Since the altercation between Glenn Danzig and NORTH SIDE KINGS singer and frequent SOULFLY collaborator Danny Marianino in 2004, Danny has been collecting and saving a slew of hate mail, derogatory posts on blogs and messages that are “so ridiculous it will blow your mind.” Finally, some of the “best bullshit” following this event has been compiled into an amusing book detailing the circumstances that led to the confrontation. “Don’t Ever Punch A Rock Star – A Collection Of Hate Mail & Other Crazy Rumors” profiles “a regular guy’s journey in music and learning to shrug off one of the most opinionated events in music history,”
Dan Stone, the then-28-year-old videographer who filmed the incident, told Decibel magazine that he did not intend for the video he captured of Marianino and Danzig‘s altercation to be uploaded to YouTube and get viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
According to Stone, he was present backstage on July 3, 2004 in Tuba City, Arizona where NORTH SIDE KINGS were to play with DANZIG. He was at the venue the entire time, shooting off-the-cuff footage for a planned DVD. At the tail end of DANZIG‘s set, Stone began to set up his video camera and prepare to shoot NORTH SIDE KINGS‘ subsequent performance. When the house lights came on and fans started exiting the venue, Stone quickly packed up his gear and went backstage to find out what was going on.
“When I got there, I saw Danzig signing an autograph and Danny waiting to talk to him,” Stone told Decibel. “The two of them started talking, and things got a little heated, so I figured, ‘Let’s see where this goes.’ I had no idea of what was about to happen, mind you. I just imagined I’d get some footage of Glenn Danzig and Danny talking — two guys from Jersey yelling at each other. A push and a punch later, the scene turned into total chaos. I immediately turned my camera off and stashed it in my bag. I walked down this hallway toward the exit as nonchalantly as possible, and Danny was pinned to the wall by a security guard. As I passed by him, I whispered, ‘I’ve got the whole thing.’ At that point, there was absolutely no intention of doing anything with it — it was just a weird moment caught on video.”
Over time, Stone‘s video achieved a sort of mythic status in metal circles, with some people suggesting “that we planned the whole thing ahead of time,” he told Decibel. “Danzig even accused me of doctoring the footage in an interview with Revolver in 2005 — he suggested that it was ‘creatively edited.’ Well, if you watch the video, it’s clearly one continuous shot. The only post-production work done on the original video was where I added some titles to explain what was going on, like, ‘That’s not a blade in Danny‘s hand.’ Ever since that, people have cut that part off and posted the raw footage to YouTube. There are no cuts in the raw video — that’s everything.”
Marianino told Decibel magazine that he did not particularly enjoy being known as the guy who knocked Glenn Danzig out, but he also came to embrace his part in an odd little chapter of rock ‘n’ roll history.
Asked how he might’ve reacted differently if he had a chance to revisit the experience, Marianino said, “I wouldn’t have even acknowledged Danzig or tried to have that conversation with him, especially after he talked down to my guitar player’s ex-wife. I regret that the situation happened at all. But I don’t regret hitting him — he had it coming. He can tell every story he wants to tell, bu’t it’s an open book. I don’t see what the big deal is. I think this would’ve went away for him if he had just admitted that he fucked with a big guy who got one over on him. It happens — everybody loses a fight. Even if he had just put his hand out and expressed that he was aware of the situation and he was sorry, the whole evening would’ve been totally different for him and for me. I don’t plan to ever go to any show or event where Glenn Danzig is performing. If he’s reading this: Don’t worry about handing my picture out to every security guard with a note that says ‘Eject him immediately.’ I never want to see the guy again and I never will.”
In a May 2012 interview with LA Weekly, Danzig was asked about the widely circulated video clip where Marianino confronted Glenn backstage because Danny‘s band didn’t get to play at one of DANZIG‘s gigs before Glenn shoves him and ends up getting punched out by Marianino. To this day, there are those who are surprised that someone with Danzig‘s martial-arts training should have been so easily knocked down. “That was him trying to get me on camera punching him so he could sue me or some shit,” Danzig said. “I forget what it was. When everyone was breaking it up, he coldcocked me. What are you going to do?” He added, “Those were his guys with the camera. No one knows that. Well, back then they did. It was a setup.”
In the May 2011 issue of U.K.’s Metal Hammer magazine, Glenn stated about the incident, “I allowed it to happen. Why? Because there are always those looking to goad you into hitting them so they can sue you. It happens to public figures all the time. It’s a way of life.”
Speaking to Spin magazine in 2007, Danzig elaborated on his reasons for avoiding a full-on physical altercation with Marianinho. “No one asks, ‘Why did you push him instead of nailing him right in the face?’ ‘Cause there’s a camera rolling!” he said. ‘I have so many friends who’ve lost tons of money from that setup, punching people and getting sued. One of my guys a long time ago worked for GUNS N’ ROSES and he told me, ‘You’re lucky you’ve never been sued.’ He said Duff McKagan would go into these clubs, and a guy would have a friend there with a camera: ‘Hey, GUNS N’ ROSES pussy!’ [Strikes fist against palm, mimicking a punch] And they’d walk out. Next day, million-dollar lawsuit.”
When asked about the incident in a 2006 interview with KNAC.COM, Danzig said, “I know they (the NORTH SIDE KINGS) milked it (the video) for all they could. But that was two years ago. I don’t know how much good it ended up doing for them. Are they even still around? The only people who keep bringing it up are you people (music hacks). And, yes, I am sick of talking about it. But the people who have always liked me probably still like me, the people who hate me probably still hate me. It didn’t change anything.”
For more information on Marianino‘s book, go to this location.