Although Glenn Danzig is one of the most important voices in both punk and metal history, by most accounts he’s less than a joy to be around. Just because somebody is an icon doesn’t mean they aren’t an asshole.
In 2011, Danzig played a handful of concerts as Danzig Legacy, in which he would perform truncated sets from his eponymous band, Samhain, and Misfits. Each era would be represented not only by members from their respective points in time, but with entirely different stage backdrops to fit the material they were playing.
Seems fun, right? Well, if anyone could ruin a good time it’s Glenn fucking Danzig.
Danzig Legacy was set to headline the Black Stage at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest on November 4th. Arriving in Austin the morning of the show, Danzig told festival organizers he wasn’t going to play because it was too cold and he had a cough. He demanded vitamins, french onion soup and a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s. The festival promoters negotiated with Danzig and his team for most of the day, ensuring the singer would be provided with on-stage heaters and an on-site doctor.
Scheduled for a set time of 8:15 pm that night, Danzig again refused to take the stage citing the cold, his cough and anger with the pre-approved stage setup. He eventually relented and began the Legacy performance to a booing crowd at 9pm. The festival was forced to adhere to a strict 10pm curfew due to city ordinance. It wasn’t going to end well..
Although the crowd’s reception became positive once he finally started playing, the performance itself was clearly uninspired. Danzig struggled with his voice and repeatedly left the stage. His crew struggled with the separate backdrops. After trudging their way through Danzig and Samhain sets, it was time for Misfits. The time was 9:50pm.
In an attempt to pass the blame, said to the crowd: “We wanted to do a lot more songs for you but they are telling us we have to shut our power off in 5 minutes. Don’t blame me, we came halfway across the country to play for you guys. Whoever is in charge, whoever you are, why don’t you come out here and tell all these people that you want us off in 5 minutes? You wanna hear more right? I guess they’ve never heard of a thing called a riot before, but we’ll play as long as they fucking let us.”
The band launched into “Vampira” and the power was cut upon the song’s completion. Although Danzig refused to leave the stage for another 15 minutes while he attempted to rile up the crowd, nothing even resembling a riot occurred. A few assholes threw a few bottles for a few minutes. Everyone went home.
The organizers of Fun Fun Fun took a lot of heat from angry Danzig fans on the internet for a few days. Finally, festival organizer Graham Williams took to Facebook to clear the air. It turns out that what transpired that day was nothing short of a masterclass in being a complete douchebag.
“Hi. I book the fest. Those that are hating could NOT be more wrong. Yes, someone has your money and ripped you off. His name is Glenn. Stop by his house in LA with some kitty litter in trade for your refund, but we still had to pay him and he didn’t deserve it after what he pulled. Here is how it went down…check the timeline:
-Glenn flies in this morning and says he has a cold and doesn’t want feel like playing the show. he demands french onion soup and vitamins brought to his hotel suite. He wants to soup now and wants it hot. we get it.
-Glenn says it’s freezing in Austin and he can’t go on. says it’s going to be 28 degrees tonight and he won’t perform (keep in mind, it’s currently 71 and sunny with a night forecast of maybe 50+). He says we have to move the show/festival inside if we want him to play (obviously, that’s not possible).
-We rent stage heaters (no other bands, Public Enemy, MCD, Passion Pit, etc need or want heaters on stage…it’s warm up there and not cold out) for Glenn per demand, as well as bring in an onsite doctor to make him happy and be there if his cold doesn’t go away.
-Agents and Managers assure us he’s going to play now.
-Glenn’s band/crew arrive before him in the afternoon and load gear. They said it all works, they get up the Danzig banner, check lights, are happy.
-Glenn arrives at 7:45 (half hour before showtime, they go on at 8:15 exactly and have a 90 min set…park curfew by the city/police is 10pm sharp)…when he arrives, he says he’s not going to play. (He) Says he doesn’t like how the banners are hung on stage and doesn’t like the lighting or stage size (all this was advanced in email and phone well in advance and the band/crew loaded in mid day and were happy with it and said it would work…stage wasn’t small at all). He wouldn’t leave his trailer to go look at the stage, though, so the lighting company drew up specs for him to look at of the stage lighting 50 feet from his trailer and brought it to him to look over and prove him wrong.
-In the meantime, Glenn’s bodyguard gets pushy (literally) with Murder City Devils manager and tells them they can’t have their friends watch MCD from stage and wants them to cut their set. (Then) kicks them off stage and gets physical with the band and stafff….oh, also Danzig says he’s just as big as Slayer and Slayer is playing a bigger stage on Sunday and that’s bullshit and wants to play the same stage slayer is playing…or won’t play. makes him look bad.
-It’s now 8:15 and time for them to go on. The band is ready, corpse make ups done, guitars tunes. Glenn says he’s not playing and that it’s too cold outside. he said big stages should have windscreen so wind can’t blow on him from the side. The stage managers then goes and gets tarps and tarp the entire side of the stage so now wind will hit him.
-It’s now 8:40. we explain that it’s cutting into the set and he’s going to have cut the 90 min set if he doesn’t play soon, as park curfew is 10. He says he doesn’t feel like playing. says “I got a death bug. if i go on stage and get sick, I’ll die. I’m not getting sicker for this show” (NOTE: he totally looks and seems fine…no coughing, no paleness, no vomiting, just some balding and a gut, from what i can tell). We get the Dr. and he says he can do a b12 shot or anything he needs if he feels bad…Danzig says he only treats illnesses naturally, so won’t do that. We finally get him to agree to play and have already informed his crew that it’s only 60 mins (9pm at this point) and they start cutting some songs from the set list, so they can still do Misfits, but obviously didn’t cut enough.
-They went on almost and hour late due to the HANDS DOWN biggest rock star moment we’ve ever dealt with and then he tries to start a riot and blames the fest, the city, the cops and everyone, but himself. goes backstage and tries to fight a few ppl and get in the van and leaves.
The end…. we’re bummed too. we wanted to hear Skulls.”
In a remarkable postscript to the story, Slayer posted this picture to their Facebook along with the caption: “Great show tonight @FunFunFunFest got everything we needed”