Lety “Bullet” McKenzie can often be found on the sidewalk in front of Eleven entertaining the bouncers and smokers hanging out nearby.
Last week, a small crowd had gathered, and she kept them happy by showing off her heroin-addict Halloween costume—complete with a needle taped to her arm.
“I've been out every night this week, and I've worn a different costume every time,” she says in her distinct, somewhat scratchy voice, which she's likely earned through her years in the San Diego nightlife and music scene.
McKenzie's music obsession began at an early age. She likes to tell a story about the time her mom heard her screaming from the bathroom.
“She ran into the restroom where a 4-year-old me, with my Underoos to my ankles, was sitting on the toilet screaming off-key to ‘Jingle Bells,'” McKenzie says. “From there, [my mom] understood that music would be my life.”
By age 15, McKenzie started going to every live show she could. She spent most of her time at The Empire Club, Epicentre, the Golden Hill sewers, Java Joe's and other all-ages venues, but it wasn't enough.
“So, with the help of my mother and my friends,” McKenzie says, “I started Backyard Productions. Basically, they were all-ages shows in my backyard…. After a few years of backyard shows being successful with bands like You and What Army, I Like Girls, Underminded and so many other local punk-rock shows, myself and my partner Chris Wick [moved shows] to a close-by Mexican club.”
These days, McKenzie books shows for Eleven, the recently remodeled venue at 3519 El Cajon Blvd. Occasionally, she'll book a few shows at Bar Pink, too. And when she's not booking shows, she's out enjoying them or, in her spare time, writing about music on her blog, sdmusik.blogspot.com.