Michael And Spider's Professional And Personal Lives
ake a few minutes to enjoy a photographic journey of Michael and Spider's professional career and personal life, set to the song "French Sailors" from their album Iridescent Garden. Together as a couple for four decades, few remember the hardships faced by gay couples almost a half century ago.
While many other gay musicians of that era succumbed to addictions, died from aids or disappeared into oblivion, somehow Michael and Spider not only survived, they thrived.
Throughout the 1970's, Spider played lead guitar in a variety of Los Angeles and Orange County hard rock, glam, psychedelic and funk bands. It was during these years that he and Michael began collaborating as songwriters.
In 1977, Spider played lead guitar on a Delaney Bramlett album ("Delaney & Friends").
In 1978, Michael and Spider joined their first band together, The Tracers, an art-school punk rock band. Spider played second guitar and Michael sang back-up. In 1979, they recorded a single with The Tracers entitled "My My Girl" / "Itchy Bugs."
Later that year, Michael and Spider left The Tracers to found the hardcore punk rock band Hey Taxi. In 1980, Hey Taxi released a single entitled "I Hate Dogs" / "War is Hell" / "Queen Bee" on Mystic Records. This single has since become a camp classic.
In 1981, Michael and Spider co-founded the controversial retro glam, psychedelic alternative band Red Wedding. Red Wedding was L.A.'s first known openly gay band, which soon became the house band at The Brave Dog, and ultimately was the band which helped to launch the first Theoretical party (a series of Sunday afternoon gay-friendly parties featuring performances from a variety of L.A. underground bands, parties that continued for nearly 10 years). Red Wedding appeared twice on the L.A. TV program "New Wave Theatre" and performed at all of the top L.A. and San Diego clubs, sharing thestage with a variety of unsigned and established bands and performers including Killing Joke, Wild Kingdom, Psi Com (an early incarnation of Jane's Addiction), Red Hot Chili Peppers, Romeo Void, The Bangs (an early incarnation of The Bangles), Fibonaccis, Party Boys, Bow Wow Wow, and Nina Hagen. In 1982 Red Wedding released an EP album entitled "Up and Down the Aisle" on Bemisbrain Records and in 1984 they released their second EP album entitled "Nails" on Important Records. Also in 1984, a Red Wedding single entitled "Swimming" was released on a compilation album entitled "Radio Tokyo Tapes - Volume Two" on Ear Movie Records. In 1985 Red Wedding recorded a third EP entitled "Fiction Theater," but this EP was never released. To date, no official Red Wedding recordings have been released on CD.
To read more about Red Wedding, go to the official Red Wedding website www.mobilization.com/theoretical.com/redwedhome.html. To view one of Red Wedding's live performances on New Wave Theatre, go to www.tvparty.com.
In 1986, Michael and Spider co-founded the hardcore alternative band Glass. In 1987 Glass recorded an unreleased EP entitled "Dancing with the Apes."
In 1987, Michael and Spider retired from music, moved to Tucson, Arizona and disappeared from the music scene for nearly 16 years.
In 2003, Michael and Spider returned to music as soundscape artists Smoke & Mirrors, signing with the newly-formed indie label Aural Fixation Records. Between 2003 and 2005, Smoke & Mirrors released a trio of CDs, "The Perfume of Creosote" (a collection of 23 soundscapes inspired by the Sonoran Desert in Arizona), "Deities" (a double-disc collection of 22 soundscapes based on Hindu gods and goddesses) and "White Roses Painted Red" (a collection of 23 soundscapes based on Alice in Wonderland characters). All three CDs received rave reviews (including many editor's picks) as well as indie radio airplay all across the States and in Europe.
In 2006, Michael and Spider abandoned the name Smoke & Mirrors in favor of their own names, Michael and Spider, and began work on a collection of lush and exotic soundscapes entitled "Iridescent Garden." Iridescent Garden was released by Lavender Records in 2008.
To contact Michael or Spider please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Spider Taylor & Michael Ely 2011