had met others like me. I was really happy to be involved with ROCKY
My new friends had the same interests, tastes, and ideas as I did.
We all considered ourselves to be artists and performers. And we
felt that we were "on the outside" of things, too.
And above it all, we really loved ROCKY HORROR.
& Julie drove to New York City with Corey Haibloom to attend
ONE on October 28, 1979.
They said that they had a great time, even though the event was
considered a failure.
They really wanted to take participation to another level.
Richard and I really liked the idea, so in November 1979, we created
Julie suggested the name "EROTIC NIGHTMARES".
It had a nice ring to it.
EROTIC NIGHTMARES was one of the first
regular, full-time Rocky Horror performing groups on the West Coast.
The core group was Vid Kadavere as Frank, Julie Ford as Columbia,
Richard Gifford as Riff-Raff, and me.
There was also Lisa Ciafu & Selina Phanara
trading off as Magenta, Sherri Johnson as Janet, Kurt Koenig as
Patrick Miller & Doug Witt traded-off as Rocky, and Cindy Okert
There was also Whitney, Terri, Toni, Tammy, Diane and some other
And there were other participants whose names I will never, ever
Matt had moved on, and Richard was the obvious choice to play Riff
In January 1980, Richard, Vid, Julie & I moved into an apartment
at 10652 Burton Street in La Sierra.
It became our "Official Rocky HQ". ROCKY HORROR became
JULIE FORD, VID KADAVERE, RICHARD GIFFORD, TROY
TROY MARTIN, JULIE FORD, VID KADAVERE
MAGENTA JO, RICHARD GIFFORD
West Hollywood CA
1979 - 1981
La Sierra CA
theater was the United
Artists Theater 4 - Tyler Mall, located at
3485 Tyler Street in Riverside, CA.
Depending on the size of the crowd, we would do our shows either
in Theater 1 or Theater 3.
Theater 1 was huge and seated 300. Theater 3 seated about 100. Most
of our shows were done in Theater 1.
Having 2 different rooms to work in was a great experience! It showed
us how to adjust our show to diffrent sized rooms. I saw a lot of
other films here: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", "The
Warriors", "The Empire Strikes Back", "Apocalypse
Now", to name but a few.
We ate at The
Krazy Greek which was around the corner. Still one of the best burritos
I have ever eaten.
And of course we dined at Denny's on Magnolia Avenue after our shows.
All of our marijuana paraphernalia came from The Wooden Indian, a
headshop on Hole Avenue.
I was able to buy liquor because I looked older. No one ever checked
my ID. Seagrams 7 was my favorite.
I had a job at The Gold Mine fixing pinball machines within walking
distance of our theater and Licorice Pizza.
Licorice Pizza was the best record store in town, and it was where
we got most of our music.
When we were in Hollywood, we always went to Tower
KROQ was our favorite station. KMET & KLOS played dinosaur. (They
I could only stand so many plays of "Stairway To Heaven"
before I started spinning the dial for other music.
70's Punk, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, X, Dead Kennedys, The Flying
Lizards, DEVO, the B-52's, Sex Pistols, and Frank Zappa got a lot
And we had the soundtracks from other versions of "THE ROCKY
HORROR SHOW" that were available at the time.
We would buy things like A&B Buttons and magazines
from Alan Hiero's mail-order "THE ROCKY HORROR SHOP".
I still have a first edition, first printing of Bill Heinken's "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW BOOK",
and a copy of "THE OFFICIAL ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW MOVIE
We also bought the poster magazines from Adam Sargis and his "Rocky
Horror International Fan Club".
His club was eventually absorbed into "THE ROCKY HORROR
OFFICIAL FAN CLUB" organized by Sal Piro.
As we were deciding on our characters, it was clear
that no one wanted to play the part of The Criminologist.
Aside from Dr. Everett V. Scott, The Criminologist was the character
that audiences loved to hate.
It just seemed to me to be the most natural and obvious role for
me to play. No else one would touch the role.
