The Roxy Suicide

The Roxy Suicide
Whisky a Go-Go
By Lucky

Doors at 7, band at 7:15. Those were the discouraging words laid down by the guy in The Whisky a Go-Go’s office at like 5. I had to think fast and move faster. On a trek which had me a zillion miles from The Strip I thought my chances of making it to see The Roxy Suicide were nil, but by God I had to get my game face on and try. Putting pedal to metal, I broke about every land speed record around, all the while with a watchful eye for the man. That is until I hit a standstill, bumper-to-bumper, full swing sig, 101 crush. I figured I was pretty screwed.

Residing to the fact that I was about to miss the band that I have been waiting ions to see, I surrendered to the flow, all the while slugging past the Bowl, the Janice Joplin death motel and the dilapidated squat where Ginger, Jennifer and I shared a special kind of love oh so long ago. Damn, too many memories, too many ghosts.  Even the back alley sally shortcuts lacked their usual expedite.  I needed a miracle, and I needed it now.

Pounding pavement between Clark and Hilldale, I finally arrived at the legendary venue and said some quick hellos to the various Whisky staff that I have the pleasure to know, then inside to another world that waits. Miracles do happen as The Roxy Suicide was on stage, but how much was missed, and by whom. There was a surprising crowd up front and center, way more than I expected for such an early slot. This band has pull and a galaxy full of prizes.

Checking the post-show provided set list, I later realized I missed just one, “Sex Bomb Babies”, the band’s spark and shine that just had to be a stellar opener and introduction for those there that were not familiar with the band’s mission statement. I went immediately stage left and focused in on the keyboard enticements of Roxy Roller, who was midway thru “Kashmir Kiss”. Roxy’s synth channeled a feel reflective of early work by Jimmy Destri (Blondie), giving “Kashmir Kiss” a happy mutation of new wave and drug-fueled glam.

Olieshox’s deliberate and precise guitar strums signaled intro for “Glam-Damaged”, think Johnny Ramone meets Joe Strummer. An east meets east influential; “Glam-Damaged” combines influences that seem to derive from the likes of The Ramones, The Cars and other late 70’s power wave bands. Dave Mansfield, upfront on bass and vox, commandeered the show with ultra stage persona, eternal youth and road warrior expertise.

The band carried on through “London Girls, London Boys” and “Silly Thing”. Robust glam-o-ram, but all the while showing some shadowy undertones, perhaps due to sheer determination for success or perhaps something even more sinister in their plan for world domination.  This was rendered even more so by the full-swing demeanor of Roxy Suicide drummer Ziggy Starbuxx, whose star trip vibe brought chills of 70’s Slade and perhaps Mott The Hoople.

Mansfield’s homage to one of the coolest bygone labels “I Wanna be on Sire” was a hit, what with it’s retro-references and kid tested, Riff Randell approved grooves, this song just couldn’t loose. I loved it when Dave sang, “I don’t want to be like Johnny Thunders, I just want to be on album covers.” Where’s Licorice Pizza when we need it?

All the cool kids know that KROQ DJ Rodney Binenheimer has been spinning The Roxy Suicide as of late, and Rodney and his girlfriend Kansas even made it down to the show, which tells you something about this band. Dedicating a Bowie cover tune to Rodney, The Roxy Suicide broke out a souped-up version of “Hang on to Yourself”. At first I didn’t recognize the song, as the band gave it an almost Brit-Punk feel, but upon recognition, I was like, “This is badass”. Hanging with the band after the show, Dave told me it wasn’t suppose to be played at such a break-neck pace, but Ziggy got pumped in the moment. I think they should always play it that way as it was one of the all time great moments in rock and roll history.

The bands blockbuster “Here Come the Foxes” landed in hot pursuit. Roxy’s keys stood strong with solidified guitar, bass and drum meshing together into a solid sound spectacular segueing nicely into The Ramone-esque “Joan Your Jett”.  If you ever wondered what Gabba Gabba Hey would sound like with new wave nuances, this is it.

After the show I got to catch up with Ziggy, Dave, Roxy and Olieshox, as well as Rodney Bingenheimer.  Seeing Rodney is always fun as I get to reminisce about 70’s punk, the old school L.A. club scene and his huge influence on the events that unfolded for an entire generation. Special thanks to the Whisky a Go-Go, Rodney Bingenheimer and especially to The Roxy Suicide for a kick ass night and for keeping rock alive.