In recent years I've dived right into gig-going/gig-reviewing at the very start of the year. But this year I've had to wait the first 10 days - mind you I did get to see Phoenix Foundation close out 2013, right on the button. So that was almost the first gig of 2014.
But this Friday, I'll be seeing the Wellington show by Misfits. Yes, yes, it's not the Glenn Danzig-version of the band, but given he's not been a Misfit a lot longer than he was ever a Misfit that would be a strange - unrealistic - hope.
This version of the horror-punk/metal act - apparently still playing harder, faster and better than most half their age (just check in at louderthanwar.com) - features long-serving players Jerry Only and Dez Cadena.
I'm certainly looking forward to it - one of those bands I've always wanted to see, finally the stars line up just right for me and I'm able to get along, I've missed them previously.
I heard about the music of Misfits - through covers and mentions by Metallica and Guns'n'Roses, and then there was NOFX and Sick Of It All and The Alkaline Trio later. But those first mentions from Metallica and G'n'R were enough to get me fully on board. They were the reminders. I picked up volume one and volume two of the compilation-double; that was my introduction proper to the band.
But you see I'd actually been introduced to the music before any of that. As a huge Guns'n'Roses fan it was the perfect validation I guess. And that was how it worked in those young, impressionable days as a music fan. But I had been introduced to Misfits before I'd really made the connection properly.
It was the music we snuck a listen to. That was how it started. My cousin who liked Krokus and Dead Kennedys and Black Flag and Killing Joke and Sex Pistols - and in fact who introduced me to all of those bands (and I'd rediscover them all years later, well, save for Krokus) was also the one to first bring a Misfits tape into view for me. He had Walk Among Us and Legacy of Brutality, those tapes were almost a naughty secret. Listening to them and also, perhaps incongruously - but I always saw the link - The Fat Boys. You see they had that Freddy Kruger song (Are You Ready For Freddy?) and all of this was happening with perfect symbiosis, as classic horror movies of the 1980s and late 1970s were becoming crucial (can't look/can't-look-away) film-fodder.
It wasn't that we couldn't listen to Misfits, it wasn't that we weren't allowed - but it was just a nice secret to have. And there were clues in the song titles and song content for further films to hunt out - Night Of The Living Dead the first, obvious one.
It wasn't that we couldn't watch horror films - but again it was something you kept for special late nights, maybe watch the pro-wrestling first. Or after...
So that's how I remember Misfits first of all. Part of moving away from the obvious, sneaking over to the fringes, well at least as much as could be at aged 12 and 13.
And then when other musicians we liked were mentioning them a bit later on it was time to get on board and buy the tapes - these things were hard to find at the time. It was all part of collecting, the excitement of hoping to find something. Maybe the store could order it for you...I waited for about eight weeks for my copy of the first compilation tape. I'd ask after school if there had been any phone messages.
So when I hear the band - this current version of the band - is touring I'm totally in it for the nostalgia; can't lie about that. But I'm hopeful it'll be a ripper. I've heard a few good things. I guess we'll see.
They're playing Wellington on Friday night (tomorrow) at Bodega. And they'll be at the Kings Arms in Auckland on Saturday, January 11. Go here for the ticket information to both gigs at Under The Radar.
So any Misfits fans out there? Favourite songs/albums? And have you seen the band before? Will you be going along this time?
And if not the Misfits show what's the first gig you're excited about in 2014?
You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.