The Police Gazette Line™: Trump Edition

Back in May we posted an article explaining how Donald Trump is eager to be impeached and removed from office. We wrote, “Trump the performance artist continues. In fact, he is the Andy Kaufman of presidents. And any minute the audience is going to become so frustrated and outraged, he will have to be escorted off stage with security protection.” In recent days, he’s shown he’s eager to accelerate that process. At this rate, a fast-track impeachment or a resignation in a huff will happen sooner rather than later. So with that in mind, we are bringing back our Police Gazette Line™ betting odds exclusively for this situation.

As of August 16th, we calculated a statistical impossibility that Trump will be president on March 4, 2018—considering a 1-in-100,000 chance a virtual impossibility. So our odds cover each week until then. We will update only if something happens we feel significantly changes the odds.

The second column shows the odds Trump will still be president on that date. Considering the original posted odds on August 16th, any day Trump is president past December 2nd is a victory for Trump supporters!

Week of:
08/20/17   99:1
08/27/17   92:1
09/03/17   85:1
09/10/17   78:1
09/17/17   71:1
09/24/17   64:1
10/01/17   57:1
10/08/17   50:1
10/15/17   43:1
10/22/17   36:1
10/29/17   29:1
11/05/17   22:1
11/12/17   15:1
11/19/17   8:1
11/26/17   1:1
12/03/17   1:4
12/10/17   1:9
12/17/17   1:24
12/24/17   1:54
12/31/17   1:299
01/07/18   1:999
01/14/18   1:2,499
01/21/18   1:4,999
01/28/18   1:7,499
02/04/18   1:9,999
02/11/18   1:29,999
02/18/18   1:49,999
02/25/18   1:74,999
03/04/18   1:99,999

The Police Gazette Top 5 Most Underrated Beatles Songs

Will Not Find Our No. 1 on Any Other List.

Various publications have floated lists of the most underrated Beatles songs. But strangely, they all miss the most obvious choice. Part of the problem may lie in their definition of “underrated.” To us the term refers to the breadth of the gap between public opinion and the song’s actual quality. So a song need not be great. It just needs to be a lot better than people think. With that, here are the Police Gazette five most underrated Beatle songs of all time:

5. “Within You Without You”

This is a fairly well-regarded (though not universally) George Harrison composition from the Sgt Pepper album. Its status as underrated comes mainly from two things: 1) It completely revolutionized Western popular music. Harrison used exclusively Indian instruments, Indian musical styles, and lyrics with Eastern-religion themes, but pulled in just enough familiar Western constructions to make it palatable. It was the first time anything like that had been done in pop music and opened the flood gates to the incorporation of World music into Western pop. 2) Harrison did all this without embarrassing himself. It’s a high-wire act that a lesser talent would have stumbled on.

4. “You Can’t Do That”

This one has suffered, perhaps, from its mildly misogynistic lyrics. But that aside, it is the Beatles’ best example of a “cow bell” song—“Drive My Car” notwithstanding. And everyone loves cow-bell songs. So since it’s the Beatles doing it, therefore, it has to be great. There are versions of this song without any cowbell, but they didn’t need Christopher Walken to tell them to put it in. Nothing got past these guys.

3. “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”

This song from the “White Album” finds John Lennon entering the phase where half his efforts feel like throwaways. Except, since it’s Lennon, nothing is a throwaway. There’s so much going on here, we can’t discuss it all. Suffice to say Lennon invents punk rock with this song, yet it still lends itself to becoming a killer New Orleans boogie when covered by Fats Domino. Unbelievable.

2. “It’s All Too Much”

George Harrison was clearly a secondary song-writing talent within the Beatles (he was the Tony Lazzeri to Lennon and McCartney’s Gehrig and Ruth). But every once in a while he could come up with one that was an unquestionable equal to the big guys’. “Something” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” come to mind. Somehow, though, “It’s All Too Much” regularly slips through the cracks when considering George’s AAA-rated contributions. The song is a soaring anthem that never loses steam, raising tension and energy to a level it never relinquishes. But it still has room for folksy lyrics like “Show me that I’m everywhere, but get me home for tea.” An all-time classic.

