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Inside Glenn Danzig's Photographer Beef at Bonnaroo

Singer held back by security during mid-set confrontation

June 12, 2012 2:28 PM ET
danzig
Glenn Danzig at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.
C Flanigan/WireImage

Security had to physically hold Glenn Danzig back from attacking photographers at Bonnaroo on Saturday. The muscle-bound metal legend's inner Axl Rose got the best of him eight songs into an early-evening Danzig Legacy set at the Manchester, Tennessee music festival. The Danzig singer, who is, to say the least, a little finicky about having his picture taken, ran offstage and over to an adjacent media area, where he tried to confront photographers before storming off to his backstage trailer in a huff. After a few minutes, Danzig returned to the stage to finish the show.

Photographer Michael W. Bunch, who was shooting the event for the Nashville Scene and was not one of the four photographers approved to shoot the band from the That Tent photo pit, tells Rolling Stone that photographers were warned that their presence might cause problems with Danzig and his security detail.

"I was told by someone that works for Bonnaroo that, essentially, we could shoot over on the side at our own risk," Bunch says. "They warned us [that] he's not a huge fan of being photographed and that his staff might approach us." It wasn't long before they did.

"You know you can't shoot Danzig, right?" Bunch says a Danzig crew member told him during the show. "I saw some people dancing, I was shooting them and then the guy came back over again and he was like, 'Man, [Glenn] is getting really antsy. You really aren't shooting him, are you?'" Bunch recalls.

Then, while performing "Dirty Black Summer," an obviously agitated Danzig flipped the bird at the media pool. As the song ended he ran off the side of the stage and over to the separating barricade where he started pointing angrily at Bunch and a few surrounding photographers while security held him back.

"He was just pointing at me and screaming something about fucking up the show," Bunch recalls, "I was confused and amused by it, I guess, because I thought it was absolutely ridiculous ... I just stood there thinking, 'Well, if Danzig really wants to run offstage and tackle me then I'm gonna give him his chance.' … I feel like it was really a theatrical thing."

Said Danzig to the crowd before retreating to his trailer, "Try and have a good time. There's always one or two assholes who always gotta try and fuck shit up." Still seething, the singer reemerged to finish the show a few minutes later. "Fuck 'em!" he was seen mouthing as he took a purpose-driven walk back to the stage.

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