Michael And Spider ~ Composers ~ Performers ~ Gay Pioneers
Michael Ely was a very intelligent, thoughtful, shy, extremely sensitive, and introspective child. Spider (James) Taylor was a brilliant, hyperactive, and extroverted boy with an inexhaustible amount of energy his father described as “climbing the walls”, thus his nickname.
They grew up in different cities, both attracted to their own sex, neither aware that fate was soon to bring them together. And, bring them together it did, in a way that defied all odds. How’s this for coincidence?
While both still too young to get into bars, they both got fake IDs at the same time, and both used them to get into the same undercover gay bar on the same night. And the very first, and only person they met that night, was each other! Within weeks they were a couple.
Michael and Spider went on to spend decades in the music industry, pioneering, redefining, and redesigning the worlds of rock, pop, and glam, creating three iconic Los Angeles bands in the process, Hey Taxi!, Red Wedding and Glass.
After Glass, they simply vanished from the music scene – only to rise like a Phoenix seventeen years later. Using environmental influences, exotic rhythms, and multiple layers of exquisite instrumentals, they began to compose film scores and soundtracks that ebb and flow like interstellar tides seeking the shimmering shores of infinity.
Sadly, after almost 43 years together, Spider was taken by cancer on May 21st, 2015. Michael and Spider thank all of their amazing friends and fans for the prayers and positive energy that continues their way.
Michael continues to share photos of their amazing journey on his blog at my-life-on-parade.tumblr.com
Please take a few minutes to learn more about this amazing duo, and experience some of their work.
Historic Landmark Decision
Benefits to thousands of LGBTQ surviving spouses
In a historic landmark decision in a federal court case launched by Michael Ely against the U.S. Social Security Administration for denial of spousal survivor benefits after Spider Taylor’s passing, a U.S. federal judge invalidated one of the last vestiges of federal discrimination against same-sex couples. The ruling found that the existing law and policy was discriminatory, and therefore illegal.
The judge furthermore ordered the Social Security Administration to pay up — not just to Michael, but to every American who was denied survivor benefits because of same-sex marriage bans. Michael’s courageous and historic actions led to survivor benefits being provided to thousands of very grateful LGBTQ+ surviving spouses, many who had given up hope. Read more…
Michael And Spider Are Part Of Rock History
Michael and Spider have been given their rightful place in music history in the exhaustive book, ‘Phantoms: The Rise Of Deathrock From The LA Punk Scene’ by Mikey Bean. This encyclopedic work is filled with rock and punk nostalgia, making it a who’s who of LA’s music scene at the time.
Phantoms is a walk through the dirty dank dressing rooms of LA’s punk music scene, voyeuristically peering at the many players who went onto forge new musical frontiers. It’s a literary dark, smoke filled lounge that transports the reader into an era of transformation and emergence – personal and musical.
As Mikey’s book makes clear, deathrock was indeed different from the hardcore and punk scenes alongside which it grew (although there were significant areas of overlap). Whereas hardcore punk tried to boil down 1970s-style punk into its rawest and most aggressive forms, deathrock took a different tack. Mikey notes; “It all started getting not just ‘spookier’, but ‘artier’ at the same time.” Read more…
For information about the use and licensing of Spider and Michael’s materials, please contact Michael at: firstname.lastname@example.org