At New York Comic Con this year I saw many cosplayers, but by far the most interesting one was a young man whom I mistook for Glenn Danzig. As I walked among the supermen and superwoman at the convention, a well-toned, ghoulish and shirtless young man caught my eye and I immediately screamed, “Hey! Glenn Danzig!”
He looked nonplussed, so I tried again. “Hey! Nice Glenn Danzig cosplay!”
“Jerry ONLY!” He responded back with much umbrage.
Jerry Only is the leader of the Frankenstein-esque Misfits that has included Black Flag’s Dez Cadena and his own brother (but not Glenn Danzig). He is often reviled as much as revered. Only, with his face paint and love of all things horror, is the top cartoon character in a punk rock history of cartoon characters. Today we take a look at some of the less known facts of one of the founding members of the Misfits. Do they explain the hybrid moments of one of punk’s most notorious persons? Read on, dead boys and girls!
Check out a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Jerry Only below.
10. Jerry Only’s real name is Gerald Caiafa. No word if Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is his brother’s given Christian name (it’s not–its Paul Caiafa).
9. Jerry is from Lodi, New Jersey. Lodi is a borough in Bergen County in the northern part of the Garden State. Most of the Misfits are from Lodi. Wikipedia states that other notable Lodi residents include Tuskegee airman Spann Watson, former Baltimore Bullets player Howie Janotta and caporegime of the Gambino crime family, Louis Ricco.
8. Speaking of gangsters, Jerry’s hometown of Lodi was also used as a filming location for The Sopranos. According to Wikipedia, The Satin Doll go-go bar was used as a location for the fictional Bada Bing bar in the show. Lodi, New Jersey is the most stereotypical Italian-American part of my home state, apparently (it’s even named after a place in Italy!).
7. Jerry Only and his brother Doyle formed the Christian metal band Kryst the Conqueror in 1987. Though, according to a very long Wikipedia entry on the band, they never officially released an album. Kryst the Conqueror would turn into the second incarnation of the Misfits after an out of court settlement was reached with Glenn Danzig in the mid-90s. So, in conclusion, the Misfits are a Christian metal act. You’re welcome, America.
6. Jerry Only was a member of punk rock “supergroup” Osaka Popstar in the mid-2000’s. The band covered the theme songs of Japanese animes Sailor Moon and Astro Boy. They were…alright, if you don’t mind middle-aged men singing about robotic boys and teenage girls. They also covered Richard Hell’s “Blank Generation” and the infamous Daniel Johnson’s “Wicked World.” Other members of Osaka Popstar include Marky Ramone, Ivan Julian, and (of course) Dez Cadena. They released a cover of “O Holy Night” in November of 2014, according to Spotify.
5. Jerry Only’s haircut is known as “the devilock.” I still think it makes anyone wearing it look like a reject from The Little Rascals.
4. Jerry Only wrestled in the WCW. He fought Dr. Death in a cage match and won on a technicality when the aforementioned Dr. Death chucked him out of the cage, becoming the first person in the match to “escape.” Another band in the stable of WCW in the 90s-early 2000’s included the Insane Clown Posse—a band whose performances, fanbase, and wrestling skills are slightly worse than Jerry Only and/or the Misfits.
3. Here’s a dark fact from the vaults of Misfits lore: the band named themselves after the final movie Marilyn Monroe would star in. The Misfits would come out in 1961 and Monroe would be found dead in August of 1962. Quite macabre, and a reminder of how the Misfits (like the Ramones and other early punks) were influenced by the popular culture of their youth. It’s all sped up bubblegum pop at the end of the day, the Misfits just want your skulls a-bangin’.
2. Early on in the Misfits career they were brought up on charges for grave robbing in New Orleans. Though Jerry states in a recent interview that the charges we exaggerated, (they were in a graveyard after dark with a local, that much is true) the story is quite horrorshow.
1. Jerry Only and his brother were present during the final meal of Sid Vicious. According to an interview with the Miami New Times it was Spaghetti Bolognese—and not up to the standards of the two boys who were brought up in the Italian province of Bergen County, NJ. Oh, and Doyle was 14 at the time.
Ten things you didn’t know about Jerry Only and his Misfits. Not Glenn Danzig’s, he lost that lawsuit. Did I miss anything? Wanna yell at me on social media about it? Lemme know in the comments below!