two other bits of interest:
– Jerry Only boasts that he and his company Cyclopian Music “have developed the Misfits into an iconic lifestyle brand”; that translates to “we got the Misfits logo on shoelaces”
– “it is legally irrelevant with what person or entity, if any, consumers associate a mark and, more precisely, this cannot constitute the likelihood of consumer confusion”; Jerry’s missing the point here in the sense that Misfits fans aren’t worried with marketplace overlap, they just want to make sure they’re giving their money to the Misfit they agree most with artistically (even if Danzig is found guilty of framing Jerry for everything in the past three decades there will still be a loyal army of spenders who live to dump their paychecks into his wallet because of How The Gods Kill)
Said it before, saying it again: justice should prevail in this war. May the guilty be punished and the innocent spared. Also, maybe one side or the other could think about putting Googy on a t-shirt? Need to show my pride.
Jerry Only in 1979. Photo by John Rynski.
“Danzig’s lawsuit can only be described as a sour grapes tantrum based on outrageous allegations, the majority of which are completely false,” Jerry Only announced yesterday in a statement to Alternative Press, continuing to say the accusations of breach of contract and trademark infringement brought forth by his estranged band mate are “ill conceived and grossly misguided and will be proven false in court.” Let’s start making bets on whether or not Only will show up for the trial with his devilock.
Jerry’s statement also claims Danzig’s lawsuit is packed with “falsehoods” and that the whole thing is born from the fact “[his] own product line doesn’t sell as well as he might like.” My favorite part is where Only refers to Glenn Danzig as “former co-founder” of the Misfits. Maybe this is semantics, but you can’t quit having founded something. You can quit being a member, which Danzig did, but creating something isn’t an ongoing process you can walk away from. If you shoot somebody, you can’t say, “Oh no, I formerly shot that guy. I’m not a part of that anymore.” You did it, that’s part of your life and everybody else’s.
A more important point: Jerry Only says he is “under no obligation, legal, contractual or otherwise, to obtain consent, or approvals of any kind, from former member Glenn Danzig in connection with their use of the Misfits name or logos.” This is true, technically, simply because Only registered himself as sole owner of almost all of the pre-existing Misfits marks circa 2000, ignoring the mid-’90s agreement between band members that said they share ownership of said marks. Forgive the U.S. Patent Office for not being terribly familiar with the ongoing saga of punk rock’s most ghoulish.
Maybe there wouldn’t be an issue with Danzig or other original Misfits if Jerry was mainly licensing images from the non-classic version of the band he’s been performing with since Clinton was in office; one look at the official Misfits.com store, however, and you can see that isn’t the case. The front page is laden with accessories boasting Danzig era artwork, including the classic stencil of the Crimson Ghost and the ’80s Fiend Club logo (there’s even a section of t-shirts on the site labeled “vintage series”—all with images created before 1994).
Excuse me for stating the obvious, but it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out and/or what facts further legal action uncovers. One would assume Jerry worked out some deal to use the pre-existing marks on the handful of Misfits albums he made in the late ’90s before getting his name on the logos in 2000. What’s Danzig’s story with that? There has always been an enormous amount of confusion over who owns what in this band, particularly in regard to the artwork. With any luck this case will actually go to trial and we’ll see the clearest picture possible of the imagery lineage.
Also worth noting: Glenn Danzig is not exactly an angel when it comes to business or his business relationships. You don’t have to go very far to find proof of that. He may have told Jerry one thing about these trademarks and decided he had another opinion later. As I’ve stressed since the publication of This Music Leaves Stains: yes, I have my own biases and opinions when it comes to the Misfits, but I try hard to look at all this stuff objectively, and as in any other matter I hope the truly wronged find their justice.
Meanwhile, Black Flag managed to settle all their legal issues, because summer’s coming and they don’t want to harsh that beach mellow. We really wouldn’t want any of those guys to have a [puts on sunglasses] nervous breakdown.
