Mike Kelley Leaves Numbers

Categories: Whatever

Murphy mar 21 a.JPG
Photo by Jef With One F
Peter Murphy at Numbers, March 21, 2011
Eight months ago Rocks Off ran a profile of promoter Mike Kelley, whose OnStage Events company seemed to be bringing about a renaissance for Numbers night club that we could not contain our excitement over. Kelley was behind the long-needed renovation of the Numbers live sound system, something that was put to great use when Kelley brought in Peter Murphy and the Clan of Xymox in to play for big crowds and critical acclaim (We know, we're the critic who did the acclaiming).

Kelley and the club seemed to be on the rise, but just as soon as it started the good news coming out of OnStage slowed to a drip, then a full stop, and rumors about bookings at Numbers began to swirl.

"Mike Kelley has left a trail of failed shows and broken contracts with acts and instead of helping Houston has created more issues for this already struggling city," said a patron of Numbers who wished to remain anonymous. "A lot of people did not realize it was not Numbers fault as to what happened. The club was just the host venue for Mike Kelley and Onstage, not the actual booking agent or promoter."

Several shows booked by Kelley were cancelled, such as Flock of Seagulls and Three Six Mafia. Kelley contends that the bands themselves were usually the parties behind the cancellations, citing routing problems as a common concern. Eventually, the running of OnStage became impossible, with Kelley claiming to have lost over $100,000.

flock of seagulls on tour in 2001 by andrew hurley.jpg
Photo by Andrew Hurley
Flock of Seagulls on tour in 2011
"Basically, it just cost too much," said Kelley in a phone interview on October 27. "We couldn't afford to do the shows. People were just not coming out. Peter Murphy and Clan of Xymox did well, but they were the only ones."

Kelley moved on to working directly for the Flamingo Room booking shows. He left that position a month ago, though he continued to manage the bookings he had already made. The difficult location made generating attendance at concerts problematic. In addition, a fire marshal reduced the capacity of the Flamingo Room to just 50 patrons, clearing out any hope of being able to accommodate a big audience. Phone calls to the owners of the Flamingo Room about what exactly happened have gone unreturned.

The problems at the Flamingo Room would be passed along to another club. Kelley had already sold a number tickets for Dilana, a South African born singer-songwriter with Houston connections who currently fronts Traci Guns' incarnation of L.A. Guns. Dilana had already purchased plane tickets when word about the fire marshal's ruling came down. Desperate, Kelley canvassed Houston looking for a place to move the show during the busy Halloween weekend. He managed to strike a deal with BFE.

Location Info

Map

Numbers

300 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Kelly Tice
Kelly Tice

HI Johnstonjamie72,

If you're in good with him, perhaps you can post his current contact info here so that i can contact him to get my $100 back for the 2 tickets to the Front 242 show that isn't happening.  It was canceled in NOVEMBER, and he has stolen my money by keeping it for 2 more months.   

Jared Tucker
Jared Tucker

People who hide behind "Anonymous" and make defamatory claims are obviously full of shit or they would give their real identities. That being said, Mike and Onstage brought some amazing shows to Numbers and Meridian both, and always treated us the local opening bands better than any of the would be promoters out there like "Brutal", who has a tendency to not even bother showing up at her own shows, much less pay the bands what she agrees if anything at all. Numbers is a dirty shithole that was lucky to get any shows at all. Standing in 3 inches of piss isnt a good time for anyone. The one time I did play there the backstage smelled like a fucking sewer and the stage felt like it was going to collapse.

Johnstonjamie72
Johnstonjamie72

Here is about all I can say about Mike. I worked for him for a while and would watch him lose thousands upon thousands and then at the end of the night take his whole staff out for late night dinner just to thank them. He turned Javajazz from a tiny little coffeehouse to a major club that got all the best shows. When he took over at Numbers, they were about to close down and his shows basically kept the place afloat. When he took over Meridian, they had basically had no shows of any worth for almost a year because their old bookers ran the place into the ground, and he packed the club on a regular basis until he left because the owner of the club fucked him and everyone else over. Say what you will, but Mike has always been a stand up guy just trying to make a living. Fuck the haters Mike, and good luck in the future

Whoever
Whoever

Stay away from MK. I have bounced checks to prove it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Quit making Mike seem like a victim. His actions have been a contribution to the downfall of the Houston music scene. Why don't you ask all of the people he owes money what the truth really is. I'm sure he came to you guys about this before anyone else could to hide all of his mistakes.  

Abby Slack Owen
Abby Slack Owen

Thank you for that informative snapshot of what happened 'Jef With One F'. The picture becomes a little clearer. Best wishes to Mike Kelley and his heartwrenching struggle for his little girl's life. Puts things into perspective methinks.

Nathan_red
Nathan_red

You forgot to mention Pandorum will be also Playing the Halloween show,

BRUTAL NATION
BRUTAL NATION

I FEEL LIKE BEATING SOME ASS. WHO'S WITH ME?

Corey
Corey

Sorry dude, music has advanced quite a bit in the last 30 years, and I have no desire to see acts of my childhood being old and well past their prime just looking for a quick buck sans any artistic integrity. When there are new and better acts out there, sorry being a sentimental promoter is akin to pissing in the wind, the general consensus is.... Who cares....?

anonymous
anonymous

It's easy to drop your name when no one knows or cares who you are. Especially when you have had absolutely no involvement in anything to do with the matter at hand.

anonymous
anonymous

You are highly mistake. And he did not turn java jazz into shit. He is the reason java jazz shut down period plane and simple. And when he took people out to dinner and rung up all these extra expenses it was not out of his pocket. It was out of the businesses pocket which he had no right to be spending frivolously. And the only reason mike was involved with clubs that were failing I.e. meridian and numbers is because they were the only ones desperate enough to take him and bands that booked with him were still under the impression that they were booking with Java Jazz. So mike lived off the flame that Java Jazz created for him until it fizzled away. I feel bad for his personal issues and do wish him luck. He was always very dedicated but also a very poor business man, with extremly poor business decisions and these characteristics were long before any exscuses could be made for his failures

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

Perhaps but what do you means ...sans any artistic integrity?

Like classical music, popular music must have an identifiable history and many of us will attend those concerts to keep that history alive.

After all, in this country, the art of popular music owes its origin to the institutions of political freedom...which younger acts now enjoy and build upon.

Johnstonjamie72
Johnstonjamie72

Mike Owned javajazz you dumbfuck. He also co-owned Meridian. If you think you know more about it than I do, feel free to email me. See I dont hide behind anonymous - johnstonjamie72@gmail.com - otherwise, keep your clueless comments to yourself or get your facts straight

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...