1. “Hold Me Tight”

The most underrated Beatles song of all time achieves its distinction through a combination of its being consistently at or near the bottom of most people’s rankings of the Beatle oeuvre and the fact that if you only gave it a chance, you’d find it’s actually perfectly crafted and doing exactly what the Beatles intended it to do: It’s a giant ball of gooey fun that still really rocks. One Beatle scholar has posited that EVERY Beatle song contains some sort of intentional goof or in-joke. To us, “Hold Me Tight” represents the purest musical form of that theory. Relax and give this song a few careful listens. If you still hate it, then you probably also hate fun, the Beatles, and music in general.

Muhammad Ali and the Beatles meet as both were on the verge of taking over the world. After this photo shoot, Ali called the Beatles “sissies.” Very talented sissies.

Police Gazette’s First New “Hitler Is Alive” Article Since 1972

One Last Piece of Hitler-Suicide “Evidence” to be Debunked.
Police Gazette Calls on Russian Federation to Release Hitler’s Jawbone.

The first two seasons of the History Channel show Hunting Hitler have done a spectacular job of demonstrating not just how Adolf Hitler could have escaped Germany at the end of World War II, made it to South America, and lived there in secret for many years, but also how many top-ranking Nazis did exactly that.

Beginning in 1951, the National Police Gazette became the first major news outlet to propose the same thing. So with the third season of Hunting Hitler set to air late this year or early next, we’d like to address the one bottleneck yet remaining in the scenario of Hitler’s escape: the activities in and around the Führerbunker in late April and early May of 1945.

The first salvo in the Police Gazette’s “Hitler Is Alive” series appeared in the September 1951 issue.

Let’s review: Adolf Hitler escaped Germany at the end of World War II and lived for many years in South America. One of the facts that leads us to this conclusion is there is no evidence proving otherwise.

The one possible piece of evidence that could maybe lay the question to rest is a chunk of jawbone with real teeth that the Russians claim they recovered from Hitler’s body in May 1945, though they never publicly said so until 1968. This item has a 72-year chain-of-evidence problem that might be insurmountable. But even so, it—and accompanying artificial dental work—is the last remaining piece of physical evidence that’s being used as proof Hitler died in Berlin in 1945. As such, the Police Gazette is calling on the Russian government to finally release the jawbone and teeth so they can be independently examined and DNA tested. If the Russians are so sure they are Hitler’s, what do they have to lose?

Our letter to the Russian embassy requesting release of the Hitler jawbone.

Until then, we are left with the investigations conducted by the Police Gazette from 1951 to 1972, and those conducted currently by Hunting Hitler, that reveal it wasn’t just possible but likely Hitler escaped.

For 23 years after the end of World War II the Russians were cagey when the subject of Hitler’s body came up. At times they would even say they never found a trace and considered him still alive. The Police Gazette, of course, took that ball and ran with it through the end zone, into the clubhouse, and out of the stadium. So maybe it was 17 years of unrelenting “Hitler Is Alive” exposés by the Gazette that finally got the Russians to throw in the towel and say in 1968 that, yes, actually they had found Hitler’s body on May 4, 1945, two days after they entered the Reich Chancellery. And not only that, they performed an autopsy on it on May 8th. And not only that, they located two of Hitler’s dental workers, got descriptions of his dental work, and had him positively identified by May 11th. Case closed.

So with everything buttoned up, they did the next logical thing: bury the body at an address about 70 miles west of Berlin. But wait, there’s more. Two years after the shocking revelation that they had Hitler’s body all along, the Russians decided to completely incinerate it and scatter the ashes. Or maybe not completely. Maybe they saved pieces of the jawbone and a piece of the skull. In 2000, they put on a public exhibit of the items. The skull piece was there. But there was only a photograph of the jawbone and dentures, which were deemed important pieces of evidence that must remain protected.

The items claimed by the Russians to be Hitler’s real teeth, jawbone, and false teeth.

