Posts Tagged Famous Monsters

Misfits: ‘Dig Up Her Bones’

Oh, like it was going to be anyone else? I don’t give a flying foxfuck that Jerry Only has prostituted, mass marketed and slapped his band’s logo over almost as much merchandise as KISS – the Misfits are legendary for a reason, the reason being they were Fucking Amazing.

Unlike every Camden emo-kid sporting a Misfits t-shirt, I can actually boast that I’ve seen the legendary ghouls play live – albeit by accident. Rewind to June 1999: I was just one of a small gang of teenage metalheads hanging around Reading (yes, as in: Reading Festival), going to any and every gig going. As a commuter satellite of London, Reading didn’t always get gigs, so anything even slightly rock or metal taking place, and we’d go along. Our lives revolved around a venue on Gun Street known as the Alleycat (which would later be re-branded as The Fez Club as part of the Po Na Na Empire, before being re-furbed into the ghastly Sakura). It was a warm Wednesday night in Summer – school had just broken up, and we saw a large queue of skull costumed punks had built up outside the venue. We investigated.

Even as stupid teenagers, we’d heard of the Misfits. They’d just put out Famous Monsters, and had been getting a few column inches in Metal Hammer as a result – Cradle of Filth frontman and then-columnist of the Hammer, Dani Filth, had reviewed it and given it 13 out of 10. We were the only people there without full Misfits make-up, and we only knew about two songs. My abiding memory of the gig is my mate, “Peter Hillbilly”, jokingly slamming me in the mosh pit so I flew into the back of the largest, most obese human I have ever seen. The man made Rik Waller look anorexic, and clad only in a pair of black lycra cycling shorts, with his baby-like skin slick and greasy with sweat. I somehow slid straight up him, and ended up crowdsurfing right into Jerry Only’s ridiculous shoes.

Which is why I’ve gone for a song featuring Michale Graves as frontman, rather than with The Misfits iconic frontman, Glenn Danzig. Because Graves was my Misfits frontman. Standing on the barrier at the Alleycat, shaking his head from side to side like a dog with rabies, he’s my abiding memory of that Misfits gig.

And I didn’t pick ‘Scream’ because it’s too fucking obvious.

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White Zombie: ‘El Phantasmo And The Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama’

White Zombie

Deep down right to my bones and my blood, I love White Zombie. Their masterwork, 1995’s Astro-Creep: 2000 – Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head (to give its full title), is one of those rare albums where every track fires perfect.

The reasons for posting about White Zombie are three-fold. 1) The aforementioned fact that they are AWESOME. 2) They’ve just announced the final tracklisting of Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, the CD/DVD boxset due out next month (if you know me personally, it’s on my Christmas list, HINT HINT). And 3)? Well, there’s no-one more Halloween-ish than Rob Zombie & his gang of carnage-wreakers, so they fit Halloween-theme week pretty damn tight.

White Zombie…on Letterman?


Sadly, as with most of the bands I seem to be covering at the moment, it didn’t last forever. The band collapsed in 1998, without ever releasing a studio album. There was a remix album, but that was never that satisfying. Which is why the release of the new box set is so damn exciting if, like me, you’re a total fan-boy.

What frontman Rob Zombie went on to do is common knowledge – a series of solo albums, that moved further away from the classic White Zombie sound with each subsequent release, and his current work as a film-maker, his last project being a re-imagining of – yep, Halloween. What’s less well-know is what happened to the other members of the band.

Drummer John Tempesta carried on drumming with Rob Zombie at first, but later went back to being a sticksman for hire. Aftar appearing on a number of projects, including Helmet (!), he’s currently banging the skins for The Cult. Nice work if you can get it.

Guitarist J (aka Jay Yuenger) is pottering along as a producer, although he’s never produced anything that lives up to the records he helped make as a member of White Zombie. Although one of the acts he’s produced is Rock City Morgue, a New Orleans 50’s flecked voodoo mob, who boast on bass duties….

…White Zombie’s former bassist, Sean Yseult. When White Zombie went belly-up, she first formed Famous Monsters, a psycho-surf band with an image better than their tunes, before later joining Rock City Morgue. She currently also runs a fashion business, Yseult Designs. And is an occasional touring member of The Cramps. The Cramps!

And my choice of track? Well, anything off Astro Creep: 2000 could do, but as far as song titles go, you’ve got to admit that it’s hard to top ‘El Phantasmo And The Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama’

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