[cue Roger Daltrey scream]
On Earth as it is in court: Only and Danzig in happier(?) times.
The brand new Misfits legal horror business: founding singer Glenn Danzig has filed suit against bassist Jerry Only for breach of contract, claiming Only violated a 1994 legal agreement by trademarking various band logos and images in his own name in the year 2000. Danzig is seeking $75,000, but is also asking the court to figure out how much Caiafa might owe him as a result of lost or blocked licensing deals.
This action comes just five years after ex-Misfits Bobby Steele and Arthur Googy sued Only over the exact same thing. That case fell apart after key evidence on the plaintiffs’ side went missing (according to Steele, his ex-wife purposely destroyed said evidence during their very acrimonious breakup).
Both suits cite the same facts: during the second half of 2000, Jerry Only filed applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark various Misfits logos—including the Famous Monsters version of the Misfits logo and a version of the Crimson Ghost mascot (referred to in the legal papers as the “Fiend Skull”)—in his offstage name of Gerald Caiafa and did so without notifying other band members. The applications were all approved by 2003; Only then began licensing these logos to retailers. This violated a 1994/5 contract in which splintered Misfits factions agreed to share ownership of the band’s name as well as pre-existing trademarks, logos, and artwork. The Misfits were also bound not to use “names, likenesses and visual representations” of each other without written consent.
That contract, of course, was one of the end results of Only suing Danzig in 1992 over various copyrights and unpaid royalties. Another result: Danzig, who broke up the band in 1983, allowing Only the performance rights to the Misfits. Only has had some version of the band going ever since; in this new lawsuit, Danzig calls Jerry’s Misfits an “imitation,” asserting the “vast majority of…Misfits fans associate the [trademarks in question]” with his original stint, wherein Danzig was known as the band’s “creative heart.” The singer also suggests Only’s “primary qualification” for replacing original bassist Diane DiPiazza in February of 1977 is that “he had recently received a bass guitar for Christmas.”
Danzig apparently became aware of Only’s trademark moves around 2005; that’s when the singer first began filing cancellation/opposition proceedings with the U.S. PTO. Danzig last filed an opposition in 2008. Meanwhile, Only hasn’t let up in his quest to put the Misfits logos on every available surface. This would be fine and dandy, allegedly, if he had cleared it all with Danzig, and if he hadn’t bullied stores into not working with Danzig. To wit:
Caiafa has prevented and continues to prevent other retailers, including Hot Topic, which is the largest retailer of the Misfits products, from entering into licenses with Danzig and/or his designee to merchandise products…by falsely instructing the merchandisers that he is the exclusive owner of the marks, and that, if they enter into a license agreement with Danzig to exploit the marks, they must pay Caiafa a license fee and/or a significant monetary penalty…Caiafa’s misrepresentations have proximately caused injury to Danzig by causing merchandisers not to do business with him, and have deceived consumers as to the source of merchandise bearing the marks…Had Caiafa not interfered with Danzig’s ability to exploit the marks, Danzig or his designee would have entered into lucrative agreements to license the marks…”
Danzig (or rather, his lawyer) goes on to call Only’s behavior “despicable” and notes that he’s been “subjected to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of his rights.”
The most recent action in this case is the April 29 waiver of service of summons from Jerry Only’s attorney, which just means Danzig’s lawyer doesn’t have to send someone to New Jersey or Chicago or where ever Only lives now to serve the guy with papers.
Interesting bit with the “Fiend Skull.” Perhaps Danzig fears the wrath of Paramount Pictures, who currently own the original Crimson Ghost film serial from which the Misfits appropriated that logo. Someone at Paramount knows what they’re sitting on there: when I inquired about using a still from The Crimson Ghost in my book they asked for what amounts to half a year’s rent.
More on this story as it develops…or, maybe in this case, decomposes. Below: the first page of DANZIG v. CAIAFA, all of which I have read. Yes, there is reference to Kryst the Conqueror.