Then in 2009, the skull piece was sent to the United States for DNA testing, and—is anyone surprised—was shown to not only NOT belong to Hitler, it belonged to a woman about 30 years old. So then we’re told, “Okay, that one was found outside the bunker in 1946. So it’s possible it wasn’t Hitler’s.”

After all this, we’re left right back at the beginning. No physical evidence, just the word of the Russians who had 23 years to reverse-engineer a jawbone with natural teeth and various dentures and constructions based on Hitler’s known dental records and interviews with dental staff who’d spent upwards of 10 years in Soviet prisons. Meanwhile, Hitler’s chief dentist Hugo Blaschke was released by the Americans in 1948, but died in 1959, well before the release in 1968 of the Russian bombshell. He’d provided descriptions of Hitler’s teeth, but had never been asked to directly view the Russian evidence.

This is to point out the inherent unreliability of anything released by the Russians, but especially Soviet Russians, and most especially Stalinist Soviet Russians. Some folks might not remember that Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union were Kim Jong Un and North Korea. Their main forms of communication were deception, unreliability, and belligerence. To take their word for anything without independent examination of physical evidence is just a non-starter.

So with that piece of non-proof out of the way, we turn to the other source pointed to by those who support the suicide theory: the large number of witnesses who knew about or were in the area of the alleged suicide—though nobody actually saw it happen. For the following timeline we make use of Hitler’s Last Day Minute by Minute by Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie, themselves supporters of the suicide theory.

In the days prior to the event, Hitler was going around telling everyone in sight he was going to commit suicide. At 1:30am on April 30th—the fateful day—he tells “about 25 guards and servants.” At 2:00am he tells a group of doctors and nurses. At 2:45pm he tells a group of secretaries and “other staff members.” Of course, he’s already informed his closest aides and assistants: Martin Bormann, Heinz Linge, Otto Günsche, Joseph Goebbels, etc. But why would it have been necessary to personally tell so many other people unless the object was to establish a cover story for when these people eventually got captured and interrogated, most likely by the Russians?

So if a fake suicide was planned, when might a switch have taken place? In 1951, the Police Gazette turned up indications that a live double had been substituted the evening before who had been subjected to a procedure called a “silk-cord operation” by Hitler physician Dr Ludwig Stumpfegger, the same doctor who would later administer lethal doses of cyanide to the Goebbels children. Upon further analysis, the most likely point of the switch is at the moment of the “suicide.” The farther back a switch takes place, the larger the number of people who would have had to be complicit and/or the more convincing a double would have had to be during meetings with top generals and aides. It would work best if no one was required to lie under interrogation and the double was already dead.

However, just by way of logical exercise, if anyone in the bunker were brought into the scheme, Linge would have been the first choice, followed by Bormann and Günsche. Bormann is a special case who will be dealt with later, but Linge and Günsche were both captured by the Russians and spent 10 years in custody. If the two of them had any knowledge of Hitler’s faked suicide, you can bet the Russians would have gotten it out of them. Which leads to an interesting side issue. Suppose Linge and Günsche were in on the scheme and subsequently spilled the beans to the Russians. Would the Soviet Russians under Josef Stalin have taken that information and run with it to the British and Americans? Not on your previous existence! To this day it is common Russian practice to hold any proprietary information close to the vest. If they knew—and the other Allies didn’t—that Hitler was still alive it would have given Russia an intelligence and geopolitical advantage they would not have blown by making that knowledge public. Then, during the course of their 10 years as Russia’s guests, Linge and Günsche would be coached about what to say when they were returned West—not unlike what actually did happen with Hitler dental workers Kaethe Heusemann and Fritz Echtmann. Their usefulness would be greater as repatriated citizens of West Germany, spreading the gospel of Hitler’s suicide, than in remaining prisoners in Russia.

In the end, however, if Linge and Günsche had been in on the plot it’s very unlikely they would have been allowed to remain in a position where they’d be captured. The last thing Hitler would want is for Stalin, himself the psychopathic leader of a country that just lost tens of millions of its citizens to the Nazi invasion, to be turning over every rock on earth looking for him. Linge and Günsche would have either been killed or themselves provided with a safe route of escape.

