Dave Hill is a comedian, writer, musician, and highly boneable public figure. He is the author of the book Tasteful Nudes (St. Martin’s Press, 2012), host of The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on New Jersey’s WFMU-91.1, frequent contributor to This American Life and singer-guitar player for the power-pop band Valley Lodge. His new comedy album Let Me Turn You On is available now, as is his second collection of essays, Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Penguin/Blue Rider Press). Dave also smells incredible and can play sweet guitar solos without even really trying. You can follow him on Twitter here.
It’s been said* that you always remember exactly where you were the first time you saw Danzig. For me, it was in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Agora Theater, which is where Danzig and his band (also called Danzig. Duh.) were playing that night. Sure, I wish my first Danzig encounter had taken place in the woods outside of a goddamn wolf den at midnight, maybe with some hot naked chick drinking blood from a human skull by torchlight or something, but life’s not always perfect and sometimes you just have to play the cards you’ve been dealt.
Anyway, the year was 1990 or 1991 — I can’t remember — and on the bill that night was Danzig, Soundgarden and Corrosion of Conformity. I ended up missing Corrosion of Conformity because my friend Don drove and was late picking me up because he had to finish helping his lame dad with some bullshit in the garage, something I was pretty pissed off about at the time but am mostly over by now. I did get to see Soundgarden, who were pretty sweet. A couple of them had their shirts off and everything, which is the best way to play music in my expert opinion. The main event, though, of course, was fucking Danzig, who had just released their second album, Danzig II: Lucifuge (which is my favorite Danzig album, even though all of them are the best). At the time, the band was still in its original lineup of Danzig on vocals, of course, John Christ on guitar, Eerie Von on bass, and Chuck Biscuits on drums. I had never seen four guys so pale in my entire life. It was like none of them had ever been in the sun before, not even to feed a parking meter real quick before running back inside to Danzig practice or something, which was awesome. Chuck Biscuits’ drums were on top of a giant version of the famous Danzig skull with the horns and that shit was so tall I’m surprised he didn’t pass out from lack of oxygen. At various points in the show, the skull’s eyes would light up and pretty much everyone in attendance was just like “No way!” Also, a lot of chicks at the show wanted to make out with me. And if you are one of those chicks and happen to be reading this right now, I am sorry I let you down that night, but I had a fucking show to focus on and didn’t have time to make you the happiest woman alive.
As you can probably imagine, I have remained a devout Danzig fan ever since that day, cranking up his music in its various forms, whether it be the Misfits, Samhain or Danzig, more days than not, sometimes while hanging out with hot chicks who totally want to get with me and sometimes while hanging out in my basement all alone in the dark while eating Combos, and it sounds awesome every single time. Danzig is the best at punk and the best at metal and also the best at everything in between those two things basically. And even though some Internet people made fun of him for buying kitty litter at a grocery store or some shit a couple years ago, it doesn’t matter because everyone knows taking care of animals is basically the most metal thing there is. Plus, what’s the guy supposed to do, just let his cats shit and piss all over the house? No, I don’t think so — he’s fucking Danzig and I’m pretty sure I speak for Danzig on this when I tell those people to suck it.
Anyway, the reason I bring all this up is because Danzig just released his tenth full-length studio album under the Danzig name and it is totally sweet. The album is called Skeletons and is comprised entirely of covers that made Danzig the awesome man he is today. On the album cover, Danzig has his face all painted like a skeleton, which is a reference to the title, I’m guessing. He is also shirtless and wearing a necklace with the Danzig cross/skull logo thing, which I am totally thinking of getting as soon as I finish typing this. And even though Danzig is sixty years old now, he is still pretty ripped and could probably kick all of our asses still so don’t even. Trust me on this when I say that you do not need the hassle. And, as if all that’s not enough, there is also a smoking-hot naked chick with her face also painted to look like a skeleton (also in reference to the title, I’m guessing) resting her head on Danzig’s shoulder with her eyes closed like she is super tired from getting banged for like nine hours or something. It is the best album cover.
The covers Danzig picked for the new Danzig album are just as awesome as the cover, which is great for me. Probably the most important songs as far as I, a serious music journalist, am concerned are a killer version of Elvis Presley’s “Let Yourself Go” and an even killerer version of Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B.” because if you took Elvis Presley and mixed it with Black Sabbath and then made that thing refuse to wear a shirt ever, you would basically have Danzig, which rules. Also, on the album are Danzig versions of songs by Aerosmith, the Troggs, the Litter, and then some songs by some other bands too. Danzig even does a cover of ZZ Top’s “Rough Boy,” a song from the worst/most successful era of ZZ Top that he has somehow Danzigified into basically one of the greatest songs of all time, and I sure as fuck hope that Billy Gibbons called to thank him for that, like, seven times at least. Danzig also does a stripped-down version of “Crying in the Rain” by the Everly Brothers that I bet if you put it on after you invited some hot chick over to your house, she would let you get to second base at least because that shit is a major panty-dropper. For real.
My only complaint about the Skeletons album is that sometimes I wouldn’t mind if there were a little less gain on the guitars, but that is just a matter of personal taste and my own hang-up that I probably just need to get the fuck over. I also don’t like croutons on my salad. So there. Kill me. I’m just one person. It’s not like you’re perfect, either.
In closing, I would just like to say that Danzig’s new record Skeletons is a totally great record to listen while porking, sharpening your knife collection, partying with hot chicks, or seriously anything, really, and if you don’t get it you are honestly lamer than Don’s dad, the more I sit here thinking about it right now.
Footnote: *By me and a lot of other people too, I bet.