Riverside CA
From the collection of Julie Ford

I had met others like me. I was really happy to be involved with ROCKY HORROR.
My new friends had the same interests, tastes, and ideas as I did.
Some of the happiest and most wonderful days of my life were spent with Richard, Julie, and Vid.
We all considered ourselves to be artists and performers. And we felt that we were "on the outside" of things, too.
We also knew that we were much more creative and lot smarter than a lot of the other people that we were meeting.
And above it all...we really loved ROCKY HORROR. We thought about it every day.
After the sun would set on Friday nights and until it rose on Sunday mornings, we were completely devoted to ROCKY HORROR.

Julie & Vid had driven to New York City with Corey Haibloom to attend ROCKY CON ONE on October 28, 1979.
They said that they had a great time, even though the event was considered a failure.
After they returned from NYC, Julie & Vid floated the idea of forming a proper ROCKY HORROR performance group for our theater.
Richard & I really liked the idea. THE RIVERSIDE ROCKYS was fun and all, but we really wanted to take participation to another level.
In November 1979, we founded our cast. 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 in Southern California, and the first in the Inland Empire.
The core group was Vid Kadavre as Frank, Julie Ford as Columbia, Richard Gifford as Riff Raff, and me as the Criminologist.
Other core members included Lisa Ciafu and Selina Phanara trading off as Magenta, Sherri Johnson as Janet, and Kurt Koenig as Brad.
Patrick Miller & Doug Witt traded-off as Rocky, and Cindy Okert as Eddie.
Lisa would double as Columbia and as Trixie The Usherette.
There was also Joe Jones, David Cruikshank, Whitney, Terri, Toni, Tammy, Cindy, Diane and a lot of other Transylvanians.
And there were other participants whose names I will never, ever remember.
Matt had moved on, and Richard was the obvious choice to play Riff Raff. It suited his personality.
In January 1980, Richard, Julie, Vid & I moved into an apartment at 10652 Burton Street in La Sierra.
It became our "Castle", and ROCKY HORROR became our life.

Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
April 5, 1980
Photos by Jeff Riley

1979 - 1981
La Sierra CA

Our theater was the UA Cinema 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 two different sized theaters 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", and "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.
George's Drive In and Naugles were other favorites, and of course we often dined at Denny's on Magnolia Avenue after our shows.
All of our "party favors" 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.
I had a job at The Gold Mine, an arcade inside Tyler Mall, fixing pinball machines.
It was within walking distance of our Castle, 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 On Sunset.
KROQ 106.7 was our favorite station. KMET & KLOS played the same classic dinosaur songs over and over and over again.
I could only stand so many plays of "Stairway To Heaven" and "Free Bird" 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 of airplay.
Comedy LP's included "Revolting" by Congress Of Wonders, National Lampoon's "Radio Dinner" and "Lemmings", Cheech And Chong, and George Carlin.
We had Tim Curry's first two albums "Read My Lips" and "Fearless", "Bat Out Of Hell" by Meat Loaf', and 45 RPM singles by Little Nell.

We listened to a lot different stuff. And we had the soundtracks from other versions of "THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW" that were available at the time.

My Crim 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 and I'm picky.
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 almost no images of the ascot to copy at the time.
After a few lame attempts to make one, Sherri's mom made one for me. I'm very proud to say that I still have this costume piece.

My First "Real" Ascot

Even though my Crim costume was not perfect, one of the most fun things to do was to help each other in creating our costumes.
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.
Keep in mind that at that time, there was no DVD, VHS or Anal Retentive Rocky Horror Costume Lists available.
We had to use production stills and memories from watching the film to match the costumes.
We would hit every thrift store in town for costume pieces. If we couldn't find it, we would make it ourselves.
Julie's Columbia corset had to be made by hand. At the time, you could not find or buy the correct material for Columbia's corset.
In February 1980, Julie began working on her corset. Our entire cast each took turns sewing in the sequins one-by-one.
Richard called it "The Tag-Team Corset". The end result was spectacular! Julie still owns that corset today.
I would also play Transylvanian, using Vid's tailcoat and a fabulous, yet tasteless shiny shirt that I had.

We really strived to look as close to the characters as we could. And we would act like them.
I'd spray my hair with a whole can of silver Streaks N Tips. I hated that hairspray. I still do.
It 's like wearing a helmet made of stiff hairspray.
After a few months, I got tired of it sweating off me, so I bleached and colored my hair.
Julie and Vid also colored their hair to match Columbia & Frank.
Richard used a professional baldcap that he got from Doris at Columbia Makeup Store at Gower Gulch in Hollywood.
EROTIC NIGHTMARES were a rather freaky and intimidating-looking bunch when we were out of costume, too.
Wherever we went, people could not help but stop and stare at us.

EROTIC NIGHTMARES did a lot of cool things together.
We enjoyed each others company, and thought of ourselves a real troupe or band.
In Spring 1980, Julie, Vid and I went to see "Jubilee" , which featured Richard O'Brien and Little Nell at the Vista Theater in Hollywood.
The other film on the bill was "The Punk Rock Movie", directed by Don Letts.
When we would usually travel to Hollywood, we would always head West when we got off the 101 @ Sunset Blvd. This time we headed East.
What struck me was how each block seemed to get sleazier and scarier than the last one we passed.
It was my first time seeing what the rest of Hollywood looked like other than the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Blvd.
We stopped in the Alph Beta (now Von's) parking lot across the street from the Vista to do a little partying.
All of a sudden, a car pulled up next to us, and two scary guys implied that we should share our party favors with them.
We got scared and drove away, eventually parking closer to the theater. From there everthing went well.
"The Punk Rock Movie" rolled first, but I passed out during part of "Jubilee".
I woke back up when Crabs asphyxiates Happy Days and they dump his body in the river.
I enjoyed the music that night. I've loved the theater ever since.
To this day, the Vista is still one of my all-time favorite favorite theaters.