I knew I could handle the abuse from the audience, and it would strengthen
AND I got to lead "The Time Warp".
I know that I was not the first ROCKY HORROR fan to play The Crim,
but I do know that I was one of the first.
Darren Kimmel played the role at the 8th Street Playhouse in NYC,
but there were no other regular, performing Crims that I, or anyone
else knew of. I also know that I was the first Crim on the West Coast
until Mark Williams started playing the role the following year at
the Cove Theater in Hermosa Beach.
For the next few years, I became one of the most visible Crims in
the ROCKY HORROR community.
My costume sucked. The velvet jacket was black and the pants were
gray, but my No-Neck shirt and vest were perfect.It was all that
I could find in my size and within my budget. I'm hard to fit.
I was always looking for a "proper" smoking jacket with
the right materials and colors that actually fit me.
Then there was that !@%$#%@ ascot. It's burgundy velvet with black
soutache embroidered in "that pattern".
And of course, there were very few images of the ascot to copy at
After a few lame attempts to make one, Sherri's mom made one for
me. I still have this costume piece.
I would also play Transylvanian, using Vid's tailcoat and a fabulous,
yet tasteless shiny shirt that I had.
Even though my costume was not perfect, one of the most fun things
to do was to help create our costumes.
Keep in mind that in 1979, there was no DVD,
VHS or Anal
Retentive Rocky Horror Costume Lists back then.
We had to use production stills and memories from the watching the
film to match the costumes.
It got a little easier when Bill Heinkin's book and the photonovel
We would hit every thrift store in town for costume pieces. If we
couldn't find it, we would make it ourselves.
House Of Fabrics, J.J. Newberry's, Columbia Makeup Store, and Zody's
got a lot of our business.
We would buy vintage pieces of clothing and alter them, rip them,
soil them, add and remove pieces from them.
Wherever we went, people could not help but stop and stare at us.
We really strived to look as close to the characters as we could.
And we would act like them.
I'd spray my hair silver, and after I got tired of it sweating off
me, I bleached and colored my hair.
Vid & Julie colored their hair, too.
Richard used a professional baldcap that he got from Doris at Columbia
Makeup Store in Hollywood.
But one night at the Tiffany Theater, he met a girl in line and
wound up banging her in the back of his truck.
His bald cap was ruined, so he bleached his hair AND shaved his
It was a very bold move on his part, and unheard of at the time.
Richard WAS Riff-Raff.
We were a rather freaky and intimidating-looking bunch when we were
out of costume, too.
EROTIC NIGHTMARES established ourselves
as THE cast for Riverside & The Inland Empire.
We were a regular, popular attraction. EROTIC
NIGHTMARES had their act together.
We would rehearse a lot and develop props. All the pieces seemed
to fit into place.
We were good...very, very good. We knew we had "that elusive
On February 2, 1980, we celebrated our 1st ROCKY HORROR Anniversary
at Tyler Mall.
TROY MARTIN, LISA CIAFU, MIKE ASSENBERG, CINDY OKERT
SELINA PHANARA, SHERRI JOHNSON, RICHARD GIFFORD
February 2, 1980
SELINA PHANARA, RICHARD GIFFORD, PATRICK MILLER
February 2, 1980
JULIE FORD, DOUG WITT, VID KADAVERE, DOUG, LISA CIAFU, STEVE, SHERRI
United Artists Theater 4 Tyler Mall
February 2, 1980
Gartley, the manager of the United
Artists Theater 4 - Tyler Mall deserves special praise.
Bill was really good to us, encouraged us, and he helped keep ROCKY
HORROR alive in Riverside for years.
Once we talked Bill into screening "Pink Flamingos" as
a Midnight Movie.
It played one night, and was never shown in the theater again.
At the time, I don't think any of us were prepared for what "Pink
Flamingos" had to offer.
But it still turned out to be one of our favorite films. And it
still is, Babs!
a while, Bill would bring in other films like "Dawn Of The
Dead", and "Quadrophenia".
