Index Misfits Samhain Danzig Misfits '95 Undead Biographies Related Bands Appendices Lyrics/Tab Forum


   Interview with Bobby Steele at The Point in Atlanta

The former guitarist of the Misfits shows that he will "Never Say Die!"

I must say that it was an honor to meet and get to know Bobby Steele, a 
great musician that shouted out a loud, angry "FUCK YOU!" to the music 
business and even the whole world with a punk-rock attitude that will "Never
Say Die".  I had a lot of questions about him, the Undead, and his days 
during and after the Misfits, and he gave me the answers to these questions
that dwell inside the minds of every fiend.  In no way is this a slam 
to the Misfits because, I must admit, both bands and all the members of 
each band have been very kind to me, including Jerry and Bobby, and I love
their music.  But every Misfits and Undead fan wants to know what exactly
is on Bobby Steele's mind, and he speaks his mind in this interview.  
Enjoy, fiends!

CJFiend:  Do people usually know you as "Bobby Steele from the Undead" or
"Bobby Steele, former Misfit"?

Bobby Steele:  Kinda a bit of both, I think.  It's kinda hard to say how 
many people know me for the Undead and how many people know me for the

CJ:  So you guys just re-released a CD in the states called "Dawn of the 
Undead".  Does that include almost every track you've ever recorded?

Bobby:  Pretty much everything from 1981 to about 1991. We've recorded some
other stuff after '91--some stuff that isn't on there and some limited
edition 45s that will be re-recorded for the next album.

CJ:  Tell us a little about "Dawn of the Undead."

Bobby:  It's basically a collection of the first two 12"s, "Never Say Die"
and "Act Your Rage", and a couple of rarer bits from the early days of 
the band.  It was originally just released in Australia on CD, and they 
just recently expanded the company and released it in the US to have that 
availability for the US market.

CJ:  Tell us a little about the Undead, the history behind it...

Bobby:  (laughs) Well, it's kinda a complicated history because actually 
it started as a toss-up on either calling it the Scabs, which was a previous 
band that I was in before the Misfits, or the Undead, which was a name that 
I always wanted but everyone was always afraid to be in a band with that 
kind of name.  So, I finally settled on the Undead, and we worked 
really hard our first year.  Our first year, we got signed to Stiff Records 
and put out an EP, toured around a little bit.  Then I got struck really 
sick, had some of problems with my legs and was in and out of the 
hospital for a year, which really screwed everything up for the band.  And a 
lot of good friends of mine started saying a lot of really nasty things 
about me on tour, which also started hurting the reputation of the band.  
And it wasn't until everyone was starting to fade away that I got a strong 
hold, started moving around making a name for myself.  It's been an uphill 
battle from here, and I've had 50 different musicians in the band just 
because they can't take what this band has to go through and its competition 
with "that other band" (the Misfits).  They can't hang with it, so 
I'm solely winning it and that's what matters to me.

CJ:  I remember you spilt up with the Misfits, but the funny thing that I
found out on the Misfits Bible was that Glenn Danzig helped you out with
"Nine Toes Later."

Bobby:  Yeah, Glenn helped me out quite a bit, and I started looking back
on that.  It wasn't until I read an interview with Jerry Only in Jersey 
Beat in '92 I think it was that I started looking back on it all.  I read
all the things he was saying, and I was looking back through some old 
interviews and started looking back on everything.  It finally occurred to me 
and I said, "Wait a minute--if Glenn really hated me so much, then why
did he start coming to Undead shows and provided me with the money to put 
out and support 'Nine Toes Later'?"  Then everything started pointing in 
the other direction, and it really came down to Jerry.  I started talking 
to a lot of people who are close to Jerry, and I saw that it was all 
Jerry's doing.  Glenn never really wanted me out of the band because he 
depended on Jerry so much financially that he did whatever Jerry wanted him
to do at the time, and Jerry went and screwed up the whole thing.

