1982. I wanted to get as far away as I could from ROCKY HORROR. I didn't
care if I ever saw it again.
But fate, it seemed, had decided that ROCKY HORROR was going to follow
me wherever I went.
I hopped on a Greyhound bus went to New Jersey for 4 months.
It didn't take me long to realize that I should have never left Hollywood.
I was different person now. It seemed that that the only thing that
had changed was me.
For all of the experiences that I had dealt with in California, I realized
that they made me a better person.
But since I was now in NJ, I decided to make the best of it. I got a
job at Denny's on Route 35 in Eatontown, New Jersey.
It was right down the street from where I first saw Original Roxy Cast
LP of "THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW" eight years earlier.
On Saturday & Sunday mornings, the cast from the GCC
Shrewsbury 3 would come into Denny's after their show.
I can't remember if they had a name or not, but they were pretty cool.
I thought that it was wonderful that
ROCKY HORROR was playing in Shrewsbury. It made me feel as if I was
way ahead of things in some respects.
I was adored by the cast once they found out about my experience with
ROCKY HORROR, and I was very surprised that
they had heard of the Tiffany. They invited me to their show. And I
showed them how it was done.
("Finally...someone who can do "The Time Warp" right!")
They asked me to join their cast. I declined.
They were all really nice, but they were all younger than me by a few
years, and some were still in high school.
I was an adult now, I just didn't want to get wrapped up in ROCKY HORROR
with a group of teenagers.
I decided back then that I don't ever want to be "that creepy old
man who hangs around the theater".
And besides, ROCKY HORROR was "been there, done that" for
also knew that NJ was not Hollywood.
ButI it didn't take long for me to get over my previous misery, and
I was once
again proud to be a ROCKY HORROR fan.
Kraemer from THE DENTON AFFAIR was
in NYC, and we made the pilgrimage to the 8th
Sal Piro was a gracious and wonderful host. It was great experience
going to the 8th Street.
We got to see Darren Kimmel, the first credited Crim in the ROCKY HORROR
community perform that night.
And then I learned
that Nora was living in NYC. I would go visit her from time to time.
We had fun together.
She was one of the most wonderful people that I have ever known. I will
always have a special place in my heart for her.
But I knew that NJ was not for me. In a lot of ways, I felt that I was
"on the outside" more than ever before.
I was in the same situation that caused me to leave NJ in the first
place 4 years earlier.
No matter what I did, there would always be someone there wanting to
slap me around and treat me like shit.
I didn't want to live in NYC, and I really missed Hollywood.
In late August 1982, I saw "THE ROCKY HORROR
PICTURE SHOW" in Shrewsbury NJ one last time.
The next day, I got on a Greyhound bus and headed to California. I knew
that it was where I belonged and it was where I wanted to be.
I stayed with Kurt. We lived at 1613 Oxley Street in South Pasadena,
a half block away from the Rialto Theatre.
I honestly don't believe that ROCKY HORROR was playing there at that
It would have been great to just walk across the street to see Rocky,
but we never saw anyone there.
Perhaps it was between casts or only playing monthly. Either way, we
went back to the Tiffany.
From the collection of Lisa Kurtz
When I got back to the Tiffany, I found that the entire scene was
very much on the wane.
Richard was working there as a projectionist, and Brandi was now the
assistant manager. "SHOCK TREATMENT" was now playing there every Thursday
at Midnight and on Fridays at 2 AM.
Richard & Brandi had formed one of the first-ever "SHOCK
Richard played Cosmo, and Brandi played Janet until the Tiffany film
dropped the film in September 1982. A
few of the true hardcore like Jill, Michele, Christine, and Jim were
still attending, and it was great to see them.
People from the other SoCal Rocky casts were performing regularly
at the Tiffany.
I was glad to be back and that I had missed all of the drama that
had taken place when I had left in April.
Even Garrett came back for three weeks before finally throwing in
the towel in June.
But It seemed to me that the true die-hard fans were just going through
the motions out of love for ROCKY HORROR.
LORI RIZZO, MICHAEL DANKE, CHRISTINE GRISANTI,
BRANDI GIFFORD, JOSH BORNSTEIN, LAURA S. KING Tiffany Theater
West Hollywood CA
1982 From the collection of Sal Piro
In August 1982, Steve
Cartoon had been hired to change the Tiffany marquee signs twice a week
for five bucks a go.
He missed an event and he got canned for it. When he arrived for the
next show, he was told that he was banned from the theater.
Steve got really pissed...so he waited until after the crowd went inside,
and then he re-arranged the marquee letters out in front of the theater.
The marquee had originally read "Neighbors...Starring John Belushi".
But by the time Steve was finished re-arranging the letters, it read
"Nigors...Starring John Bushi".
Steve then stuffed the remaining marquee letters into a mail slot of
the adjoining office building.
It caused a tremendous, embarrassing stink. People simply driving past
the theater were actually outraged and complained about it.
The management of the adjoining office building refused to return the
marquee letters to the theater.
Steve was permanently banned from the Tiffany.
He started going to the UA Cinema Center in Westwood, where the film
was playing to much smaller crowds. Steve
wound up squatting in an abandoned apartment building in Westwood where
one day he came upon a dead body.
The corpse was so decomposed that no one could tell if it was a man
or a woman.
That was enough for him. He quickly moved back to Hollywood.
