High Times #255, 11/96 ---------------------- MISFITS RESURRECTED by Zena Tsarfin If the punk scene of the late '70s had a skeleton in its closet, it was the Misfits. They delved into a dark world filled with B-movie references to ghouls and brain-eating zombies, compounded by walls of buzzing guitars and howling vocals. The Misfits' horror-punk image combined a '50s greaser style with fresh-from-the-grave fashions: spikes, devilocks and corpse paint. Adopting their name from Marilyn Monroe's last flick and lifting the skull symbol from the movie Crimson Ghost, the Misfits scared the hell out of anyone who got in their way. Formed in Lodi, NJ in 1977 by vocalist Glenn Danzig and bassist Jerry Only, the Misfits maintained a DIY attitude from the start, putting out albums on their own label, Plan 9 (named after Ed Wood's movie), and booking their own shows. This gang of ghouls often performed on a stage occupied by skeletons and coffins, sometimes rising out of the caskets to open their shows. When Danzig left the group and formed Samhain in 1983, the Misfits dissolved. While the Misfits were never known as a potsmoking band, Bobby Steele, who joined as a guitarist in 1978, came to realize the healing powers of marijuana when he was experiencing complications due to spina bifida. "A friend broke out a joint and when I got home I realized the pain was gone," Steele says. "I wasn't having spasms, I went to the hospital and told them, your pills aren't working, the pot's working. I have to say that pot really saved my life." Steele has been in the Undead since 1980. Ironically, it was after the Misfits' breakup that the band began to amass their legion of hardcore fans--by way of Metallica, who frequently sported Misfits t-shirts reading "Die Die My Darling" and "Fiend Club." Caroline helped the resurgence by reissuing the classic 1982 album Walk Among Us, as well as two best-ofs, Collection I and Collection II, before releasing a four-disc set early this year. The coffin-shaped, red-velvet-lined box includes all the bands releases, plus rare studio outtakes and a remastered version of their first single, "Static Age." The success of these projects inevitably led to the Misfits' resurrection. The group now consists of Only, his brother Doyle on guitar, drummer Dr. Chud and new vocalist Michale Graves. A dead ringer for early Danzig--complete with devilock, hip thrusts and Elvis-meets-Roy-Orbison vocal style--the 21 year-old Graves was never a big Misfits fan. "My brother used to listen to them," he recalls. "One of his t-shirts had the Misfits' skull on it. I stole it because it was cool." Graves won the job after an audition. A HIGH TIMES reader, the singer believes "everyone should smoke pot." He'd even like the band to play a weed benefit. "We might scare the hippies," Graves warns. "I don't know what we'd look like on acid."