Hollywood Memorial Held For Betty Blowtorch's Bianca Butthole

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Monday, December 17, 2001 @ 12:34 AM

Betty Blowtorch Leader Bianca

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Last night, a memorial was held for Betty Blowtorch’s Bianca Halstead (a.k.a Bianca Butthole), at the clothing store she worked at when she wasn’t touring, Serious Clothing. The Melrose store served as a gathering place for friends and fans of the musician and her band. From 7pm on through the night people gathered, brought flowers, lit candles, talked, cried and shared stories about themusicir fallen friend. Although last night was the unofficial memorial for Halstead, throughout the week people can go and visit the shrine the store erected for her, which includes huge pictures of the band, personal pics submitted by friends, and a sign-in book for people to write her messages. Casper from the store said, “She is a member of our family and one of our dearest friends. We are all heartbroken over this. This is open to the public, friends and fans alike.”

The store is located at: Serious Clothing
7569 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046 323-655-0589
Bianca was the bassist/singer for Hollywood hard rockers Betty Blowtorch and was killed around 5:30am Saturday morning in a car accident in New Orleans. The driver of the car was Brian McAllister (at first identified as "William"), who offered Bianca a lift home in his ’86 Corvette after a night of hanging out. They were driving on the I10 toward Kinner, LO (near New Orleans) when McAllister lost control of the wheel and the car spun around, jumping the median and heading into oncoming traffic. They were sideswiped by another car on Bianca’s side and she was killed instantly. Witnesses estimated McAllister's speed at more than 100 mph, and he apparently had been drinking, said Trooper Todd Marchand. McAllister is be held by New Orleans police and is facing criminal charges. The two passengers in the other car have been hospitalized.” According to police the other car -- which was driven by Robert Fenkel, 50, of Colorado Springs, Colo., -- broadsided the Corvette, nearly shearing it in half. Fenkel had to hospitalized but his injuries were not described as life threatening. Jacquelyn Hampton, 35, of Kenner, was driving the first car McAllister hit, but was not injured. It should be noted that while both the police and KNAC.COM sources claim McAllister was inebriated, Bianca herself has been sober for 10 years. A small funeral will be held this Friday at a Hollywood cemetery, though the details are not confirmed yet.

Bianca played in the band Butt Trumpet in the '80s before forming Betty Blowtorch in the late-‘90s. The band released their full-length debut, Are You Man Enough?, earlier this year through Foodchain Records. The band was clearly on the path to stardom and this comes as devastating news to her fans, friends, bandmates and family. All that knew her sang her praises, and she was loved and adored by everyone she came into contact with. She was also an inspiration to many female hard rockers, as she forged a long career in the male dominated world of hard rock and could beat the crap out of any dude that tired out-rock her. She was an inspiration to all and will be sadly missed.

We at KNAC.COM send our warmest condolences to Bianca's family, friends and bandmates.

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