I was playing a lot of guitar. I took guitar lessons from
I was looking through The Recycler for a good guitar teacher, and I
saw that Steve had worked with Frank Zappa.
I wouuld take the bus from Hollywood all the way to Sylmar where he
had his studio.
The ride on the bus was 2 hours each way, but it was worth it. Steve
really improved my playing.
My guitar was feeling good every time that I picked it up. I practiced
I soon found out that Steve had an interest in ROCKY HORROR, too.
He had a cassette tape that he had labeled "At The Rocky Horror".
When I asked him about it, he told me that he would go and interview
people waiting in line at the Tiffany.
1983 was the worst year for ROCKY HORROR in Hollywood. Audience
tastes and attitiudes were changing once again.
The energy, optimism, and enthusiasm of the early days was long gone.
Everything seemed old and stale.
The scene was dead. And it seemed that all that was left was a lonely,
barren landscape of smog, asphalt, and steel.
By this time, some of us couldn't stand being around each other anymore.
Tensions started building between a lot of people.
The stench of "Rocky Horror Politics" managed to stink the
place up again during that year.
Other people had entered our world, and they were not very nice people.
They seemed to have some sort of twisted agenda, and they struck me
as manipulative, sneaky, and two-faced.
What really sucked was that they didn't seem to like ROCKY HORROR as
much as they enjoyed causing trouble.
By now, theaters were dropping "THE ROCKY HORROR
PICTURE SHOW" all across the country.
It was hard to believe that it had been playing in over 200 theaters
across the USA only two years earlier.
The commercial failure of "SHOCK TREATMENT" didn't
help matters, either.
The market had become so oversaturated that ROCKY HORROR was not considered
special or unique anymore.
I soon heard that it had stopped playing at our original home, the UA
Cinema 4 Tyler Mall in Riverside.
I knew that it would just be a matter of time before the Tiffany would
soon follow suit.
We could see the handwriting on the wall. ROCKY HORROR was "on
it's way out".
March 5, 1983 From the collection of Lisa Kurtz Sutton
March 13, 1983, the Tiffany showed "THE ROCKY
HORROR PICTURE SHOW" for the last time.
It had been more than four years since I first saw the film. It was
like I had graduated from Transylvania University.
I went to the last show dressed in my Criminologist outfit, and did
The Time Warp one last time.
Jim Cochrane and Chelsie Kraemer from THE DENTON
AFFAIR performed as Brad and Janet.
Michael Danke played Frank, Richard was Riff-Raff, Brandi was Magenta,
and Shani Moore was Columbia.
Anyone who was "anyone" in the SoCal ROCKY HORROR community
showed up that night.
Even Steve Cartoon was allowed back into the theater for the last show.
Vid from EROTIC NIGHTMARES had come
to see the show that night, and Brandi decided to play "Rocky Horror
She told the manager he was trouble and that she did not want him in
Then she sent one of the Tiffany employees to rough him up a bit. That
was a big mistake.
Vid had been drinking a bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, and he
was in no mood for any bullshit.
And it was bullshit. So, Vid tossed his empty bottle through the marquee
window of the theater.
The cops turned up and took him to jail. He spent the weekend there,
but he eventually beat the rap.
JIM COCHRANE, CHELSIE KRAEMER, SHANI MOORE, BRANDI
West Hollywood CA
March 13, 1983 From the collection of Chelsie Kraemer
autographed "He's The Hero...That's Right!...The Hero!"
poster in the lobby was auctioned off to Alan Hiero for $600.
most vivid memory of that moment was the booing and the hissing.
The whole night was a bit off a downer even though the theater was SOLD
It was the last time I ever set foot in The Tiffany. It was The End
Of An Era, one that people still talk about.
We all gathered at Richard & Brandi's Castle for a farewell party.
It was truly depressing.
"ONE LAST LOOK"
West Hollywood CA
March 13, 1983 From the collection of Shani Moore
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" was the last film ever shown
at the Tiffany, and the theater would never
re-open as a cinema ever again.
For almost 20 years, there were attempts to re-model the Tiffany and
make it a viable
part of the creative community.
The theater remained empty until 1985 when Paula
Holt re-opened it as a legitimate theatre and home to the Actors
The exterior of the theater and every other building next to it were
covered in ugly gray stucco. It was ghastly.
"THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW" played there for a while
But then another real estate company got involved and it turned into
a financial disaster.
It was closed for good in 2004 and soon fell into neglect and disrepair.
Over the years, the entire Southwest corner of the block became an
ugly abandoned eyesore.
But the Tiffany Theater truly died that night after "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" ended and we all went home.
across town, "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW"
started playing at at The Vista.
The Vista knew that the Tiffany was closing and the were hoping to
be the new "Big Theater".
Parking was a hassle, and the theater had way too many rules...no
rice, no toast, no nothing, etc.
As many of us predicted, it was unable able to bring in any crowds.
It closed after two weeks.
HORROR in Hollywood was over. Again.
It would be almost three years before I saw "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" again.
wound up in Studio City for five weeks. It taught me once and for
all that I could never live in the Valley.
What started out with good intentions turned out to be one the biggest
mistakes of my life.
I consider this period of my life to include some of my most colossal
screw ups. And I blame no one but myself.
I lost most of my Rocky collection except for my vinyl. And once again,
I wound up hurting a friend.
It didn't take long for me to put an end to my air of sanctimonious
Then in May 1983 there was even more drama. And this time, it made
previous events seem tame in comparision.
