The Misfits

Jerry only leads his version of The Misfits.
Jerry Shigeo

For 30 years the Misfits have been spreading their colloidal mix of punk, rockabilly, and horror-flick themes to ravenous "fiends" around the globe. Formed in 1977 by Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only in Lodi, New Jersey, the Misfits were punk rock's answer to the B movie. With a DIY ethos and a penchant for obscure movie references, they quickly gained a cult following with spooky-themed tunes such as "Halloween" and "Die, Die My Darling." But not until after their official breakup in 1983 did the popularity of their back catalogue, coupled with singer Danzig's solo projects, transform them from horror punk outcasts to iconic rock stars. Unfortunately most Misfits fans would never hear the band at its height: Danzig and Only spent the next 15 years mired in a nasty legal battle.

Finally, in 1997, Only won the right to use the Misfits name. He gathered an all-star lineup of former punk legends and went on a tear, releasing three albums in six years. Taking an almost comical approach to their original horror vibe, the "new look" Misfits might have lost a step in the punk department. Guttural wails were replaced by sing-along vocals; unspeakable evil was usurped by images of Frankenstein and the Wolfman. But whatever they lost in punk cred, they gained in a sort of lighthearted listenability. Their last album was composed of Fifties covers such as "Dream Lover" and "Monster Mash," and even if it's not the expected turn for a band whose idea of a dream lover was once an undead Marilyn Monroe, damn if it's not a little bit fun.

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