Review Fix chats with “The Complete Misfits Discography: Authorized Releases and Bootlegs, Including Recordings by Danzig, Samhain and The Undead” author Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter to find out what inspired the book and why the punk band still matters to this day.
About the Book:
A pioneering “horror-punk” band, the Misfits are legends in their own time. This discography tells the story of the band in all of its incarnations through all of their recorded output—both official and unauthorized releases. Discographies are provided for both present and former members’ solo projects and bands, along with a wealth of rare record sleeves, photos and vintage posters documenting the evolution of the band and the brand.
About the Author:
Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter, a graphic designer, lives in Pittsburgh. In addition to having written several books about comics and film, he writes a monthly column for Creepy Classics.
For More on the Book, or to Pre-Order, Click Here
Review Fix: What inspired the creation of this book?
Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter: Well, I suppose the indirect inspiration was a fanzine that I put out (for three issues) in the very early 2000’s called The Misfits Collector. I always had wanted to write an actual book about them, and that was one of the projects I was working on when I had my stroke. I didn’t write another for four years, and in the meantime somebody else came out with a Misfits biography. I didn’t think it was very good at all; I mean, the author heard and liked “Mother” by Danzig, but he didn’t even know at the time that Glenn had been in a band before that! That just didn’t seem right to me. Plus, the guy really didn’t seem to be into monster/horror movies (I remember what in particular set me off: he referred to Famous Monsters as “the legendary horror-geek magazine”), had never been in a band, and seemed to have never been part of the punk scene in general. Having been in a HC band back in the day, toured, put records out and stuff, isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to writing a book, but I feel it gives me (or anyone) a different perspective and an understanding of things like touring, recording, promotion, doing graphics for flyers and shows, writing lyrics and taking care of business.
Any way, so I thought I could do a much better job, but our overlords balked at the idea, saying that since there was already a bio out there, another one would be redundant – but they did think it was a viable commercial option, so McFarland asked if I couldn’t find another angle. And there was a part in the bio that said that listing all the Misfits’ bootlegs would take a whole book in itself, and so that was what I pitched to McFarland. They said that was a great idea, but they couldn’t do a book just on bootlegs, that I would have to do their legit releases too and make it a discography. Hey, no problem! Of course, I’ve never written a discography before, but that was part of the fun.
Review Fix: What makes The Misfits worthy of a book in your opinion?
Cotter: Quite simply put, they are one of the greatest Punk Rock bands of all time; obviously my favorite.
Review Fix: Favorite lineup? Why?
Cotter: I’m tempted to say “the original,” but since they went through guitarists and drummers at a rate only slightly behind Spinal Tap, I’ll just go with any of the lineups that played with Glenn. Googy was my favorite drummer.
Review Fix: Favorite Misfits track? Why?
Cotter: Oh geez… I love ’em all! But if pinned down, I would probably say “Vampira.” Top Three would probably be that, “Horror Business,” and “Astro Zombies.”
Review Fix: What was the writing process like?
Cotter: Painful. No, seriously, when I started, I was in relatively good health, but then I got my fourth hernia and had to have it operated on very close to my deadline. As soon as I came back from the hospital, I was back at work! But I’ve never missed a deadline, and I didn’t intend to let that stop me.
Review Fix: What did you learn through the writing process that you weren’t expecting?
Cotter: That Glenn is short. Just kidding, obviously.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the book?
Cotter: Um, to make a million bucks in royalties so that I can retire comfortably. Seriously, tho, I’d just like it to be remembered as a definitive Misfits book.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Cotter: Probably the retirement I alluded to in the previous answer. I’ve got health problems and the doctors haven’t been able to figure out what it is yet, so if not actual retirement yet, at least a break for a while. But, if this is my last one, it’s a good one to go out on, a true labor of love. I’ve had a good run, and am satisfied with my legacy.