Vintage action figures of Jerry Only and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein in their cardboard coffins by 21st Century Toys, 1999.
If you are into collecting action figures, and I know that many of our Dangerous Minds readers are, then you have probably already heard about a new figure set based on the “Fiend”—the official creepy mascot associated with legendary New Jersey punks, the Misfits. Put out by toy maker Super 7, one of the coolest things about the set of two figures (one dressed in red and the other in black) is the card art created by the equally legendary thrash metal album artist Ed Repka. When I read the press release I found myself feeling like there had been figures made in the image of members of the band somewhere along the line in the 90s—and for a change, I was able to trust my memories as my recollection turned out to be correct.
In 1999 21st Century Toys produced two 12” figures in the image of Misfits bassist Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Both figures came packaged in cardboard coffins along with replicas of Only’s bass “The Devastator” and von Frankenstein’s guitar “The Annihilator.” The figures are pretty tricked out when it comes to their miniature clothing like Only’s studded vest and boots and von Frankenstein’s bare chest, sick six-pack, spiked choker, and Fiend armbands. Believe it or not, both are pretty easy to find out there on the Internet, and I’ve seen individual figures sell for as little as $20 depending on the condition. Photos of the devastatingly grim figures follow. Happy hunting!
A look inside the cardboard coffins containing the figures of Only and von Frankenstein.
A closer inspection of the figures inside their cardboard coffins.
Glenn Danzig, pictured here wearing the hand-painted gloves that could be yours if you’ve got $10K+ burning a hole in the pocket of your leather pants.
Glenn Danzig’s hand-painted gloves “marking the end of the Misfits era and the beginning of the Samhain era” are currently up for auction. The opening bid is a princely ten thousand dollars.
The auction is being handled by punk memorabilia dealer and archivist extraordinaire, Ryan Richardson. We’ve written about Ryan here before at Dangerous Minds. He’s the Internet saint who has made the entire print runs of several crucial ‘80s punk zines available online.
The gloves come directly from the Austin musician who Danzig gifted them to someone on September 23, 1984. The identity of the owner has been kept confidential, but if you follow ‘80s Texas punk rock, you will have heard of the band he was in. According to Richardson’s website which is hosting the auction, a full history and signed provenance statement will be provided to the winning bidder.
Ten thousand dollars might sound like an insane amount of money for this beat up pair of gloves, but rare Misfits-related items have a history of fetching high sums. Some of the most valuable records ever sold on eBay have been Misfits records. In 2008 a first pressing of the Misfits “Horror Business” single went for over $14,000. The year before that a slightly tattered show flyer made by Glenn Danzig sold at auction for almost six thousand dollars. The Misfits enjoy one of the most rabid fan bases of any group in history and apparently some of those rabid fans also have fat wallets.
Well, sorta. The weird folks at Meth Syndicate, one of the top new companies that does the enamel metal pins that are so popular with the kids (along with their friends at Pizzaships) have come up with a way for all people to buy Glenn’s house! Yup, the “Danzig’s House hard enamel pin”!
It’s posted on their Instagram page along with this text:
As some of you reading this know, I used to be in Danzig and I lived in the guest house there for quite a while and it was bat shit crazy! Not because of Glenn, mind you, but because of YOU!YOU PEOPLE are crazy!
A little after I started living there we had to start chaining the driveway gate to keep the nuts out. I’d wake up many mornings to “the spray can girl” who would walk up and down the driveway slowly shaking a spraypaint can (KA-CHUNK, KA-CHUNK, KA-CHUNK) like some kinda tribal death march. Notes, records, dead things, you name it. When people showed up and were calm and friendly, Glenn was always unfailingly nice. I have known him since 1978 and he’s super cool, he was always fair and generous as a bandleader and I think all the kookoo fans that come up with these weird trips about him are both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to have fans but put yourselves in Glenn’s hooves, imagine being bugged by creepy nuts who all have your address, day and night? Just living with it was pretty unnerving. So remember “Do what thou wilt” unless thou art an idiot! Then do the opposite!
Misfits mega-fans take note: Jerry Only’s original customized 1979 Rickenbacker 4001 bass, played throughout the Danzig years of the Misfits, is up for auction on eBay.
