Having weathered a dozen lineup changes over nine years, Roxy Monoxide play their final gig on Saturday, December 18, at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge. Singer-guitarist Scott Samuels concedes they failed to reinvent themselves following the departure of frontwoman Coree Levy. “After a few bad gigs, we realized how difficult it is for people in our age group — 40s and 50s — to come out and listen to bands play original music. Also, [bassist] Darko came back from Serbia and had a great time playing with his old blues band over there and decided he needed a change. So Scott [Southwood, drummer] decided that, after four bass players, four vocalists, and three guitarists, he didn’t want to stick around bringing yet another player up to speed.”
For the final gig, “We’re planning on having Michael Rennie and possibly a few other former Roxy members get up and play a few tunes with us.” Samuels remains with his other band A.M. Forever, which includes departing Roxy guitarist Tim Bennett.
Also splitting — again — are Kathleen “Kitten” Johnson and Sean Siever of Pharmacy, whose musical divergences previously fractured their late-’90s ensemble Kitten’s Pharmacy (which included above-quoted Roxy Monoxide founder Scott Samuels). This time, Johnson is keeping the Pharmacy name, though song custody is still in dispute. “After leaving Pharmacy and Ms. Kitty, there have been quite a few issues,” says Siever, who mentions “sending BMI and my publisher after her for using three songs that I wrote 98 percent of.” Siever is currently working on new music with Mark Todd (ex-Radio 1) and Nick Peters (Baja Bugs).
“Sean is just bitter,” responds Johnson. “He threatened to contact MySpace and all the clubs we’re playing that the three songs that were written by me and other members were not ours, that he wrote them, which is not true. He was looking to get money out of us; he wanted, like, $200 by a certain date, otherwise he was contacting a lawyer.” Johnson says all Pharmacy songs have been taken offline, other than three she maintains were written by other members. “Sean was not present at practice when we did them.” Pharmacy appears January 7 at the Chico Club in La Mesa.
Add to the breakup list — for now, anyway — Ratt. Bassist Robbie Crane, currently touring with Lynch Mob, told the Metal Sludge website, “As far as I’m concerned, there is no Ratt to be fired from, as Ratt is on an indefinite hiatus [since] we’ve finished the Infestation tour in Japan.... Warren DeMartini has dates with his and Dee Snider’s Christmas band, [and] Stephen [Pearcy] has four to six months of solo dates.”