Earlier this week former Misfits guitarist Doyle “Wolfgang Von Frankenstein” Caiafa (né Paul) announced that he (and ostensibly the world) is ready for a touring / album reunion of “the original [Misfits] lineup” and that he is in fact the “only one” capable of brokering such an auspicious event. Quoth Doyle:
You know what? I’ve just decided this week that I am going to make an attempt, and I wanna do it. I’ll put what I’m doing right on the fucking side. I’ll go do it tomorrow.”
Great, I say with one hundred percent earnest, even though by “original” I’m sure Doyle means his early ’80s era of the band, which if we’re being polite was at least the fourth Misfits iteration. I am coming at you honest and true from my heart of hearts when I say it would really be something special to see founder Glenn Danzig, founding bassist Jerry Only, Doyle, and drummer Arthur Googy doing anything together, even if it was just twenty minutes on the side stage of some bullshit-ass festival. If you pressed me I might even use the term “magical.”
I am burying the lede, though. Scroll through the many comments on the aforelinked article and you’ll find a couple accounts from singers who tried out for the Misfits reformation that began in 1995 (and continues to this day with Only as the sole original member). I’m sure it will surprise absolutely no one familiar with the muscle-bound punk band to learn there was, allegedly, a weight lifting requirement.
“I was trying to get an audition with the Misfits back when they were looking for a replacement for Danzig,” writes Paul LaPlaca. “I answered an ad in the [Village] Voice…[and] I was given a machine gun series of questions on everything from my influences to how much I could bench press. I blew the interview when I asked who I was talking to. He said, ‘Jerry.’ As I took it down with pen and paper I asked, ‘And your last name?’ ‘Jerry ONLY. The BASS player.’ click.'”
“I also remember being asked how much I could bench press,” replied Edward Martin.
Disclaimer: LaPlaca and Martin might be trolling us fiends, feeding into the meathead Jersey Boy stereotype some people like to believe the Misfits embodied / still embody, but I don’t think their claims are too far-fetched. Physical stature has long been a key component of the Misfit image, and it’s not like they’re saying Jerry asked them to name their favorite New York Giants place kicker. If this bench pressing thing is true, one must wonder the exact number for entry into this legendary band (250? 300? A Buick?). Also, how much could Michale Graves bench in 1995? He clinched that open vocal spot despite looking no stronger than any given Baldwin.
Oh, and since I’m sure everyone reading this remembers the “Saturday Night Live” skit the the top image is taken from there is absolutely no need to discuss it beyond this sentence.
It’s been nineteen years since The Usual Suspects came out, and the “Who is Keyser Söze?” debates have fallen dormant. So let us now attempt to unravel the mystery of Kevin Spacey’s hair in that movie. Is it a widow’s peak? Is it a fuckin’ devilock? I choose to believe the latter. Spacey is obvz a closet Misfits fan and this was his subtle tribute.
Alternate title for this post: YO I JUST WATCHED THIS OLD ASS MOVIE ON NETFLIX
The Association For Recorded Sound Collections has nominated my Misfits book This Music Leaves Stains for a 2014 ARSCy Award (that’s what they’re called, right?) for “Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.” Apparently there’s a subcategory to that, like “Rock” or “Pop” or whatevz, but said classification hasn’t been announced yet (nor has a complete list of nominees).
What can I say? Turns out all our favorite celebrities weren’t lying—it actually is an honor just to be nominated. I’m plenty happy with that. Thank you, ARSC, appreciate it.
ARSCy Winners are announced in or by September…plenty of time to shop for a gown to wear to the fabulous awards gala. Gonna put Beyoncé to shame, gonna make her wish she was never born.
