New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.11: The Misfits Form in Lodi, NJ


I’m always amused when I see people’s reaction the first time they hear a KISS song. Throughout my entire life of being a KISS fan, everyone has always said “Oh I can’t listen to KISS, that’s like death metal.” Many people who have only seen KISS think their sound is more in line with their look. Aside from their typical “Rock and Roll all Nite” fare, take a listen to songs like “Hard Luck Woman,” “I Still Love You,” and “See You In You Dreams,” and you’ll hear that Kiss is the furthest thing from death metal. On the other hand, while they’re not death metal in the least, unlike Kiss, The Misfits sound is more in line with their image.

In 1977, The Misfits came together in Lodi, New Jersey. Named after a Marilyn Monroe film, their ghoulish, macabre makeup was attention grabbing and even more sinister than that of KISS and Alice Cooper. At first listen, their music sounds like simple guttural punk, yet it somehow perfectly evokes the nostalgic and eerie feeling of old horror movies. 30 years after the bands inception, The Misfits are credited as being the innovators of “Horror punk.”


A slew of bands cite The Misfits as one of their influences such as Metallica, and My Chemical Romance. Their skull logo can be seen everywhere, even if the kids wearing it don’t know what it stands for. It’s the MISFITS muthatruckas! Even with the departure of Glenn Danzig and various lineup changes, The Misfits are still terrorizing the country. Check out their tour dates to see when they’ll be in your neighborhood.

Now check out a few Misfit facts:

– Bassist, vocalist, and former WCW wrestler extraordinaire Jerry Only is known for inventing the “devilock” hairstyle seen here (2nd in from the left):


– The Misfits named their legion of fans “Fiends.” Their fiend club is their equivalent of the Kiss Army.

– This bit of interesting info comes courtesy of The Misfits website (

“The Misfits and their “Fiend Club” also became instrumental in petitioning for the release of the U.S. Classic Movie Monster Stamp series which, among other of their heroes, featured Bela Lugosi Sr., as Dracula, Ben Chapman as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and of course, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein.”


– Here’s probably the most interesting thing I found about the Misfits:
The Misfits operate out of North Jersey where they own a machine shop and a knife factory. Not only do they make their own instruments but also their amps, studded straps and spiked leather jackets! The Misfits also fashion their very own stage sets and props!

– George Romero directed this Misfits video for “Scream” in exchange for letting Romero use 2 of their songs in his film Bruiser.

Video for “American Psycho” with an awesome intro:

Here you can see the craziness of a 1981 Misfits show as they perform one of their signature songs “Halloween”:

Here’s a really cool homemade video for their song “Vampira”:

Stone Temple Pilots at the PNC Bank Arts Center Review 5/31/08

With all his Jagger-esque strutting, and hair streaked glowing pink, you would never have guessed that Scott Weiland was a high school football player. On the other hand, when you hear him slur incoherent song introductions it’s easy to guess that this man has had and possibly still has a drug problem. Fresh off his ousting as lead singer of Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland joined his former band mates for a Stone Temple Pilots reunion tour. Tonight, their show stopped here in Holmdel N.J at the PNC Bank Arts Center, a dreaded venue for us locals. Parking is free, although you need to hop on a school bus that takes you all the way up the hill and through the woods to the venue. Want to take a leak? Good luck. Should’ve pissed in the woods while you were tailgating! There’s 2 sets of bathrooms and a couple of porto-johns, and each of the lines are a quarter of a mile long.

Managing to look past all the negatives about the amphitheater, it was sort of a homecoming for brothers Dean DeLeo (guitarist) and Robert DeLeo (bassist) who hail from N.J (Glen Ridge to be exact, which is still about an hour north of the PNC Bank Arts Center.) The crowd was getting anxious after the band took an hour and a half to come on stage and start their set. Trust me, you get a little stir crazy when the only entertainment you have is watching people’s inane text messages scroll across the screens. (“I brought my bong in and didn’t get caught,” “Does anyone have papers?” “Scream if you want Metallica to tour the United States,” “There is water at the bottom of the ocean,” it seemed that one person texted the entire Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime song, “Splitcase,” a band reviewed here at the Sexy Armpit and last but not least “The Sexy Armpit loves you” of course I have no idea who sent that one in…)

The concert seemed to build up steam the longer it went on. I can’t understand why they opened this show with “Big Empty.” It’s one of my favorite tracks, but it’s fairly mellow and not a good way to kick off a show. Maybe it was their plan to start off slow and ease into it. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea…I’ll keep that in mind. The band sounded great, albeit a little sluggish perhaps. Ever since their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel it seemed they were playing some of the tracks a bit slower. It’s possible they’re doing it to accommodate Weiland if his singing hasn’t been up to snuff.

Long time fans of STP would not be disappointed with their song choice. They performed all of their hits and a handful of lesser heard tracks. The set list is ever changing since their website is letting fans vote for songs they would like to hear at the specific show they’re attending. We got to hear it all from “Down,” to “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart.” I would’ve liked to have heard some of my favorites like “Hollywood Bitch,” and “Silvergun Superman,” but no such luck. Highlights for me included their classic songs like “Vasoline” and “Creep.” Not just because it’s a huge song of theirs but I think “Plush” sounded the tightest and most crisp out of all the songs performed. It was played in the middle of the setlist so it really seemed like the pinnacle of the show. I enjoyed the DeLeo brothers cover of the O’Jays “For the Love of Money.” but only wished Scott would’ve jumped in and started singing. It’s the type of song you wouldn’t expect them to play and that’s exactly why I dug it. All the shows on the tour have been wrapping with “Dead and Bloated.” Another odd choice for their only encore and last song.

