Traci Michaelz Memorial Show
05/30/09 – Key Club
By Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Hollywood lost a true legend and dear friend last summer when Traci Michaelz, founder and drummer for the Peppermint Creeps, was found dead in his Fort Worth, TX. hotel room 06/13/08. It has been almost one year since his passing, and a Memorial Show was put together in Traci’s honor and to keep his spirit alive.
Cover band Bathroom Mafia was on stage when I got there. I heard Guns N’ Roses’ “It’s So Easy,” which was ok. But then they played one of the best songs of the entire night… Hanoi Rocks’ “Tragedy!” It sounded exactly like them! Every note, every word, every move… Then they started to play the Ramones “Judy is a Punk,” and midway through went into something else, and then ended rather abruptly. They should have just stopped with “Tragedy!”
Next was Cast of Nasties. I was surprised to see Jonni Jade on lead vocals and guitar. I hadn’t seen Jonni around lately, and had no idea he was with a new band and would be performing Traci’s Memorial Show. They did a great cover of Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In the UK” and ended their set with original song “Go To Hell.”
Before the Peppermint Creeps took the stage, “Home Sweet Home” was played over the speakers and a video screen displayed members of the Scene that had passed away recently. It was a touching Memorial that included Spike, Bianca Halsted, Randy Castillo, Arthur Kane, Rustee Casanova and ended withTraci Michaelz.
After fans and friends applauded for Traci’s life, The Peppermint Creeps “story” from the “Animatron X” CD was displayed on screen, and Billy Blade and Macy Malone entered the stage. The video screen displayed Traci Michaelz at his drums, and the on stage drum set was empty. The two-piece played “Let Your Voice Be Heard,” and “Pop Culture” with Traci pictured on the screen banging drums out for every beat. It was like he was there, but he wasn’t. It was an odd feeling to take pictures of Billy and Macy and then Traci (on the video screen). After “Pop Culture,” Crimson Coven drummer Wes Hardlin joined in on drums and they played “Just Another Day,” “Never,” “New In Town,” off the new CD titled “See You In Hell,” “Lesbian,” “Stupid,” and then ended with the famous “F*ck Off and Die.” It was great to hear the Creeps music performed live again, and it really did feel like Traci was there with us.
I caught the end of Mad Temple’s set and heard Bowie’s “Suffragette City” and a song that they actually wrote for the Peppermint Creeps two years ago that they played in Traci’s honor.
Middle Finger Mob (Formerly Hollywood 77) played a killer set mostly of songs from their new CD “Songs of Life, Sex and Death.” Their songs and sounds are based on personal experiences, and the ups and downs of living in Hollywood. I think a lot of these experiences, we can relate to. It was touching to see “Save A Place in Heaven,” which was written for Traci, performed at his Memorial Show. Spektra guitar player Jakki Blayze joined them on stage for a punked out version of Poison’s “Fallen Angel.” If you haven’t seen Middle Finger Mob yet, you are missing out!
The last band I saw was The Faded. Gene did such an AMAZING job with Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” I thought Billy Idol was standing in front of me. He not only nailed his voice, he had his stage moves down too as he went back and forth from the front of the stage to the drums. The only thing he was missing was some autographed plates to throw into the crowd. (Billy always does this.) The rest of their set were originals, and awesome as well.
Other bands that performed include Ankhesenamen, Crimson Coven, The Hate Junkies, Spektra and Mercyy. This was a great night, and definitely a “Who’s who in the Hollywood rock scene.” It was nice to see so many of Traci’s closest friends there in his honor. R.I.P. Traci Michaelz.