SASHA FIERCE MORE LIKE SASHA FART WATCH OUT LOSER
Well, it’s November. Time to crawl across the country and read bits out of my book, This Music Leaves Stains: The Complete Story of The Misfits. I’ll also be signing stuff (copies of the book, your CVS receipt, your cousin’s pet tarantula) and answering your questions. Here be the events:
11/12 – Pittsburgh PA @ Lili Cafe 7PM
11/14 – Cleveland OH @ Visible Voice 6PM
11/15 – Columbus OH @ Book Loft 6PM
11/18 – Minneapolis MN @ Boneshaker 7PM
11/23 – Seattle WA @ Cafe Racer 9PM
11/25 – Portland OR @ Powell’s on Hawthorne 7:30PM
If you live in a major city not listed here please know I tried my best to penetrate every big time readin’ market. Alas, I am but a first time author and I just couldn’t crack the circuits in Boston or Denver or Wichita—or even New York, where I’ve lived for the past five years! Do you know how much of my fucking money the MTA has? And they couldn’t get me into book store or coffee shop one! It’s all politics. I don’t have to tell you that.
Hope to see you all out there. Thanks to Jon C. and Rollie H. for naming the tour. Thanks in advance to every person who lets me crash / drool on their couch. No thanks to Megabus and their rigid Midwestern scheduling.
Click this link to read an interview Retroist did with me where I blather on endlessly about the Misfits…
…click this link to literally hear me blather on endlessly about the Misfits on the “New Books In Pop Music” podcast.
Either way you’ll get a good dose of me rhapsodizing about Static Age and debating how “real” Danzig “keeps it.” Who knows, maybe one of these interviews will convince you to finally buy my book (fourteen bucks, cheap!).
The original Undead lineup outside of Manhattan club A7, September 1982. L-R: Chris Natz, Patrick Blanck, Bobby Steele. Photo by Ronnie Ramone.
Beginning with their kinetic 1981 debut 9 Toes Later, the Undead have spent three plus decades churning out a sneering brand of traditional punk laced with as many cobwebs as succinct melodies that stick in the brain like hot tar. Rotating memberships and an ever-evolving punk landscape have proven challenging for this Jersey-bred trio; yet the Undead remain in a class where their only real competition is founder Bobby Steele’s former band the Misfits (Steele served as Misfits guitarist from 1978 to 1980).
Although we didn’t get a chance to speak before This Music Leaves Stains was published, Bobby Steele and I connected recently and the man was kind enough to have a conversation with me about launching the Undead, his memories of that band’s various career arcs, and the looming shadow of the Misfits.
JAMES GREENE, JR: Correct me if I’m wrong, but you had the Undead going before you parted ways with the Misfits in October of 1980, right?
BOBBY STEELE: Well, I had another band before the Misfits called the Skabs, and on Sundays when the Misfits weren’t doing anything I’d get together with [Chris Natz] the bass player and [Rich Matalian] the drummer from the Skabs to mess around. After I got kicked outta the Misfits, for five about five minutes I was like, “What am I gonna do?” But then I just got the Skabs back together, and I had always wanted to be in a band called the Undead, so we switched the name.
JG2: Were there specific things you did to set yourselves apart from the Misfits, or did you not think about it? Did you let the Undead’s image and music happen organically?
BS: I said, “I’m just gonna go out do my thing.” There was no reason to separate ourselves from the Misfits because at the time, the word on the street was they were kaput, they were breaking up.
JG2: So from the get-go, the Misfits weren’t necessarily this albatross around your neck?
BS: No, we thought they were done. After that Halloween gig they seemed over. Then in the Summer of ’81 they were starting to come back.
JG2: Obviously the Undead and the Misfits had their problems with each other later on, but was there tension between the two in the beginning?
BS: No, there were no real signs of tensions. [Misfits singer] Glenn [Danzig] came to our early gigs and he really liked us. He liked [Undead drummer Patrick Blanck’s] drumming, how it was simple and straightforward. Glenn came up after our first show and he was raving to Patrick, “Oh man, you’re really good, your drumming is great, that’s always what I’ve been looking for!”
