10 Years Ago, My Bandmate Knocked Danzig Out
July 3, 2004. Rock 'n' roll infamy.
It's been 10 years since "the punch," and I'd be lying if I told you I hated it. You see, I was in local punk act North Side Kings, and now-legendary Glenn Danzig slayer Danny Marianino was my bandmate in 2004 (and is still my friend today). I was there in Tuba City, on the Navajo Nation, and what follows is the truth.
For me, it was a thing of ridiculous beauty. I never liked the Misfits -- Danzig's legendary horror-punk group -- growing up. I found it too boring, cartoonish, and repetitive to take seriously. I think even less of Danzig's solo material. So, in my opinion at the time, Glenn Danzig was a joke, and the opportunity to open for him was merely another notch on the gig belt for me. In 2004, North Side Kings was on the cusp of our best work, and even if the band sounded nothing like Danzig, we knew the kids of the Navajo Nation would be into it. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to find out.
On the day of the show, I drove up to Tuba City with Rudy "Rude-T" Reilly, who often traveled with us and did our sound. We followed the rest of the band, which included guitar players Ryan Butler and Luke Lanham, drummer Richie Gallen, and a few other friends who were in a van we borrowed for the trip. Once we got to the venue, things started to unravel.
Originally, the plan was for two stages to be set up at a Tuba City venue and have continuous music. We were working with a young promoter, but everything seemed as if it would be a great event. As we got the lay of the land at the venue, we noticed that only one stage had been built. The promoter informed us that Danzig had nixed the idea of there being two stages. Strike one against the rock demon child. The star also decided that he would perform at 10 p.m. and not midnight, as planned, because he needed to be on the road to Los Angeles by midnight. Now, we had to figure out how 11 bands were going to play on one stage in five hours.
See also: When Danny Punched Danzig
As the hours passed, it became apparent that we were going to get screwed, so Danny started asking questions. It was relayed to us that Danzig would announce during his set that a few bands would play after he was finished and that fans should stick around to see them. We were satisfied with that and went back to enjoying ourselves and the hospitality of Tuba City.
After the dark lord and his band finished a thoroughly boring and uninspired set, the lights came up and the crew began tearing down the stage. We felt ripped off and were all, "What the fuck?" Danzig also had been rude to some of our folks during the evening, and so tension was in the air.
Danny said he was going to talk to him and see what happened. At this point, I'd like to set the record straight about how the altercation that ensued ended up on film.
Our friend Dan Stone had been filming us for a couple of years. We'd talked to our label, Thorp Records, about doing a DVD and had hours of footage of us playing and just being idiots. Dan Stone had a habit of filming our antics, so we were used to his having a camera in hand. It was for this reason alone that the camera was rolling when Danny talked to Danzig. He had no plans to get into a fight with the singer and there definitely was nothing underhanded about what happened.
The moment itself was surreal.