So the most likely scenario goes like this: At 1:30pm—exactly two hours before Hitler’s supposed suicide—the bunker’s switchboard operator Rochus Misch spots in a hallway of the Chancellery above the bunker the head of the Gestapo Heinrich Müller with two “high ranking” SS officers. He fears they are there to “silence” any witnesses to the coming suicide—Hitler himself has already told over three dozen people that’s what he’s planning to do. But no silencing ever takes place. The reason for Müller and the officers’ presence is never explained. Müller is seen in the area of the bunker again the following day. Then he is not seen. And he is never seen again.

The Gestapo, which was a division of the SS, was Nazi Germany’s secret police, specializing in security and counterintelligence. The SS as a whole was Hitler and the Nazis’ domestic-military protection and security force. If anyone in the country knew the safest routes and safest places at any given moment, it was Müller and high-ranking officers of the SS. If anyone in the country knew how to secretly move dead bodies in and live bodies out, it was Müller and high-ranking officers of the SS. And here they were, showing up two hours before Hitler’s planned “suicide” and then disappearing the following day, never to be seen again.

Therefore, with the planning and assistance of the Gestapo and SS, the switch happens at 3:30pm on April 30th. With Hitler and Eva Braun set to bite their respective cyanide capsules at the same time, it would not have been difficult for him to trick her into biting hers while he remained alive. With Eva gone, the Hitler lookalike is brought in, possibly already dead. In discussions with one of his physicians Dr Werner Haase, Hitler had decided on a very odd method for his and Eva’s suicides. She was to simply bite on the cyanide capsule. But he was to bite on a cyanide capsule at the same moment he shot himself in the head. Cyanide is very effective and instantly lethal. Why bother with the literal overkill of also a gunshot to the head? If Hitler had been so concerned with not leaving parts of himself that could be used as trophies, why take an unnecessary step almost guaranteed to leave your blood all over the room?

One effect of cyanide is it causes the face to contort, making the person look not quite like who they usually are. It’s likely the double had been given cyanide not just to kill him but to contort his face and chalk up any lack of resemblance to the real Hitler to the effects of the poison. Then the gunshot is most likely a signal that the switch has been made and it is time to move to the next steps. The real Hitler has been spirited away by the time Linge and Bormann enter the room at 3:40 or so. Linge, who was closest to the body, later said he did not even look at Hitler’s face before wrapping him in a blanket.

Besides Linge and Günsche, Martin Bormann was the closest to Hitler prior to the Führer entering his study for the “final” time as well as after the “suicide” took place. Bormann, of course, disappeared after escaping the bunker the following day. Artur Axmann, a member of his party who was captured by the Russians, claimed to have last seen Bormann dead near Lehrter train station. But no body was found. The Police Gazette subsequently turned up evidence Bormann was living in South America, a situation the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had great fun with by having Bormann, as a “Paraguayan gambler,” claim to have found the fifth golden ticket. Even more magically, Bormann’s remains turned up near the train station in 1972, after 27 years of searches found nothing. There were traces of soil on the skeleton that were not common in that area of Germany. But this is all a subject for another article.

One final direct eyewitness at the time of the “suicide” was Magda Goebbels, mother of the six children who were about to be killed. She was allowed to see Hitler briefly just after he entered his study. But the next day she committed suicide with her husband Joseph, so no testimony from her was possible.

So here we are. All the relevant testimony and documents that we have are unreliable. But there is one piece of alleged physical evidence, the jawbone with teeth. If real, this is the one item that could provide incontestable proof that Hitler died. However, because of the number of years that passed between April 1945 and when its existence was revealed, not to mention the number of years between then and now, the question of when and where Hitler died might remain open regardless. And that, as well, would be the subject of another article….

Hitler’s Führerbunker study almost exactly how it looked in April 1945.

Visit Amazon and get all the Police Gazette‘s original “Hitler Is Alive!” reporting collected together in one place.

