By now, you know the story: Things ran late at a 2004 show in Tuba City, Arizona, where Glenn Danzig and Phoenix-based hardcore group North Side Kings were scheduled to perform.
Due to scheduling conflicts, the North Side Kings were bumped from the show. Frontman Danny Marianino was upset, and confronted Danzig about it. "He got heated with me instantly, which made me raise my voice," Marianino says. "He threw me back and yelled, 'Fuck you, motherfucker.' That means I'm ready to fight you."
The resulting punch, which leveled the horror B movie/horror aficionado, made Marianino "internet famous."
But Marianino didn't receive glowing adoration for taking down a rockstar prone to believing a little too much in his own myth; instead, Marianino was besieged by e-mails and message board attacks from deluded, fanatical Danzig fans. He's collected those messages for a new book, Don't Ever Punch a Rock Star: A Collection of Hate Mail and Other Crazy Rumors, available at locally at Zia Records, and via Amazon.
Up on the Sun spoke with him about the incident, the book, and what lessons the whole mess has taught him.
Up on the Sun: Danny, why don't you walk us through what happened? Danny Marianino: It's pretty much the same thing I've been saying the entire time. He's got like 52 different versions of it. We were set to play a festival with two stages in Tuba City. We played there a few times; we [always] had a good time out there. We were supposed to go on before Danzig played, but long story short, the city shut down one of the stages, and everyone was pushed to one stage.
At that point, Glenn was non-negotiable in his playing time. Basically, after speaking with him, we agreed that North Side Kings and three other bands would have to play after him. He was making a big deal out of the contract. Obviously he was the bigger band out of the two, but we had a contract as well, saying we would go on before, but then that caused a problem, so just . . . we did it, whatever. It was a six-hour drive. He in return didn't follow his end of the bargain, which was to announce the other bands that were playing [at the end of his set]. I went to talk to him to try to see if he could get them to say something, [to let people know] there's other bands and everybody was in a panic. We were just bumped off.
So you confronted him after his set?
It's not his fault the show fell behind; I 100 percent agree on that. But the issue is: What the fuck are you going to do? You're in Tuba City. What are you in a hurry for? It's not like he was on a big tour. He had three shows. He played Phoenix the night before, Tuba City that night, and the next night was in California. Unlike the other bands that were maybe driving somewhere after the show for 7 to 10 hours, he sits his fucking ass on a tour bus in a bunk relaxed and comfortable. He doesn't have to worry about driving all night.
My whole point of this book was not only to rectify some of the situation that I had to deal with after this, but put a spotlight on the amount of bullying that's out there on the Internet and everything else, but also to make a fucking point: You've got local bands on your bill that are advertising for you; they're promoting your show. If you could do that fucking show on your own with no touring bands or no local bands, then don't have fucking local bands on the show. You need the local bands to help promote you, otherwise you wouldn't have them. Show respect.
So you confronted him after his set.
It was well after his set, because he was supposed to announce those bands [at the end of his set]. I went looking for the promoter, and the promoter was nowhere to be found. Danzig's manager bolted, like he knew the situation was going to go bad. All I could find was Danzig talking to about five kids in the back. All of those people that were in the back weren't like crazy fans; there was four other bands, not to mention some of the other bands that played that day that were still lingering around. I went to talk to him, and we talked for 25 seconds. He got heated with me instantly, which made me raise my voice, and he threw me back and yelled, "Fuck you, motherfucker." That means I'm ready to fight you. He physically contacted me when all I was doing was having a conversation that he was escalating.
Why was he so angry?
Do I have to explain his behavior over the last couple of years? Look at the festival with the French onion soup in Texas and his behavior at Bonnaroo with the guy that was taking pictures. Why play in a band if you don't want people taking your picture? Most kids that are taking your photo will go on Facebook or Twitter and say, "Wow, the Danzig show kicked ass tonight. I got some cool pictures," and you share it to your friends, and your friends who are Danzig fans share it as well. Not, I'm going to fucking run off the stage like an asshole and charge you.
Given his reputation, were you surprised that this happened? Things started off when he called my ex-guitarist's wife fat. I have that in the book as well. She was probably about 100 to 110 pounds, just barely pregnant, showing a little belly, and she had walked past one of the rooms he was in and he said, "Are you pregnant or are you just fucking fat?" I figured, "Okay, he's a jerk," but I didn't know how much of a jerk he really was. My street smarts should have told me, "Don't even fucking talk to this guy, because it's not going to go good." When I went to talk to him, I wasn't talking to him because I give a fuck about him. I went to talk to him because my band and three other bands, especially one from Canada, all now are not playing a show because he closed the show down. All he had to do was put his hand out and say, "I'm sorry, I fucked up." Maybe it wouldn't have turned out to be the way it was. I'm not a bad guy, I'm not going to go out and start fights with anybody at all, but if you're going to come at me, I'm like a pitbull in a corner, I'm going to come back at you.
