Michael (a.k.a. MYKELL) Geyman, 40, former drummer of Phoenix retro glam band Psycho Gypsy, was found dead August 1 in Iowa, where he relocated in 2000 to become a pig farmer. He had been missing for four days since leaving a party at a Zearing campsite, reportedly in good spirits. His death remains under investigation, but it appears that he may have run his motorcycle into a ditch.
If you weren't around in '92 or '93 when "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was in heavy rotation, you couldn't know how absurd and heroic it was to see glammed-up guys giving the kiss of life to a trend in music that everyone left for dead. And it was Geyman who was the most heroic in Psycho Gypsy, as if you commissioned a big panda bear into wearing Styrofoam spikes and, as guitarist Tim said in a 1998 New Times story, "just enough material and studs on it that he wouldn't get arrested."
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Eddie Electra, former Psycho Gypsy founder and now a member of the Peppermint Creeps, recalls: "Michael always looked the most menacing out of the group, but he was, in fact, a gentle and very sweet guy . . . unless provoked, of course." Case in point: the "Night of 1,000 Props" show at Hollywood Alley, where, during a rousing version of "We Are the World" performed by the entire evening's lineup, someone threw a bottle onstage and hit Geyman, who angrily grabbed the nearest prop he could find. The sight of this burly beast brandishing a prosthetic limb to chase some jerk into the night is one rock 'n' roll moment no one who saw it will ever forget.
Michael (a.k.a. MYKELL) Geyman
The Peppermint Creeps show on Saturday, August 12, at the Big Fish Pub in Tempe was to be a surprise Psycho Gypsy "mini reunion," but is now sadly a memorial show for Geyman. "We're gonna play his favorite Gypsy songs during our set and hope his friends will attend," Eddie says. "He really deserves to be remembered."