NIGHTMARES did a lot of cool things
One night we dressed up as zombies for "Dawn Of The Dead".
Kurt dressed up like "Flyboy". He looked absolutely
hideous and was covered in fake blood.
Afterwards, Kurt said he would never dress as "Flyboy"
When we asked why he said, "Chicks won't come near you when
you have that much blood on you."
Another film that caught our interest was "Phantom Of The
It was released on a double-bill with "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE
SHOW" at one point.
The film is not as good as "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW",
but the music in it is excellent.
Paul Williams gives a marvelous performance as "Swan",
and Gerrit Graham is hysterical as "Beef".
"Phantom Of The Paradise" was the "other"
rock 'n'roll musical for ROCKY HORROR fans at that time.
And there were some other fun films as well.
We enjoyed each others company, and thought of ourselves a real
troupe or band.
Richard bought a 1967 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon like the
one Brad & Janet are driving.
He altered the name plate to read "C*unt** Squire".
But the car was a lemon, and we never got to use it.
We would get around using Richard's truck, Julie's truck, or Vid's
We bought all of our punk pins at Poseur
on Sunset & La Brea in Hollywood.
Sunset Blvd. & La Brea Ave.
Julie, Vid & I appeared on a radio show called
"People And Passions" on KUCR 88.3 FM.
The host had shown up at the theater, and he asked us to be
on the show. I forget his name.
He interviewed us about our ROCKY HORROR experiences, and we
answered his questions honestly.
We sounded great on the radio! Julie had the best voice for
But we found out later that it was a show about genuine
perverts & sexual deviants. The real kind.
They didn't tell us that when we agreed to do the show. Needless
to say, we were disappointed.
EROTIC NIGHTMARES hit all of the
conventions and events.
One time, we went to a convention in Anaheim and walked out
with a bunch of ROCKY HORROR photos.
Later that night, we went to the The Tiffany Theater in Hollywood
where we heard about a ROCKY HORROR convention being held in
Hollywood. We got very excited! And we really wanted to go together
as a group.
Rick Sloane organized "Annual Transylvanian Conventions"
through his production company, R.I.P. Productions.
Rick also deserves special praise for his efforts. It was because
of Rick that ROCKY HORROR fans from all over California were
able to meet and greet, and to strut their stuff. He also had
some great merchandise that no one else had. I bought a Limited
Edition of Richard O'Brien's "THE ROCKY HORROR SCRAPBOOK"
(#01809 of 2000) from Rick. Years later, Tim Curry signed it
for me. I also bought an "Original London Cast LP"
Rick gave me a copy of "True Life Horror Stories"
by John Mandracchia, one the first ROCKY HORROR fanzines.
I still have these items in my collection.
Rick went on to direct several films such as, "Blood Theater"
the "Vice Academy" series, and "Hobgoblins".
On July 20, 1980, we attended the Second Annual
Transylvanian Convention at the Holiday Inn in Hollywood.
Richard made a point of pinching every girls ass that he encountered.
The crowd adored him, and he took first prize in the costume
WINNER - "BEST COSTUME" & "BEST RIFF-RAFF"
Second Annual Transylvanian Convention
July 20, 1980
We send a telegram to Richard O'Brien on his birthday,
and about a month later, he sent us a "Thank You"
We started going to other theaters in the "So-Cal Rocky
Circuit"...The Tiffany Theater in West Hollywood, Montclair,
San Bernadino, Brea, Orange, Long
We went to one of the best shows that I have ever seen at The
Balboa Theater in Newport Beach.
We enjoyed checking out the other ROCKY HORROR casts and making
On August 19,1980, Richard, Selina, Joe & I went to see
DEVO at Raincross Square.
But DEVO cancelled their second set at the last minute.
The punks rioted, and the cops tear-gassed the crowd. WOW!...my
first real punk show!
DEVO came back a week later and put on one of the best shows
I've ever seen.
