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Interior decorating > Motor City Cribs and Rides

Motor City Cribs

Queen Bee's hive: Inside Karen Neal's ranch home

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Published 4/29/2009

Karen Neal (that's Queen Bee to you) has an ace résumé. She has played and recorded with Jello Biafra (whom she once dated) in Lard, with Warren Defever in the Dirt Eaters and His Name is Alive, with Mike Hard in the God Bullies, and fronted the legendary all-chick punk band Inside Out. She's in They Never Sleep, and performs with rap sensation EsQuire. Queen Bee also models, acts, has danced with Spag Burlesque, and is also currently part of Detroit Punk Fitness and the rock 'n' roll, roller-derby, cheerleading Motor City Rah-Rahs. And somewhere in there are hundreds of outrageous costumes she has put together.

It's no wonder the tireless Queen Bee is part of Detroit Punk Fitness — lessers would wilt under such a schedule. Karen's oasis to recharge her batteries is a sprawling suburban ranch she shares with her husband Jeff (aka Lord Blasto). It'd totally be the cool house on the Edward Scissorhands block.

Given Bee's frolicsome punk-pop-pinup aesthetic sense, it's no surprise the couple's home is an eye-popping goth-pop playground worthy of a rock 'n' roll Architectural Digest. Hubby Jeff has turned the garage into a hang-out friendly man-cave, the kitchen — with its checkerboard tile — is pure diner hip, the loo's a cheeky vision of pink and pussycats, one bedroom's Bee's personal closet, and they have his and hers basement rehearsal spaces adjacent the tiki bar.

At the heart is the posh living room, which handyman Jeff has keenly wired up for fun.

Atop his own rock 'n' roll résumé (Anti-Fashion, Lord Blasto, the Dorks, working magician), hubby installs video security systems by day — so for him to build a clear Plexiglas pyramid gaming computer and wire each room in the house for tunes ain't no big thing. Says Karen, "Our house is a mish-mash of goth, glam and contemporary. It was a challenge for us to combine our tastes. But I like a challenge."

To learn more, visit: www.queenbeedetroit.com; myspace.com/theyneversleep; myspace.com/motorcityrahrahs; myspace.com/punkfitnessdetroit. You can keep up with Lord Blasto at http://www.lordblasto.com.

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Queen Bee live

The Motor City Rah-Rahs with Punk Fitness Detroit

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