~An interview with Misfits bassist, Jerry Only~
March 21, 1998
The Palladium Worcester, MA
As the conversation begins, we attempt to settle in aboard the bustling tour bus...
Rich Lockney: So this is the last night of the tour?
RL: What comes after this?
JO: Europe. The last time we went to Europe, we were on a plane home and our album was on the way over there - with a lot of Geffen red tape, we missed the whole European tour, so we toured Europe last spring without an album, and now we're going back to play the festivals and stuff, so the Psycho Tour will finish up there.
RL: So is there another new album coming out, and when can we expect that?
JO: I'm shooting for Halloween, but it all depends on how hard my guys wanna come back and work writing.
[Enter John Grimm, wearing a Stormtrooper mask]
John Grimm: These are not the droids we're looking for.
JO: (laughs) You can go. (laughs)
RL: Move along...
TV: Tear the ship apart until you've found those plans!
John Grimm: Inform Lord Vader that...
JO: It all depends on the guys. My hope is that we can come back from Europe in the beginning of July and cut an album before the middle of August. On September 5th we've got the DragonCon convention, which is in Atlanta, with five thousand people we'll be playing for, it'll be good, and we'll be there for five days, signing stuff and selling shirts. And hopefully we can start touring right after that.
RL: Is the album coming out on any lable in particular?
JO: Right now, I'm shooting for the Misfits label.
RL: Your own label?
JO: Yeah, I'm trying to start my own company.
RL: Are you signing any other bands to it?
JO: Not at all...
RL: Will there be vinyl coming out?
JO: Yes, we'll begin with vinyl.
RL: Yeah, a lot of companies don't cover that.
TV: We like vinyl!
JO: I know you like vinyl. Sorry Geffen didn't give you any.
TV: They suck! You can't say the "G-word". You know they posted to the Misfits Bible, saying that you are no longer allowed to use Geffen when referring to the Misfits.
JO: That's fine by me.
TV: I just thought that was pretty ludicrous and asinine for them to go and do that.
JO: Well, you know, they've got their head so far up their ass, I guess that's the way it is.
John Grimm: David Geffen, buck the deal, face the wheel.
RL: How long do you think you'll continue?
JO: I hoped to get out at least, I was hoping to get ten albums, but the way things move, I can't get out an album a year. Next month I'm going to be 39. I figure I'll go another ten, eleven years. After that, if these guys still want to play, the can probably get someone to take my place.
RL: Extensive touring, still?
JO: Sure. I figure by the time I'm 50... You know maybe Mick Jagger can go out and wiggle his ass for two hours but you can't go out and do what I do, and that's the big difference. And it just seems to me, if I continued past the age of fifty, I'd really just be fooling myself, and I'm not here to fool myself, I'm here to put out really great music.
RL: Do the other guys plan on going on [in the event of Jerry's retirement]?
JO: We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I'm hoping that we do so well over the next ten years that they find their fulfilment in whatever we have done, because it's really about finding yourself and playing the music you wanna play and creating. I don't think that even then I'll stop writing. We'll probably still release albums or do soundtracks or stuff like this. You know, our live performance is really hard. We were on the road for a month, and I got back from Japan right before Christmas, and even during the Halloween run with Sick Of It All, and even before that I was lifting constantly, straight through all of the fall, except for Japan, and then for two months really hard going into this one month tour...and this one month tour knocked the shit out of us...we all got sick, including me. This is the first time I haven't lifted in a full week, since I was in fucking high school, I guess. It's hard to play that hard every night, and it's also hard to keep your health up during that time. You know, once we start getting over six or seven weeks on the road, I think you're pretty much lose a grip on your health, and that's one thing about playing real hard. You got to pick and choose your battles wisely.
RL: Speaking of the new lineup, how have the crowds been accepting them, especially Graves stepping in?
