The Misfits and Five Other Famous Bands Who've Battled Name Wars

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Mick Rock
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This weekend in South Florida you can catch the Misfits twice -- the first time on Friday at Revolution, and the second on Saturday at Respectable Street as part of the club's free 25th anniversary celebration. This incarnation of the Misfits, helmed by founding member Jerry Only, duly plays all the classic hits you'd expect, plus a smattering of new material from the '00s, like the band's most recent album, 2011's The Devil's Rain.

The only thing is, this particular incarnation of the Misfits bears little resemblance to its classic incarnation, with Only the, uh, only remaining original member, and now the band's frontman. Dez Cadena, former guitarist for Black Flag, and Eric Arce, formerly of Murphy's Law round out the lineup. 

Of course, the biggest missing piece is original frontman Glenn Danzig, who wrote the lion's share of the band's classic material. But after a series of legal wranglings, he lost the use of the Misfits name to Only and his brother, best known as his nickname Doyle. Even more confusingly, in more recent years, Doyle has joined Danzig himself onstage in various band formations that have also performed classic Misfits material.

This is just one example of the trademark entanglements that often ensue when bands split acrimoniously. The oldies-revival world by Boomer acts has long featured warring versions of doo wop and classic rock acts performing under similar names thanks to intra-band disagreements. But the phenomenon has spread over the years to acts popular in the '80s and beyond too. Here are five bands currently performing as incarnations that have little to do with their originals, or in concurrent versions helmed by different, disagreeing band members.

Christian Death



The current version is kind of similar to that of the Misfits, only the band's erstwhile frontman and most charismatic member, Rozz Williams, isn't even alive to front his own act. Williams founded this act in late-'70s L.A., creating what was arguably the first so-called "death rock" act ever in the U.S. He quit his own band in 1985, replaced by Valor Kand on vocals, and later took his own life in 1998. The band remains most famous for its Williams-penned material, though, and continues to form these early goth-punk classics on a kind of spooky-nostalgia circuit. 


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