Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the movie of the same name, see The Misfits (movie). A fictional band called The Misfits appears in the animated series Jem.
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 Jerry, brother Doyle, and pal Robo. (Metallica covered two Misfits songs from this era, "Green Hell" and "Die Die My Darling," although some purists regard the cover versions as weak and mechanical. Another Metallica cover, "Last Caress," is from the Misfits' aborted "Static Age" album session, from '78.)
"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. 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.
The original Misfits broke up in 1983.
The original Misfits released several 7" singles, in DIY limited-edition, that have long been considered prime collectors' items.
The band plays and records today as a Jerry Only project, with rotating members.
The earliest lineup was a trio, with Danzig singing and playing electric piano. This version didn't last long, recording one single and playing only a few gigs before the band ditched the piano (and the original drummer) 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". 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.
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,"  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.org , 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.
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 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 and more recently, Slipknot.
- Cough/Cool (1977) - single
- Bullet (1978) - EP
- Horror Business (1979) - EP
- Night of the Living Dead (1979) - single
- Beware (1980) - EP
- 3 Hits From Hell (1981) - EP
- Who Killed Marilyn? (1981) - single (though often credited as a Misfits release, this was issued as a Glenn Danzig solo release)
- Halloween (1981) - single
- Walk Among Us (1982) - album
- Evilive (1982) - live fan club EP
- Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (1983) - album
- Die, Die My Darling (1984) - single
- Earth A.D. (1984) - album
- Legacy Of Brutality (1985) - album
- Collection I (1986) - album
- Evilive (1987) - live album
- Collection II (1995) - album
- Static Age (1997) - album
- 12 Hits From Hell (2001) - album (promo only, unreleased)
- American Psycho (1997) - album
- Dig Up Her Bones (1997) - single
- Evillive II (1998) - live fan club album
- Famous Monsters (1999) - album
- Monster Mash (1999) - single
- Cuts From The Crypt (1999) - album
- Project 1950 (2003) - album
The Misfits appeared as characters or in cameos in the following movies.
- Animal Room (1995), as The Misfits
- Bruiser (2000), uncredited
- Big Money Hustlas (2000), as Misfits 1-4 (individually credited)
- Campfire Stories (2001), as The Misfits
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