JO: Not a problem at all. That was something that in the first year I thought would be an issue, and it ended up not being an issue. It just seems to me that everyone really likes Michale, and Michale, he's got the talent, and he's got a lot of spunk out there, and I don't know anybody my age that can go out there and front this band, and it's nice to have a kid out there fifteen years younger than me out there being able to do it. But like I say, I gotta work on Michale, still. He doesn't take care of himself the way I'd like him to. I'd like him to beef up a little bit, and he's the first one to get sick. When he's the youngest, he should be the last one to get sick. It's just a matter of Michale really understanding that a lot of kids look up to him now, and he has a responsibility because of that, to go out there and maintain. The last week of the tour, Mikey was really sick, and his voice was really bad. In Oklahoma City, I was sick and couldn't sing at all, and his voice was still good, and then as we start coming north, his voice started going downhill, and mine started getting better, so last night, I just lay it all on the line, I figured...it was a really good time last night.
TV: I heard you sing "Death Comes Ripping" at soundcheck the other day.
JO: I just got out of bed. It's hard - the thing is you've got to give your voice a chance to wake up. The main thing that I try to do with the new band is really work on vocals. I think that the difference between the Misfits and any other band that play the same style of music as us is the level of vocals and vocal melodies. That's the difference between us and everybody else that ever thrashed out a great fucking beat. You know, they're all screaming and yelling and we're singing. That's one thing that this band - it's one thing that makes us, in my opinion, better than everybody else. Not only can we put out the physical aspect and play the music, but we can do the vocals on top of it - it's good songs, good singing.
TV: It's good to hear Mike mix up the melody every once in a while. I love that. I think it's on "Come Back"...
JO: He's good! You know something? He's got a really great sense of rhythm for a melody. He can take and it's a bad word but, "jive it up". You know what I mean? He gets out there and he jams to the stuff. He's not set in stone...he doesn't come out and say "Well, I'm gonna sing these five notes at the same time and the same spot..." He comes out and rocks to a song, and that kind of energy really helps you out, especially when you're playing a place and the monitors suck, and you can't hear what you're doing, and the PA sucks, so the crowd is looking at you like "We thought this would be bigger and better and louder", and then Mikey comes out and he starts getting down and jamming to it, and all of a sudden you realize why you are there, and you're there to really go out and have a good time with the kids and play your music. You can sit back all day and argue about PA's and monitor systems and light rigs and all this kind of shit, we can just get out the front door and do it. The one thing I liked about this tour, even though it blew everyone's health to shit, was the fact that we played really small places, in really bad conditions, and did really great shows with no tools.
TV: York Pennsylvania - The Fenix club; at soundcheck we stood out in the rain for two hours waiting on the PA to get fixed after you guys blew it up.
JO: You know what I'm talking about. It's things like that that really give the band character and keep things going.
RL: How did Mike and CHUD come into the picture?
JO: Well, like you see, your buddy here, (Russ) has got a 1982 yearbook that we're looking for CHUD in, so I mean CHUD goes back a long ways. My dad and his dad played little league baseball on the same team.
