Misfits' bassist and current vocalist Jerry Only (born Gerald Caiafa) has made a career out of playing dress-up. With his ghoulish getups and pointy, trademark Eddie Munster tribute "devilock" 'do, Only sports one of punk's most recognizable looks. His band is an innovator of the horror-punk movement, an antiestablishment culture combined with a zombie aesthetic. It was the perfect fit for Only, who joined forces with Glenn Danzig to form the macabre Misfits in 1977.
Based out of Danzig and Only's hometown of Lodi, New Jersey, the seminal group formed from a mutual appreciation for grade-B horror flicks, '50s harmonies, and simple, three-chord progressions. In the early '80s, the band's campy and crude songs hit the punk scene -- more concerned with social upheaval and political unrest than having a good time -- like a bolt of lightning. Punk rock was taking itself way too seriously when Only and Danzig introduced their everyday-is-Halloween, over-the-top brand of horror punk. In this serious climate, the group released its 1982 debut, Walk Among Us. Considered an instant classic, the album's rollicking riffs, throwback verses, and, most notably, Danzig's mammoth bellows cemented the Misfits' place in rock 'n' roll's pantheon.
Although Danzig and Only would go their separate ways one year later, the band's legacy lives on, with notable acts such as Gun N' Roses, Pennywise, Metallica, Superchunk, and countless others covering the band's tunes. A continual wave of bands paying tribute to the Misfits' dramatic songs and the prevalence of their skull logo has led to legions of new fans 35 years later. Chances are you know at least five guys under age 35 who have the Misfits' iconic logo tattooed on their flesh.
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