When this website launched on September 4, 2007, Jim, Ronny, Peter, and Punky had not spoken to each other in over ten years, and it seemed as if WITCH was indeed over. But through the site band members began to contact me and each other and--by February--Jim and Punky were again making music together (they were living around the corner from each other for years and did not even know it!) On May 27 THE HEX IS ON finally received an official CD release through Old Metal Records. Jim, Punky, and Ronny contributed material for this release , creating a "best of" mixed with material that most fans might not have ever heard, and it was eventually renamed DAMNATION. Although Ronny was living in Idaho and Peter in Oklahoma, the guys agreed that a reunion was eminent and Labor Day weekend was picked as the date for a photo shoot and rehearsals. On August 29 we all met in Orange County, and it was the first time the four of them (and myself) had been in the same room together since April of 1989. The band prepared for the photo shoot at Punky's parents' place, then photographer and longtime WITCH friend David White took the band to a section of the Santa Ana River Bed for the shoot (photo above right). After dinner that night the mood was hopeful and everyone looked forward to rehearsals the following afternoon. On August 30 rehearsals began at a studio in Fountain Valley, and the very first song the band played was "Welcome On the Night." This was ironic because this was the very last song the band had played at their final show on April 13, 1989, and it was not a song the band had prepared to play at rehearsals. The band put together a set of 11 songs but, unfortunately, as the day progressed it became clear that Peter was not well. At 10:30pm the band finished the day's rehearsal with "Bewitched" and the mood was not good. A video shoot with Jim's production company was cancelled (that was going to be included in a VH-1 L.A. metal special), as was a second photo shoot with David White. The next day Jim, Punky, and Ronny ran through the set one more time--without Peter--while friends and family stopped by the studio throughout the rehearsal. With Peter out of the picture it seemed as if the band would not go on, and at the end of rehearsal they presented me with the original WITCH banner (at left; photo by Mike Gibbens). However, when it comes to WITCH, never say never. On September 1, Punky, Jim, and Ronny agreed that WITCH would indeed continue with a new singer. After much discussion, Betsy, lead singer from another notorious L.A. metal band BITCH, was asked to join WITCH and she agreed. They set their sites on Halloween night as their return show, and rehearsals began in mid-October in Orange County--no easy task since only Jim was living in O.C.: Betsy in North Hollywood, Punky in Hawaii, Ronny in Idaho, and myself in New Jersey.
October 31, 2008
Opening Acts: Stuart Guest Band, American Made, Final Gravity
Closing Band: Rhoads To Ozz
Archived: Video (2 sources)
"Pricking Of My Thumbs"/Organ Intro Tape
Hit the Road
Cinderella (In Black Leather)
(No More) Suffering In Silence
Take Me Away
Wet n Wild
The first WITCH show since November 1, 1991, and the first show with Jim since April 13, 1989. Truly a night to remember, and a show no one thought would ever happen. With a crowd of friends, family, and those who never got to see the band back in the day, I'm not sure WITCH ever played with such intensity as they did on this night. The set list left no room to breathe--and included THE HEX IS ON in its entirety--and the band tore through it in 45 minutes. This was Betsy Bitch's first show singing for the band, and Marty "Moose" returned as their stage manager. Mike 'Ozzy' Gibbens was also on crew. Tawn Mastrey was also there on tape: unable to locate the band's original intro tape, Punky used the intro from the recording of the November 1, 1991 Marquee show, which featured Tawn's voice reciting the "Pricking Of My Thumbs" poem, so Tawn got to introduce the band one more time. You shoulda been there. BLACK N BLUE's Jaime St James was in attendance and partied with the band after the show.
Oh my dear friend Ezzy….
The world has lost a wonderful person, a talented musician, and great song writer.
I have so many fond memories with Ezzy.
Writing songs, partying, wondering how we were going to get home – hahahaha.
He was so much fun to be around, so creative.
David left us all a beautiful girl, Zoe.
May her life always be full of love and passion.
I hope she knows how much her Dad loves her.
He was always talking about her.
He was so proud of his little girl.
I loved hearing him talk about Zoe – it warmed my heart.
The last time I saw David was when he came out to our house in
We had a lot of fun. He hung out with my husband a lot on that trip and he has a great story to share.
Ezzy wanted to go fishing - deep sea fishing.
So I got a few friends together and booked a 12 hour trip.
To get to the good fish took 4 hours!
Ezzy slept all the way there.
When we got there he woke up and started puking – he was soooooo sea sick!
Funny how you’re always OK until the boat stops!
So there we are, 4 hours from shore and Ezzy’s sick as a dog.
I finally talked him into fishing.
He could either puke and do nothing or puke and catch some fish!
We slayed ‘em that day.
We have a picture at our
We caught over 400 pounds of grouper and snapper!
So we get back – after another 4 hour boat ride and Ezzy takes 1 step off the boat and gets stung in the face by a bee – OMG!
It was unbelievable!
He just started laughing and we took the picture with our fish.
He said even though he got sick he loved that fishing trip.
He was so happy that we did it.
When we got home we went to the studio….
Ezzy heard a track I was singing on and wanted to play on it.
We drank a bit of wine and recorded until 3 in the morning.
He was acting like the Phantom of the Opera – it was awesome!
We were like 2 teenagers.
We had such a fun day.
Ezzy touched a lot of people. Jim and I will miss him a lot.
We both wish we would have spoken to him more regularly.
You always think that you have tomorrow…
Rest in peace Ezzy,