Heavy Metal Icon
Glenn Danzig is right there next to Ozzy Osbourne in terms of being an Icon in both heavy metal music, and American pop culture. His music is inspiring in it's uniqueness in both lyric and musical form and structure. Glenn has never been afraid to experiment with his image and his music, and if you buy into the image very much; you might think that Glenn's never been afraid of anything at all, Devils included.
While Glenn Danzig has never been a staple on American Radio, this has never been an issue for him in terms of music sales, concert tickets, and other merchandise sales. I've no idea how much money that he has; what I'm saying is that the man has a huge following of very loyal fans, and most everyone in the world seems to know who he is, despite only having exactly ONE song that I've ever heard played on FM.radio.
Glenn Danzig, like anyone with such an over the top image or persona; is also someone that you are likely to hear all sorts of rumors about, and some of them might even have a grain of truth to them. I think that it's important to note here that the IMAGE that Danzig has created is what is so intoxicating, and compelling. I'm positive that Glenn Danzig is a pretty cool guy, but I'm also reasonably certain that any time that you see him on a stage, in an interview on some cable television program, or in a magazine. . . .that what you are seeing is the Glenn Danzig IMAGE, not the real Glenn Danzig. He is, after all, a business man; and the world, after all - tis indeed a stage. I hope that made sense to you.
Years of Head Banging Experience
Glenn Danzig has been doing this a long time. He's basically been in the entertainment industry since the year 1977, and at that time he was a mere SIXTEEN years old, can you imagine being on stage, and a professional recording artist at SIXTEEN YEARS OLD? When I'd just got to the age that allowed me to legally drive in the state of Texas, Glenn Danzig, at 16, was in New York and New Jersey recording Horror Punk albums with The Misfits, my favourite punk metal, or Horror punk band of all time.
Cough Cool, the a Young Glenn Danzig, with The Misfits.
Thirteen, Written by Glenn Danzig, for Johnny Cash.
The Early Life Of Glenn Danzig
Glenn Danzig was born as Glenn Allen Anzalone in Lodi, New Jersey, the third of four sons born to a Protestant family of Italian, German, and Scottish heritage. Very typical of what we respectfully call an "American mutt," or even a "Heinze 57." From the proper birth surname I believe it's safe to say that Glenn is heavy on the Italian, and from the chosen stage and professional name, medium on the German.
According to Wikipedia, young Glenn actually started off in the music business at eleven years of age, as a rodie; or stage set up and tear down "man." It's debatable to me that that job should be considered part of the music business, but what can not be disputed is that young Mr. Anzalone was involved in music then; and how one could even be allowed to do much as a rodie at eleven years of age, I don't know; but suffice it to say that Glenn Danzig had started learning actual music as a child, on both the clarinet and the piano. While Glenn had never had any sort of formal voice training at all, he has always been recognized as an individual with spectacular vocal prowess and skill. The baritone of Johnny Cash, who he'd much later even write a song for, and Mr. Cash would record that song, comes to mind. Jim Morrison is another name that is is thought of when hearing Glenn's vocals; and I'd even read that Jim Morrison is Glenn's biological father, in one of those no account trash magazines that are in every grocery store. People have insinuated that Glenn Danzig had set off to sing and sound like Elvis Presley, but Glenn Danzig will tell you that he'd always enjoyed listening to, and imitating the vocals of another fine singer, Roy Orbison.
The Last Caress.
The latter part of the 1970s saw America and English heavy music and musicians, evolving from the blues based metal of bands like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, into something that moved faster, seemed to contain more violence; and even anarchy, and this is what became known as Punk music. Though the many musical styles that Glenn Danzig would explore, and still explores in his career would also involve the older, and more traditional blues metal; the band The Misfits would be a decidedly punk band, and on top of that, Danzig and the other Misfits would create their own version and style of punk, and that is known as Horror Punk.
The music of The Misfits is mostly fast, very fast, furious; and crude. It is head banging, acid tripping, push ups and fighting music. I've blared it out of every stereo or computer I've ever owned or had access to. The lyrics are forever within one of two realms, and that is B Grade Horror and Science Fiction movies; and Kennedy era atomic political scandals. When Glenn Danzig set about to try to get a contract for his band, The Misfits, he was promptly told that he'd never have a career in music. But we've all heard similar stories about other artists, and Glenn Danzig's story is one where talent and persona won out; and I'm thankful for that.
