The first time
I ever encountered ROCKY HORROR was in a record store in Tinton Falls,
New Jersey in 1974.
I had moved to NJ from Phoenix, Arizona when I was 9. I lived in New
Jersey for 8 years.
In 1974, I was barely a teenager, and I was doing my new weekend routine
of going to the local record store.
The store was located in a small shopping center called Atlantic Superama
on Shrewbury Avenue and Route 35.
980 Shrewsbury Avenue
Tinton Falls NJ
I was flipping
through the record racks when an LP cover caught my eye. I really
liked the picture of the girl.
And I thought it was even cooler when I looked on the back cover and
I saw a picture of the back of the girls head.
I had never seen record with a cover like it before. It just looked
cool to me.
The LP called was "Lou Adler Presents
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Starring Tim Curry - Original Roxy Cast".
By the title and look on the girls face, I thought that the subject
matter might be some sort of horror parody.
I did not buy the LP at the time, but it stayed in stock in the record
store for the better part of a year.
At one time, someone had opened the plastic sleeve and I saw the inside
I didn't really know what to make of it. The situations that I saw
seemed rather "adult" and "different".
Perhaps it was another one of those "hippie rock musicals"
that had gained popularity over the past couple of years.
They all looked like they were having a pretty good time, though.
The album eventually disappeared from the store and ROCKY HORROR disappeared
from my mind.
But the album cover image never left me.
In 1976, I was collecting import vinyl and spent a lot of time browsing
records at Sam Goody's.
picked up a Jem Records import catalog. I took it home, I started
going through it with my sister.
I saw the cover for the "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW"
I thought the cover was cool. It just looked great to me.
I said, "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" ? My sister
said, "I've heard it's a great movie."
Again, I didn't buy the LP, and not once did I get the connection
to the album that I saw 2 years earlier.
And once again, ROCKY HORROR disappeared from my mind.
By 1978, I was a punk weirdo living in Mira Loma, California.
I was now fresh out of high school, and I had a very hard time adjusting
my new environment.
The "California Lifestyle" that I saw for years on TV certainly
did not apply to me.
I was, at the time, fat, unattractive to girls, and awkward.
I didn't fit in with anyone I met, and I did not know how, or had
the means to express myself.
My new home life was not happy at all. I was miserable.
The only real joy I had back then was being able to visit a record
store. It was a means of escape.
I would go to Licorice Pizza at Tyler Mall just to get out the house.
They had the best records.
One day when I was at Licorice Pizza when I noticed an LP cover beckoning
It was "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" soundtrack LP.
I looked at the front and back covers and I liked what I saw.
The artwork and the design of the cover looked great. And I loved
the song titles.
This time I didn't buy it because I didn't have the money.
And I still didn't I get the connection to the album that I had seen
4 years earlier.
To me, ROCKY HORROR meant a movie that I had not seen yet or knew
My only other solace was the radio.
was broadcasting his Sunday night radio show from K-MET
94.7 FM in Hollywood.
("Pico & Sepulveda...Pico & Sepulveda!!!"..."And
Remember To STAY DEMENTED!!!")
He would regularly play songs from the film soundtrack. The first
song I heard was "Sweet Transvestite".
Tim Curry's voice blew me away. A Shakespearean baritone singing rock
'n' roll was new to me.
played some of the other songs, most notably "Science Fiction
Double Feature", "The Time Warp", and "Rose Tint
I fell in love with the music. It was simple and fun. I knew that
I had to see this film, if only for the music.
But by now, I had heard that there were some rather strange and bizarre
things about "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW".
Creepy things. Disturbing things. Things that people "just didn't
do" in movie theaters.
When I heard that it was going to be playing in Riverside, I just
knew that I had to be there.
United Artists Theater 4 Tyler Mall
3485 Tyler Street
February 2, 1979, the film opened at the United Artists Theater
4 - Tyler Mall in Riverside CA.
I was a Virgin. I went out of curiosity and my interest in the music.
It was to be a night out that I was going to remember for a very
The house was SOLD OUT. And there were LOT of pretty girls. I knew
this was gonna be good.
There was no "cast" of any kind. There were a couple of
people dressed in quasi-Transylvanian outfits.
I sat in the middle of the theater and the crowd started chanting
"LIPS! LIPS! WE WE WANT LIPS!"
After about 30 minutes, the lights finally went down and the film
And then...there were Lips. And they were good.
By the time it was over, I was hooked. I knew that I had experienced
a whole new approach to entertainment.
The barriers between what was going on up on the screen and the
the audience were gone.
I loved how the audience would talk back and interact with the images
on the screen.
The audience was the show. These were some very brave, passionate,
and creative people.
There was life and energy in that room. They had "The Spirit".
It was easy to do "The Time Warp". I wanted to see it
So I went back the next night. And the next weekend. And the next.
And the next.
Back then, "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" played
on both Fridays and Saturdays.
It was possible to see the film more than 100 times in your first
I started going back on both Fridays and Saturdays every week.
My first costume was a Transylvanian knock-off with a face full
of cheap greaspaint.