[Jerry starts signing stuff while talking]
The thing is with CHUD, we were working on a project in the middle while things were really screwed up, you know while the "Dark Ages" were, you know, the eighties, I'm sure you've heard of 'em. And what happened was CHUD used to come down to practice when I was practicing with the "Kryst the Conquerer" drummer, and the drummer that I was working with wouldn't even show up at his own house for practice. I would drive an hour and a half to come to his house and practice, and he wouldn't even show up at his own house. So, CHUD lived around the corner, and CHUD used to come down every day and watch us, and any days that this guy didn't show up, CHUD would play the kit, and it just came down to the point where I would just say...I was coming down to jam with CHUD, and I said "Well, CHUD, if you wanna be in the band, you gotta come up by me." You know what I mean? So he came up all the time, he actually worked in the machine shop, in the last days of the machine shop when me and Doyle were still working there. And CHUD's a good boy. CHUD takes his position very responsibly. He helped me build the kit...screw thigns together, paint things. He's always coming up with ideas for the drums. We started with black, then we went to silver, then we painted the silver drums orange, like they are now, next we're going to do candy-apple red. Basically, you lay darker colors on the ones you've got. What happens is CHUD holds up his corner of the tent. The band is like a tent - everybody's got a corner, and they gotta hold it up to get everybody underneath it. And what happens is that you get people who let down their corner and problems occur...and CHUD holds up his corner very well. I wouldn't trade CHUD for any two other guys, to be honest with you. And, like I said, we had CHUD about a year before we had Michale, so CHUD was all worked in when Michale came along. Actually, CHUD was the one who really, seriously sold me on Michale. At first, with Michale, he was very young and he was listening to regular shit, like everyone else was listening to. I didn't know if he has the right characteristics to front the band. I mean if you pick a singer for the Misfits, it's gotta be somebody who's ready to do the job. You just can't get somebody's grandmother to come out there and do the job. So, I was a little fucked up about that, but CHUD kept telling me that "the kid's got talent, the kid'll come around, you'll see, you'll see you'll see...", and then I was sold, and then Doyle was really the last sale. And after Doyle was sold, Mikey more than earned the job. He's a great writer - he's probably the best writer out of the four of us. That's one thing that also frightened me about coming out with a new band, was would the material be on the same par as the old material, and would we tarnish the name by coming out with something that was less? And I didn't feel like we did - I feel that (American) Psycho is our best album, and I think this is our best line-up. I mean, it's hard to live down the legacy with Glenn, but that's from the more nostalgic standpoint than the actual, factual standpoint where you listen to everyone's performance and everybody's stage presence, and the morale of the whole crew.
[asks TV if he wants Jerry to sign "AP" vinyl on the plastic]
It just seems to me that the best lineup is now, the best album is now, the best crew we ever had.... We never had a crew before. I mean, we've got a light guy now, a sound guy, a guitar tech, and, you know, people who help put on the show. Right now we've only got one prop which is our TV set, but I think it's very effective for what it is and the guys in our crew really enjoy being in the show as much as they enjoy doing their jobs. It's a team effort, and I think that's the one thing that makes the Misfits a real powerful entity is the fact that we've got thirteen guys giving you the show, not just four.
RL: Do you mind talking about the songwriting process?
JO: Not at all.
RJ: [For example,] in the early stuff, Glenn claims to have written a lot of it...
JO: Well...Glenn claims a lot of things. I mean, the sun was here before him, and so was the moon, and regardless of the comments, that's just the way it is. You know, Glenn had a problem with sharing the spotlight with anybody else. In other words, if somebody would come up and congratulate somebody else in the band, and not really talk to him, he'd be offended by it. With me, if somebody comes up, and they love Michale, and just run right past me to go talk to Michale, it makes me so happy that everyone likes Michale. We're not that way...we're not selfish to each other. With Glenn it always had to be "ME, ME, ME", "I, I, I". As for me, I was eighteen years old / seventeen years old when I started, and Doyle was twelve, and we didn't give a fuck about song-writing, and publishing, and money. We [didn't] care about it - we still don't care about it. So, the thing was when we wrote all the songs, for example, on "Walk Among Us", Glenn wrote most of the lyrics, however every once in a while, I'd give him a line, because he would mumble shit, and I would think that it was something. For example, in "Devil's Whorehouse", "...night-time for midnight masses" - I thought that's what he said during the practice, and I said "What a cool line". He said "Oh", and he wrote it down. It seems to me that if Glenn feels better by saying that he wrote all the material - it seems to me that if Glenn thinks that he's a better person by saying that, then god bless him. It doesn't matter much. The music was a team effort, most of the arrangements I did, and it just seems to me that if that makes Glenn a bigger guy, at, say, 5'3", then god bless him. I really don't care - I think our new stuff is better - but that's the old stuff. I don't think he wrote all the stuff. He says he did. We signed the paper that says he can have it, though.
