~A chat with Misfits project coordinator, Tom Bejgrowicz~
October 09, 2001
Via electronic transmission
After the initial interview with Tom, I found that I had more questions about some of the things we talked about before. True to form, Tom was kind enough to endure round two and quickly reply with more answers..
TVCasualty: After hearing Glenn state in the "Static Age" outtakes that he's "messing up, and better try sitting down on this one", I've wondered if there are alternate versions of a couple of songs from those sessions with Glenn playing guitar. It's listed in Mark Kennedy's discography that he indeed played on a few tracks before having Frank overdub them, but there is no mention as to whether or not Glenn's guitar tracks survived the sessions. If they DO exist, is there any intent for them to be made available?
Tom Bejgrowicz: It's quite possible that those tracks exist on the multi-track masters but were saved as what they would normally call "live" tracks. "Live" tracks would then be put aside as the band members came in and officially tracked the final run-throughs. Normally, those latter tracks were the ones used in the final mixes. There is no intent to go back and do any further work on "Static Age" including re-mixing, re-mastering or anything else since so much has been done on it to date already. I think it's perfect as it is.
TV: Looking over the catalog of re-mixed and remastered Misfits offerings from Caroline, I see that we're missing, most notably "Earth A.D." Do you have any plans to work your magic on that record at some point?
TB: There are no plans to go in and do any further work to "Earth A.D." or any other Misfits releases through Caroline.
TV: What can you tell me about the assembly of "Collection 2"? Again, were those tracks readily available to you, and in reasonably good shape?
TB: " II" was assembled by Glenn Danzig in the late 1980s. The master tape was already spliced together by him when we received in in 1995 and it was actually one of the more difficult to repair and master, not due to any negligence or anything. With that said, nothing was damaged and that record's sound quality is quite good.
TV: Will we ever see the Max's X-mas recordings? It's been said that Caroline has refused to release it due to the overdubs.
TB: I firmly believe that the records released by Caroline since 1995 represent the best material available in the archives and thus deliver the highest quality for the fans to enjoy. There are, as I've said earlier here, no plans at this point for any further Caroline/Misfits releases.
TV: Were the Glenn Danzig "Who Killed Marilyn?" master tapes "lost" (not available to Caroline)?
TB: Caroline deals solely with Glenn's work within The Misfits, not his solo works. Glenn is most likely in possession of those master tapes as it was his recording.
TV: Has Caroline ever tried to wrest "Walk Among Us" from Slash/WB?
TB: No and there's not much of a chance of that album changing ownership. That's a pretty big undertaking, legally, and labels like to hold on to good selling "back-catalog" like The Misfits.
TV: All of the major newsgroups related to The Misfits and Danzig are abuzz with comments on the new releases from both Caroline and the "New" Misfits. Many people speculate that Caroline will release an album every time the "New" Misfits offer a new album. Can you help to calm things down and assure us that the timing of the releases are indeed a coincidence?
TB: I have always been supportive of Jerry's work with his new incarnation of The Misfits. I would never, ever dream of trying to play some game of "we've got to release an album when they do." That would be petty and any coinciding release dates are just that - coincidence. Halloween is just the perfect date for a Misfits release and obviously both parties thought the same thing!
TV: I've read a brief synopsis of methods used to determine the color of vinyl in a sealed record, specifically regarding the "Static Age" and "Collection 2" releases. Two questions relating to this: Was that an intentional maneuver by Caroline to aid in fair distribution? Do you feel that knowledge like that spoils the fun in vinyl collecting?
TB: The colored vinyl on those releases, as well as on the upcoming "12 Hits From Hell", were inserted randomly and shipped in the same fashion to guarantee fairness and to hopefully stop stores from opening them and charging fans high prices for the colored copies. I felt that knowledge of any way that certain colors may or may not be shrink-wrapped took some of the fun out of it and yet at the same time the collective nature of the fans created its own fun.
TV: I know that pressing plants can overrun a run of records, sometimes as much as 10 percent. When you say that there were 1000 orange copies of "Record A", could there in fact be as many as 1100 floating around out there? Do you know if Caroline keeps any actual numbers on these things?
TB: Numbers that are posted are NOT 100% accurate, they could be off by 10% as you so correctly noted. But being off by that much is by far the exception to the rule, more likely it's 3 or 4% if at all. I'm sure the manufacturers keep the specific numbers on hand but that kind of information could only be retrieved on the newer releases due to record keeping over the years.
TV: In keeping with the previous question, have you ever considered turning the tables on the conventional method of colored vinyl pressing, and made black copies the smallest percentage of the pressing?
TB: You bet. I almost did that on the Bad Brains "Black Dots" record making the "white" limited version the "black" limited version (to play into the title). However, colored vinyl is more expensive to manufacture so getting any label to agree to a loss in profits, no matter how small, is difficult to say the least!