Brandi had decided that since ROCKY HORROR was over now that she had
no further need for Richard.
She moved out, drained their joint bank account, and to add insult
to injury, started "hanging out" with some of his "friends".
Richard had been betrayed by people that he trusted and cared about.
He and Brandi eventually divorced.
The whole situation was very messy and the increasing tension divided
the remnants of our Tiffany group.
Kurt, Steve and I stuck by Richard. He was our friend. And we hated
what some people were doing to him.
I started to see just how fucked-up and cruel people could actually
To this day, I have never forgiven some of those people for what they
did to Richard.
Saturday May 29, 1983. Memorial Day Weekend. We threw a toga party
with Steve, Kurt and David Cruikshank.
Unfortunately, two other "friends / former castmates" decided
to crash the party.
it was obvious that they only showed up to mock Richard and throw
his situation in his face.
What was really cold-blooded was that they were the very people that
caused and had been exacerbating the situation in the first place.
The two "friends / former castmates" started in with various
verbal digs and jabs that became more cruel and hurtful as the night
However, what they didn't know was that several of us were already
tripping on some really good LSD and having a really fun time.
They would make a snarky remark, and we would just laugh at them.
They looked confused by our reactions to their behavior.
But after about an hour of this crap, we had had enough.
One the "friends / former castmates" make another remark,
and I replied "OH...THAT'TTHTHTH GREAT!" and I blew
A tiny fleck of my saliva got sprayed on Richard. He started laughing
hysterically and screamed, "OH HO-HO...OK...that's it, you
He hocked up a huge loogie and spit directly in my face.
I began laughing, too, and so I hocked up a huge loogie and spit directly
In Richard's face.
And then Richard hocked up another huge loogie and spit directly in
And then I hocked up another huge loogie and spit directly in Richard's
This went on for over a minute...Richard and I hocking up loogies,
spitting in each others faces, and laughing like madmen the entire
The two "friends / former castmates" were genuinely horrified
and repulsed by what they were seeing happening with their own eyes.
I looked at the two "friends / former castmates" and screamed
at them, "OK...now it's YOUR turn for initiation!" The
two "friends / former castmates" ran out the door with Richard
and I in hot pursuit, our faces covered with each others spit.
We kept spitting as we chased them off the property, laughing at them
the whole time.
We screamed things like "You guys must be Omegas!...Deltas
After they ran off, we walked back into the house where we found everyone
laughing about what we had just done.
As Richard and I washed our faces, they congratulated us on the extreme
measures that we had taken in order to get rid of the two "friends
/ former castmates".
"A mental mind fuck can be nice!"
True...it was one of the most disgusting things that I have ever done.
Word soon spread like wildfire.
But neither Richard or I ever regretted it, or made any apology for
it. The ends had justified the means.
These two "friends / former castmates" had only showed up
to hurt, insult, and taunt us in the first place.
And we were proud that we caused them to flee in terror without even
having to lay a finger on either one of them.
It was worth it. We knew they would never come back.
Over the years, Richard and I always looked back on that night with
humor and how "we chased those assholes out of the house for
"Hollywood Castle" lifted-off in July 1983. And like Brad,
Janet, and Dr.Scott, we had all been changed by the experience.
There was nowhere left to play, no one to play with, and for some
of us, nowhere to live.
People were spinning off again into different lives, groups, and situations.
Fortunately, Kurt came to the rescue. Richard and I both wound up
moving into Kurt's house at 667 Lorraine Boulevard in Mid-Wilshire. Getty
House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles, was
located less than a block away from us.
During that summer, Kurt threw some legendary parties at his house.
It was a wild summer.
We spent many a night dropping LSD.
Bands like Nip
Minutemen wound up playing in our back yard.
The LAPD shut us down the night Black
Flag showed up to play.
Sunday September 4, 1983. Labor Day Weekend.
All of the tension and negative energy that had been building up since
the closing of the Tiffany finally reached crictical mass.
It exploded in a very nasty hatefest/brawl at a party in Westwood.
Some other trusted "friends / former castmates" had set
us up for an ambush.
We had been invited to the party only to be attacked as soon as we
Brandi was there. When Richard tried to speak to her, some newbie
attacked him. Big mistake.
Richard wound up kicking the guys ass and breaking a couple of the
By the time I got to the scene, the guy was doubled over in pain while
Richard stood there in triumph.
Richard said that it was the best fight that he ever had.
As Richard, Kurt, Steve and I were leaving, Brandi approached me,
smiled, and said, very sarcastically, "Take care of him."
I looked at her and said, "I will. And thank you for proving
me right." She looked a bit confused by what I said.
I quickly added, "I knew what you were all about from the
moment I first saw you."
Watching her smile disappear and her face turn white was worth it.
She was stunned.
It had been a very long time since someone had told her off to her
face, and she was certainly not used to it.
I smiled and walked away, knowing that I would never have to see her
Lines had been drawn, blows were thrown, and there was blood.
Some people's lives were ruined. Friendships ended and old friends
now became enemies.
It still ranks as the one of the "really big downers"
that I ever experienced during my time in ROCKY HORROR.
A few days later, Richard packed up and moved to Moreno Valley.
It would be almost two years before most of us would see him again.
Our wild summer had come to an end. It was miserable.
The film eventually closed at UA Cinema Center by the end of 1983.
