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CMU Beef Of The Week #205: Misfits v Misfits

By | Published on Friday 9 May 2014


Now, you know we love a good lawsuit here at CMU, but there’s nothing like the joy of punks suing punks. So it was nice to see former Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig suing the last remaining original member, bassist Jerry Only.

The dispute has arisen over Only’s licensing deals for merch featuring the band’s distinctive Fiend Skull logo. If you want to know why Danzig is annoyed, you could have a look through the merch on offer from one licensee, Hot Topic, yourself, or even skip over to Noisey’s round-up of some of the worst items available overall. Or, if you’re pushed for time, you could just read these three words: Misfits Ugg boots.

However, Danzig’s big gripe is that Only has apparently forced companies to agree that if they’re dealing with him, then they can’t even talk to Danzig. According to Billboard, Danzig’s claim states that Only “has prevented and continues to prevent other retailers, including Hot Topic, which is the largest retailer of the Misfits products, from entering into licenses with Danzig and/or his designee to merchandise products bearing the Fiend Skull and other marks by falsely instructing the merchandisers that he is the exclusive owner of the marks”.

He doesn’t just want Only to stop shooting his mouth off like this though, he also wants $75,000 plus interest to tide him over until an accountant can get in and work out exactly how much he’s owed.

Although Only and his brother Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (these are all pseudonyms, by the way) retained the rights to continue using the Misfits name when the band split in 1983, Danzig says that he is definitely entitled to a cut of money because “the vast majority of the Misfits fans associate the marks with the 1977-1983 classic Misfits era when Danzig was the creative heart of the Misfits, and not with [Only’s] imitation Misfits”.

Jerry Only does not agree. Which makes it all the more fun. In a statement to Alt Press, he said: “In 1995, Misfits founding member Jerry Only secured the exclusive legal right to tour and record as The Misfits, and, in accordance with those legal rights, launched a licensing program through Cyclopian Music. At the same time, Glenn Anzalone – professionally known as Glenn Danzig (former co-founder and Misfits vocalist circa 1977 to 1983) – made clear that he wanted no public association with the Misfits or Cyclopian Music’s business endeavors”.

OK, that’s a bit dry, but he continues to say that “Danzig’s lawsuit can only be described as a sour grapes tantrum based on outrageous allegations”.

Glenn Danzig having sour grapes tantrum. Here’s a picture of what that might look like.

Only goes on to suggest a reason for the tantrum too, saying: “Apparently Danzig’s own product line doesn’t sell as well as he might like”.

The statement concludes: “To be clear, Glenn Danzig has no legal right to, and no interest in, Cyclopian’s Misfits licenses or business ventures period. Danzig’s lawsuit is nothing more than a calculated attempt to unfairly and improperly enrich himself from revenue streams to which he is not entitled”.

Did I mention that the Ugg boots have a purple ribbon on them? Who wouldn’t want a slice of that pie?