Despite the tough guy image that Glenn was growing even then, and the almost un-printable lyrics to songs like The Last Caress (trust me on that, Google wouldn't like it) Mr. Glenn Danzig, on a night in 1979, so the story goes, brought an older, grandmotherly looking woman into the studio during a recording session. He was worried about her, and her son, Sid Vicious, had just died.
I've listened to The Misfits more than any other Danzig fronted band. I just love The Misfits. The first album by The Misfits that I'd bought, I bought the first of the two 20 song compilation albums on CD while going to Junior College at Tyler Junior College. I'd always known that Glenn Danzig was the singer of The Misfits, and I'd always heard of The Misfits, but I was unfamiliar with their music. I bought that album after the image intoxication that came after an acid trip, and the new live video of the song "Mother," off of the first Danzig album. Well, I almost threw The Misfits album into the garbage because I was so disappointed with it. It didn't sound anything like Danzig, the band, and it sounded like it was recorded in someone's New Jersey garage, and it probably was. I didn't see the beauty in it, and I didn't catch the vibe it presented. I didn't throw it away though, and two hits of some potent blotter later; I would seldom want to hear anything else.
By the early 1980s though, Glenn had outgrown the style of music and lyrics that The Misfits featured, and he'd wanted to both create a darker, and more experimental sound; and always, Glenn Danzig's bands feature ever changing sounds and styles, and soon, after meeting bassist Eerie Von, he would move on.
In My Grip, Samhain
The ancient Celts celebrated the New Year on the first day of November, and that day of celebration, called Samhain, is a major influence on the holiday that is more likely to be celebrated here in America today, Halloween, on the preceding day. Comprised of members from various other punk rock groups, the band Samhain released it's debut album, Initium; advertising itself as a "supergroup," of sorts. Someone might have to forgive me here, but I'm not aware of any musicians involved in punk that could be called virtuoso musicians; but that doesn't take away from the intensity, and excitement of such musicians, and their music; in fact, it had always seemed to me that punk rock music was meant to be completely different from the album rock music era that preceded it.
Of course I own all three Samhain albums; and I especially enjoy Initium, and November Coming Fire; but the lyrical content and mood of the music is very dark and brooding, and often angry. It is music that is very different from the music by The Misfits, but there are some songs from the earlier group that Samhain would record. My personal favourites from these albums are the songs Archangel, which is obviously about Lucifer and the Anti Christ, and In My Grip. I find that scream therapy does me much good at times; and I think you all should try it too.
Blood and Tears, from the Second Danzig Album
- DANZIG | VEROTIK
Glenn Danzig also draws comics, and this link goes to his mature themed comic book site. It's probably not very "comic" in the traditional sense of the word.
1987 Through 1994, the Danzig Classic Years.
It's pretty sad that it happened this way, and I say that because the first Danzig album came out in either late 87' or 88'; and so I should have already been aware of that music. Of course I was aware that the band Danzig existed, I just didn't know that I would love that music so much. I learned about all things Glenn Danzig while I was going to school at Tyler Junior College, in Tyler, Texas; a town so conservative that you have to have no throwing arm to speak of to be able to throw a rock in any direction, and not break out a window in somebody's church. It was a time of great growth for me, and the LSD shipment came in like clockwork each and every Wednesday evening. I shared a two bedroom two bathroom apartment upstairs in a complex called "Strawberry Ridge," with three other guys that I'd always know from home. We had cable tv, and I spent all of my extra money on beer, and compact discs, someone else bought all the weed; and if we weren't watching movies, then we were forever smoking, drinking, and listening to whatever music I'd just bought. I still passed my classes. I even earned an extra buck or twenty by writing papers for my apartment mates. . . .but I think all of them wound up dropping all of their classes altogether before it was over and done with.
