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Love-In for Late Singer of Betty Blowtorch

January 03, 2002|Heidi Siegmund Cuda

L.A.'s rock 'n' roll community pulled together on New Year's Eve to celebrate the life of Betty Blowtorch's Bianca Halstead, and, truly, love is an amazing thing. Her family was in the house as the Whisky paid tribute to Halstead, who died in a car wreck in New Orleans last month. Texas Terri, who dedicated her entire set to the female rock band by blazing through Betty Blowtorch songs, set the evening's tone by leading the crowd in a Hindu chant.

The veteran rocker was joined by Betty Blowtorch guitarist Blaire, who shredded with unbridled passion. The grand finale, "Hell on Wheels," was a rock 'n' roll love-in, with a gang of Hollywood rockers onstage singing their hearts out. You guys have class....

Speaking of class, our next stop was the Viper Room. We got there just in time to settle in for Big Balls, the AC/DC tribute band formed by top Hollywood rock musicians. I had an armload of German tourists with me, and they're convinced they saw AC/DC. The band was joined by Save Ferris' Monique Powell, who looked so hot you could see flames coming outta her dress. I was so excited when I saw the Viper Room's Sal Jenco take the stage to sing along on an AC/DC classic, I grabbed my camera but was eighty-sixed by three well-trained Viper employees.

Luckily, promoters Josh Richman and Dayle Gloria saved the day, and we settled back in just in time to see headliners Faster Pussycat. Singer Taime Downe is such a rock star.... Speaking of rock stars, big ups to the warmhearted citizens who phoned to tell me that Mario Maglieri's name had been misspelled in a recent Club Buzz. Whoops.... Speaking of Mario, his Rainbow burns eternal. I popped in there recently and found it crawling with rockers.

Most excellent New Year's Eve house parties: Soul singer Teena Marie turned her Pasadena home into a gumbo- and tamales-fueled funk-fest, while Shaquille O'Neal played king of his castle, treating his guests to lavish lobster and steak dinners. Bling bling.

Heidi Siegmund Cuda

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