RL: How about the new songwriting?
JO: Everybody. I like it better that way...the better songs come out that way.
RL: More representative of the band [that's playing the songs]...
JO: Yeah, for sure. And not only that. You'll find that when you've got everybody's input on a song they play it a little harder, because they had their say, it's a subconscious thing more than a conscious thing. I don't think anybody would dog a song 'cause they didn't have any input on it. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that when it's your kid and they get hit in the nose or scrape their knee, it hurts you a lot more than if it's the kid down the block.
RL: [speaking of hits to the face and scraped knees...], do you ever feel that the crowd gets "too into it" or too violent?
JO: No, not at all. I think our kids are very respectful of each other. For example, we played Portchester NY, and they had this wood barricade, and the kids were coming through the barricade in a constant flow, and the bouncers were trying to keep it up. I just tapped the bouncers on the shoulder and said "Look, you might as well just clear out of the pit", and they all moved out, and the kids actually tore the barricade into shreds, and handed it up to the stage in pieces, so that nobody would get hurt. So, I think that they are not destructive of each other, and I don't think that they are destructive people. I think they're just here to really get into their music, and we can go that route.
RL: How do you feel about security interfering? Tonight, you guys came out to sign autographs [and security began booting the kids out].
JO: I was very unhappy about that because I think that is one thing about our fans - we're very close to our fans, and I like to go out and see them, and see who they are, and get their ideas, and just feel the energy; feel that I'm doing the right thing because it's one thing to get out there every day and play because I love it. But it's another thing when things get tough where, instead of being a bitch, I turn around and realize that there's a ton of kids who are going to have those smiling faces on, so you suck up all the bullshit, and you try to turn it into positive energy. To me, they feed the fire for me, and feed the urge to go on. And for me to go out and sign all their stuff, it takes me five minutes, I've got to wind down after the show, anyway, and for them, they don't have to wait by the bus to get their shit signed, and they don't have to say "Oh, I'd love to meet them". You can meet us any day of the week, just come to the show. I think that that kind of relationship, when we do get big and we play big places that won't be a possibility. We'll have to do "in-stores" at record places and stuff like that. But right now, we don't need that because at our show, we're out in the crowd at the end of the gig. I don't see anyobdy else doing that, and I think that's one of the things that makes our show special.
RL: Are you familiar with the Misfits Bible at all?
JO: Oh, yeah.
RL: Do you ever read it on occasion?
JO: No I don't. See, I had a problem with it in the beginning, because everyone was flaming, they all got a fucking bug up their ass. And it just seemed to me that we got a very positive crowd of people, why should we get into this negative thoughts toward each other? Why is there a right or a wrong? Can't we just enjoy what's there and take it for face value? "black is black and white is white" - at that point, let's just all have fun with it, and I didn't see that. It just seemed to me that people were going to vent their anger. Michale got on the Internet for a while, we bought a computer and his girlfriend was doing the Fiend Club, and he was doing email, and he would bring me, like, fifty or a hundred names from email a week when he'd show up for practice. After a while, he just said "Man, everyone is just giving me shit about this, and giving me shit about that", and I said "You're nice enough to take your time to talk to these people on the Internet, and they're nice enough to stick it up your ass". At the same time, it just seemed to me that the Bible's nice for the Bible to run itself, and for the kids to take it out where they want it. It's theirs - it's the fans' website [referring to Misfits Central]. It's not my website. We're getting "Misfits.com", and it's going to be an offical Misfits site.
TV: Is that what that is? I've been trying that, and it just says "Site coming soon."
JO: Yeah, we've gotta pay the guy for the name. The new Misfits site will just be a source of information as far as touring, new songs, and the new band. It won't go into the past. There won't be anything about any of the old band members, or any of the Caroline releases, unless they release anything new, I'm sure we'll post up a new Caroline release. But as far as any of the old band, it's not a site for the history of the band - I think the Bible handles that very well. I think the Bible is like the Misfits Encycolpedia - so why should I retype what everybody else has already typed? I think I should just let you guys know what we're doing, and send you to the Bible after you find us.