JG2: Yeah, the chronology of Misfits drummers suggests Glenn was always trying to go down a level, to get to that no-nonsense Tommy Ramone thing.
BS: Yeah, right. You look at [second Misfits drummer] Mr. Jim and he was very jazzy, his bass drum is adding a rhythm. You can hear that on “Bullet.” Then when the Misfits got Joey [Image], he was less jazzy, but when it came to fills the guy was like Keith Moon. I remember we had Joey redub some stuff on “Horror Business” and when we watched him from the booth it was unreal. His speed and power he put in…we were in awe sitting back watching. Then after Joey the Misfits got [Arthur] Googy, and his drumming was even less intricate.
JG2: The Undead had some success off the bat, getting signed to Stiff Records and with all the positive press that came in for 9 Toes Later. Was that expected? Was that the plateau you expected to reach or did you think you could build from that point to bigger successes?
BS: I figured things would go on for the Undead. My goal was to be signed within a year of forming, and we did it. Once we got the Stiff deal, though, things kinda went to everyone’s heads. I tried to [stay the course] but the other guys, they wanted to relax, and they also wanted to make things democratic in the band. “We think we should have consensus,” they’d say, and my reply would be, “Well, while we’re debating all this shit the gig we wanted went to someone else.” Like, somebody’s gotta make decisions. Unfortunately, I started having my health problems around then, with my foot, y’know, and I lost control. [Steele had surgery to remove an infected toe in September of 1981]
JG2: So almost immediately, there’s a sense that it could all be ending?
BS: Well, I’ll tell ya—when I was in the hospital I got word [Chris and Patrick] were auditioning other guitar players. They were trying to get another guitar player for my band! Y’know, Stiff didn’t like those guys. They told me, “Dump those guys and we’ll get you some other musicians and we’ll back you all the way.” I said no. My biggest downfall is my loyalty to friends, and a lot of the time they stabbed me in back anyway.
JG2: But you got back on your feet, no pun intended, and the Undead endured. Were there other points were you thought you could achieve what you had with Chris and Patrick?
BS: Yeah, the Act Your Rage lineup with [bassist] Tim [Taylor] and [drummer] Eddie [Enzyme]. At the start they were really into the band. As time went on, they said I had no talent, my songwriting sucks, uh, y’know, my arrangements are boring…so that didn’t last, but at first we got good gigs and decent money. Act Your Rage also came out at a time when punk was considered dead, metal and all this other stuff was happening, but I guess people wanted to hear it again because that record sold surprisingly well. Another lineup that was looking great was when I had [bassist] Bryce [Bernius] and [drummer] Jaw. That was great for year or two, we were really productive, but at some point Jaw said he liked the earlier, more raw stuff, what we were doing wasn’t what he liked, so he left.
JG2: How did that stuff affect you, that band turmoil? Could you brush it off when the relationships there fell apart?
BS: Some people assume I have a big ego, but that’s not true. For a while in the wake of that stuff I might start to believe I suck, but then I’d hear from a fan from some far out place about what my music means to them, and that makes me feel better.
JG2: How about the record label rejection? You’ve made note in the past, sometimes in song, how despite the Undead’s popularity labels would often blow you off or give you the runaround.
BS: That fired me up, man. They’re giving me so much power by rejecting me. I have nothing to lose.
JG2: The video for “My Kinda Town,” the second song on 9 Toes Later, popped up online a few years ago. Was that an attempt to get on MTV or did you just do it for the hell of it?
BS: We did try to get it on MTV, but by then MTV had been taken over by the majors. Indie labels had no chance. Like, the industry standard at the time for video was three inch tape. To get on MTV, you had to shoot on one inch tape. They did little things like that. “Oh, this looks great…unfortunately it’s not one inch.” But we did the video and thought, “Maybe this will open their eyes,” ’cause it was so weird, y’know? I’m jumping over the fence at Bellevue, I’m throwing quaaludes up in the air at the World Trade Center, breaking the antennae off a taxi…nothing was scripted or planned out. We just went out and shot it.