The bass, which is in pieces barely even usable for spare parts, was smashed by Jerry at an unnamed Misfits show. It is clearly being sold strictly as a collector’s item, and will undoubtedly fetch a princely sum.
The auction description details the item’s provenance:
This was played live throughout the early years of the Misfits. It can be seen in various states of originality in countless photos and videos. First as a typical black Ric with black hardware and then with Double Precision bass pickups, modified batwing-shaped tuners, painted fingerboard with white skull and red bat inlays, and added headstock attachment complete with rubber skull. It was ultimately smashed at a show and thus retired.
The item was acquired from a Misfits collector who had purchased the bass body separately from the rubber skull, which had been picked up by another fan at the show where the instrument was destroyed.
When the collector told Jerry Only that he had bought this battered bass, Jerry sent him a care package full of old parts: modified bat-tuners, Rickenbacker bridge, and a P-Bass style pickup.
Also included is the original strap, a small piece of material used as the pickguard, a thumb pick, and as an added bonus, an Ernie Ball/Music Man hardshell case owned by Danzig bassist Jerry Montano.
As of this writing, with 7 days left in the auction, the bidding currently sits at $1,750.00.
After the jump, more pics plus some rough quality video footage of what might possibly be the very night this bass was destroyed…
Why in the world this Misfits dress doesn’t come in black and white is beyond me. But it doesn’t. You have a choice of hot pink, green or purple. According to the description it’s officially licensed featuring the skull on front of the dress and the word “Misfits” on the back of the dress.
Now I can’t vouch for the quality as I do not own one. There is one review with five stars that says, “Fat [sic] shipping. Best friend loves it!”
It’s 95% cotton and 5% spandex. You can get it here.
Maila Nurmi (aka ‘Vampira’) looking gorgeously goth at the beach with her umbrella, mid-1950s.
Maila Nurmi the captivatingly gorgeous Finnish model and actress with a tiny nineteen-inch waist, created an instant sensation when she attended a masquerade ball in Hollywood in 1953. She was dressed as the cartoon character created by longtime New Yorker contributor Charles Addams that would later become the inspiration for “Morticia Addams” in The Addams Family television series. After winning the top prize in the ball’s costume contest, Nurmi became “Vampira,” introducing—and often poking sly fun at—horror movies on her own local LA television program The Vampira Show on WABC. By the time that 1954 rolled around Nurmi was already a star. After doing time as a coat check girl in her early years, Nurmi was now rubbing elbows with everyone from Marlon Brando (who romanced Nurmi), to Surrealist photographer Man Ray (who shot her), to Antonio Vargas (who drew her) to James Dean (who wondered if she was possessed by something demonic). The evil “Maleficent” character from Disney’s animated Snow White was even based on her look (as confirmed by Disney), but her fame sadly didn’t last as long as it should have. She was cast in Ed Wood Jr.‘s Plan 9 from Outer Space in 1959, for which she was paid $200 but insisted on not saying a word of Wood’s lousy dialogue. It is for this mute role that she will eternally remembered.
After disappearing from the Tinseltown spotlight Nurmi continued to be a sort of real Hollywood vampire, even ghoulishly cavorting with the Misfits and performing with a pubk band called Satan’s Cheerleaders during the 1980s when she was in her sixties. At one point Nurmi got into some legal disputes stemming from the rights to Vampira’s image including one lawsuit Nurmi launched against Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson for ripping off her Vampira image, which was dismissed. Despite this, Nurmi’s “Vampira” character continues to endure since she conceived of her over 60 years ago. She was played by Lisa Marie in Tim Burton’s film, Ed Wood.
Somewhat rather underappreciated during her time, Maila Nurmi was lovingly profiled in the 2012 documentary Vampira and Me which featured newly restored kinoscopes of her TV appaearances. Some of the photos that follow (though tame) might be slightly NSFW because, bikinis.
It’s rare that I’m so flummoxed in determining whether I love or hate a thing, but here it is: The Smithsfits.
