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Things Spike Muellenberg lost in the fire

There’s a lot the Spice Pistols’ frontman can never recover

Mike “Spike” Muellenberg and Dodger: the man made it out alive; the cat, alas, did not.
Mike “Spike” Muellenberg and Dodger: the man made it out alive; the cat, alas, did not.

Mike “Spike” Muellenberg, aka Hairy Scary Spice, has given San Diego plenty of both music and laughs while out in front of the Spice Pistols: five fellows happy to be not young, not hot, and not hip, who spruce up Sex Pistols songs in bargain-basement drag. Now he’s hoping that San Diego is willing to give a little something back: a house fire has cost Muellenberg his home, his musical equipment, and more. At 5 am on October 5, his roommate (and band merch man) Alan Stewart was awakened for work by his alarm clock. Recalls Muellenberg, “He came out of his room and saw the smoke, kicked open my door, waking me, and yelled ‘fire.’ Alan saved my life.”

According to Muellenberg, “The fire was electrical in nature, and started at a plug with nothing plugged into it. The house was old and was un=grounded.” Gear lost includes “twenty-four bass guitars, one third of which were vintage and collectable. Three of the basses were signed by my friend Mike Watt [Minutemen, Firehose]. My 1969 Gibson EB-3 bass, Reverend WattPlower Mark 1 and Reverend WattPlower Mark 2. A guitar signed by Bruce Kulick of Kiss.” In addition, “Nine guitars, one of which was [Monolith guitarist] Doug Walker’s 1969 Gibson SG, vintage and irreplaceable. My mother’s 1942 Dallape accordion, which I had just had restored and was worth $10K... The value of what was lost is well over $70K. That’s just the value of the instruments. That doesn’t include the computers, CD duplicator, [and] vintage clothing. I was way under-insured, with only $25k in renters insurance.”

Asked about his most personal possessions, he says that “there is no money number I can put on this question. My house was like a shrine to all those in my life who have impacted me and have passed. Everything from my mother, who just passed in April. Everything from my father, who passed in 1999. All my family heirlooms. Real world value of these things might be $50K, but what they’re worth to me is immeasurable. This hurts the most.”

While Muellenberg and drummer Doug Walker, aka Mosh Posh Spice, made it to safety, one life was lost: the band’s feline inspiration, Dodger. “Not like the baseball team,” explains Muellenberg, “but like the Charles Dickens character. We have coyotes, and I named him that in hopes he might be able to dodge the coyotes if he ever got out. I’ve had him for six years.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help replace band instruments and equipment. As for other forms of support, the Pistols seem blessed with plenty. “I’m aware of a couple of benefit concerts being organized, but don’t have any dates as of yet. I’ve had many, many calls from friends in the music community offering to play for the benefits. Peter DiStefano of Porno For Pyros has committed to doing a solo show, and Rikk Agnew of Adolescents is going to play at one as well. Also, Dood Craft Guitars’ James Nelson is going to not only build me a replacement ‘Hairy Scary Spice Heart’ bass, but is building a second one for me to auction off.”

Past Event

Spice Pistols

  • Saturday, November 13, 2021, 8 p.m.
  • Til-Two Club, 4746 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+

The band has already had an encouraging response from the local community, and have been gifted with and loaned the items needed for shows. They’ll play the Congress Club in Tuscon on Halloween, and locally, they’ll gig at Til-Two on November 13. They also have upcoming tours of the Pacific Northwest and Southwest planned for February and March.

“I have all the faith in the world that we’ll get through this, as art is what drives us,” says Muellenberg. “This incident, though it is the worst thing I personally have ever experienced, will be just that. A part of my life that is in the past. I refuse to let this stop the art. Period. I wouldn’t have the ability to persevere without the friends and family in my life, my bandmates, my roommates, and most of all our San Diego music community.”

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Times of San Diego, Voice of San Diego, Union-Tribune, San Diego Community Newspaper Group, O.B. Rag
Mike “Spike” Muellenberg and Dodger: the man made it out alive; the cat, alas, did not.
Mike “Spike” Muellenberg and Dodger: the man made it out alive; the cat, alas, did not.

Mike “Spike” Muellenberg, aka Hairy Scary Spice, has given San Diego plenty of both music and laughs while out in front of the Spice Pistols: five fellows happy to be not young, not hot, and not hip, who spruce up Sex Pistols songs in bargain-basement drag. Now he’s hoping that San Diego is willing to give a little something back: a house fire has cost Muellenberg his home, his musical equipment, and more. At 5 am on October 5, his roommate (and band merch man) Alan Stewart was awakened for work by his alarm clock. Recalls Muellenberg, “He came out of his room and saw the smoke, kicked open my door, waking me, and yelled ‘fire.’ Alan saved my life.”

According to Muellenberg, “The fire was electrical in nature, and started at a plug with nothing plugged into it. The house was old and was un=grounded.” Gear lost includes “twenty-four bass guitars, one third of which were vintage and collectable. Three of the basses were signed by my friend Mike Watt [Minutemen, Firehose]. My 1969 Gibson EB-3 bass, Reverend WattPlower Mark 1 and Reverend WattPlower Mark 2. A guitar signed by Bruce Kulick of Kiss.” In addition, “Nine guitars, one of which was [Monolith guitarist] Doug Walker’s 1969 Gibson SG, vintage and irreplaceable. My mother’s 1942 Dallape accordion, which I had just had restored and was worth $10K... The value of what was lost is well over $70K. That’s just the value of the instruments. That doesn’t include the computers, CD duplicator, [and] vintage clothing. I was way under-insured, with only $25k in renters insurance.”

Asked about his most personal possessions, he says that “there is no money number I can put on this question. My house was like a shrine to all those in my life who have impacted me and have passed. Everything from my mother, who just passed in April. Everything from my father, who passed in 1999. All my family heirlooms. Real world value of these things might be $50K, but what they’re worth to me is immeasurable. This hurts the most.”

While Muellenberg and drummer Doug Walker, aka Mosh Posh Spice, made it to safety, one life was lost: the band’s feline inspiration, Dodger. “Not like the baseball team,” explains Muellenberg, “but like the Charles Dickens character. We have coyotes, and I named him that in hopes he might be able to dodge the coyotes if he ever got out. I’ve had him for six years.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help replace band instruments and equipment. As for other forms of support, the Pistols seem blessed with plenty. “I’m aware of a couple of benefit concerts being organized, but don’t have any dates as of yet. I’ve had many, many calls from friends in the music community offering to play for the benefits. Peter DiStefano of Porno For Pyros has committed to doing a solo show, and Rikk Agnew of Adolescents is going to play at one as well. Also, Dood Craft Guitars’ James Nelson is going to not only build me a replacement ‘Hairy Scary Spice Heart’ bass, but is building a second one for me to auction off.”

Past Event

Spice Pistols

  • Saturday, November 13, 2021, 8 p.m.
  • Til-Two Club, 4746 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+

The band has already had an encouraging response from the local community, and have been gifted with and loaned the items needed for shows. They’ll play the Congress Club in Tuscon on Halloween, and locally, they’ll gig at Til-Two on November 13. They also have upcoming tours of the Pacific Northwest and Southwest planned for February and March.

“I have all the faith in the world that we’ll get through this, as art is what drives us,” says Muellenberg. “This incident, though it is the worst thing I personally have ever experienced, will be just that. A part of my life that is in the past. I refuse to let this stop the art. Period. I wouldn’t have the ability to persevere without the friends and family in my life, my bandmates, my roommates, and most of all our San Diego music community.”

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