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Later, knowing his girlfriend had loaded the gun, Kelly says, he took the firearm into the bathroom, held it to his chest, looked at himself in the mirror, and told himself, "Okay, motherfucker, if you're gonna threaten to do it, then you better really do it. Let's see what you're made of."
And he pulled the trigger.
I ask Kelly if his intention was to kill himself.
"No," he says, emphatically. "I did what had to be done to see if I could handle it, and I did. It was very much an honor thing to me. I was a person who punished himself in a way you could never imagine."
To comprehend this sort of logic, one has to understand Eddie Kelly. He's a complicated creature. "I am able to objectively see who I am and know what I've done," Kelly says. "Through it all, I look at these two little girls of mine, and they see me.They get it. They've given me the opportunity to give them the truth about everything."
And to Kelly, real truth is born of suffering and self-dissection. If something can't be stretched to an extreme, it's not worth doing.
For example, Blessedbethyname recently took a road trip to Hermosa Beach, California, for a music awards ceremony. The band was nominated for "Best Live Act." Kelly recounts the whole crappy experience, from band members flaking out and being late, to the ceremony being torturously sucky (they didn't win), to arguing with the woman who was supposed to put him up in her house, to ending up in one of the worst ghettos in L.A. County.
"There were just rows and rows of the most desolate, despairing, dirty homeless people," Kelly says. "And I saw my salvation there. I told Madio [Blessed's bassist] that I was not leaving California until I had an experience. So I told him, 'Hey, I'm gonna go down there with the bums, I'm gonna buy a big crack rock, and I'm gonna smoke it.' And Madio said, 'But you've never done crack,' and I told him, 'I am tonight!' And I went down there, and I was taking a piss next to some homeless guy, and sure enough, he asked me if I needed anything. So I told him I did, and we walked over to this other guy and bought a crack rock. But I didn't have anything to smoke it in. And this guy pulls out the dirtiest, nastiest pipe you could imagine, and we smoked the crack out of it."
At this point in the conversation, a few dancers come over to talk to Kelly, and one starts showing me pictures of her family's tiny village home in Thailand. I go outside for a smoke break while Kelly's chatting with the hotties.
When my conversation with Kelly resumes, back inside Centerfolds, we talk about good things in the future. Kelly and Madio recently had lunch with Cradle of Filth bassist Paul Allender, who called Phallus In Viscera"fucking brilliant" and expressed his desire to make the video for the song "Masochist." Kelly has plans to go into the studio next month to lay down some new tracks, and there's been talk of touring. Kelly also plans to shoot the video for the song "Harlot's Memoirs" in Centerfolds, and involve some of the staff and dancers. "I want it to be indicative of the positive psychological aspects of this industry," Kelly says.
One thing Kelly does not plan to do is perform in Phoenix again until 2009. Blessedbethyname's show on October 27 will be the last for a long time. "It's no longer a challenge to express yourself. It's no longer risky," Kelly explains. "Now, [Phoenix] is not the place I can go to achieve a direct connection with that I'm doing and those who understand it. This band was never safe to listen to or be a part of. And now that I feel the people are safe, I need to go somewhere else.
"The good thing is, now I know I'm somebody who has earned the right to speak, and hopefully, some will listen," Kelly continues. "I've lived it, I've earned it, and I don't give a fuck what anybody thinks."