witchtheband.com

1987
January 11, 1987
Anaheim, California
Jezebel's
Headline Act: Lita Ford
Opening Act: Silent Crime
Archived: Video
SET LIST:
"Pricking Of My Thumbs" intro tape
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
Damnation
(No More) Suffering In Silence
Victory Without Pain
Time Keeps Running Out
Can't Take Our Rock
Wet n Wild

Over the break since the last show Jim decided the 50 pounds of chains on his new costume were too much, so he bought plastic chains and painted them silver.  The difference was unnoticeable to everyone except one person: Ronny Too.  He watched this show from the bar, and afterwards approached Jim and berated him for wearing fake stuff.  For perhaps the first time in the band's career Punky did not use the torches--or the burning cross--at this show.  This was a big night for WITCH because it was the night Punky met Lita.  Punky took the booking expressly to meet her, and he succeeded on a huge level.  They met at the backstage door in the rear of the club during sound check, and it was only a matter of weeks before Punky moved into her house in the Valley.  During this period Lita also began spending a lot of time at Punky's rented house on Baker Street in Anaheim.  Also this same night, WITCH met for the first time Lita's touring keyboard player, David Ezrin, who is the son of famed producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, LED ZEPPELIN, ALICE COOPER, etc).  He, too, began hanging out at Punky's place, and the two decided that at some time they wanted to collaborate.  Ezrin and Rickett also met for the first time this night, and the two have remained close friends, co-writers, and business partners ever since.

Around this time manager Joe Schultz's involvement with the band ended, and legendary D.J. Tawn Mastrey began representing WITCH soon after.


January 24, 1987
Hollywood, California
The Whisky
Opening Acts: Dezire, XL, Night Warrior

Punky's use of the fire torches at the beginning of the show returned on this night.  Lita Ford attended this show with Punky, and it was planned that she would play with the band on the encore.  She played Scott Rickett's Jackson guitar alone onstage (albeit with the WITCH crew; at left) following soundcheck, and she took pictures with the band in the Whisky dressing room just moments before showtime.  However, for some reason, she did not jam with WITCH on this night.

February 4, 1987
Hollywood, California
The Roxy
Opening Act: D'Molls
SET LIST:
"Pricking Of My Thumbs" intro tape
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
Keep the Light On
Damnation
(No More) Suffering In Silence
Victory Without Pain
Time Keeps Running Out
Can't Take Our Rock
AC/DC

The set list information comes from a review of the show in LA ROCKS! newspaper.  The reviewer, Celeste, states that the song "AC/DC...was the closer."  Normally during this period WITCH would've closed their set with "AC/DC," and then encored with "Wet n Wild," so it is unclear if an encore was played.  Lita Ford attended this show with Punky, but again she did not perform.  She was, however, photographed backstage helping Punky put on his makeup (below; photo by Dan Starr).  Amazingly, Lita was not the only RUNAWAY to enter WITCH's career at this time. Kim Fowley, legendary manager and creator of THE RUNAWAYS, attended this Roxy show and expressed an interest in producing the band's planned full-length album.  A meeting with WITCH and Fowley was held immediately after the show at a restaurant across the street from The Roxy to discuss the project.  A few days later Fowley called Punky at home to deliver his decision, but who answered the phone? Lita Ford.  The feud between Fowley and the RUNAWAYS girls is a thing of rock n roll legend, and presumably this was the first time the guitarist had spoken to her former manager since the early 1980s.  She was livid.  She screamed an obscenity into the phone and then threw it at Punky, who was under the impression that the "Kim" on the other end of the line was a girlfriend.  He was relieved that it was in fact Kim Fowley, but disappointed at what he had to say: Fowley passed on the band.  A full-length WITCH album never materialized.

Around this time Punky got a tattoo of Lita's lips on his ass.  He moved into her house in The Valley on March 1.