[Jerry talks to the crew, and comments on planning the tour in regard to weather conditions, having slipped on the ice in Lubbock, Texas. Also makes mention of upcoming recording with Daniel Rey]
RL: When do you leave for Europe?
JO: We go to Europe in the middle of May, and we play a bunch of festivals out there. We're playing the dynamo to one hundred thousand in Holland. We're real excited about that, and then we come back right before the Fourth of July. I'm hoping that we can go to Europe and get a lot of presales for our new album...that's one of our main reasons for going. And, really, I think that we've got to start our own record company after this bullshit with Geffen, and the fact that they didn't release the single, and that they didn't give you guys any vinyl at all...I'm really aggravated. But, I'll tell you, when they did sign us up they were very open to ideas. I mean, we got our bubble gum cards, which I thought was big. They let us design everything, and just stayed out of our hair. But after the album came out, and they didn't promote it right, or push it right, and it didn't take off, they just pulled the plug on it. To be honest with you, I'm happy they pulled the plug as opposed to dragging it out for us, and I know we need our own label now, and it's always been a dream to get a big record label blow the roof off the planet. But at the same time, we tried it. It's something that I don't regret, but at the same time, I don't think it's something that we'd do again.
RL: Do you still have any right to further Caroline releases?
JO: I don't know what Caroline's doing. Really, I wish they'd take a little bit more of our input, but in a way, the old catalog is run by Caroline, and it
has the Caroline feel to it - when you look at it, you hear it, the recordings and...the new Misfits has its own feel, so if they let me control it too much, the old catalog would look like the new catalog, and there'd be no difference between yesterday and today. So I think it's good that they keep me the hell out of there, too. I got to work on the box, and I thought that came really well, and if that's the only thing they let me do at Caroline, I think I hit a home run. That's the deal with Caroline.
[motioning to the front of TVCasualty's "Santa Gogos" shirt]
I like that shirt.
TV: It's my favorite. Somebody told me that they're hard to get.
JO: We discontinued it. You know why? It's thirteen colors, it's the biggest bitch in the world to set up on the machine, then it was the least seller of the whole bunch.
TV: I can't understand it.
JO: I can't understand it, either...the colors on the face are perfect, the rest is good.
TV: Yeah, I completely understand that, I've worked with silkscreening stuff.
RL: [In terms of] merchandising, I've noticed more [new] items, such as the arm bands.
JO: Well, the kids kept asking me for the arm bands, and the arm bands, I kept telling them in the beginning, are very expensive. We could not afford to bring arm bands, and Doyle started washing them when we were on the road, because we didn't have the money to keep him in new arm bands every night. So we came to a point where, at the end of the last tour, we had some money for merchandizing, and we said "look, let's get the arm bands together", and the arm bands are good for us, now. They pay for hemselves - everytime we sell an arm band, we're able to stock another one, so hopefully we'll be able to stock armbands from now on. That's something that the kids like, they like that, and it's the same one Doyle wears, I mean, it's made the same as the rest of them. I think the real personality behind the merchandise is big for us. You know, you got the actual stuff that the band uses out for sale one the floor, so if you want it, it's something you can get. Which really, all you need is the option to get it.
RL: (running out of questions) How do you guys want to be remembered?
JO: I think we're just about the hardest band out there. I've seen a lot of acts in my day, and I don't think anybody, for an hour and a half can hang with us. I mean, there are bands that can go three hours long and stand around and flash all kinds of colored lights at you, and have a drink while they're going. It seems to me that Misfits [are] a dragster in the world of music, and it might have a short run, but it's going to be spectacular. I think that out of all of the music to come out of the last twenty years, I think that ours has got the best shot of probably hanging around there the longest. I mean, look how big the band got when there was no band. Most bands disappear when they go away. The music is a real timeless subject matter. I think that bands like the Ramones...you see, the difference between the Misfits and the Ramones is the subject matter and the vocal melodies. I think that twenty years from now, we'll probably have a stronger name than them. At the time, they were probably bigger than us, but in the long run, I think we'll do well.
