By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
While waiting for her bags in London, Lucas approached her and gave her the number of his hotel, telling her to call if she got into trouble. She rang him a few days later and left a message thanking him for his concern. He called her later that day and invited her for dinner at his hotel. ”I went up in the elevator and the door opened to his penthouse suite,“ says Pie. ”I had a seven-course dinner with George Lucas.“ And then . . . ? ”He was a perfect gentleman,“ she says coyly.
In 1988, Pie left her boyfriend and moved to L.A. ”It was so happening,“ she says. ”I was having such a ball.“ Her first job was as an A&R staffer with a British record label. When the label folded six months later, she began hostessing at Noa Noa (now Crustacean), hobnobbing with club owners and Hollywood studio execs.
She began promoting in 1995 by default while she was managing the rock club Tattoo. ”Every night of my life, people would call me up and ask who was playing, what parties were going on and could I get them in,“ she says. ”It just snowballed from there. I just needed to be in one place and people would come.“ She started out at the Gem (now the Gig), inviting Yogi and his band Sound Assembly to play. Her big break came in 1998 when she joined forces with promoter Allan Kaufman, who was responsible for bringing the China Club to various venues around L.A. Last year, it found a home at Barfly on Wednesday nights and drew in talent such as Slash‘s Snakepit, Rick James, and Bruce Willis’ band. While the event was shut down temporarily for not having a cabaretdance license, Pie and Kaufman have recently started it again.
Today, Pie promotes three nights a week. Her most recent success is the popular Thursday-night Cat Club on Sunset Boulevard, where house bandmates Gilby Clarke of Guns N‘ Roses and Slim Jim Phantom (formerly of the Stray Cats) jam with club regulars such as teen idol Leif Garrett, Michael Des Barres, Rod Stewart and Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns.
Huddled in a booth at the Cat Club, Pie is talking animatedly with her usual friends, and one noticeable addition: reclusive Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose. Pie dragged Rose back to the Cat Club after the two met backstage at a concert at the Universal Ampitheater. ”He was nervous to show up,“ says Pie about her old friend. ”He hasn‘t been out of his house in six years.“ Rose stuns the 100-plus partygoers by jumping onstage and singing alongside former bandmate Clarke to the Stones’ ”Dead Flowers“ and ”Wild Horses.“
”I love live music, and it‘s important for me to be able to give something back to musicians,“ says Pie. ”If I was a regular promoter, I’d be making a fortune.“
Life hasn‘t been all that rosy for Pie as a woman in the male-dominated music business, and she admits that she’s hit a few roadblocks along the way. ”Some guys think of me as a groupie, but I take everything in stride,“ she says. ”Men work from an ego standpoint. It can become hurtful sometimes.“
When not promoting, Pie spends her time away from the club scene at home in Redondo Beach in her pink pajamas. ”Redondo is my sanctuary,“ she says, then smiles. ”I even garden naked.“