Did you guys get to play at all?
At that point, the fucking police showed up. It was already over because he closed it. We didn't get paid and I got kicked out and he got dragged out pretty much by his feet. I got dragged out of the building by security as I was raging, I just snapped. Then the cops came, they came back to me, along with an FBI guy that was there, because the FBI reigns over Americans on Indian soil. They said he wants to press charges on me for assault, and I'm like, "Get the fuck out of here." This guy totally came at me. I defended myself. He's a black belt; he teaches martial arts, I'm like a little fat kid from New Jersey, I just defended myself. A half-hour later, they came back and said, "Do you want to press charges on him?" I said, "No, I just want to go home and get the fuck out of here." They interviewed security and the people that were around there, the people that saw it. They didn't know there was a video. I didn't know there was a video until we had left.
After that video went up, did you notice that people were starting to treat you differently? I get tons of messages still. You can just go to YouTube yourself and I'm sure it's posted on there that "he didn't hit the guy" or "the fat singer from North Side Kings is in the wrong; Danzig is a professional; he's a wonderful person." The whole thing that inspired this book . . . I've been keeping track and wrote a little bit of a biography, I just shelved it and I kind of walked away from it. He did this interview in May in L.A. Weekly where the reporter asked him the same question, and he goes into this whole conversation about it, which is bullshit. [Editor's note: Danzig stated to L.A. Weekly's West Coast Sound that the incident was "set up" and that the punch "didn't hurt."] I finally said "I've had it, it's his fault." He made me look like a jerkoff, but I'm a regular guy. I'm not a big, professional musician. I don't have anything to prove. I work a 9 to 5 great job, I'm married to a wonderful wife, I don't even play music anymore, but I got sick of it. I threw my hands in the air and I said "fuck it."What is the book about?
This book isn't just about Danzig. This book is really more about being bullied. I'm a big boy; I'm an adult. I'm not a teenager like that poor girl who killed herself recently. Imagine the humiliation to have to go to school and get bullied in school and then come home and get bullied. It continued with her life, well this has continued with my life. I'm putting out a book [regarding Internet bullying] because [even though it's a] shitty fucking subject, it's humorous. When you see the some of the messages in this book, some of the hate mail and the literary geniuses that send this stuff, it's like, holy shit. I started the Facebook page, too, and it's just stuff that I had found online or other stuff that I had seen that I didn't include, a couple that were from the book. People will get a kick out of it. It's pretty funny.
Were you actively reading the comments? Did you ever get to a point where you wanted to stop reading what people were saying?
Oh, yeah, I read them all the time. I still do.What you say the overall response has been like? Do more folks side with you or Danzig?
It's a 50-50 split. When people read the book and see the kind of guy that I am, it shines me into a little bit of a different light. The book is highly entertaining. It features stories from being on tour, from staying at Napalm Death's house to meeting Alice Cooper and Alice Cooper telling me, "with kisses, to Glenn Danzig." There's some pretty entertaining stuff in the book that will shed a little bit different of a light on me and see that I'm not a fucking douche that's looking to start beef. I don't want beef with anyone.
I had a house fire and I had insurance, but it took the insurance company forever, my house pretty much burned down. A propane tank blew up real close to the house and the messages I've read, people say, "Haha, that's what you get. Your house burned down, you fucked with Danzig, this is the kind of repercussions you deserve." What the fuck is wrong with people?
Wow, that's horrible. I hope people see their comments printed in your book and think, "ohhhhh, shit."
I think a lot of people are going to see their comments and be even more angry because I put their name and I put the website as well. You'll post something on a public forum, it's public. There was a kid locally that posted something that somebody sent me that was on Danzig's actual website recently. I sent that kid an email and I was like, "What the fuck is your problem?" I'm like, "I've met you a few times, you're always very nice to me, but you go on there and talk shit about how my house burned down and how this is the wrath of Glenn Danzig and I deserve this." He wrote me a fucking apology. He was like, "Listen, sometimes you get caught in the heat of the moment of things and you don't think before you do things or you do something and that's the big problem with the internet and I'm sorry and could you accept my apology?" I was like, "That's cool man, don't worry about it."
Now that you've written the book, are you ready to put it to rest?
I hope this book puts it to rest.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.