Local Music Turkey of the Year: Mike Kelley
Taken from our annual cover story on the Turkeys of the Year.
From savior to pariah in less than a year: Promoter Mike Kelley is the Rick Perry of the local music scene.
When legendary Montrose favorite Numbers looked to be in trouble, Kelley and his OnStage Events stepped in, to general hosannas. They replaced the club's aging sound system and brought in some acts that drew big crowds.
Things then went south.
We had been among those applauding Kelley, but by last month it was already time to do a postmortem:
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."
How bad did things get? Kelley had to cancel shows by Flock of Seagulls and Three Six Mafia.
That's not something you want on your résumé. But the news at least did inform us all that Flock of Seagulls and Three Six Mafia were still available for work, in case anyone was doing any wedding planning or bah mitzvah organizing.
Kelley has gotten out of the music business, and Numbers survives. Luckily.