Let the Boss Battle Begin!

The Trump Presidency Enters Its Endgame.

Donald Trump’s real goal as president becomes more clear with each passing day. All he wants is for the rest of us to “Do your jobs!” Political organizations, mainstream media outlets, and a majority of the general public have been failing this nation increasingly for decades. Trump just sees himself as the defibrillator shock to the body politic that will get it to wake up and do what it’s supposed to.

In August 2015, we published an endorsement of Donald Trump for president. Our analysis concluded if anyone could cut through Washington paralysis and accomplish significant progress, it was Trump. It was assumed the—often hilarious—craziness that characterized the campaign would be exchanged for a sober determination to get down to serious work at exactly 12:00pm on January 20th.

He had demonstrated a long track record of successes and big accomplishments with his own company. But it’s a certainty he did not achieve those successes by employing the same bull-in-a-china-shop methods he’s been using since he became president. In fact, the pro-wrestling hysterics that Trump mastered during the campaign have continued with not so much as a hiccup. It’s become clear Trump’s intention is not to lead us out of the wilderness, but rather to continue wallowing in it.

We’ve quoted Don King who said “Trump is not a divider; he’s an exposer.” During the campaign Trump hatched out all the poisons that lurked in the political mud of America. With glee, he pulled out and shoved under our noses all the culture’s dirty laundry. But this ironic exposing has continued unimpeded. Except now that he has the power of the presidency, such activities don’t merely reveal social disorders, they create real-life suffering and consequences. Trump shows not a single hint of altering this approach, and some fear the worst.

Many have compared Trump and his associates to Hitler and the Nazis. Such comparisons, of course, are highly overused. As German chancellor Angela Merkel recently had to point out to Turkish president Erdogan, calling someone a Nazi trivializes the actual crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis. But sometimes a comparison might be apt if considering certain elements. For instance, Adolf Hitler was not a military leader who seized power in a coup. He was a skilled politician who rose to power through a democratic system. Appealing directly to both the aspirations and paranoias of the citizenry, he accused the current government—the Weimar Republic—of being weak and ineffectual, particularly in the face of unfair treatment by foreign countries. He promised to return Germany to its former greatness, to reverse the influence of non-Germans within its borders, and painted intellectuals and journalists as liars. This campaign allowed Hitler to build popular support, though not a majority, but enough to get within range to take advantage of a quirk in the electoral system that would put him over the top. Sound familiar?

But here is where the similarity with Donald Trump ends. Just because someone uses the political tactics Hitler used in order to get into power, it does not necessarily make them Hitler in practice. It was a textbook political approach that most Republicans and a few Democrats have been using a light version of for decades. That Trump put the method on a quintuple dose of steroids and blasted it out of the shadows for everyone to see does not make him the only one to have used it in American politics. In fact, we are kidding ourselves if we look at Trump as an anomaly, that everything will be alright once he goes away.

From the day Donald Trump descended his escalator into the presidential campaign we knew exactly what he was up to. So our endorsement was based on everything that had happened prior to that day. For 15 years before becoming ruler of Germany, Adolf Hitler was screaming about the Jews, how war was good for men and built their character, and about the Jews some more. In other words, everything he eventually ended up doing. From the day World War I ended, Hitler dedicated his life to the dream of getting rid of Jews and seeing the German military kick ass on Europe. This was his sole occupation. So anyone who endorsed this guy by 1933 could not say they didn’t know his intentions.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, was a real-estate developer for over 40 years before he finally ran for president. He didn’t make political statements often, and when he did they were a mishmash of liberal and conservative views that changed almost with the weather. His main focus was his business ventures, which he was very good at. At a young age he became skilled at cutting through obstacles and accomplishing big projects at prime locations in major cities around the world. So it was Trump’s obvious acumen as a successful manager of major projects that we based our endorsement upon. That and the fact that he was also so damn entertaining. “Let us get this straight,” we said. “We get a president who can knock heads in Washington and get things done, and he’s as funny as Don Rickles? Sign us up!”

