November 2001 - Born To Be Wild

By Evgenia Peretz

The son of Cher and Gregg Allman, Elijah Blue had to develop “my serious ownness to survive.”

For a child still in the single-digit years, life in the rock world is like an endless parade of loopy uncles. In the eyes of Cher’s then two-year-old son, Elijah Blue, for example, Mom’s boyfriend, Kiss front man Gene Simmons, was just this neat guy who wore black-and-white makeup and had a really long tongue.

As the son of Allman and the icon Cher, Elijah Blue had to develop what he calls “my serious ownness to be able to survive in this world.” With that in mind, he lost himself in the work of British occultist Aleister Crowley, an obsession that begat the band Deadsy, which represents a brand-new movement in music Elijah calls “undercore.” If you have two weeks, Elijah could explain it all to you. But on this summer afternoon at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, he breaks it down in just an hour, with the help of his friend and manager, Josh Richman.

“The band is separated into five entities,” says Elijah, boiling with intensity beneath his tall, blond, reserved exterior. “There’s War, Leisure, Academia, Horror, and—“

“Medicine,” interrupts Richman, a human powder keg who wears dozens of rock-club bracelets, a T-shirt that says, LOUD, PUSHY JEW. DEAL WITH IT, and for no apparent reason carries a cane.

“And, as says the manifesto, these things, we think, are five kind of cornerstones, or whatever you want to call it, that we can kind of express all of humanity, history, whatever. We’re really kind of into showing Deadsy as, like, almost a relic. I want to associate us with, like, the cradle of civilization.”

“A philosophy. A legacy,” Richman adds.

Call it senseless jabbering if you want. As it turns out, Deadsy, a mix of heavy metal and melodic synth, is arresting and macabre, and Elijah is, as Richman says, “shredding” on the guitar. Untouched by Elijah’s past Deadsy is not. The band sounds like an evolution of Mom’s boyfriend’s band Kiss, with some Radiohead and Brian Eno thrown in. Like Kiss, its members wear makeup and have personae. Elijah’s is “P. Exeter Blue,” the rich kid who went to prep school. Whether he likes it or not, the man behind P. Exeter Blue is the son of Cher and Gregg Allman and, in the view of listeners, may have had an unfair leg up in the business. Elijah says he’s found a way to use that. “What’s fun is just to be able to make them suffer when you start conquering,” says Elijah. “Where we are playing in front of 20,000 kids, crushing them. It’s, like, the proof is in the pudding.”

Twenty thousand may be an exaggeration, but Deadsy does have its cult following, mainly in L.A., where a new metal scene is emerging. One of the more recent fans is Cher, who, in 1989, three years after sending Elijah to military school, invited him to play with her band on tour.  “One of the newest songs is called ‘Winners,’” says Richman, momentarily toning it down a notch. “The other night, we were riding a Ferris wheel together at a party and Cher was like, ‘I love it. It’s so beautiful.’” Elijah trys not to blush.