RL: (out of questions) Is there anything else you wanna talk about/clear up?
JO: I really hope that the people enjoy the Bible. I know Mark Kennedy puts a lot of time into it. When we were in Europe, a Bible guy would come up every night and cover the show, and I like to report to you guys that way. We hold the Bible very dear to us, and we try to hook you guys up any time we can, and we'll continue to do that. We're here for you. Hopefully, I'm gonna come out in the summer...we'll come out on the net and talk to you guys.
TV: I wanted to know, I'm curious, how did your parents take all of this?
JO: Very well. I mean, my dad never really understood it, and maybe he still don't. My mom is always very supportive about it, because when we I was young, she used to send us to art schools and things like that, so she tried to bring out the creativity side in us. And Mom was very supportive. She would always lend her car, or stuff like that, to let us do gigs, pick us up if we broke down, wire us money and stuff like that. And the old man, he always gave us use of all his facilities, I mean we practice at his shop, and we use the fax machines, and all that kind of stuff, [use] all the lathes to make our guitars and stuff. So they're very supportive I guess you could say. That's one of the reasons we're still here.
TV: During my interview with Steve Zing, he took me around Lodi, to his house, and just had pity on me. After that, I ran a little contest on my site for his new band and we gave away some stuff. I came up to get all the stuff from him and he showed me all the Misfits stuff he has, like that "Teenagers From Mars" jacket. It's just amazing, all the stuff he's collected. [Motions to a photo of himself wearing the jacket]
JO: Yeah, it looks like the original "Teenagers", alright. He got it from me, I made that.
TV: He showed me the old house, and the garage there.
JO: [Did] You see where the kids used to sit on the roof?
TV: Yeah...he said he used to sit over there and they would just listen to you guys practice.
JO: [They're all] good people. All those kids were good. They were all younger than us...Doyle was the one who was working with us, but the rest of those guys, they all seemed really young at the time because when you're a senior in high school and everyone else is in grammar school, it's big difference. But when you're 35 and everyone else is 30, it's no longer such a big deal and ends up being a much different issue, but at the time they were all little kids, and we were always cool to them. We try to be cool to everybody, you know - we only beat up assholes.
TV: So...did you do anything before the Misfits?
JO: No, nothing at all. I got a guitar on Monday, and Friday I was in the Misfits, so it was that kind of a deal. That's why I think it's a very original project for us. Anybody who says "it's an offshoot of this" or "an offshoot of that", they're just totally out of their minds. This is probably one of the most original things to come to music since the double neck guitar or something.
TV: What about neighbors? I mean, when you guys are practicing, after a while.
JO: Yeah we blew the roof off [the garage], we also dropped the drop ceiling in our basement, so we moved out to the garage after that fell down.
TV: Did you guys do the cover for "Cough/Cool" down there?
JO: That's actually down [in] Manny's cellar, I think. The "Halloween".
RLTV: ...with all the spider webs?
JO: ...spider webs was in the back room in my basement. Actually, right behind my garage, my oldest friend is Steve Cutter - he's still a friend of mine - worked at the shop for many years and his mom lived right behind the garage, so his mom would call the cops on me at 10:00 sharp - we'd just jam until ten and wait for the cops to come knock on the door. Every night; it was like a routine. You know, we'd play right up 'til then.
TV: Just kinda like a given, hm?
JO: Yeah. One day in the middle of the afternoon, it was really nice out, so we decided "Hey, let's drag all of the equipment outside", so we brought everything out, and were halfway through the first song, and there were two cop cars, saying "we've had fifty calls".
