.

Blowtorch Singer Killed

Bianca Halstead dies in car accident

December 18, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Betty Blowtorch frontwoman Bianca Halstead was killed on December 15th in a car accident near New Orleans. She was thirty-six.

Halstead, who performed as Bianca Butthole for the up-and-coming female punk quartet, was the passenger in a 1986 Corvette that spun into oncoming traffic at about 5 a.m. on Saturday at a speed believed to be in excess of 100 miles-per-hour. Earlier that evening, Halstead and Betty Blowtorch performed at the Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans, where they shared a bill with tourmates Nashville Pussy. According to police, Californian William R. McAllister was behind the wheel and had been drinking prior to the accident. He survived the wreck, but underwent surgery over the weekend and will likely face criminal charges.

In the early Nineties, Halstead performed as a singer and bassist in Los Angeles punk ensemble Butt Trumpet before departing with two other members -- guitarists Blare N. Bitch and Sharon Needles -- to form Betty Blowtorch three years ago. The group released its debut, Are You Man Enough?, in June.

While on tour with Nashville Pussy (which kicked off in early-November), Betty Blowtorch imploded. After their November 16th gig in Atlantic Beach, N.C., Needles and drummer Judy Molish effectively quit and disappeared with the group's gear. Halstead and Bitch quickly rallied by recruiting L7 guitarist Jennifer Finch and a temporary replacement on drums.

"Bianca was wonderful. She had a great sense of humor, which is rare today in rock," Poison drummer and friend Rikki Rocket said. "In spite of her image, she was a loving, humble, kind soul who would totally go out of her way for people . . . She wanted to make people rock, smile and forget."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com