TV: Lastly, on the subject of colored vinyl: When pressing multiple colors of vinyl, do you have the pressing plates cleaned between color changes, or do you just allow the pressing to go on, uninterrupted? The reason I ask, is because I have a "Violent World" on green vinyl, that has what appears to be brown streaking in it. I've surmised that the brownish coloration was a product of leftover orange plastic getting into the green - any thoughts on that?
TB: That depends on the plant and, yes, sometimes you will get run-over from a previous color appearing in your color. You can sometimes figure out a printing process of which colors went first and in the case of "Violent World" the orange seems to have gone to press before the green as my copies of that colored vinyl have the same characteristics as yours does.
TV: I saw a copy of "12 Hits From Hell" offered on Ebay last week, and several more just today - how do these things happen?
TB: You get press, radio or music retail people who receive free copies to play on the radio or in their store or review in a publication or on-line and sometimes they'll just sell them if they don't want them. It's hard to stop them, although it's not legal, but that's how it happens.
TV: Do you have knowledge of any video footage from 77-83 to be released, or for that matter, have you ever seen any good enough to be considered?
TB: For the record, there's no video footage being considered for release. The only live footage I have seen that's worth releasing by anyone however is the Boston show filmed at The Channel. That's a good one since it actually has acceptable audio. If you haven't seen it, it's from a show prior to the "Die, Die My Darling" 12" coming out with Glenn, Jerry, Doyle and Robo. It's fast and brutal as hell with multiple cameras and angles - good stuff.
TV: I'm sure nothing will ever top the discovery of "In the Doorway", but do you have any other exciting stories about any of the Misfits-related projects you've done for Caroline?
TB: Exciting? There's tons of excitement that I'm not at liberty to discuss but there's tons of "cool" stuff - that's for sure. Hearing a good copy of "Static Age" for the first time was a great moment and that was right off the bat in 1995. Everything about that album was exciting to me; hearing the out-takes and compiling the bonus tracks to bringing forth the entire session, talking to and meeting producer Dave Achelis, having Steve Zing give me an original button made by Glenn and Jerry in the basement back in the day and basically putting together what is arguably one of the greatest punk rock records ever. For the "Box Set" I was very psyched to find the master tape with the "Spook City U.S.A." whole band version. The "Sessions" disc was a blast for me to round up all those rarities and put it on one CD. It's a bootleggers nightmare you know and that was the fun of having it all right there at your finger-tips, only sounding good and mastered this time around. I could go on and on about the "Box Set" but the crowning moment was getting Jerry, Doyle, Bobby, Franché and Mr. Jim all together for the signing we did at Generation Records in New York City at midnight the day of release. Most recently there was a lot of excitement for me in finding the sheet from the MSP studio that confirmed that those sessions were to be a full-length album, no questions asked. That piece of paper spawned the "12 Hits From Hell" album and as I went deeper into the project everything just fit together so nicely. I truly love this release and hope it's loved by others soon too.
TV: Have you ever been to any "New" Misfits shows?
TB: I support the incarnation as Jerry is a really nice guy but I'm not much of a fan of the music, the idea in general nor their live show. However, I attended 3 of their shows since they brought the name back; NYC, LA and Leipzig. I haven't seen them since the summer of 1999 although I would have loved to have seen them during the short stint they did with Zoli from Ignite as the lead singer. Zoli's one of the best singers out there today and he could give it a go with the best of 'em.
TV: Would you say you've enjoyed rescuing these Misfits recordings from certain obscurity - making them widely available?
TB: Words could not describe how much fun it's been. These tapes hopefully would have seen the light of day with or without me but that I was put in charge of it all is truly one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me. What makes me feel equally as good is hearing fellow fans enjoy these releases as well. I love how they've reacted to getting the whole picture, the rare photos, the memorabilia, the liner notes and great sound quality. I just hope they've enjoyed hearing them half as much as I have putting them together.
TV: What would you say has been your greatest piece of work in producing or putting together a recording package?
TB: No doubt it was creating the "Box Set" but I'm also extremely proud of putting together the "Static Age" and "12 Hits From Hell" records. I think these records bring all of the elements together for once; sound quality, pictures, information and fun. I've also put together the Century Media Records 10th Anniversary Box Set (3 CDs, a 90 page booklet, hardcover case) and that's possibly my second favorite project, as I was in charge of it from creation to design and it's coming out just as I planned it. That should be out by November, I believe.
TV: If there was anything different you could have done on ANY of the releases you ever worked on, what would it have been (whether it be The Misfits or any other releases)?
TB: There's always some sort of hind-sight-20/20 to everything we do. I won't get into specifics but I'd say with The Misfits projects there's not much I would change.
TV: My thanks once again to Tom, for sharing some of his experiences with us, and to Ryq Boring for submitting some questions and stirring my brain just a bit more.
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