Vanyaland is out a Riot Fest in Chicago this weekend, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on how things have been playing out. Morrissey showed up last night and moped about after arriving for his set more than a half hour late and delivered exactly one Smiths’ song, the Meat is Murder B-Side “What She Said.” Girls Against Boys survived their oddly slotted early-afternoon set Friday after nearly melting in the swelter, despite their music being tailor made for when the sun goes down.
But tonight is the one everyone has their (20) eyes on as the Misfits are slated to take the stage with Glenn Danzig and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein for the only the second time in the past 33 years. It might very well be the last too. According to a Facebook post by the Misfits Fiend Club, Doyle said there will be no more shows; “Contract over” were his exact words.
It also doesn’t look like there will be much captured on celluloid other than a few shitty cellphone images from those in the audience. The buzz at Riot Fest is that Glenn Danzig’s longstanding no photos policy has escalated to borderline levels of insanity during this ever-so-brief reunion. Word on the grassy knoll in Douglas Park is not only will there be no entry into the photo pit for official media, but if anyone pulls out gear remotely professional grade, it’s a risk, as Glenn allegedly has his people prowling the crowd who will grab the camera and confiscate the memory card.
This got us wondering, what exactly is Danzig’s problem? People know what he looks like, he sometimes does interviews on camera, but has this bonkers issue with what is one of the most standard elements of the industry he’s been involved in since the late 70s. Here then are six reasons we think he might have for not allowing photography – first three songs, no flash – at his concerts.
It’s gotta be the hair
Danzig is 61 (!!) years old. Those long, lovely, Lucifuge locks of yore just aren’t there anymore. When you’re running around on that stage like he does, especially when in those tight rubber shirts, the sweat builds up. If he’s doing any sort of comb over or blow-dry fluffiness, it’s gonna disappear fast.
Technology is scary
If the rumors are true, Danzig doesn’t own a cellphone, a computer or likely anything that has been a technological advancement post the Nixon-era. Some of the cameras today are intimidating looking, and it’s often scary when you don’t know how things work. Glenn might think the equipment will have a Shrinky Dinks effect on him, taking away millimeters from his stature with each snap. When you’re listed at a generous 5’ 3”, you can’t be worrying about shit like that.
No one is stealing Danzig’s soul
Alternately, along with his old-school nature, Glenn might buy into the fear many cultures have of their soul being stolen when a photo is taken. From a guy who has penned tracks like “Soul on Fire,” “Braineaters” and “Death Comes Ripping,” why take any additional chances?
The cat is king
At this point, everyone has seen the paparazzi shot of Glenn strolling out of some parking lot in Southern California with bags full of kitty litter and whatnot. Apparently, the cat is king. It’s doubtful that anyone or anything else in this world could force Danzig to leave his likely Munsters-style residence and that killer book collection, except his cat. Therefore, it’s evident Glenn Danzig is beholden to his tiny mammal, and since we’ve never seen pictures of the creature, it’s clear that he or she demands her so-called master follows suit.
Photographers are distracting
You know that feeling when someone comes up behind you while at your computer and asks you to search for something online? It’s maddening. Suddenly you forget the alphabet and where the letters are on the keyboard. Multiply that by 100 and that’s what Danzig feels when he’s got these pesky people with long lenses aimed at him while he’s trying to deliver sonnets like, “Hot cherry on Friday night when the sun goes down my spine/I put an axe in my baby’s head, I’m gonna end up doing time.” It’s not as easy as it looks folks.
What would Elvis do?
It’s no secret Danzig is a huge Elvis Presley fan. Heck, at times, it seems like he’s modeled his entire career after the King. Right now, Glenn is well into his…let’s be nice and call it the “advanced Elvis phase” of his career. Unfortunately, Elvis died at the age of 42, leaving no road map for the future Danzig has found himself in. Perhaps his idol would’ve put a ban on photographers so people would remember the svelte, “Jailhouse Rock,” striped-shirt, swiveling hips Elvis. Maybe that’s how we should remember Glenn; youthful and frolicking with wolves in the mountains. A more innocent time for all.
Michael Christopher is out a Riot Fest this weekend hoping to catch a backstage pow-wow between Morrissey and Danzig. Follow his escapades on Twitter @blackbranchmc