Nostalgia Reality Check: DANZIG LEGACY

Glenn Danzig brought his time machine to a theater near me. Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?
Publish date:
October 10, 2011
boys, punk rock, making out, bad girls, riot fest, skaters, straight edge, teenage

I would consider young-teen-me a latecomer to the punk world and an early adopter to the alternative scene. Whatever the hell that means. Really it means I chased and caught straight edge (non-racist) skinhead skater boys from fourteen to sixteen (1987-1989 to clarify) and made-out with them during (and for) 120 Minutes. Sometimes 360 minutes.

Man. That would be some Nostalgia Reality Check, huh? Making out on a couch for six hours with most of your clothes on? Eh, I’d say it’s safe to assume that magic can’t be recaptured. When I traded making-out-only for “other things” I pretty much never looked back. Those are some compelling “other things.”

So anyway, I had these teenaged punk days of the Misfits, Black Flag, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Naked Raygun (shush, it was Chicago), 7 Seconds, The Exploited, Germs, and you know, whatever someone played for me or I found at the record store. Of course, all the time spent listening to those bands together equals about 10 percent of the ear-time (hopelessly) devoted to The Smiths, but this isn’t about that.

Some punk bands endured the ages, transitioned from mix tapes to playlists, and plenty didn’t (don’t look so surprised, Naked Raygun). I’ve always had a special place in my little black heart for the Misfits and low-and-behold, a spectacle called “Danzig Legacy” came through town last Friday as part of annual music thing, “Riot Fest.”

“Danzig Legacy” promised and delivered fascinating l’il dark fellow, Glenn Danzig, performing as Danzig proper, as Samhain, AND with Doyle from Misfits doing Misfits’ songs. Jerry Only has a grudge and the rights to the name the Misfits, so dot dot dot.

Let’s talk about Danzig for a sec. Nineteen years ago next month, I saw- -- with my girl gang -- Kyuss and White Zombie open a show for Danzig on Thanksgiving Eve. I accidentally smoked PCP with roadies on the Danzig tour bus, and I hallucinated puking whole Cheetos from an empty stomach into the toilet where Danzig’s ass had most likely been. Those straight edge high school boys would be so ashamed.

Time flies. Faster than the cold blood I was convinced I could see pumping down my arms that night.

And other than a viral punch-out video and one of my favorite books ever, I’d all but lost track of Glenn Danzig’s career.

The show on Friday had been planned as a married-couple double date, our wedding present to genius-of-words Wendy McClure and her brand-new husband (and ex-bandmate of my hub$4Lyfe), Chris. A little Puerto Rican food, a stop at a coffee shop and we were off to the carefully orchestrated punk rock show sponsored by Red Bull and Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum. Both of which I simply do not have the constitution for any longer.

Coincidentally, or probably not, we discussed time travel movies over din-din. Good thing, because I was 14 for the rest of the night.

Hardcore band Youth of Today was one of the opening acts, and I was in full-blown straight edge skinhead skater boyfriend mode. Wow. I had NO IDEA I would get so excited to see old dudes jump around in hooded sweatshirts, waxing optimistic about change and animal rights. I was transported to a time when teenage boys smelling like sweaty puppies were dying to get into my bra. ZIII-III-IIIIII-IIIING.

Youth of Today was never my thing, but they played two perfect-for-me covers, Minor Threat by Minor Threat and Young ‘Til I Die by 7 Seconds. Aw shit. I’m still a 3rd generation fake punk rocker at 38 and a half.

For Danzig Legacy, I thoroughly came apart as the Danzig skull backdrop became the Samhain skull backdrop became the crimson ghost Misfits skull background. SO MUCH FUN. Danzig the dude was killing me with his swear words and his unfunny jokes and his grandpa-isms and his crazy-high energy level and accessibility that were totally new to me. Danzig Legacy should be a Vegas show. I’m SERIOUS.

And I will NEVER get mad at a skater dude, no matter how stupid the trick he does in the middle of the street in front of my moving car is. But my husband refuses to dry hump me, so you can go back, just not ALL THE WAY back.