Friday, October 30, 2015

Waiting On The Samhain Of My Soul: Day Five - Misfits Live at Max's Kansas City 12-20-78 and 12 Hits From Hell

Label: Bootleg
Year: 1978, 1980

I don’t have a particular memory to share for today, our final day together, but to make it up to the legions (and legions) of readers, I will share two fantastic Misfits recordings. As I mentioned earlier this week, Samhain is my favorite of the Glenn Danzig projects, but I do recognize that more than anything, the name Danzig is synonymous with the Misfits.

So, it is with the Misfits that we shall end.

First is the band’s set from Max’s Kansas City, the famous Manhattan nightclub that gave many of the early U.S. punk bands a stage to play on. This show was on December 20, 1978, and features a slower, less ghoulish, perhaps slightly tamer version of the band. I’ve never seen a definite lineup posted for this show, but if the Misfits Central timeline is accurate, this should feature Bobby Steele on guitar and Joey Image on drums. This show took place about 10 months after the band recorded the Static Age record, and as such, they play a lot from that here live—much more than you’ll hear in later live sets. Toward the end of the set you’ll also hear the somewhat infamous 25-second rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.” Maybe we’ll finally hear a longer version when the Danzig Sings Elvis record comes out?

This set was booted onto a picture disc (why?) a few years ago, but I’ve never heard that so I don’t know how the quality compares. These files are the supposedly remastered ones that have been floating around online for a while. They sound good but not great. Still, it’s the Misfits live in 1978!

Note that the cover art I’ve used here, and which seems to generally get tagged with this set online, uses a photo taken not at this show, but later on, when Doyle had joined the band.

Our final share this week is the 12 Hits From Hell record that was to have been released by Caroline Records in 2001. It was recorded in 1980 with Bobby Steele on guitar and Arthur Googy on drums. Apparently this was right as Steele was on his way out of the band and Jerry’s brother Doyle was (secretly) on his way in as his replacement. Both guitarists ended up recording their own tracks for this planned full-length.

The album never happened; however, some of the tracks were released in 1981 as the 3 Hits From Hell and Halloween 7”s.

Caroline was set to finally release the full session in 2001—with Steele and Doyle’s tracks both included—but at the last minute Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only called it off, I believe, because of issues with Caroline’s layout and mixing of the record.

This is the best the Misfits have ever sounded, in my opinion, and sales of this record would have been through the roof. Instead, I’m sure Glenn was pissed that Bobby Steele was being included and given his due all these years later, and Jerry … well, I don’t know what Jerry was upset about, but if it was the layout that seems like something you can fix, not necessarily a deal-killer.

Because the record was cancelled at the very last minute, a few promotional CDs leaked, leaving us with vinyl and additional CD bootlegs, but nothing more.

It’s a shame, because I think the tracks the band eventually re-recorded for Walk Among Us sound rawer and more powerful here, plus this full-length would have had a really strong, more diverse feel overall. Lose “Halloween II” and throw in “Nike A Go-Go” and this would have been almost perfect.  

And with that, our week comes to a close. It’s been a blast reliving these memories, plus faithful downloaders now have their Halloween playlists already made! Enjoy, and watch out for candy apples and razor blades tomorrow night.
-Jeff Simms

DL - The Misfits - Live at Max's Kansas City - 12-20-78
DL - 12 Hits From Hell


Jacob Shumaker said...
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jonder said...

Great series, thanks Jeff!

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