The cast, ANOTHER
SLICE, moved to the Baronet
Theater in Woodland Hills.
They eventually reorganized and evolved in to THE
MASTER'S AFFAIR, before eventually moving to the GCC
5 Theater in Sherman Oaks.
On October 31, 1983, the Vista showed "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" and "SHOCK TREATMENT"
as a double feature.
The screening featured a costume contest. Meanwhile across town at
the other end of Sunset Blvd., an even bigger event toook place.
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW AUDIENCE PAR-TIC-I-PATION ALBUM"
had been released.
Sal had come out to Hollywood to promote "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW HALLOWEEN AUDIENCE PAR-TIC-I-PATION MIDNIGHT
SCREENING" at The Roxy.
I was invited, but I didn't go. ROCKY HORROR was dead, at least for
me. It was a confusing and unfriendly time.
Even the mere mention of ROCKY HORROR sometimes brought out hostitly
in some people.
After the events of Memorial Day, I simpy did not want to be anywhere
near some of the other people that I knew would be there.
So I just stayed home and went to bed early. I was sorry I missed
it after I found out that Chelsie had played Columbia. Those
were the last memories that I have of ROCKY HORROR
from that time.
THE TRANSYLVANIAN REVUE
KELLIE MORVICE, SAL PIRO, CHELSIE KRAEMER, "GONZO GREG" SPILLANE,
JIM COCHRANE "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW HALLOWEEN AUDIENCE PAR-TIC-I-PATION
The Roxy Theatre
West Hollywood CA
October 31, 1983 From the collection of Chelsie Kraemer
had enough. I had to leave Los Angeles. In November 1983, I moved to
Phoenix. I had a job at The Plaza Club. It was great money.
MUSIC, a music store just down the street. It became a pivotal place
in my life.
I focused on working, saving enough money in order to be able to attend
GIT, and learning about guitars.
In September 1984, I moved back to Los Angeles to attend MI.
Los Altos Hotel & Apartments would be my home for the next couple
While at MI, I met John Baltic, Yves Hausermann, and Marco Jeanrenaud.
We formed HONCHOWONKO.
We made our own music and it kept me busy for the next 3 years.
We played music around LA, along with a brief visit to Europe. Billy
Zoom produced an EP for us.
In 1985, I bumped in into Steve, and he told me that ROCKY HORROR had
just started playing at The Nuart Theater.
He also told me that the cast and crowds at the Nuart were fun and energetic
like the Tiffany days.
next time I went to ROCKY HORROR was when I took Jade
Blackmore to the Nuart in December 1985.
She was a Virgin, and she got a real kick out of it. She said, "That
Frank N. Furter is pretty cute!"
I remember that the cast was really good, and the crowd was really energetic
and into it.
I also met Dennis Miller, who was signing people up for the ROCKY HORROR
Official Fan Club.
Sal Piro has said that Dennis has the record for signing people up for
the fan club.
It was great to see that ROCKY HORROR had a new, permanent home in Los
But, life moved on for me, and ROCKY HORROR was not on my mind for a
August 1986, I was evicted from my home of the past two years by "my
It came completely out of the blue and it ruined everything that I had
worked for over the last three years.
Three days later, I almost got killed in a car wreck. My life sucked
By March 1987, the band had broken up, and I was living at 1764 North
Sycamore Avenue in abject poverty.
It wasn't long before I was alone, ass-out, living in my car, and experimenting
with a new drug called "crystal".
So much for playing music. I was now living the real rock'n'roll junkie
Other than all of the sex, I have numerous regrets about that particular
It was a harrowing and violent time. It had more to do with survival
than anything else.
It was not easy. I had to deal with some scary fucking people.
Steve & Kurt were in the neighborhood, and we did our best to survive
and stay out of trouble.
In January 1988, Steve & I went to the Nuart just to forget our
troubles and keep ourselves sane.
By now, the Nuart was as THE established primary ROCKY HORROR venue
for Los Angeles.
"Going to Rocky" was good for me. It made me forget my troubles
for a little while.
A few days later, I was bumming on life sitting behind the Pantages
Theater in Hollywood.
A white Cadillac pulled up right next to where I was sititng, and there
Tim was starring in stage production of "Me
And My Girl".
I said "Hi", and he smiled at me and headed on into
found myself in the same spot the next week, once again, a white Cadillac
pulled up and there was...Tim Curry.
This time he walked up to me and shook my hand. I could tell that
he didn't think that I was a stalker.
I told him how I enjoyed his work, and he invited me to see the show
the following evening.
I asked him if it would be all right to bring some thing to autograph,
and he said, "It will be my pleasure!"
The next night, I arrived nice and early with my original (#01809
of 2000) copy of "THE ROCKY HORROR SCRAPBOOK".
I went to the box office, and sure enough, I was listed as Tim's guest.
The show was great! "The Lambeth Walk" was ringing
in my ears!
Afterwards, I was escorted backstage to Tim's dressing room.
He welcomed me in, and was gracious and just plain wonderful.
I presented my scrapbook to him, and he smiled as he looked at the
picture on the cover.
He said, "I'll sign it on the arm." I thanked him,
and he smiled. Then I left.
ROCKY HORROR had made me happy even when I was at one of lowest points
in my life.
started working for several LA bands as a tech.
One night, the singer from one of the bands took a liking to me and
took me to where she was living...in a loft above the Fox-Venice theater.
We wound up having sex in what used to be the projection room.
