The whole music world was stunned when Riot Fest pulled off the coup of the century by getting the Original Misfits to reunite, especially since the two main parties in the dispute – Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only had been entangled in a bitter lawsuit just months beforehand. But in court documents recently unearthed by writer D.X. Ferris over at MetalSucks, it seems that the lawsuit was actually the reason for the reunion.
First, Danzig sued Only claiming Only wasn't properly sharing the licensing cash with Danzig under the terms of their agreement. Only countersued saying that Danzig never actually used the Misfits trademarks and Danzig offered no proper evidence. Turns out Only was about to win in court and Danzig was about to out a lot of money. Ferris reports this is when the two sides decided to meet and come to a truce. Only wasn't looking for cash, he wanted to play. According to court documents, the terms of the settlement were:
– The parties would co-own the classic Misfits graphics (1977 through 1983), including the Crimson Ghost Fiend skull and the Misfits horror-font logo. Jerry Only would receive 100% of the income from “Fiend Skull derivatives” relating to his time leading the band without Danzig after the 1995 settlement, with Danzig retaining 100% ownership of his Misfits designs during that period as well.
– Official Misfits shirts would be available via a high-powered cabal: Live Nation would produce Fiend Skull T-shirts and sell them to Hot Topic.
– Jerry Only and his company would continue to have the exclusive rights to perform and record as The Misfits. For the reunion shows, according to this draft, Danzig and Only would partner 50/50 as The Original Misfits, pay the rest of the band as hired guns, and split the profits.
– This is the important part: according to the draft of the settlement, “The parties agree to perform no fewer than ten (10) Misfits reunion shows to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the band.”
Ferris points out that Misfits have already played seven shows, with two more shows (in Denver and LA) scheduled for the next few months. That means, per the terms of the settlement, they only have to play one more reunion show. I highly recommend reading the entire piece by Ferris over at MetalSucks, as he really breaks everything down brilliantly.