So anyway, it was during this time that Danzig released an album call Thrall/Demonsweat Live, which is an album with an ep's worth of new studio material, and some live cuts. They made a video of some live footage, and played it behind the original studio version of the song, Mother, and that was a super huge metal video that year, and was played constantly on MTV, or "empty V," as I prefer to call it now. I bought the original, or first Danzig album, and a few hits of acid later we were all way into it; but when the song Possession played, we all got very frightened by the seemingly subliminal chants of "Incubus" that is there in the background of the tune. Oh, it's there even when you're not fried on acid, just give it a listen. It's not even too far back in the mix, we'd just the none of us ever noticed it before; and it was causing us to jump away from the speakers, as if some fallen angel might jump out of them, and abuse us on the spot. Fun times!
Concerning the first Danzig album, my opinion is that it is one of the greatest albums in all of heavy metal. My opinions are that it, and it's sound and style, completely unique, is only equalled by works such as Metallica's And Justice For All, Black Sabbath's Heaven and Hell, and Sepultura's Chaos A.D. And though the original line up for the group Danzig had such a tremendous sound, Glenn, as he is forever doing; changed the tone and the themes up for the Danzig II album, and he'd made that album to incorporate a lot more traditional blues styled metal in it, and even the wonderful ballad, Blood and Tears. If you watch the Blood and Tears video, you see all of those images of the latter years of Elvis, and of course, the implication is that Glenn is trying to sound like Elvis; but he's not, at least I don't think. I think Glenn was doing what any sane man would do, and working his image for some pu$$y, and can you blame him for that? I damn sure can't.
With the Danzig III album, Glenn would bring it back to a more Samhain - ish sound and lyrical mood, but he's still working the female dollar there too, with the female fan favourite, Sistinas. Also prominent on that dark, brooding metal album are the songs Godless, and Dirty Black Summer. I've not a clue what Glenn's strategies and plans are with his image, and believe me, he's definitely spent some time working on , and selling an image. What gets me, what I don't understand. . ..is that a lot of the music by The Misfits was just. . .you couldn't take the lyrics seriously at all. It's crazy, it's art, it's fun, and it's wonderful; but you can't take it seriously. The on to the Samhain, and everything is so dark, or trying to be. . .that you go, "damn!" But when Glenn throws something as silly as the song Bodies into the mix in an otherwise pretty dark and serious seeming album like Danzig III; I'm just left scratching my head, and going, "What the fuck?"
Danzig Shopping List.
Over The Top.
After the first several Danzig albums, and the super hit song Mother; the image of the man, Glenn Danzig just went over the top. Now, I don't know if it was something that was intentional on his part, and meant as a show biz strategy, or not; but that is what I like to think that it is. I can enjoy that, appreciate that; and respect that, however, if the image that has been created is something that Glenn really thinks of as his personal reality. . .then that is very sad. I can enjoy his head banging, fist pumping, screaming in anger; and I can relate to all of that, and work it out of myself in that fashion, and so should you should you be so inclined to do so. However, you can't take lyrics like those for the tune, The Last Caress, seriously, if you do take that seriously; you're soon for death row, and especially here in Texas. For that reason, I do declare Glenn Danzig as a very successful niche marketing and showbiz genius, with great taste in music, a tremendous vocal skill, and a fantabulous ability to create great music. I wish I could do all that, rather than just talk about it. But regardless, the next several videos will be for laughs, and I'll never forget that I've spent more than one night of my life in convulsive laughter with a friend as we'd watch the Danzig parodies over, and over, and over, and over again. Tis good for the soul.
Third Party Parody.
Trust me, the Third Party Parody, executed well, and by two hot chicks in a grocery store; it's rare. The Third Party Parody featuring Damn Hot Brunettes in a grocery store on your behalf is an honour that is so rarely bestowed in America; that only a threesome of the parody making brunettes ,and I, Wesman Todd Shaw, could top the original offering. Forget the fact that I'm not Glenn Danzig.
Hot Chicks Doing A Parody of a Danzig Parody.
The Obnoxious Interviews, and the Knockout
Another of the many intricacies of the mighty Glenn Danzig legend, and these do not pertain to his music, but the persona; is the legendary obnoxious idiot that he appears to be in his interviews; and who could ever forget the time he got knocked to the floor by that giant fat guy?
Danzig On Books
Another Asshole Interview
Glenn Danzig is a great American Artist, his art is not limited to his music, it overflows into his comic books; and indeed, his stage persona is a work of art. He's still creating these works of art to this day; and I hope that this presentation here today has gave you something towards understanding it.
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