It wasn't long before l saw my first "Frank". I don't
remember his name. He stood about 4 feet tall.
Soon, after that, other people started coming to the show dressed
as specific characters.
I learned the response dialog, and I was starting to make people
laugh with some of my own.
And I didn't give a rats-ass if anyone thought what I was doing
was "strange" or "abnormal".
I was having fun. And there were plenty of pretty girls that were
not afraid to talk to me.
If you dug ROCKY HORROR or...Tim Curry...you were in!
I knew that this is was where I wanted to be. I was really having
fun for the first time in my life.
"Over At The Frankenstein Place"
United Artists Theater 4 Tyler Mall
really got hooked on the music. I bought the soundtrack started learning
I am the proud owner of a first US pressing of the soundtrack LP.
I eventually bought the cassette. And then the 8-track.
The music in ROCKY HORROR is classic, traditional rock'n'roll music.
I felt like I had found something that would allow me to express myself
I was not allowed in bars yet, and I knew of no bands or musical theater
groups in my local area.
Going to ROCKY HORROR gave me the opportunity to sing a regular set
of songs and give myself a solid,
enjoyable vocal work out with an audience that is familiar and appreciative
of the music itself.
And more importantly, It was an opportunity for me to get out there
and meet people.
I soon re-discovered the Original Roxy Cast Album of "THE ROCKY
I finally made the connection to the album that I had seen 5 years earlier.
This time, I quickly added it to my record collection. I love that album!
It is an experience in itself.
The Original Roxy Cast Album is still my favorite stage version of "THE
ROCKY HORROR SHOW".
Members of L.A.'s studio elite, "The
Wrecking Crew" played on the LP.
And their names were...
Tommy Tedesco, Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, Dean Parks, Joe Osborn and
When I attended MI, I got know Tommy Tedesco, and I once did him a big
I got to see Bruce Scott, the actor who played Riff-Raff in the Original
Roxy Cast at Squeeze's, a Riverside punk club.
He had a band called "Riff-Raff", and he was opening for another
band called "Numbers".
I found the Original Roxy Cast Songbook in a sheet music store in Corona
for $5.95. I still have it.
But the original mono soundtrack of "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE
" is still my favorite version of the music.
I love the mix and the arrangement of "The Time Warp" that
was used in the film!
The guitars are much more prominent in the film mix, as opposed to the
album where the horns are louder.
Count Ian Blair played some of my all-time favorite guitar parts.
The first person I met at ROCKY HORROR was Julie Ford.
The first time I saw Julie, she was dressed as Frank 'N' Furter with
the leather jacket and whip.
The next time I saw her, she was Columbia, and she was with Vid Kadavere.
Vid was dressed as Frank, and I was blown away by the fact he was in
a really good costume.
Vid and Julie made a great team. They had The Spirit, and they were
brave, inspiring, and very creative.
We started hanging out together. We liked the same things, science fiction,
old horror movies, and great music.
it wasn't long before we started performing ROCKY HORROR together.
We weren't so a much a cast as we were a loose group of performers.
We were "just there".
A nice fellow named Matt Patterson soon started hanging out with us,
and he was our first Riff Raff.
We soon met a girl named Lisa Ciafu, and she started playing various
The audiences liked us. We were doing something right.
KADAVERE, JULIE FORD, MATT PATTERSON
United Artists Theater 4 Tyler Mall
But in those early days, ROCKY HORROR was certainly not without it's
People used to throw eggs, drinks, and other objects at us while we
would do "The Time Warp".
One night, some jerk threw an entire sealed cup of soda at Vid. It
burst on impact, and Vid got soaked.
Being the trouper he is, he continued to perform, and the crowd cheered
Another time, some rube walked up to the screen an extingushed a lit
cigarette on it.
And one night, some angry-surfer-dude threw a bottle at us. He missed,
but that brought the cops in.
The theater got shut down twice because of the rowdiness.
"The Song Remains The Same" crowd hated our guts. And I
mean they REALLY hated us.
It was really hard sometimes having to deal with these In-bred-tweaker-assholes.
They would show up at the theater before the show and they just wanted
to kick your ass.
Still, I refused to let a bunch of idiots ruin my new-found fun.
After standing up to them a few times, they left us alone.
In August of 1979, we met Richard Gifford in line at the theater.
He was wearing a Transylvanian tailcoat, and a top-hat that was signed
by Dr. Demento.
We were both trying to scam the same girl. He succeeded. I did not.
Julie was there, as was Vid, and they were both "dressed-up for
I was really happy to meet others that were willing to take participation
After the show, we wound up at Winchell's Donut House on Magnolia
The next weekend, we started hanging out at Denny's on Madison Street.
("Any of you guys know how to Madison?")
We met Sherri Johnson and Cindy Okert.
We started hanging out at Cindy's house. It was fun for a while.
More people were getting involved. It was like they were being converted.
It was great!
Each week, we saw a few more people coming to the show in costume
It was if we were destined to be drawn together.
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All text © 2007-2014 Troy Martin
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