The reason for our endorsement—as well as many Trump voters’ votes—was the belief that he would bring competent management to the national government. When George Washington became our first president, this was his overarching goal. He wanted to show he could be a skilled and competent manager who made the government work as advertised, and that this would set the template for future presidents. Before the Revolution, George Washington himself had been one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country, a skilled manager of big projects. It was thought Trump would follow in these footsteps. It turned out he had other ideas. We always knew to measure Trump by results and not by the surface craziness. But the only results nearly four months in seem to be incompetence and turmoil. Trump the performance artist continues. In fact, he is the Andy Kaufman of presidents. And any minute the audience is going to become so frustrated and outraged, he will have to be escorted off stage with security protection.

How did we get here? Trump buddy Howard Stern recently theorized that he never expected to actually win the presidency. But he was carried along by a strong sentiment surging through the country—as well as Hillary Clinton’s unrelenting inability to connect with voters—and now he’s mad he won. He entered a political culture that was compromised to its gills. Along the way, he and his followers pointed out the very real, deep-seated failures of the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. And it is these failures that will lead to an ultimate collapse of the country, not anything Donald Trump is doing. If the Democrats and media were doing their jobs properly, Trump would still be on Celebrity Apprentice firing washed-up singers and actors.

As a highly skilled businessman Trump knows how to take advantage of weakness and dishonesty, and American politics offers an ocean of both. The Republican Party is essentially a crime organization, which is why Trump chose to run under its banner. He’s been dealing with the Mafia in New York and Atlantic City for decades; he knows his way around these types. And this is also why those Republicans, such as John McCain and the Bush family, who like to pretend that it isn’t a crime organization “doth protest too much,” while most Republicans fall in line or remain silent.

Most Democrats, on the other hand, are just your garden variety corrupt politicians, in it for the perks and power trips, but who—on their coffee break with nothing better to do—will occasionally do something good for the country. So it was no trick for Trump to find something legitimate to attack Democrats on. He was correct, for example, in pointing out how they pay much lip service to fixing the problems of inner cities, get votes as the lesser of two evils, but then do nothing.

Finally, the mainstream media is crippled and compromised by its addiction to money and access to power. A common complaint you hear is that most of them are “left wing.” Of course they are. People whose job it is to thoroughly investigate and analyze facts will come down on the left-wing side a majority of the time. The problem is that left-wing vs right-wing conflict creates better ratings and, therefore, more money, leaving the mere collection and analysis of facts as a secondary consideration to “balancing” both sides.

Put all of this together and what you’ve got is King Kong stomping through the hinterlands in plain sight on his way to the capital while the groups that are supposed to be our watchdogs and protectors are too busy making deals with each other. This is our current condition, which the Trump campaign, again, correctly pointed out and took advantage of. But instead of trying to fix the condition once he got into power, Trump has continued as the exposer-in-chief. He’s continued to shove to worst of America into our faces, challenging politicians, news media, and the general public to “Do your job!”

So it’s a boss battle he wants; it’s a boss battle he’ll get. His impeachment will make the Clinton impeachment look like middle-school play night—no doubt he’ll go down into the well of the Senate and defend himself. It will get higher ratings than the Super Bowl, which is something he’ll tout every chance he gets for the rest of his life. In the end, the Trump presidency will go down as, by far, the most bizarre footnote in the history of America. But political parties, the news media, and the public in general will come out the other end better and smarter because of it.


Paul Juser: The Strange Tale of the Misfits

Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only have been suing each other back and forth for years over the commercial legacy of the Misfits. Everyone knows someone with a Crimson Ghost shirt, and I always wonder how much those people really listen to the Misfits. Authenticity is a subject punk culture jumps on viciously, but I’m positive few of the kids sporting the Fiend on any of their shirts, jackets, socks, skateboards, underwear, and Uggs will know the words to Spook City U.S.A. Glenn was somewhere between the second and third incarnation of Danzig when Jerry reformed the band in 1995 to capitalize on the popularity Metallica gave them. The Misfits were the first band I ever traveled to see.