Richard bought a 1967 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon like the one Brad & Janet are driving in the film.
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 TR7.

EROTIC NIGHTMARES were regular customers at Hollywood Book & Poster. Eric Caidin had things that no one else did.
We bought A&B Buttons and magazines from Alan Hiero's mail-order "THE ROCKY HORROR SHOP".
A&B (Alba and Betty) Buttons were the first official ROCKY HORROR merchandise to be licensed by 20th Century-Fox.
We bought all of our punk pins at Poseur on Sunset & La Brea in Hollywood.

"THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW BOOK" by Bill Heinken and published by Hawthorn Books went on sale in late 1979.
Every member of EROTIC NIGHTMARES bought a copy within days of it's street date. I bought mine at Walden Books at Tyler Mall.
I still have two First Edition, First Printings of the book. One of them is pretty beat up and loaded with notations and autographs.
My other copy is pristine. I also have a First Printing by Plume Books from 1990.
Making costumes got a lot easier. I have always wondered...how many copies of the Movie Novel got cut up to make buttons?
We had all 4 of the Dargis posters along with a "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW 1980 CALENDAR".
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 PICTURE SHOW OFFICIAL FAN CLUB" organized by Sal Piro.
Over the years, Sal Piro has done more and has worked harder than anyone else to promote ROCKY HORROR. Sal Piro is awesome.

On February 2, 1980, EROTIC NIGHTMARES celebrated our First ROCKY HORROR Anniversary in Theater #1 at the UA Cinema 4 Tyler Mall to a SOLD OUT house.
It was Richard's 21st birthday and his official debut as Riff Raff.
That night, THE DENTON AFFAIR from Hermosa Beach, and CREATURES OF THE NIGHT from Long Beach came to see our show.
We were thrilled that we got to perform for other casts! We felt worthy of the attention that we were getting and that all of our hard work was paying off.

EROTIC NIGHTMARES were now firmly established as THE CAST for ROCKY HORROR in Riverside & the Inland Empire.
We were a regular, popular attraction.
EROTIC NIGHTMARES had their act together. All the pieces seemed to fit into place.
We were good...very, very good. We knew we had "that elusive ingredient".

Riverside CA
February 2, 1980

From the collection of Julie Ford

Bill Gartley, the manager of the UA Cinema 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!

After a while, Bill would bring in other films like "Dawn Of The Dead", and "Quadrophenia".
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" ever again.
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 Paradise".
It was released on a double-bill with "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" at one point.
"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.

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 make-up.

UA Cinema 4 Tyler Mall
Riverside CA
From the collection of Julie Ford

Richard put together a "London Frank" costume to try out on the crowd.
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 Colin already working the crowd out in front.
Colin 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 Colin and said "Hey look...there's Frank N Furter!"
His friend looked at Colin and told his friend "Nah...that isn't Frank N Furter."
He pointed at Richard and said, "Now THAT'S Frank N Furter!"

EROTIC NIGHTMARES started going to other theaters in the "Southern California Rocky Horror Circuit".
They included the Tiffany Theater in West Hollywood, Montclair, Orange, and Long Beach.
We saw 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 connections.
On March 25, 1980, we sent a telegram to Richard O'Brien on his birthday, and about a month later, he sent us a "Thank You" card.

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 radio!
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.

On May 16,1980, "FAME" opened in theaters across the USA. Everyone was talking about it.
ROCKY HORROR had officially entered the cultural mainstream.
"FAME" brought with it a younger, second generation of new ROCKY HORROR fans.
These new fans looked to other groups for inspiration and guidance, including EROTIC NIGHTMARES.
I don't remember why, but I never did see the film during it's initial run.
It would be more than two years before I finally saw the film in its entirety.
The film featured the legendary 8th Street Players , the cast from the 8th Street Playhouse in New York City.
I've always enjoyed this wonderful scene which truly captures the original spirit of ROCKY HORROR at it's very best.

But it wasn't long before we had our first group experience of that nasty beast called "Rocky Horror Politics".
Another cast had sprung up at our theater. They called themselves SENSUAL DAYDREAMS.
They consisted of some of these newer second generation ROCKY HORROR fans.
They were not as "good" as EROTIC NIGHTMARES, but none one really cared...until....
One night, Richard was at the theater by himself, and Adam, the leader of SENSUAL DAYDREAMS decided to be a jerk.
He 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 talking shit.

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.
He also said that all performances or input would have to be appproved by him as the leader of SENSUAL DAYDREAMS, first.
He should have never said that...his little group couldn't touch EROTIC NIGHTMARES when it came to performing ROCKY HORROR.
We figured..."Hey, Fuck You!". We decided the best way to deal with it was to put on "The Ultimate Show".
The idea was that if we focused and put on the better show, that would end the insults and bullshit.

We had five days to prepare, and prepare we did! We were open for business.
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 week. We rehearsed and spent hours on the routines, costumes, and new props.
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 casts do.
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 audience.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 out: "J-A-N-E-T".
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 on.

UA Cinema 4 Tyler Mall
Riverside CA
From the collection of Laurie Gordon

SENSUAL DAYDREAMS eventually changed their named to SINS OF THE FLESH.
And Adam saw the error of his ways and turned out to be a good friend. He looked out for people and encouraged them.
With everyone working together, ROCKY HORROR in Riverside was fun again.
We kept drawing bigger crowds, and got more innovative with our show.

Naturally, the bright lights of Hollywood beckoned.

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