I had now had sex in TWO theaters that ROCKY HORROR had played at.
I think that might be a record of some kind.
But I was still broke and homeless. So once again, I had to leave
I wound up going back to Phoenix in April 1988, and I started working
at Ziggie's Music repairing guitars.
It was in Phoenix that I got my first bootleg VHS of "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" with Japanese subtitles.
Out of boredom, I did see the film at the
UA Christown Cinema 6. It really sucked...no real cast or costumes.
The entire pre-show was a kid who basically insulted everyone that
was in the audience.
No Fun. I walked out. I have always considered that night to be the
worst ROCKY HORROR performance I ever attended.
A few months later I went to nearby the University
Theater in Tempe.
Tempe was fun...good crowd...worst print of the film I've EVER seen
in my life.
And...I got laid! Once again, I was very proud of being a ROCKY HORROR
Later that year, Steve visited me in Phoenix, but ROCKY HORROR had
been dropped from the theater the week before.
We thought about going to see it in Tempe, but when I mentioned to
him that the theater had the worst,
most-scratched and chopped-up print of the film I've EVER seen, we
decided not to go.
So we sat around my place, smoked pot, jammed on guitar, and caught
up with each other.
A few months later, I visited LA, and Richard, Kurt, Steve & I
went to the Nuart and had a great time.
This was the last time that I remember seeing the edited "US
Version" of the film being played on the big screen.
This also marked the first time that I saw SINS
O' THE FLESH perform at the Nuart as the official resident
The Nuart even played the videos for Tim Curry's "Paradise Garage"
and "I Do The Rock". It was a great weekend!
Buy my house in Phoenix burned down on July 4,1989. ("Fuck
Talk about fireworks! I left Phoenix in August of 1989, in disgrace,
heartbroken and and disillusioned.
With nowhere to go, I went back to Hollywood and soon started experimenting
That lasted less than three weeks. I wound up in a gutter in Venice,
puking my guts out in the pouring rain.
I was certain that I was going to die that night. I realized that
I needed to kick it.
And I did kick it with very little difficulty. I was very, very lucky.
I never went back to it. It's still the worst drug that anyone can
do. It ruins everything.
It was at this time that I decided to make some serious changes in
my life. And I did.
Richard was instrumental in helping me quit heroin. I honestly believe
that Richard saved my life.
was now based out of Moreno Vallley. Steve was hanging out there,
Richard liked to go to his favorite watering hole, Bull 'N' Mouth.
It was located by the University of California-Riverside.
On Halloween 1988, he didn't have a costume to wear for the annual
So he pulled out his old Riff-Raff costume. He hadn't worn it since
the Tiffany closed more than five years earlier.
On top of that, his hair had grown back, so he pulled out an ancient
bald cap he had saved from his "pre-shaved" days.
He wore them to the costume party because that was all he had available
When he arrived at the party, the crowd just wents nuts...they immediately
recognized him as Riff-Raff.
"Riff-Raff!...WOW! It's Riff-Raff!... Oh, man...what an awesome
They had no clue as to his connection to ROCKY HORROR, they just thought
it was a great costume.
And just like that, Richard took home First Prize in the costume contest
without even trying. He was thrilled.
RICHARD GIFFORD & STEVE CARTOON
Moreno Valley CA
1989 From the collection of Richard Gifford
apartment was located in the Ashwood Apartments at 12325 Graham Street.
It became our 90's Castle.
This was right before Moreno Valley exploded in growth and population.
I spent a lot time working and living on the streets of Hollywood,
and I would hang at Richard's place on the weekends.
On October 28, 1989, Richard, Steve & I went to a ROCKY HORROR
event at the Stardust Ballroom in Hollywood.
It was bullshit. It was not a real ROCKY HORROR event. The disco had
used ROCKY HORROR in it's advertising.
The costume contest was so blatantly rigged. We left. But not before
I got to make-out with a cute liitle tart.
In 1990, The 15th Anniversary of "THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW" was in full swing.
There was an air of freshness and vitality going around that had not
been felt in years.
ROCKY HORROR was now considered "retro" and cool again.
A lot of the fans from our age group now had kids of their own, and
they were taking them to ROCKY HORROR.
It was a great time. ROCKY HORROR was back. And so was The Spirit.
And so were we.
I became an Official Fan Club Representative. I still carry my membership
card in my wallet.
made sure that we had THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW 15th Anniversary Box Set. I still
have them on both CD and cassette.
Lisa Kurtz Sutton worked for Ode Records to put together the entire
It was great to know that one of the most hardcore Tiffany alumni
was involved in producing it.
I even bought the ROCKY HORROR Comic
Series from Caliber Comics.
I was even more thrilled when Steve Vai released his album "Passion
And Warfare" in July of that year.
The second track on the album was titled "EROTIC
On November 8, 1990, FOX had released THE
ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW on VHS. It was the first official
home video release of the film.
Richard bought one on the first day of release. It cost $89.95 + tax,
but one our oldest ROCKY HORROR dreams had come true: To own an actual
copy of the film.
Richard put it in the VCR and we started to watch it. I turned the
volume up on the amplifier, and the wonderful music started to play
through the monitors.
Richard said, "Fuck 'em...crank the volume all the way up!.
Let the neighbors know what's good!"
And we did. We celebrated our favorite film once again. We dug out
the old costumes, and started making new ones.
Richard started working on a new Frank "Sweet T" costume.