We left around 5am for the three hour trip to Buffalo that took closer to five hours and still got us in town before noon. Buffalo was what every other city in Upstate NY would look like in 20 years. It’s filthy, and ugly, and broken. I was nineteen when I saw it, and I’ve not been able to go further west than Rochester in more than a decade. Cell phones were still ten pounds and cost a months salary, so we used a phone book to find the address of a record store, and spent hours pawing through the selection, and a few hours after that drinking coffee in a Denny’s. From there, we decided it was late enough in the afternoon to line up at the venue.

We weren’t first. The Misfits were an enigma. Punk Rock fragmented after Green Day went platinum, and no one could get along. The Crustys hated the Pop Punks, who sometimes hung out with the Hardcore kids as long as no one was Straight Edge. The Straight Edge Kids all wanted to be eco-terrorists like the Crustys, but wouldn’t hang out with anyone who drank or did drugs, and the Crustys were not about to give up beer and heroin. This was pre-9/11, before all of those things carried a mandatory Federal sentence. The Misfits were a band everyone liked. With their spikes and Devilock haircuts, they were punk enough for the Crustys, and their music was violent enough for all of the Hardcore kids. Even better, Glenn Danzig is Straight Edge now, which makes up for the band drinking when they wrote the songs. The sun was still up when we arrived at the venue, and we were far back in line.

The opening band was whatever band Marky Ramone had at the moment. The other Ramones were still alive, and I think they still played together with occasional reunions, but the Ramones were done by then. Some other local punk band or bands played before him. No one gave a shit about anything but the Misfits. I hadn’t been a fan long, maybe a year. I knew the Metallica songs, and could sing along with most of Collection II. I bought the reunion album only after buying tickets to the show. There were only two original brothers, one of which was not in the band very long, so I didn’t understand how this was much of a reunion.

The performance was galvanizing. The new singer, Michale Graves, was 23, only a few years older than myself. He exploded on stage in a straight jacket, led on a chain by the Misfits Fiend himself. Graves broke free in the first song and never stopped moving the rest of the show. The set was relentless, going on longer than I’d ever seen a band perform before. The only longer performances I’ve seen since couldn’t do it without going Prog like Tool. They played every song I knew, and  every song I didn’t know. I was an Uber-fan before I walked out the door.

For the next ten years, my life was little else but the Misfits.  I wore black T-shirts, and most of them were Misfits designs. I wore black pants and black biker boots like Glenn D. himself was known to wear. Several times I sported the Devilock hair style, one thick lock of hair down the center of your face. My boss at work described it as “having poop on your face.” Glued stiff, the hairstyle made eating an annoyance. I still have my biker jacket with a rib cage on the back. The collar was always popped.  Fiends made popped collars look cooler than any Jersey douchebag can imagine on his pastel polo. Popped collars made you A) look like Dracula, and B) show off the Misfits logo you painted there. My Fiend skull was positioned at the top of the spine to appear like a tiny backwards head atop the spinal column. I wish I could say I did this for comedic purposes, but it did get a lot of laughs.

Everywhere the Misfits played in a five-hour radius, I drove to see them. Like all addicting substances, the show was never as good as that first night, but I couldn’t get enough. My second show was with Bloodshed, and then several shows with GWAR. When the opening band was Cannibal Corpse, I got punched by the girl who drove us there for knowing all the words to “Fucked With A Knife.” I see now why she might have been bothered. Marky Ramone was usually around. When I was not going to see the Misfits, I was reading my new issue of Bleeder’s Die-Jest, perusing, and always had the Misfits playing at as full a volume as my roommates wouldn’t complain about.

Shortly after the Cannibal show, Graves left the band. Whether he quit or was fired was unclear, but hockey was somehow involved. Even though bassist and bandleader Jerry Only said he wrote “I Wanna Be A New York Ranger,” as a tribute to his favorite team, it was clear at the time he was making fun of Michale Graves. Regardless of which side was being less dishonest, Graves was not gone long. The magick was.

