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 V.14 No.27 | July 7 - 13, 2005 

Music Dork

Six Degrees of Glenn Danzig

I never would have guessed it, but it looks like Glenn Danzig may be to the music world what Kevin Bacon is to the movie world. If you're unfamiliar with the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, it hypothesizes that Kevin Bacon is the center of the cinematic universe. That means that you can link anyone in film to him through six degrees of separation or less, mostly because he was a member of so many ensemble casts.

The concept of six degrees of separation itself, which is what the Kevin Bacon game is derived from, posits that you can link yourself to anyone on earth through a series of acquaintances, however arbitrary, with six degrees of separation or less. Here, I'll try it on myself: My great-grandfather was friends with Huey Long, who knew President Roosevelt, who knew Winston Churchill, who probably met Queen Elizabeth II—and think of all the people she knows. Take a moment to try it on yourself.

Done? All right, back to Danzig.

I was able to link him to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Johnny Cash, The Who, Morrissey, Pavement, Lou Reed, The Cure, The Pixies and so on, albeit sometimes through more than six degrees. But how did I do this? With the powers of cybermagic, of course. The website www.bandtoband.com claims to be "mapping the rock 'n' roll genome" by creating a family tree of shared band members.

Here's an example: Danzig played with Tommy Victor, who played in Prong with Paul Raven, who played in Murder Inc. with Paul Ferguson, who played in Killing Joke with Martin Glover Youth, who played in The Fireman with Paul McCartney, who was in The Beatles. There you have it, six degrees of separation between Danzig and The Beatles.

Of course, the website has its drawbacks. For one thing, the database seems to be lacking a lot of key stuff. I couldn't find Ween or Beck, and I wanted to link Danzig with Loverboy and John Tesh but was unable to do so because they're not (yet?) included.

Also, the system of only linking bands through shared members is disappointing. Think of all the links you could make by including bands that toured together, exchanged members for one show, were on the same label or dated the same actress (not to mention attended the same party and did the same ... whatever). Anyway, the point of all this is that I elect Glenn Danzig to be the Kevin Bacon of the music world.

Okay, Glenn Danzig was in The Misfits with Bobby Steele, who was in The Undead with ...

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