We were back.
Moreno Valley CA
1990 From the collection of Richard Gifford
I mentioned before, some things were lost "in transit".
My original Crim costume was among them. It probably wouldn't have
So I dug out a gray suit that I had, pulled out my beloved ascot out
of retirement, and slapped on a cheap wig.
I may have not had the perfect costume, but I certainly had The Spirit.
And, I kept an eye out for a "proper" smoking jacket with
the right materials and colors that actually fit me.
Moreno Valley CA
1990 From the collection of Richard Gifford
went everywhere in Southern California that showed the film.
The Nuart, Montclair, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, San Bernardino, everywhere
the film played.
Unfortunately, we did not attend "The Master's Affair" held
at 20th Century-Fox on October 20, 1990.
For some reason, we had not heard about it until it was too late.
We didn't mind. We were having fun.
But we did go to Bull 'N' Mouth on the UCR campus in Riverside on
TROY MARTIN, RICHARD GIFFORD
Bull 'N' Mouth
started going to the Nuart for the first of the many memorable nights
we've ever had there.
We scared the shit out of some people that night.
Some of the newer fans just were not prepared to see guys older than
them in full ROCKY HORROR costumes.
People stopped and stared when we got in line. We still had the "magic
We were also tripping on some really good LSD. ("Don't piss,
Troy!...you'll waste your fry!")
Richard went across the street to get something to eat at 7-11, and
when he came back to the theater, all I could see was Riff-Raff crossing
Not Richard dressed as Riff-Raff, but RIFF-RAFF.
It wasn't long before we started considering the Nuart as our favorite
We also went to Montclair. We always had fond memories of Montclair. EROTIC NIGHTMARES went to see
ROCKY HORROR at the Montclair
Triplex a few times back in late 1979.
Montclair was the first place Richard won Best Riff-Raff in 1980.
Some of the original Montclair cast members got their start at the
UA Cinema 4 Tyler Mall in Riverside.
ROCKY HORROR played at the Montclair Triplex until 1983, when it moved
Now, a decade later, Richard debuted his new "Sweet T" outfit.
He realized one of his dreams...performing Frank.
The Montclair cast was nice, and we really enjoyed going there.
For Halloween 1991, the City of West Hollywood was hosting an outdoor
performance in West Hollywood Park. SINS O' THE FLESH were the cast
scheduled to perform that night.
The city needed people to pass out flyers, so I distributed about
100 of them around town.
While I was out delivering them, I walked into The Spike, the notoriously
sleazy gay bar on Santa Monica Boulevard.
There was a flyer near the door for VOYEURISTIC
INTENTION doing their show at The Rialto in South Pasadena.
Their show was also scheduled for the same night as the show in West
Hollywood. I'm glad I saw that flyer.
On Saturday October 26, 1991, Richard, Kip, Carol & I drove to
West Hollywood Park to see the show.
It was pouring torrential rain for the entire 70-mile drive from Moreno
Valley to West Hollywood.
Upon our arrival, we learned that the show had been cancelled due
to the rain.
I mentioned the flyer for the show at The Rialto, so we drove another
15 miles in the pouring rain from West Hollywood to South Pasadena.
As if by magic, the rain stopped as soon as we arrived at the theater.
The Rialto Theater
1023 Fair Oaks Avenue
South Pasadena, CA
We did our make-up, straightened our costumes, and partied a bit in
the paking lot.
There was a decent line going into the theater when were turned the
And then all eyes were on us. Richard was Riff-Raff, I was The Joker,
and Kip & Carol were "goth".
Everyone in that line stopped, turned, and stared at us. Every one
We all looked pretty cool. The people seemed to like it, too.
VOYEURISTIC INTENTION was the
cast for the Rialto. Ray Thompson played Frank.
They were sponsoring a costume contest. It was great because they
were judging 2 catagories, "Rocky" and "non-Rocky".
A lot of people were dressed up that night in a variety of costumes.
The audience decided the winners.
Naturally, Richard took First Prize as Riff-Riff. I won best "non-Rocky"
for The Joker.
My prize was a First Edition, First Printing copy of Sal Piro's "Creatures
Of The Night: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience".
The legendary Shelley
Colleen, who played Magenta at the Rialto, signed it for me on
had such a good time, that we decided to go back two weeks later on
November 9, 1991.
This time, Richard would wear his new "Sweet T" costume,
and I would be the The Criminologist.
Our friend Dan was a Virgin, so we dressed him in Richard's Riff-Raff
costume, bald cap and all, for his first show.
When we got to The Rialto, several girls asked him, "Are you
one of the guys that were here two weeks ago?".
Dan replied, in all honesty, "Nope. I've never been here before."
We had a lot of fun. One thing was certain, we had not lost our touch!
I got to do The Crim that night. It would the last time that I would
perform at ROCKY HORROR for twenty-seven years.
On the night we went to Redondo
Beach Cinema 3, Richard wanted to wear his "Sweet T"
Just as we were walking to the car, Richard fell down the full flight
of stairs in full Frank drag.
I was mortified that he might have hurt himself, but he all he did
was break his heels.
He went back upstairs, and pulled out 2 long industrial screws, and
drilled them into the shoes. Good as new!
Sooo...we went to Redondo Beach, and as we were standing in line,
a group of fans came up to us and asked,
"Are you those two guys that have been going to all of the
theaters? We heard about you!"