I also rarely go in for “mash-ups” unless they are particularly well done or so transgressively stupid that they cause me to laugh. The Smithsfits, as the name indicates, a mash-up of The Smiths and the Misfits, is fairly well done and it’s definitely stupid... but I just can’t decide if this is awesome or if it totally sucks.
Five of the songs on the band’s Soundcloud are Misfits songs done in the style of The Smiths and two of them are Smiths songs done in the style of the Misfits. I’ll give them points for mixing it up a bit. The singer does a fairly decent Morrissey impression. His Morrissey is better than his Danzig.
My unclear opinions aside, this is bound to appeal to some of our readers…
We’ve had a year of wall-to-wall Donald Trump coverage, and we’re all experiencing a big dose of Trump fatigue. Now that the Donald has formally allied with the crackpot motherfuckers at Breitbart—shudder—I think we may possibly have passed the final moment when someone could say with any seriousness the words “President Trump.” He’s a solid 7+ points behind in the polls and the big viral sensation yesterday was footage of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen bristling at the suggestion of CNN personality Brianna Keilar that Trump is “down” to Hillary Clinton by a few points. Quoth Cohen: “Says who!?”
Recently Trump himself floated the trial balloon of “2nd Amendment people” acting to resolve the all-too-likely problem of a Hillary Clinton presidency… so while we’re on the subject of assassinations and presidents and stuff, someone made what very well might be THE fucked-up punk image of Trump for 2016…
As you probably know, back in the day Glenn Danzig had a fondness for pulpy horror iconography from the 1950s and a talent for penning a fast-paced ditty, and his band the Misfits have been a favorite of rock and roll fans ever since. (By the way, the Misfits with Glenn Danzig on vocals are playing Denver and Chicago next month.)
One of the Misfits’ best songs is “Bullet” which is a fast-paced ditty about the assassination of John F. Kennedy in which Danzig barks, “Texas is an outrage when your husband is dead! Texas is an outrage when they pick up his head! Texas is the reason that the president’s dead, you gotta suck, suck, Jackie suck!!”
The single had a predictably fantastic cover art, which is shown above. Now someone had the bright idea of repurposing it for the election with everyone’s favorite never-will-be-president-oh-help-me-lord, Donald Trump.
Now this is not to say that we advocate or condone or recommend any manner of “Second Amendment” remedy to a “President Trump” no matter how unlikely that shit-drenched possibility might be. Just the opposite! In fact, we here at Dangerous Minds wish for the GOP’s idiot clown prince to have a long, long life. Trump’s done more to fuck up the Republican Party than anyone since… well, I was going to say Barry Goldwater, but even that comparison makes no sense anymore. (Goldwater had the “conscience of a conservative” whereas Trump is more like Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi come spectacularly—and ignorantly—to life like a lumbering Godzilla character.) No, we wish only good health on Mr. Trump. May he be around to torment the feckless Republican establishment that allowed his coronation to occur for decades to come. Let’s hope Trump becomes immortal. Maybe we can keep him in a jar—forever—like the Face of Bo?
If you’re about my age, you now desperately want to hear “Bullet” from start to finish and LOUD. It’s waiting for you after the jump…
Like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis before them, two members of Lodi, New Jersey’s Misfits changed their tune and got right with Jesus. In the late 80s, exchanging devilocks for golden curls and “Mommy, Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?” for “In God We Trust,” they renounced sin and turned to praise metal.
Immediately after the Misfits’ breakup, Glenn Danzig fucked off to form Samhain with Lyle Preslar and Brian Baker of Minor Threat. Punk stardom, and the royalties from posthumous Misfits releases, were his; metal stardom would soon follow. But it was “oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again” for Misfits bassist Jerry Only (né Gerard Caiafa) and his brother, guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (né Paul Caiafa), who found themselves in a less enviable position. Only had financed the Misfits’ seven-year career by working at the Caiafa family machine shop, and this perhaps took on the appearance of a shit deal during the lean years after the breakup.