March 7, 1987
Anaheim, California
Jezebel's 
Archived: Audio
SET LIST:
Jaws movie theme intro tape
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
Keep The Light On

Damnation
(No More) Suffering In Silence
Can't Take Our Rock
Victory Without Pain

I'm Finally Home
AC/DC
Wet n Wild


Lita was again in attendance and sat at a table on the main floor.  She also posed for photos with WITCH before the show in the rear parking lot.  She did not, however, perform with the band, much to the disappointment of the many RUNAWAYS fans who were at the show.  During this show Peter announced that the new single, "Can't Take Our Rock," will be out soon, and that a full length album will be out by summer.  This was only partly correct.  A two-song 12" single entitled NOBODY SLEEPS would be released within a month, but a full-length album was never recorded.  Pictures I took of the band on this night were used on the back cover of this 12" single.  During the introduction to "Keep the Light On," Peter said, "If there's one thing we've learned, it's to never give up."  Around this time Punky began writing with Lita Ford and David Ezrin.  Ultimately, Punky would receive a co-writing credit for the song "Fatal Passion," which appears on Lita's platinum selling album Lita.

April 3, 1987

Anaheim, California

Jezebel's
Archived: Video
SET LIST:
Jaws movie theme intro tape
Saboteur
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
Keep the Light On
Damnation
(No More) Suffering In Silence
Can't Take Our Rock
Victory Without Pain
I'm Finally Home
AC/DC
Jailhouse Rock
Wet n Wild

This was the official release party for WITCH's independently-produced two-track 12" single, NOBODY SLEEPS.  It contained "Can't Take Our Rock" on the A side and "Victory Without Pain" on the flip, two songs that would remain regulars in the set well into 1988.  A hasty creation, the single arrived with no fan fare and no promotion, except for a few announcements from the stage during the next few shows.  A review of this show, entitled "Sleaze Metal Returns With A New WITCH," appeared in the April 10 issue of Cal State Fullerton's newspaper, The Daily Titan.  Lita was again in attendance--along with some of the band members' parents--and just before "Jailhouse Rock" Peter told the crowd that Lita would play with the band the following night at The Whisky.

April 4, 1987
Hollywood, California
The Whisky
Opening Acts: London, The Lie, The Green
Archived: Audio
SET LIST:
Saboteur
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
Keep the Light On
Can't Take Our Rock
Victory Without Pain
AC/DC
Jailhouse Rock (with Lita Ford on guitar)

This time, Lita Ford played with WITCH on the encore.  She took to the stage in leopard skin spandex pants, a shredded shirt, and her black B.C. Rich Warlock guitar.  Before the show in the upstairs dressing room, Lita posed for pictures with D.J. Tawn Mastrey and WITCH.

In late Fall 1986, Ronny Too joined Pat McKeon's Orange County thrash metal band MAX HAVOC.  This band also featured original WASP drummer Tony Richards, and he brought the band a lot of attention from clubs and magazines.  The band recorded demos in Pat's garage in December of that year, and began gigging soon after.  One show--July 26, 1987, at The Whisky in Hollywood--was captured by a fan on an amateur audio recording, and the set list was as follows:


I'm the Show
Can't Be Tamed
Bound For Hell
Deaf, Dumb, and Blind
Fire In My Eyes
E Ticket
Ronny Too Guitar Solo/Love Song
RIP
All I Need
Delilah's Fire
No Stopping Me Now

Ronny remained with MAX HAVOC through 1987 into 1988, and then left the band in May of that year.  At right is Ronny at The Whisky (with Tony behind him).

August 22, 1987

Anaheim, California
Jezebel's
Opening Act: Spoiled Rotten

Archived: Video
SET LIST:
"Pricking Of My Thumbs" Intro Tape
Saboteur
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
Keep the Light On
Take Me Away
I'm Finally Home
(No More) Suffering In Silence
Can't Take Our Rock
Victory Without Pain
You're Not Loud Enough
Wet n Wild

A very unusual WITCH show.  Peter, Jim, Scott, and Davin decided to do a show without Punky.  So they recruited a drummer named Michael and booked this one gig.  This was also the debut performance of two new songs: "You're Not Loud Enough," and "Take Me Away."  Perhaps WITCH's best known song, the music for "Take Me Away" was written by Scott Rickett and based on the Van Halen classic "Unchained."  The picture at right shows WITCH in rehearsal with Michael and his white drum kit (photo courtesy Scott Rickett).  Opening band SPOILED ROTTEN is the same band founded by Punky and Peter more than a year earlier, but  obviously neither was still in the group. 

October 17, 1987
WITCH canceled
Corona, CA
Old World Beer Gardens
Opening Acts: Dagger's Edge, Layden, Kane, Emerald, more

Billed as "MetalFest '87 Orange County and Inland Empire's Best Metal Bands."  However, for unknown reasons, WITCH did not play.  This marks only the second time in the band's career where they had to cancel an announced gig.