Our reputation had preceded us, and we both felt that in itself was
worth our efforts. TONIGHT'S
MENU, the Redondo Beach cast, was a fun group, too.
the 1991 pilot season, my old band mate, John Baltic told me that
his cousin had written a new TV pilot.
The show was a sitcom called "Big
Deals", was wtitten by Chris
Thompson, and it starred Tim Curry.
It was going to be shot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. I had been
working there during that season.
Richard, our friend Larry, and I got there early, so I decided to
show them around the lot.
As we went on to the soundstage, Tim was heading out to his trailer.
He recognized me and said "Hi."
We then headed back outside to meet with the rest of our party.
After being seated, we discovered that several people from the Nuart
had been invited to see the show.
They a great appreciative bunch. We were in good company.
We were seated in the front row, and I had a direct view of Tim on
The cast came out and took a bow before the show.
"Big Deals" was about two guys trying to make money.
Tim played Christopher Nissell, a divorced father. Corey Parker played
Christopher Nissell loses his job, and out of desperation, he trys
to get a job at a movie theater.
There was a funny bit where was Tim dressed in an elaborate vintage
"Chinese Theater" movie usher's uniform.
He is so embarrassed humiliated by his situation that he mocks seppuku
using his usher flashlight as a ceremonial tanto dagger.
Of course, by the end of the show, all is well, and Christopher Nissell
gets a new job and a litter of puppies for his son.
After the show, the rest of the audience left, and we remained on
the stage and joined the private party.
Tim & I spoke for little while, and I introduced him to Richard.
Daryl Lathrop took a photo of us together.
RICHARD GIFFORD, TIM CURRY, TROY MARTIN
Photo by Daryl Lathrop
February 18, 1992, we attended Tim's party at "The Act Of
It was a reading at Chateau Marmont for the Poetry Society Of America.
Tim read a few pieces, but his reading of "The
Applicant" by Sylvia Plath is what really sticks in my
Afterward, Tim thanked me for coming, shook my hand & smiled.
That was the last time I would see Tim face to face for 18 years.
good things must come to an end, and this was no different.
Once again, I just couldn't find any work. I did not belong in Moreno
Valley, and I was driving Richard nuts.
So in a bold move, I took a chance and moved back to Hollywood to
meet my fate.
I moved into Hollywood
Billiards at Hollywood & Western just two weeks before the
Los Angeles Riots.
I stood on top of the building and watched the city burning in all
My car got stolen during the riots and I never saw it again.
One of the best things about Hollywood Billiards was that almost everyone
there enjoyed Rocky music.
The bad thing about Hollywood Billiards was that it was a violent,
Perfect for a guy who wanted to clean up. I soon got involved with
a band called MOMMYGOD.
I bought "A Different Set Of Jaws" one-sheet poster
from Hollywood Book & Poster and hung it in my room.
Those crazy rocker chicks really dug ROCKY HORROR, so I got a LOT
of "action" at The Billiards.
But as far as actually going to ROCKY HORROR, I was "one
from the vaults".
I didn't have the time or the burning desire to go. I was still a
little too scary at that time.
I was ready to go to Sal's party celebrating the first commercial
TV broadcast of "THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW".
But at the last minute, I got involved with a cute, horny tweaker
chick. C'est la vie.
I watched the film when FOX broadcast it on TV for the first time
on October 25, 1993.
After the 1994
Northridge Earthquake destroyed the Billiards in 1994, I had to
find a new place.
As luck would have it, I found a place across the street from our
I had come full circle in a way, and I was proud that I had "come
back to the neighborhood".
By the Fall 1994, Richard, Steve & I were hanging out again, but
we didn't really go to Rocky.
I was more concerned with working. I started working as a librarian
Book City on Hollywood Boulevard.
As far as my opinion on the books...I found one factual error in
"Part 1" on page 39.
Rick Sloane was never upset because he thought that his films did
not get enough attention at the Third Annual Transylvanian Convention
He was upset because the hotel claimed that some of the convention-goers
had caused $300 in damages to the hotel and Rick got stuck paying
The only other issue that I have with "Part 1" is
the choice of pictures that were used for the section on the Tiffany.
The book was published seven years after the Tiffany had closed. 3
of the 4 photos on pages 84 & 85 are listed as being taken in 1979.
However, I know that they were taken in 1982. The photos are, however,
an accurate image of who was performing at the Tiffany in 1982.
The "Doo Dah Parade" photo on page 83 was taken in 1989,
and the people in the photo had nothing to with the Tiffany.
Jill, Michele, & Chelsie appear on pages 40 & 41! "Part
1" brought back many pleasant memories of that time.
I'm very grateful to Sal for mentioning us. There was still no denying
how important the Tiffany was to ROCKY HORROR.
As for "Part 2", I could see that ROCKY HORROR was
alive and kicking and had gone world-wide. It was inspiring to see.
There was a whole new generation of fans who obviously loved ROCKY
HORROR just as much as my friends and I did.
And as for the "Audience Par-Tic-I-Pation Guide",
well...it's a very cool book to have.
On October 20, 1995, Richard, Steve & I attended "The
ROCKY HORROR 20th Anniversary Celebration".
We were really excited to go. We had high hopes for the event.
The event was held at The
Roxy Theater...right down the street from the Tiffany Theater.
The Roxy is my musical home away from home...I've seen a lot of bands
there over the years.
It was great to go there and do ROCKY HORROR for change.
