September 13, 2007, 12:10 pm
‘Welcome to My Book Collection’
By Dwight Garner
Life is short, and YouTube is long, but this may be just about my favorite clip up there.
It’s an interview with the rumbling Goth rocker Glenn Danzig, clearly from early in his career (he’s now in his 50s), in which he takes readers on a guided tour of his spooky book collection.
This is like watching what might have happened had David Cassidy become the house librarian on “The Munsters.”
Among the books Danzig parses are “The Werewolf” (1933) by Montague Summers (“all documented, all true”) and “The Occult Roots of Nazism” (1985) by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (“every schoolchild should have this book”).
I know a lot, inadvertently, about Glenn Danzig’s music.
Back in the mid- to late-90s, when I was living in a small brick apartment building in Manhattan’s West Village, my downstairs neighbor was a rambunctious Satanist. He looked like what you’d get if you combined Glenn Danzig with, I don’t know, a pony-tailed Ralph Kramden.
He’d painted his apartment walls black and red. His living room was full of animal skulls and caged reptiles, and (is this a typical Satanist obsession?) he collected umbrellas that could become, with a flick of the wrist, knives and other kinds of weapons. One night he was drying out some sort of skull in his oven, and he left it in way too long. The whole building smelled like scorched bone for a week.
This guy’s favorite thing to do, when he got home late at night, was to play some horror-punk music at building-rattling volume – he was particularly fond of Danzig and The Cramps. Thanks to him, I pretty much know all the words to Danzig’s hit “Mother.”
I’ve forgotten the guy’s name. But I’ve just found out he’s going to live on. One of our house-sitters from back then, visiting from Mississippi, is going to publish his first novel next year, and our Satanist neighbor is the inspiration for one of the characters.
If I could find our Mr. Satan, I’d send him a copy.
as well as Canada’s magazine of book news and reviews, Quill & Quire:
chat with Glenn Danzig
Remember Glenn Danzig, the perpetually shirtless goth rocker from the Misfits? Remember how your semi-goth girlfriends in high school had pictures of him in their lockers and insisted that he was not only hunky, but deep, too? Well, it seems they were right and you were wrong.
Just take a look at this old video that has popped up on YouTube, in which Danzig sits down in front of his bookshelf and talks up some of his favorite titles, most of which involve werewolves, nazis, or other apparitions of evil. And though the guy’s enthusiasms are morbid, it’s clear he’s just a big ol’ softy at heart. Look at the smile that lights up his face at the end. So cute!
Just funny to see it getting attention, what, 15 years on? I'll never forget back on the Lucifuge tour when every kid in line could quote that whole video from memory. "Let's Rock!". And how amused I was while backstage in Richmond at the Flood Zone to find "The Book of Enoch" lying on the table amidst the chips and candy; the exact same edition I had at that.