On this day, June 23, Glenn Danzig was born in Lodi, New Jersey. A heavy music fan since childhood, the young Danzig (né Glenn Allen Anzalone) originally dreamed of becoming a comic book author and photographer. Fate, of course, had other plans; In the mid-Seventies, Danzig started the pioneering horror-punk outfit the Misfits, amassing a reputation for his onstage melodrama, as well as his impressive, goosebump-inducing baritone (a prowess rendered all the more remarkable by the fact that Danzig's entirely self-taught). Following the Misfits' dissolution in 1983, Danzig turned his focus to Samhain, garnering endorsements from Metallica members James Hetfield and Cliff Burton, and eventually famed producer Rick Rubin, who signed the band — rechristened as "Danzig" — to his Universal Music Group imprint American Recordings. And to this day, Danzig shows no signs of stopping. Last year, he reconvened the Misfits' original configuration for several reunion shows; His titular band, meanwhile, released their eleventh full-length Black Laden Crown last month.
Danzig isn't a frontman so much as a cultural icon — or perhaps, a beloved heavy metal superhero. As one of the original goth rockers, the man's influence transcends heavy metal, and even music itself. He's made appearances on episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Portlandia (as a homeowner and gothic beach attire expert, respectively), and was even asked to audition for the role of Wolverine in 2000's X-Men (Alas, scheduling conflicts kept the Marvel hero's real-life doppelganger from showing off his retractable claws on the silver screen.)
In honor of Danzig's 62nd birthday, we're firing up the time machine and revisiting one of the legend's greatest performances: his band's powerful run-through of the immortal "Mother," on a 1994 episode of "The Jon Stewart Show."
"Do you wanna bang heads with me?" Danzig sneers, "Do you wanna feel everything?" Hell yes, Mr. Danzig, we do. Take us away.