TV: What about when Doyle was in school...how did the kids react to that? [that he was in the band at the time]
JO: Everybody knew us. In school, as you can see, we infiltrate the entire yearbook. Everybody knew us, so we had no problem with the kids, we had more problem with the people in charge. Like Doyle's eigth grade graduation, they wouldn't give him his diploma because he had pink hair and a pink suit.
TV: "Pink Punk Pupil Provokes Principal" - I saw that.
John Grimm: Pink-haired pussy.
TV: I think it was even quoted in the article that you were out in the audience and had blue hair. I can't even imagine that.
JO: Yeah, it was hard at the time. People weren't ready for it. I mean, you could read it in tabloids in New York City, and you could see it in rock and roll magazines, but it wasn't in New Jersey. There was no punk scene in New Jersey. So, it's kinda funny, because we were one of the pivots points in the whole American punk scene...and there we were in "Bum-fuck, NJ".
TV: More than anything, it just seems - well, I was talking to Steve, and he said that your dad seems like a real straight-laced guy. How in the world did he keep from kicking you out?
JO: I mean, we're very responsible people. We got good grades in school, we worked with him all day long. We'd take our paychecks and buy guitars. That's the difference: some kid down the block would have a GTO, which he'd polish every day, we'd be throwing guitars against the wall.
TV: But you had a Corvette, right? Tell me about that.
JO: Yeah, I bought that in 1980. I was gonna buy a Mazda, and the Mazda was half the price of the Corvette. My old man took me down, and showed [it to me], and said, "Look at his...look at this car". I'm looking at it and he goes "When you buy this, you're buying an American car. You buy the other car, you put somebody out of work. One person loses their job because you buy some piece of shit from another country that isn't half the car this is." It was like $12,000, and I said "Man, I ain't got that kind of cash". Well, I wasn't married, and I was making maybe $350 a week or something like that. So he told me, "Look, you buy that car, I'll pay for half of it", so I bought it.
John Grimm: You tell your old man when I wanna buy a 'Vette.
JO: Now it's like a house.
TV: He sounds like a great man.
JO: He was right - it was a fantastic car, and it's funny: I made my last payment from the hospital.
TV: ...in the pool, right?
JO: (laughs) I almost wound up in a swimming pool. My car got ripped in half, and I broke all my ribs, and I still get sick a lot, because my one lung still doesn't have the stamina of the other one. You know, he was right, but I haven't owned a car since.
TV: You think that Mazda would've kept you as safe as that plastic car?
JO: No, I would've been dead.
TV:Didn't Kenny (Caiafa) paint a bat or something on the hood?
JO: No, I did it with trimming, and the front of the car was real long, and it would swoop over, so the bat had the wings that were tapered that came down the side. It looked really great. I remember one time we played out at St. Mark's Place in New York, and me, Doyle and Glenn came pulling up in the Corvette with the lids off. I parked right in the middle of the sidewalk, and just jumped out, ran in, and did the gig. [Everyone] was like "Wow, what the fuck is this? We thought this was like the poor boy's music, and you guys come pulling up..."
TV: ...it's like "Batman".
JO: (laughs) That was a really great car, man. That was a tough accident. Well, it also goes to show you that it's something that's nice to have, but it really has nothing to do with your life. When it got smashed, I had money to go buy a new one, and I just said "Oh, fuck it...someday". So, someday, I'll buy one.
TV: So what about going over to England...you guys toured over there?
JO: With Glenn...yeah. It was bad...it was fucked up. We got treated poorly, we had to walk off the tour.
RJ: Was that the tour with the Dammned?
JO: Yeah - That's why today, when we get opening acts for us, we try to help them out the best we can. You know, if they don't have food on their rider, we try to feed [them]. If they don't have enough room in their van and somebody's got to sleep in our Winnebago on the couch. Some of the H2O guys slept here, Marky Ramone's boys slept here. I know what it is to be in another country, totally broke and people fucking with you, and I don't like it. I wouldn't do that to anybody. Whatever don't kill you, makes you stronger.