JG2: I’m sorry, did you say you were throwing quaaludes around?
BS: Yeah! The part at the World Trade Center, I’m throwing two hundred quaaludes in the air as I’m singing. As soon as the shoot was done, these kids ran up and started collecting them. I had to fight them off. [laughs]
JG2: Did you consider doing other videos?
BS: We would have loved to make other videos, we had other ideas and concepts, but we didn’t have the contacts that other people had. We were dirt poor. Maybe if we were part of that elite Max’s Kansas City scene we would have had access to more people with video equipment. “My Kinda Town” only happened because we were approached by these guys from Jersey City State University who had to do a project for their video class. And this is interesting—I tried to locate the guy who made the video a few years ago, and it turns out he won an Emmy for his news coverage of 9/11!
JG2: Throughout all the time you’ve done the Undead, have you ever felt the desire to fold the band and go in another direction musically?
BS: No, never…I mean, punk, it’s the shit! The speed, the energy, and the drive. There were times I was discouraged over the direction of scene, when it was all about metal or dance stuff, but I stuck to my guns.
JG2: What do you feel is the apex of the Undead’s recorded material?
BS: I’m really proud of how Til Death came out. “I’m So Happy,” “Thorn In My Side”…you know, I did “Thorn In My Side” in my bedroom. You know Phil Spector and the “wall of sound?” I read up on that “wall of sound” stuff and I just recreated it in my bedroom. Fans tell me there’s feeling in what we recorded—that’s because I put the time into it. I remember when we recorded the “Verbal Abuse” single I only had four track [recorder] and so many microphones, so I had the drummer record his kick and his snare on one track and his fills on another track…it took a couple weeks, but the results were awesome. Y’know, you gotta make do with what you got.
JG2: Now, I imagine people ask you about the Misfits at least once every day, maybe even once every hour.
BS: [laughs] Yeah.
JG2: Does that ever bother you? Do you ever wish you could step away from that?
BS: No, not really…I remember when I was young reading this article in Rolling Stone about Linda Ronstadt blowin’ off her fans, like blowin’ people off on the street, and that pissed me off…like, the fans are the reason I’m here, the least I can do is give them fifteen minutes…if fifteen minutes is gonna make them happy or make their day, why not?
JG2: What’s been harder to deal with personally, everything that’s come with having been in the Misfits after the fact, or laboring away in the Undead and dealing with those ups and downs?
BS: That’s a good question. I think it’s kinda half one way, half the other. Sure, the other Misfits spreading all their lies and doing all that backbiting negated the good times we had together, but they also spread my name [around]. A lot of my fans came from hearing that live version of “Teenagers From Mars” [from 1981] where they’re singin’ “Bobby Steele’s a fuckin asshole, he’s got an asshole for a cunt.” They heard that and thought, “Who is this guy?”
JG2: So this underdog status that many people ascribe to you in both situations, this isn’t something that’s ever bothered you?
BS: No, because the underdog almost always wins, and he also usually laughs last. And you know what they say…he who laughs last laughs best!
Photo of Bobby with guitar by Heidi Calvert.
I have been informed that Amazon already has $14 paperback copies of This Music Leaves Stains available for sale. This is because, apparently, there never was a real “street date” for the release; it was just whenever the elves at Taylor Trade got it done. The projection was mid-October, but lucky for you, me, and the other Misfits fans of the world Taylor’s minions worked on the quicker tip (awesome, great job!). So why don’t you hit up Jeff Bezos’s Party Machine and cop my tome? Your local book retailer (Gram’s Reading Nook? The Bookmark?) probably won’t have This Music for another couple weeks. WHO CAN WAIT SO LONG?