The cassette cover of Kryst the Conqueror’s Deliver Us from Evil EP
Now wise to Satan’s snares, the brothers vowed nevermore to be the devil’s plaything and evermore to be his scourge. To that end, they formed a Christian metal band c. 1987 called Kryst the Conqueror, recruiting Yngwie Malmsteen’s singer, Jeff Scott Soto, and a drummer credited as “The Murp” on Kryst’s lone release. Soto, who was Journey’s lead singer from 2006 to 2007, once looked like this:
Rechristening himself Mocavius Kryst (“Mo the Great” for short), Jerry Only spearheaded a viking-themed heavy metal act with Doyle called Kryst the Conqueror. Joined by fellow Lodian Jim Murray on drums, Kryst the Conqueror embraced a galloping power metal sound a la Helloween or Manowar. The overt Christian themes were difficult to ignore, however, not only in the band’s name but on their singular release, 1990’s self-pressed Deliver Us from Evil EP, which boasts songs such as “In God We Trust” and “Trial of the Soul.” There were also “Mo the Great’s” various fan club writings at the time. To wit: “In the final days of the second millennium, I, Mocavius Kryst, and my men now swear this pact with God. For it is by His command that I now open the gates, unleashing the fury of His vengeance… behold the power of truth for it burns its light up the sword of my brother.” “We don’t want people to come out and say, ‘They were great, but they’re into that devil shit,’” Only explained to Yeszista. “That’s not it, all of our songs are about going out and chasing the son of a bitch. That’s what it’s all about… if I made Kryst with a ‘C,’ people are gonna say, ‘He’s making fun of God.’ We’ve come in His name to do the job.”
Former cohorts would question the validity of the Caiafas’ sudden conversion to ultrapiousness (“They’re about as born again as Anton LaVey,” Bobby Steele snorted to MRR in 1992). Further doubts surrounded Jerry’s proclamation that Kryst the Conqueror was on par with Led Zeppelin and that the band’s music would sustain for a minimum of three decades. When push came to shove, “unleashing the fury” ultimately proved somewhat tricky for Kryst: The band never managed to employ a full-time singer as Jeff Scott Soto, the vocalist who sang on Deliver Us from Evil, was under contract to Swedish guitar sensation Yngwie Malmsteen at the time and could not commit fully to another project. In fact, Soto couldn’t even legally be credited in Deliver Us from Evil‘s liner notes—the vocalist listed on the sleeve is, in fact, Kryst the Conqueror.
Kryst the Conqueror has not been heard from since Jerry “Mocavius” Only won the right to the Misfits’ name in 1995. The new Misfits promptly hit the road, introducing the world to Republican singer Michale Graves, who is best remembered today as a vocal supporter of President George W. Bush. Hail Satan?
Say what you will about Glenn Danzig, the man could pen a lyric. In his work with the Misfits in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he wrote so many indelible ditties it would make your head spin. Gleefully raiding B horror movies from the 1950s and 1960s, the Lodi, NJ, native had a penchant for coming up with unexpectedly poetic wordsmithery (“Demon I am and face I peel,” etc.); the songs are so damn catchy that you’d remember half the lyrics even if you have no aptitude for that.
A Chicago musician and cartoonist going by “Jimmy Two Hands” has, since 2011, been paying tribute to the diminutive punker by mashing him up with Ziggy, “the world’s most lovable loser,” whose eponymous syndicated strip is so bland that only Woody Boyd from Cheers could find it utterly hilarious. Billed as a “series of unfunny comics about the foibles of a diminutive Glen [sic] Danzig,” the comic certainly lives up to that “unfunny” standard. The general idea is, adapt a a lyric by The Misfits (occasionally by Danzig) to a typically anodyne situation from the strip Ziggy. In some of the early strips there is reference to the real-life Glenn Danzig (as in this one or this one), but Jimmy Two Hands quickly realized that the focus was best placed on Misfits lyrics.
As the strip’s creator says, “I’ll keep doing these until I get bored with it or receive a cease and desist order from Danzig or that Ziggy guy,” who apparently is someone named Wilson. The strip was created by Tom Wilson, a former American Greetings executive, but in 1987 his son Tom Wilson II took it over. You’d think that the premise wouldn’t yield more than about ten cartoons, but give Jimmy Two Hands credit—there are several dozen of these things.