Weiland is a dynamic front man but I must say, he seemed way more amped up when he was onstage with Velvet Revolver. He seemed like he was having a blast with Slash and all the rock riffs. Maybe it was the drugs? Now during this STP reunion he’s in some kind of a funk. Aside from a few steps of his Jagger dancing he seemed like he was on ambien.

There’s no question that STP made a big impact on rock music. They’ll always own their chunk of rock history but the amplifications of their reunion haven’t reached the magnitude I thought they might have. There’s a lot of fans out there, myself included, who are still pissed off about Weiland leaving Velvet Revolver. I don’t have much doubt that VR will continue on successfully but will STP? They’re working on a new CD, but shouldn’t they have released a new single to coincide with their reunion tour?

Night Walk

I went for a long walk downtown on Saturday night. It was a pretty nice night out considering how hot it was in the daytime. I figured I’d walk to the Quick Check to see if they had the new Monster Energy Coffee drink that I wanted to try. I began my trip with a glance at the New York City skyline. Far in the distance it glows like a majestic Oz. New York is no Oz, and neither is where I‘m about to go. As I walked down Main Street I thought about how I used to want to move out to California and live in San Diego. In fact, it didn’t seem like an option, I was set on moving once I finished college. Some of my friends always said they wanted to pack up and just move the hell out of here. I never thought of moving away to a different state as an escape, I felt there would be more job opportunities there. I never felt like I needed to “get out of this damn town.” I believed that it was pretty lame to stay in the same place my whole life. I never wanted to be “that guy.” You know, the middle aged guy who works jobs around town gathering shopping carts at the store and cutting grass all while reminiscing with the people in town about the old days. That same guy could tell you every one of his teachers names from High School and the score to every football game he played in. Or possibly a more realistic scenario, he wears a Metallica T-shirt and can tell you the in-s and outs of his Pontiac Firebird that he bought junior year of high school that he still drives. Thankfully, I’m not them but it is scary to think that it’s possible to become that way. Is it because they get trapped in their hometown forever? I don’t think so because I know many people who have strong familial ties to the town and the surrounding towns. My family isn’t from this town, in fact they’ve collectively lived in so many different towns that I can’t keep track. I thought about how time passed and that money and a realistic career kept me from ever moving so far away. I don’t feel that making the decision to not move away has made me any worse off though.

As I made my way under the route 9 overpass I noticed how much garbage decorated the dirt sidewalk. I thought “Why do we even have stretches of dirt sidewalk in a town with 100,000 people in it?” I quickly forgot about the garbage on the ground. Some low hanging tree branches presented my face with the always annoying spider web, and another, and even one more a few hundred feet further to get me pissed just enough. With the spider webs and the humidity I feel like I need to take 17 showers at this point.

I think I live in the only town that has convenience stores every 300 feet. 7-11didn’t have the drink I wanted so I moved along. The stores and restaraunts were closed and it seemed like a ghost town except for the cars. I looked into the windows of some of the places in the center of town and wondered “How do some of these places stay in business?” I rarely see anyone ever going into some of them. Next stop was Quick Check and again, no luck with the Monster coffee. I kept walking and noticed two Latina ladies passing me on the left. One of the girls said quietly “Hiii Papi” in a friendly fashion. I was surprised because I don’t think anyone has ever said that to me and inside, I was laughing. I walked about 200 feet away this time and stopped into, YES, ANOTHER QUICK CHECK! No luck again. I’m not kidding here people, there ARE that many convenience stores in our area. Watch the tram car please, Next Stop: Walgreen’s open til’ midnight! No Monster Coffee beverage. Bummer.

My journey was unsuccessful and it was time to make my way back home. I walked back down Main Street as a tall guy passed me on the right. He nodded his head and said “What’s up?” in a pretty upbeat manner. I said “what’s up” back and kept on my way. Shitty me was about to ignore him. It was an oddly good feeling to have people say hello to me at 11:30 at night when the streets are pretty empty. The idea I have when walking the streets aimlessly at night (or at any time or place for that matter) is that this person is going to mug me so please walk past me as quickly as possible. Does their friendliness make me feel like things are “getting better in the world?” Not really judging by the garbage all over the ground and that there are psychos that decide to shoot people like at Virginia Tech. Life isn’t so peachy keen, but for that hour and a half that I was walking the streets on a cool but humid night, I felt like things were good and it was my town. I felt like throwing a party in the middle of main street. This vibe of positivity didn’t end there. Not 2 minutes after the tall guy said what’s up to me the cars in the street stopped for a red light at the intersection. “YO JAY!” I heard a guys voice yell from a car that was waiting at the light. An old friend from high school recognized me and we started talking a bit. He asked if I needed a ride. I definitely looked like I was homeless or something. You can’t walk around late at night in cargo shorts and a Hanes T-shirt anymore and have people NOT think you are homeless. It’s a crime! I told him I was actually intentionally out walking and enjoying the night. He was telling me how he had National Guard duty early the next morning. We ended the conversation and I continued home. It crossed my mind how different it is walking through Times Square than where I just was. There was no hustle and bustle, no horns honking, no nasty odors, but I did have 3 people say hello to me. There were no flashy lights which I do enjoy, but I didn’t have someone hastling me for money or standing on a bucket preaching their good word to me. That’s pretty damn good if you ask me. I was able to take a leisurely stroll with no worries. I’m sure I’d be able to do that in say, San Diego, or Orlando, or anywhere else for that matter, but why? I’m already here. I’ve always been here. And, there’s like 6 convenience stores within walking distance! Let’s face it maybe I was embellishing but I in no way feel like shouting “I love this town!” like Ernie Hudson did in Ghostbusters, but I guess it’s a pretty damn good place.