TV: I wear these shirts religously to work, and I work in an electronics factory, and all these old ladies, they all gang up and call me "devil worshipper", because of the shirts. See, they don't understand what you guys are like; they don't understand that you're out there looking out for everybody.
JO: Well, that's true. I think that, really, the way to win a battle is in the trenches, and if you've got a bunch of kids who are out there debating devil worship or something like that, thinking it's posh ...it's nice to have a band like the Misfits come out and say "What, are you crazy? What the fuck are you thinking? Don't be a follower, be a leader". You know the attitude we put forth? People are afraid of what they don't know. So, it's more of an education program than it is that "we don't like old ladies because they say this", you know what I mean?
TV: Alright, since everybody's here, almost, how'd this go? I mean, being stuck together for so long. Did it turn out better than you thought it would?
JO: Well...we had a hard time, because on this tour, we were playing some really small places, with really bad systems. And what happens is that you feel frustrated because you can't do what you know you can fucking do...and when you get frustrated, you take it out on the people closest to you. So, we had a morale problem the first couple of weeks, because we're supposed to be playing places like this every night and selling out. It's just growing pains, and the main thing is, if you get into an argument with one of your mates.
[Michale walks in...]
RLTV: So you guys are ready to roll on...going to take some time off?
JO: Yeah, I'm going to take off tomorrow. (laughs) And then I'm going back on my program...I usually get up and lift, but I'm going to have to change that because we need a couple of great songs right away, so I have to get up and write, and when I can't play no more, I've gotta go lift. So I go from an early morning lifting job to an early afternoon lift.
[Mike puts some books and stuff on the table in front of Jerry]
Mike: I'm just gonna put this stuff right here for now.
TV: Do you guys have a pretty strict regimin as far as working out and diet and everything?
JO: I definitely do, and as I get older, I'm going to have to be more strict, and more aggressive with it. But as I say, it's all what you want for yourself. You know, I can't make everybody get up and lift, and I can't make everybody go out and sign autographs after the gig - it's not about that. [People say] "Hey, where's this guy" or "where's that guy?", and I say "Look, I don't know". You know, this is my schtick; this is what I do - it's what I bring to the table. So for me, lifting is a major part of my life, and it's really not so much physical as it is mental. Just knowing that I'm doing everything I can to be the best that I can.
TV:And you guys with families; how is it being away?
JO: Good. You know, you call home everyday, there's twenty things going on, and this is going on...and you're missing all of it.
TV: Yeah, the dogs are barking, the kids are cyring...
[they're getting ready to go, and so are we...]
RL: Thanks for the interview.
JO: My pleasure, my friend.
[Jerry dissolves into background talk as we go ask Doyle to sign our jackets]
Mike: (in a silly voice) Hello, Hello...One, Two.
TV: Sing us a line, Michale...
Mike: (in an even sillier voice) "Eat...my... ass..."
RJ: [asking about playing the Worcester Palladium again]
JO: Well, this is the only kinda place we're gonna fit in with the next stage set we build, so I'm hoping that they've got enough tickets going to make this happen.
RJ: How about the Middle East, in Cambridge?
JO: We won't be back there, I don't think. We won't fit. I told the booking guy "if we don't fit, I ain't playing", because we're going to build this really nice stage set...I wanna start making good shows. You know, it's one thing to come out and thrash out forty songs a night, as long as you have some cool stuff going on at the same time.
RJ: Are you guys working on your own set design?
JO: Yeah... Well, we were just with GWAR the other day, so the guys from GWAR are working on it. That might be my Halloween run, "The Greatest Show on Earth" - us and GWAR.
RJ: Yeah, I saw that you guys did a couple of dates with them last year.
JO: So I'm talking to GWAR about that right now...we're playing with them in Atlanta on September 5th. Thanks guys...
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