The last time I saw the band, Graves spent half the show backstage talking into his mic about the General Tso’s chicken he was eating. I briefly spoke with Jerry after the show when he came out to meet the fans. He spoke candidly about kicking Graves out to get Danzig back for the 25th anniversary tour. In 2000, Graves quit for good and walked off stage mid-show. Danzig put out a press release saying he would never rejoin the Misfits.

After the Misfits, Graves’s story is tragic. He released a string of under-promoted albums under several variations of his name before crashing his career with a drinking problem. He stuck to a horror theme with all, and still painted himself as the Misfits Fiend when he performed live. He also wore this makeup in his interview with the Daily Show in 2004, where he espoused his extreme Conservative leanings. Graves never got over the Misfits, but the Misfits should have never gotten over Graves. As bad as he did, Jerry Only always did worse. The Misfits were unlistenable without Graves, and the Misfits rip-offs he was producing were better than anything the band committed to the Internet.

What Jerry Only did with the band next was miserable. He saw a money-making machine, and he was not afraid to admit this publicly. This was the first wave of Misfits-Name-On-Everything merchandise, but years passed before any new music was released. That was a split 7″ with a Japanese Misfits ripoff Jerry discovered. After a longer wait, the first full-length release was the even more disappointing “Project 1950.” It contained no original material, only punk covers of Golden Oldies. Jerry toured non-stop with a revolving door of punk once-beens under the increasingly ridiculous Misfits brand.

Jerry’s brother, Doyle Wolfgang VonFrankenstein, joined the established Misfits in 1982 for the most famous–and the late career albums–shortly before the original breakup. He stayed through the Graves years, but quit to play with Danzig in 2004. Doyle’s character never spoke or gave interviews, making him easily the most likable Misfit. He continues to work on various solo projects I never listened to, and still gives the occasional performance with Danzig that I watch on YouTube in its entirety.

Danzig’s post-Misfits career came out as a similar series of farts. His best and worst songs were written during the Samhain era, but he put out several solid albums as Danzig, and Danzig II: Lucifuge is unquestionably the best album in his entire discography. Quality trailed off until it was so bad he couldn’t get his band to play it. He fired them and hired a new band. The resulting Danzig V was so bad he couldn’t even keep the new band together long enough to tour for it. At this point, he may have given up recording new music, but he does still show up at festivals to insult his fans and punch them and throw temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.

I saw Danzig live only once, in 2000. He only played one Misfits song. He punched an audience-member in the middle of the set. There wasn’t a member of the crowd without the Fiend somewhere on their clothing. Danzig didn’t invent the iconic Misfits symbol as he claims, he drew it from an existing source. The Crimson Ghost is a villain from a 1940’s serial. Similarly, the band name had nothing to do with standing out in society, but with Danzig’s crush on Marilyn Monroe. With Samhain, Glenn tried to abandon that icon for a skull of his own design. Despite his prominent use of belt-bucklage and occasional T-shirt, the Danzig skull never caught on after the Misfits.

As much as Jerry Only has trashed the memory of the Misfits, you have to agree that Glenn Danzig deserves it. He’s never done an interview where he doesn’t come off as a complete prick. He’s so obnoxious that his own fans cheered on across the Internet when his face was punched in by a nobody. Glenn was doing his Axl Rose act backstage, holding up the show and cutting the sets of his opening acts, when a big, round Hardcore front man got fed up. The band received death threats at first, but are now regarded as underground heroes. Their final show was opening for the Misfits. Unfortunately, no one got punched.

I once read an interview where Danzig was asked what he thought was the best quality in a roadie. Glenn said he had no respect for roadies, because anyone that would get on a bus with a stranger and have sex with him because he was a rock star doesn’t deserve respect. The article was torn from a Seattle paper around the turn of the century. I kept it in my wallet for years and read it when I needed a giggle. Either Glenn Danzig spent his career in music without knowing the difference between roadies and groupies, or his tours got very weird.


Dr. Filth is a superhero with the power to convince himself anything. His alter ego is a cryptozoologist of the same name. Read “The Alarm Clock at the End of the World,” by Paul Juser at