“They said it would never happen.”
These words sit in gray font atop the latest poster image released May 12th on the Misfits website.
The statement isn’t wrong. Whether the ambiguous “They” refers to band members themselves or the ever-growing legions of fans hoping for a dark miracle yet for more than 30 years only saw their hopes dashed, it’s safe to say that the sudden news the rock world received was a shock.
But today, friends, fans, and fellow fiends alike, the impossible happened.
The original lineup of Jerry Only, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and founding frontman Glenn “do you wanna bang heads with me?” Danzig unexpectedly announced they are reuniting to headline Riot Fest in both Denver and Chicago locations.
For those who don’t know, Riot Fest (founded in 2005) is a multi-day, and now multi-location music festival focusing on some of the hardest hard rock bands around. Part carnival, part outdoor concert, think of them as a less corporate Vans Warped Tour. The festival, which makes stops in Chicago, Denver, and Toronto, specializes in bringing the most face-melting independent acts to their masses of attendees. So it’s only fitting that one of the most successful and influential bands in the history of punk, hardcore, and metal would make their appearance at such an event.
This is big news. The Misfits first formed in in 1977 and were among the forerunners of the punk movement along with Death, The Ramones, and The Sex Pistols, only to disband six years later. The group never received much attention outside the punk community. Founding member Danzig would receive acclaim with successful metal career, while Only and Doyle would go on to projects of their own. Then in the mid ’90s, after bands such as Metallica had begun covering tracks from the band’s first three albums, thus bringing the obscure group into mainstream popularity, bassist Only reformed The Misfits with guitarist Doyle, along with new members, drummer Dr. Chud and vocalist Michale Graves. As the years went on, the later incarnation of the band became a revolving door of members, even including such punk legends as Marky Ramone of the Ramones and Dez Cadina of Black Flag on their roster.
Yet this reformation came with controversy. Danzig and Only’s on and off legal battles became somewhat legendary in the punk community as both members argued over rights to song credits, imagery, and more. Yet even when the relationship between the two seemed most strained, longtime fans still held their breath that one day Danzig and Only would put aside their differences and reunite. Even Doyle, who in recent years has been touring with Danzig himself, stated in an interview with Loudwire that he was hopeful for a Misfits reunion.
So what does this mean for The Misfits? Is this simply a one and done festival show, or can fans expect to see more from the original lineup? Will there be a tour following the Riot Fest performances, maybe a new album with Danzig reprising his role on vocals? We’ll have to wait and see, but one thing is for certain: This is a historic event for music, one which we should thank our lucky stars or pagan gods we were able to see.
The Misfits will be playing Riot Fest on the following dates:
Denver, CO: September 2-4, 2016
Chicago, IL: September 16-18, 2016