VID KADAVERE & JULIE FORD
United Artists Theater 4 Tyler Mall
Vid wanted to play Eddie for a change of pace,
and HE WAS GREAT!
He did it a few times, even wearing the "Roxy" Eddie
Lisa would also dress as Trixie The Usherette. Other times she
would double as Columbia.
Richard had put together a "London Frank" costume to try out
on the crowd.
Our friend Joe mentioned to Richard that the panties he was
wearing looked pretty skimpy.
He suggested to Richard that he might want to wear another pair.
Richard simply replied, "If I don't wear these panties, the
chicks can't see my balls."
Later that night at the theater, there was a guy named Colon
already working the crowd out in front.
Colon was dressed in one of the lamest attempts of a "Sweet-T"
corset every seen in all of Transylvania.
Two guys were in line and one them pointed at Colon and said
"Hey look...there's Frank N Furter!"
His friend looked at Colon and told his friend "Nah...that
isn't Frank N Furter."
He pointed at Richard and said, "Now THAT'S Frank N
Artists Theater 4 Tyler Mall
We soon had our first group experience of that nasty beast
called "Rocky Horror Politics".
Another cast had sprung up at our theater. They called themselves
They were not as "good" as we were, but none one really
One night, Richard was at the theater by himself, and Adam,
the leader of SENSUAL DAYDREAMS got rude.
He had insulted EROTIC NIGHTMARES.
He said that we were "washed-up" (?!) and "inferior"
Richard kind of laughed it off, and he told us about it when
he got home. We laughed it off, too.
I don't think that the other members of SENSUAL DAYDREAMS were
in on it, or even aware of it.
SENSUAL DAYDREAMS were a nice bunch of people. It was just Adam
But the next night, Adam insulted us again.
He also said that from now on, SENSUAL DAYDREAMS would be the
"Exclusive Cast" for our theater.
And that all performances or input would have to be appproved
by him and SENSUAL DAYDREAMS first.
We figured..."Hey, Fuck You!", and we decided
the best way to deal with it was to put on "The Ultimate
The idea was that if we focused and put on the better show,
that would end the insults and bullshit.
We had 5 days to prepare, and prepare we did!
That was probably the most intense and creative week that we
ever had together as EROTIC NIGHTMARES.
EVERYONE in the cast showed up for rehearsal every day that
We rehearsed and spent hours on the routines, costumes, and
We called all of our friends to come out and support us.
And, we decided to do some of the things that we had seen other
On Saturday night, we arrived at the theater, and Adam told
us that we were forbidden from performing.
I simply said, "Try and stop us."
The color drained from his face, and he was unable to say anything.
Our intention was to pull out all the stops and electrify the
We were very successful.
The house was full of people that were in the mood for ROCKY
HORROR, so we gave 'em what they wanted!
Their enthusiasm was evident when they wents nuts as we made
our entrance into the theater.
I started the show with a bit of banter, we did the pre-show,
and then the movie started.
What drove the crowd insane was when we did one of the bits
we saw done at the Tiffany.
We created, a large set of 3-foot tall black letters that spelled
We held them up in sequence against the screen when Brad sings
"Oh, J-A-N-E-T! I love you so!"
The reaction from the audience was fabulous! Still one of the
best that I've ever seen!
We did our bits and then turned the stage over to SENSUAL DAYDREAMS.
Our show went great! We would shift in between EROTIC
NIGHTMARES and SENSUAL DAYDREAMS.
We clearly out-classed SENSUAL DAYDREAMS in every way.
In the words of one guy that was there that night, "It's
clear who's got the better show!"
EROTIC NIGHTMARES and SENSUAL DAYDREAMS
decided that it was best if we all worked together from then
SENSUAL DAYDREAMS eventaully changed their named to SINS OF
And Adam turned out to be a good friend. He looked out for people
and encouraged them.
With everyone working together, ROCKY HORROR in Riverside was
We kept drawing bigger crowds, and got more innovative with
Naturally, the bright lights of Hollywood beckoned.
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