If you follow Glenn Danzig’s career long enough, a couple of things become clear. One: He’s the fucking man — one of the greatest frontmen in the history of both punk and metal, a man whose fearsome wail was enough to make high school less shitty for millions of kids. Two: He’s also an absolute dick sometimes. On Friday night, Danzig headlined one stage at Austin’s great Fun Fun Fun Fest with his Danzig Legacy show, which includes sets of his music from his bands Danzig, Samhain, and the Misfits. This should’ve been an example of Danzig being the man. Instead, it turned out to be just one more instance of Danzig’s general dickishness and disregard for his own fans. And just like what happened in this video, it looks like Danzig’s own dickishness will probably hurt him, since absolutely nobody is taking his side in the dispute with Fun Fun Fest’s organizers.
As Rolling Stone reports, Danzig and his band started their set 45 minutes late — this at a fest where every other stage, by all accounts, ran on time. And according to most of the people who were there, he and his band were relatively listless onstage. The festival had a hard curfew of 10PM, and that meant that Danzig’s power was cut off after just two songs of his Misfits set. From the stage, immediately before the set abruptly ended, Danzig attempted to incite an actual riot. Other than a few thrown bottles, though, there was no disruption from the crowd, and the night ended without incident.
According to a statement from Fun Fun Fun Fest promoters Transmission Entertainment, Danzig repeatedly attempted to pull out of the show, claiming that he was too sick to go onstage and complaining about nearly every aspect of the show, including stuff that his management had approved months beforehand. Danzig’s long been an erratic onstage performer, but most of this stuff just makes him sound like a monster pain in the ass and someone who no self-respecting promoter would ever book to anything ever again. It’s too bad. If I hadn’t moved this past week, I would’ve probably been down in Austin for the festival, and that Danzig set would’ve been one of the main reasons. According to everything I’ve seen about the show, the massive disappointment that was Danzig’s set was nobody’s fault but Danzig’s.
Later at the Fest, Ted Leo And The Pharmacists did their best to make up for the Danzig disappointment. Leo came out dressed as Danzig, and he and his band played a few Danzig covers — something Leo’s done before. Yet another example of Leo being awesome.
Oh, and in other Fun Fun Fun Fest news: Ryan Gosling and Terrence Malick were there filming a movie, which seems implausible but possibly great, and someone made a Tumblr out of Gosling being there, which just makes sense.
Below, we’ve got video of Danzig’s set ending (via Brooklyn Vegan) and Leo’s cover of “Skulls,” as well as the complete statement from the promoters.
The promoters’ statement, via Brooklyn Vegan:
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. 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. 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 deathbug. 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.
we’re bummed to. we wanted to hear Skulls.