CJ:  You released an album a while back called "Act Your Rage."  Tell us 
about the success of that because I heard that it sold quite a few copies.

Bobby:  That was really a surprise.  I put that out on my own, didn't have 
any distributors and didn't want to deal with any distributors because 
I've had bad experiences with them before.  They take your records, and 
they never give you your money--it kills the whole momentum of it. When 
that record is out there and it sells, you want to replace those copies 
right away.  And they do anything possible to prevent you from doing that 
because they're your competition and don't want other records taking their 
business.  So I basically just said "Fuck you!" to the distributors and 
called some record stores.  I was in a unique position to do that, so I 
called the stores and told them, "Hey, I was in the Misfits."  They would 
talk to me and set some good deals--it was strictly cash-on-delivery.  And
I sold 6,000 copies in the first two weeks, and it just kept going.  By 
8 months, I already topped the 10,000 mark, and it's probably approaching
the 30,000 mark at this point with the "Dawn of the Undead" re-release. 
I'm really happy with that record.

CJ:  There's a pretty complicated story with you being kicked out of the 

Bobby:  (slightly laughs) Yeah!

CJ:  Tell us a little about that because it's something that I know every
one wants to hear.

Bobby:  Well, here's what I put together on the whole thing.  We were 
getting ready for our Halloween show (Halloween 1980), and we never 
scheduled practice.  Everyone called everyday and said, "Hey, we're gonna 
practice."  And it was like, if Jerry wanted to practice, we did, and if he 
didn't want to, we didn't.  And I'd call Jerry, and he'd say, "Don't worry, 
we're not having practice tonight."  Little did I know, they were having 
practice anyway, and this was all part of Jerry's scam to get rid of me.  
And finally Glenn was getting really annoyed that I wasn't showing up for
practice, and Jerry said, "Well, my brother's right here, and he kinda 
knows the songs.  Let's just teach him the stuff and let him do it."  And 
Glenn fell for it.  And I spoke to Glenn's ex-girlfriend at the time, and
she said when he told her that I was out of the band, he wasn't, like, 
happy to get rid of me.  It was more like he was under pressure to get rid
of me.  And I got the boot the week before the Halloween show, and they 
gave me all kinds of excuses like, "Doyle was a better guitar player than
me."  And at the time, it was an obvious lie, and Jerry finally broke 
down and said, "Because Doyle looks cooler."  And I said, "Well, if it's 
over that, fine, but don't go around bullshitting about my ability", which 
is what they eventually did like saying, "Oh, Bobby sucked on guitar, 
Bobby was a drug addict, Bobby didn't show up for practice, Bobby didn't 
show up at the studio..."  And it was all a big crock of lies, and I think 
what I've done since the Misfits has proven that I'm not a fuck-up and I'm
not unreliable, and I accomplished a lot more with a $6,000 investment than
what Jerry could do with a $250,000 investment with that Kryst the 
Conquerer fuckin' thing. I think it speaks for itself right there.

CJ:  I remember Jerry saying that Doyle played guitar for the Misfits off
and on since he was 12.

Bobby:  Nah!  Every once in a while, Doyle would come out to the garage, 
pick up the guitar and play some songs with us.  He was never really in 
the Misfits (at the time).  Like sometimes when Glenn and Joey (Image) 
didn't show up, I'd play drums and Doyle would play guitar, and we would jam
on some Ramones and Sex Pistols stuff, even some Undead stuff.  Basically,
you can be assured that if it comes out of Jerry's mouth, it's a lie. 
Jerry admits to being a liar, and there's not a word that I've ever heard 
come out of his mouth that has the slightest bit of truth.  I remember 
there was one interview he did where he tells the interviewer a bunch of 
lies on the record, and then he said to the guy, "Off the record--I don't
want you to print this because I don't want to hurt Bobby's reputation--
but Bobby used to sell drugs." Which was the only thing that was true, and 
he wouldn't have them print that because God forbid Jerry could ever be
associated with the truth.  He has such an aversion to the truth that he'd 
rather lie to hurt me than to just tell the truth, which is just as bad as 
it could be anyway.  The guy makes no sense to me.  I mean, he made 
a lot of money off the Box Set, and he just doesn't wanna pay it to me 
because he knows that if he pays me what he owes me, I could do so much 
with the Undead that I could make him look like a fool, and he just doesn't 
want to face up to that kind of competition.  I challenge him.  If he could
just give me half the money he owes me, or $25,000 of the $70,000 he owes
me, I can wipe the Misfits across the fucking map.  I've got better songs, 
and at the shows, the first response I get, especially from Bible members, 
is, "You guys are much better than the Misfits!"  And that's the 
way it is.  Jerry's got some good ideas, but he's a lowsy songwriter and 
a horrible person.

