(NOT) DEFENDING DANZIG (ANYMORE): BONUS EDITION. OR, “IT’S HARD TO HOLD A DANZIG LEGACY SET IN THE COLD NOVEMBER FEST.”
A couple weeks back, your bros at MetalSucks ran an epic, multi-day feature entitled “Defending Danzig,” in which we looked at several of Danzig’s dubious distinctions and questionable judgment calls from over the years, then judged them. Our conclusion at the time? While he’s not beyond reproach, at least Danzig gets off his ass and does something, so don’t hate the player — hate the game.
But those were simpler times.
At this weekend’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in Texas, Danzig revealed himself as a jive turkey whose conduct was way the fuck beyond defensible.
Friday, November 4, Danzig and pals were scheduled to close the night with a Danzig Legacy set featuring songs by Danzig, Samhain, and the Misfits. If you’re a diehard Danzig head, it’s the kind of rare show that’s worth buying a plane ticket for, jetting across the country, ponying up for pass, and plunking down cash for a hotel and car rental. But when he arrived in Tex-ass, Danzig wasn’t thinking about the fans. He was feeling shitty, and he proceeded to spread it around.
Long story short, Danzig was sick. True to his rhetoric, he refused to take a shot of vitamin B-12 from a doctor on hand. He reportedly demanded a bowl of French onion soup (which is fine; soup is good food) and — according to some accounts — a Wendy’s chicken sandwich. Then he bitched about how he didn’t feel like playing because he had a “deathbug” (which sounds kinda like a kool idea for a song title or Samhain tribute band). And it was all downhill from there.
(When news of the story broke , astute commenters noted that Misfits drummer Arthur Googy left the band after an argument with Danzig because the singer refused to buy him two burgers at McDonalds. Ah, how thirty years changes things — it’s always different when YOU’RE the one who wants a fast-food sandwich…)
After more grousing, Danzig agreed to take the stage at the outdoor show, but then he decided it was too windy and cold, cold. He didn’t want to crawl across the Fun Fun Fun Fest’s killing floor. So he leaned on the promoters to take valuable time and erect wind shields. Staring down a firm ten o’clock curfew, Danzig took the stage late, performed an abbreviated set, and only had room for two Misfits songs — which is fine, you know, ‘cuz everybody was really there to hear “Skincarver.”
When the promoters pulled the plug, Danzig acted like the crowd might riot. (Check out the video below for footage.) They did not. Good thing; if they knew the backstory, they might have rushed the stage. “Don’t blame me,” Danzig said in a clever move bordering on the Machiavellian, since they actually should have blamed him.
And seriously, all the questionable garb Danzig has worn on stage, and he draws the line at wearing a turtleneck ? And what looks more theatrical than singing while your hair is whipping in the wind? It’s a classic situation where a guy could have stepped up and been the hero of the day, but decided it was easier to take another way out.
Do you know what most people do when they’re sick and have a few people (not a few hundred or a few thousand) relying on them for a big day at work? Suck it up, go in, and do the best they can. Yes, Danzig is “the talent.” No, maybe he didn’t feel good. But you know what? They were giving him money to be there. And we’re guessing it was more than $15 an hour. A ten-year-old paperboy with a cold would have had the cajones to bundle up and brave the chilly weather for ninety minutes. And since the Texas set was his last scheduled show it’s not like he had a string of gigs lined up. I don’t know what his schedule was like for the next couple of days, but I’d be he had his operating nut covered for the week.
Were you at Fun Fun Fun Fest Friday? Have you traveled across state lines to see Danzig? Has Danzig completely turned his back on the fan experience? What are some other songs from the Danzig catalog that are now ripe for parody? Let us know in the comments section below!
D.X. Ferris is the author of 33 1/3: Reign in Blood, the first English-language book about Slayer, which is available cheap in hard copies and for the Kindle machines. (He’s been know to send bonus swag in exchange for a proof of purchase.) You can friend it on the Facebook, or follow his bullshit daily on the Tweeters: @dxferris and @SlayerBook.