NEW YORK WASTE, Spring 2012
THE NYC MEMORIAL FOR STEVE MACH, SUSAN PALERMO and LAURA KENNEDY
at R BAR on December 1, 2011
When I heard that STEVE MACH had been shot by some trigger happy cop in Maryland, I immediately picked up the phone and dialed KIPP ELBAUM! It just so happened he was calling me at that exact moment! We both knew what had to be done! STEVE was the lighting guy at CBGB's and also head of ACTION CAT PRODUCTIONS. He was also the bass player in THE VAMPS, SKIN & BONES and CHARM SCHOOL! Back in the CBGB days, whenever KIPP and I did one of the monster tribute or benefit shows at CB's (anything with more than 10 bands, and we did a lot of them) we always called STEVE and he would arrange to get us whatever backline we needed to make these shows happen!
Immediately KIPP started to put the MEMORIAL together and we started to collect STEVE's friends and arrange a proper Celebration of his life!
Then within the next month, LAURA KENNEDY, of the BUSH TETRAS, lost her 20 year battle with Hep C (even after getting a liver transplant). And within 2 more weeks, SUSAN PALERMO, aka SUZY CREAMCHEESE of CHEAP PERFUME, lost her almost year long battle with Cancer!
3 GREAT, Rock'n'Roll Bass players - gone! We decided all 3 of their lives would be Celebrated at the Memorial!
The R BAR on the BOWERY, less than 2 blocks south of where CBGB's used to be, where they each played many shows, was the location!
At 6:00pm on December 1, 2011 the doors opened and DJ NICOLE BATCHELOR greeted everyone who showed with classic NYC punk rock tunes and continued to do so between the bands all night long!
A few minutes after 7:00pm the evening started with some words and shared memories from some of their friends and then PATTI ROTHBERG took the stage to start the night off with some poignant tunes that led to THE SHAKES, featuring former CB's employees CINDY and JACKIE rocking for their friend and fellow employee!
The TUFF DARTS were next. SUSAN's band, CHEAP PERFUME used to share the stage (amongst other things) with them way back when it all started back in the 70's. TUFF DART's TOMMY FRENZY managed to survive his battle with Brain cancer and came up from Florida to do this show!
Punk Rockers the MINOR CUTS were next, followed by LOU VALENTINE, who still had his ACTION CAT guitar pick!
THE SICK FUCKS followed, led by RUSSELL and TISH & SNOOKIE (of MANIC PANIC - where people first got the dyes for the wild colors of the hair back in the day!). Their off the wall insanity was just what the evening needed!
Then NYC's Toughest Rock Band - THE BULLYS, took the stage. These guys were no strangers to loss as they had lost their leader, JOHNNY HEF, on 9/11 at the WTC! He was a NYC Fireman, a REAL Rock'n'Roll hero! It was STEVE's equipment that we used for all the 9/11 Benefits we did for the COPS & FIREMAN's Widows & Children's Fund at CBGB's. HILLY always donated the room (one time all 3 rooms as we had 50 bands in 1 nite)! They smoked thru a set and were joined by DAVE WASTED (USA WASTED and former CBGB employee) on their last song!
The 1st 3 songs from CHARM SCHOOL were done without a bass player as a homage to STEVE MACH, who was their bass player! STEVE FALLON then joined them on bass as well as BROOKLYN BABY DOLL got to do some Go-Go dancing! ERIC PRESTI and JIMI BONES also jumped on stage for a few songs!
JIMI BONES was a member of THE VAMPS and SKIN & BONES with STEVE and he put together a few friends to do a SKIN & BONES ALL-STAR BAND! Joined by ALISON JONES on bass and AARON BROOKS on drums with TISH & SNOOKIE on backing vocals! BROOKLYN BABY DOLL once again provided some Go-Go dancing as more of STEVE's friends joined JIMI to play their respects to our lost friend. DANNY RAY (MAD JUANA) on sax and DAVA SHEWOLF (CYCLE SLUTS FROM HELL, SHEWOLVES, STARR & DAGGER) on guitar, joined them along with GASS WILD to sing "SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL"! It was a SOLID TRIBUTE to a man who will be missed!
ERIC 13 from the SEX SLAVES did a solo set and we had a quick toast to our lost friends! At this point MICHELLE, from the R BAR brought out a 2 foot long bass guitar shaped jello shot to honor STEVE!
Then MICKEY LEIGH, who also lost his brother (JOEY RAMONE) to lymphoma, came to the stage with a little plastic tambourine that lit up flashing lights! "Flashing lights for the light guy!" he said! Some one said he looked like "Dark Side of the Moon mixed with the dark side of BOWIE, wrapped in a dark black overcoat!" He powered thru his set with a tight group of friends which led to THE THREADS. Lead by flamboyant singer MICK THREAD. They entertained the crowd with some High Intensity Rock'nRoll with some help from DANNY RAY on sax!
ERIC PRESTI was up next with his band. Their keyboard player tried to exchange barbs with Mr. WOOD but he didn't have a prayer. (Disclaimer: Ask anyone, I ripped him a new one and ERIC asked me if I would introduce them at all their shows 'cause he loved how I put the keyboard player in his place!) They were joined in their set by MICHAEL TEE, (Promoter and DJ EXTRAORDINAIRE), who showed everyone how a REAL ROCK STAR does it!
HEAP was next and kept the crowd going until another former CB's employee BOBBY HEAD brought his band, HYMEN HOLOCAUST to the stage! These guys were regulars at CBGB's and their motto is "We're AWESOME, cuz we're not pussies!" And they showed it with a real fun set!
DIRTY & NAUGHTY featuring KEVIN SHAW (BMTs, HUDSON DUSTERS), GASS WILD (LOVE PIRATES), MIKE LINN and CURT STEYER (both from BLUE SHADOW DOGS) were introduced by EDWARD X. YOUNG, SUSAN PALERMO's fiance, who thanked everyone for showing all the love. They then came out and brought some old school, bluesy, rockin' tunes to the stage!
The night was capped off by THE BAGHDADDIOS! Led by KENN ROWELL, he brought up violinist, SUSAN MITCHELL, and together they performed a song he wrote for the occasion that was hauntingly beautiful and appropriate for the evening!
Let me not forget DAVE TANNER, who along with ALISON helped keep the band members flowing to the stage, all night long!
In all, it was a fitting tribute to 3 Great people!
The money raised went to Animal rescue which was a favorite cause of STEVE's. As a matter of fact, the last 2 of STEVE's 6 cats finally found a home that night after being fostered for 2 months at MANIC PANIC by TISH & SNOOKIE!
THANK YOU to EVERYONE who made this happen, especially KIPP ELBAUM, who took the wheel and drove this baby home!
There are more pictures in the photo section of my website: http://www.mrfwood.com
R.I.P. STEVE, SUSAN and LAURA, you will be missed but not forgotten!