According to Re-Tox.com, original MISFITS singer Glenn Danzig has filed a lawsuit against MISFITS bassist Jerry Only — real name Gerrard Caiafa — claiming Jerry registered trademarks for everything MISFITS-related in 2000 behind Danzig's back, misappropriating exclusive ownership over the marks for himself, including the band's iconic "Fiend Skull" logo. By doing so, Danzig claims Jerry violated a 1994 contract, in which Danzig, Jerry and others agreed to share ownership of the MISFITS trademarks for merchandising purposes.
After registering the trademarks, Danzig alleges Jerry then secretly entered into deals with various merchandisers and cut Danzig out of any potential profits in the process.
The complaint reads in part: "Caiafa has prevented and continues to prevent other retailers, including Hot Topic, which is the largest retailer of the MISFITS products, from entering into licenses with Danzig and/or his designee to merchandise products bearing the Fiend Skull and other Marks by falsely instructing the merchandisers that he is the exclusive owner of the Marks, and that, if they enter into a license agreement with Danzig to exploit the Marks, they must pay Caiafa a license fee and/or a significant monetary penalty. Among others, Caiafa directed such threats specifically to merchandiser Hot Topic in Los Angeles, the location of Hot Topic's corporate offices, causing Hot Topic to refuse to license the Fiend Skull from Danzig to this day.
"Caiafa has purposefully led merchandisers, including Hot Topic, to believe that they are legally bound not to accept licenses to exploit the Marks from Danzig or his designees, and Caiafa continues to do so.
"Caiafa's misrepresentations have proximately caused injury to Danzig by causing merchandisers not to do business with him, and have deceived consumers as to the source of merchandise bearing the Marks, because the vast majority of the MISFITS fans associate the Marks with the 1977-1983 classic MISFITS era when Danzig was the creative heart of the MISFITS, and not with Caiafa's imitation MISFITS.
"Caiafa's false advertising and misrepresentations to merchandisers and consumers have caused Danzig to suffer damages in excess of$75,000, plus interest at the legal rate.
"Caiafa's aforementioned conduct was done with the intention to deprive Danzig of property and legal rights and otherwise to cause injury, and was despicable conduct that subjected Danzig to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of his rights, so as to justify an award of exemplary and punitive damages.
"The exact amount of money due from Caiafa is unknown to Danzig and can only be ascertained through an accounting. Danzig seeks an order from this Court directing Caiafa to provide him with an accounting and payment of the amount due as a result of the accounting, plus interest."
The original MISFITS band broke up in 1983, and bassist Jerry Only brought forth a new version of the MISFITS in 1995. Various members have come and gone, but Only, along with BLACK FLAG's Dez Cadena, has kept some form of the MISFITS in the recording studio and on the road for most of the last two decades.
After the original MISFITS disbanded, Glenn Danzig went on to form SAMHAIN and then the eponymous DANZIG. Several albums of reissued and previously unreleased material were issued after the group's dissolution, and their music became influential to punk rock, heavy metal, and alternative rock music of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In a 2011 interview with RollingStone.com, Only stated about the prospect of reuniting with Danzig: "I would say that if Glenn went and got baptized again, maybe we could talk.
"The thing is, I know Glenn, and he's very much about what he's doing. I've seen that. And me, I'm very much about what I'm doing, and I wouldn't want to — I don't want to say the words 'watered down' — but I wouldn't want to take away from the enthusiasm that we're running on with these new projects. These new projects are, in my opinion, a pinpoint on a laser beam of MISFITS thought.
"Doing it with Glenn may work on a short-term basis. I could see us getting together and lining up a bunch of big festivals and a bunch of big shows. But then, when you think about it, where would it leave you when you're done? It wouldn't leave you in a position where your credibility would be half as good as it is. Sometimes it's better to be small and secure than it is to be extremely large and totally volatile. And I think our fans are owed the respect of one thought and one vision, and it's not a parade or a circus for the rest of the world to throw money at. I'd rather be touring happy than rich and miserable."
Speaking to Eric Blair of "The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show" in November 2010, Only had the following to say about Glenn Danzig: "I like Glenn; I never really disliked Glenn as a person. But we do have a lot of influence on people and I won't — for profit or for fame — jeopardize the safety of my fans to make money and to promote something that I don't think is right for them. Glenn got into this whole Satanic outlook and I wouldn't throw that on my kids and I won't do that. If Glenn wants to go to church and repent, I guess we're good to go.
"I don't think Glenn is the devil, and I think he kind of promotes himself as the devil, and, to me, that seems absurd. It just seems to me that if kids are buying all this crap, it's like [he's] marketing something that shouldn't be marketed, in my opinion. I'm not about that. I was brought up totally Catholic with my grandmother. I see these kids at the show — they look up to me. We keep a clean program; we don't party, we don't drink, we don't have hookers in here and all that stupid shit. We're a family band, and we kind of keep the American dream nice and solid and real. And the kids like that . . . I'm not saying that Glenn is anti all that stuff, it's just that when you have albums [with titles like] 'Son Of Satan' and all this kind of stuff, it's a message that a lot of kids may take the wrong way and a lot of kids may get hurt because of it. And a lot of kids may argue with their parents over the subject matter that they're bringing into the house and have a bad relationship with their folks. Why? Is that something I would want to impose upon them? Make them have a bitter relationship with their parents over my music? No.
"The thing is you can go see a horror film — something really gory and bloody and all kinds of stuff — and have a good time with your friends. It doesn't mean you're gonna behave as such. And that's the difference between me and Glenn — Glenn is trying to impose the behavior aspect upon the people in real life. And thing is we're a sci-fi band — we've got subject matter from here to Kingdom Come — and we don't need that.
"Glenn's very talented. I don't think that musically we're in the same zone anymore. But look, I've got a lot of respect for Glenn. I always thought that Glenn had a lot of talent. And I just think that Glenn... I don't wanna say he's misguided, but I think that he's got a message that's not productive for the people who get it."
In a 2008 interview with Riverfront Times, Danzig stated about the possibility of a reunion of the original MISFITS lineup: "It's not gonna happen… People had talked about it. But nothing ever happened with it… It never even got beyond a talking thing, you know what I mean?"