CJ:  So, what's your relationship with the Misfits now? Do you talk to 
them and get along?

Bobby:  I get along with everybody but Jerry.  Whenever I try to talk to 
Jerry, it's just like, lies--he just bullshits me.  I heard him say so many 
times, "You'll get your money, you'll get your money," and I even got 
a thing in writing saying that I would be getting my money this past October.
I never saw anything.  That's the way he is--he's just a liar.  I talked to 
Chud, Michale (Graves), and Doyle, and they're not the ones holding out the 
money on me--it's all Jerry's doing.  I mean, Doyle and I get together and 
talk, and it's like we're old friends.  I get along with everybody but Jerry.

CJ:  By the way, what do you think about "American Psycho"?

Bobby:  (flipping someone at the door off and laughing) Hold on, let me let 
this guy in here.  (lets him in and comes back)  I'm back.  It was better 
than I was expecting it to be--I was expecting it to be more like Kryst 
the Conqueror, and I'm pleased that it wasn't.  But after several listens, 
I really noticed that the only songs on there that captured the Misfits'
essence were the last two.

CJ:  Yeah, I noticed that towards the end of the album, the songs are 
REALLY good!

Bobby:  Yeah, it's like the beginning of the album starts off weak.  First 
off, the instrumental "Dr. Phibes" was cool, but "American Psycho"--that's
not the Misfits.  If they had done it by a different name, I would have 
given it an 8 or a 9.

CJ:  Possibly "Earth A.D." with a different vocalist.

Bobby:  Yeah.  I think I like it a little bit better than "Earth A.D."  I
don't like all that fast stuff.

CJ:  You didn't like "Earth A.D."?

Bobby:  Nah.  Not at all.  I like this better than "Earth A.D.", but not 
as much as a lot of the other stuff.  I mean, people put it side-by-side 
with "Static Age", and it's like "Static Age" is way up here, and "American 
Psycho" is like way down here.  And everything we did in between then 
was like in the middle, but nothing that the Misfits ever did came up to 
the "Static Age" standard again.

CJ:  By the way, your version of "Night of the Living Dead" was the best 
version the Misfits ever did, and probably the best Misfits song.  I try 
to copy the guitar style, ya know.

Bobby:  Thanks.  Yeah, there's not much to it, man.  It's all feel, ya know.
I just did some weird shit, ya know.

CJ:  Yeah, I really got into it!

Bobby:  Yeah, I did some weird shit, like in one of the choruses, I hit all 
the open strings and just let the guitar ring, ya know.  Weird shit like 
that.  Some really basic stuff that anyone could play if they knew what 
all was going on in the song, ya know.  The recordings were kinda muddy, 
so it's hard to pick out what's going on.

CJ:  Yeah, I like that version in the Box Set.  I heard it was much better 
than the original single.

Bobby:  Yeah, the single was really badly produced--really muddy and stuff.

CJ:  We're gonna cut right here and check out the show! Glad you could do
the interview, man.

Bobby:  Cool!  Yeah, thanks a lot. (pause)  CUT!!!

***Interview by Chris J. Waters, Co-Publisher for Vibrations of 
Doom Magazine