I met a wonderful and diverse group of ROCKY HORROR fans from all
over the world.
It was a marvelous, wonderful affair.
ROCKY HORROR 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
October 20-22, 1995
The next night was at the Pantages
Theater, formerly known as "RKO Pantages Theatre".
The Pantages is not far from my house, so we walked down Hollywood
Blvd. in our costumes.
I went dressed as The Joker, complete with green hair.
Steve went as Mr. S.L. Gumby, and he got mobbed by a group of Japanese
Richard went as Riff-Raff. We looked great.
Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, & Patricia Quinn, were there,
as were Sal Piro and Dori Hartley.
It was a good turn out of SoCal ROCKY HORROR fans.
Among them were two young talents: Jaimie
Froemming from INDECENT
EXPOSURE, and Ray
Thompson from VOYEURISTIC INTENTION.
Jill McManus, Michelle Morris, Jim Cochrane and Michael Danke from
the Tiffany were there.
Kathy Bluman, Laurie Weiland, Steve Zlick, Bonnie Rose, and Mark Williams
showed up to represent THE DENTON AFFAIR.
JILL McMANUS, MICHELE MORRIS, RICHARD GIFFORD
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW 20th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
October 21, 1995
But unfortunately, even at this wonderful occasion, there was still
a bit of bad blood between some of my "friends / former castmates".
Some wounds had not healed even after more than a decade. I was stuck
in the middle of it, and like I said before...I can't tell you
But running into the odious Erik
Kellstrom was my first real indication that the night was really
starting to go bad.
I was well aware of his reputation as one of the most repulsive individuals
to ever be a part of the ROCKY HORROR community.
He started following me around. He was malodorous and he had halitosis.
He was dirty, sweaty, and slovenly overall.
He had green teeth, and saliva flecked from his mouth as he spoke
in some smarmy "ren faire" language.
There was not much coming out of his mouth, other than the saliva.
He was cramping my style...and scaring away the ladies, so I gave
him a little dose of verbal Joker venom.
He got the message and finally went away. The last time that I saw
him, he was laying on the floor in a corner all by himself.
There were some other very nice people there. But there was also an
air of snobbery that I didn't like.
Some people were talking shit about Tim Curry for not being there,
as if he owed them something.
That kind of pissed me off since the Pantages where Tim treated me
with dignity, courtesy and respect back in 1987.
I figured "Fuck them. Tim has always been nice to me.
And the band they hired to play that night...sucked. I'm not trying
to be rude, but I knew that I could make better music.
I mean, they were nice people and all, but once they started to play,
it all went downhill from there.
But they gave it their best shot, and that is what really matters.
But not allowing Richard to participte in the sham of a costume contest
was the last straw. It was complete and utter bullshit.
Richard was dressed as Frank at the Roxy the night before, and as
Riff-Raff at the Pantages.
When they brought all the Riff-Raff's on to the stage, Richard was
forbidden from entering the costume contest.
They acttually tried to stop Richard from getting on the stage. We
couldn't believe it.
It was a violation of their "previously unmentioned costume contest
rules" that you had to dress as the same character on both nights.
And besides, I honestly believe that the winners of the costume contest
were secretly chosen in a stairwell at the Roxy the night before.
I know what I saw. It wouldn't matter what the audience decided.
At this point we weren't about to let these young newbies and out-of-towners
treat us like shit in our own back yard.
We figured, "Hey...we paid or money, and you're on our turf,
so suck one!"
Richard walked up on to the stage anyway, and just stared at the crowd.
He looked at them with Riff-Raff's glare of defiance.
Then he looked at the other Riff-Raff's...and then he looked back
at the crowd. And as always, the crowd loved him.
He strutted off the stage with a smirk on his face knowing that he
was the best Riff-Raff in the house that night.
I started climbing over the seats screaming, "BIG PENIS!!!...BIG
I left the event early. I had enough of the bullshit. Obviously, some
things had not changed at all.
Meeting up with Jill and Michele was the only good thing that happened
Richard & Steve came home later to find me on the floor. The experience
was so depressing.
Richard just said, "Ahhh...Troy....everyone still knows how
much of an asshole you are." He was right.
But I knew that he was more pissed off at the way were were treated.
He did however, present me with a copy of the new "Sing It!"
But the whole experience simply left me disgusted.
I would not go back to ROCKY HORROR or any related events for nearly
I finally kicked drugs once and for all on April 1, 1996. I've been
clean and sober since then.
Drugs had ruined my life for nine years. It had done so much damage
and robbed me of so many opportunities.
If it wasn't for all the sex that I wound up having, I would have
considered the experience a total loss.
The day before, I looked in the mirror and I didn't recognize the
hideous creature in the mirror staring back at me.
I came out of the bathroom and said to Steve, "Hey Steve...we're
gettin' off the shit."
Steve simply replied, "OK.", and that was it. Neither
of us ever tweaked again.
As soon as I declared my sobriety, the first thing I noticed was that
the chicks stopped coming over to my house.
I didn't care. Dope had destroyed some of the finest people that I
ever knew and it almost destroyed me.
In June 1996 and went back to scraping out an existence as a struggling
The next significant ROCKY HORROR-themed item that I saw was this
bit "The Drew Carey Show".
York And Queens" from the 2nd season. It was filmed on the
WB lot in 1997.
I love Drew's comment, "ROCKY HORROR has better music, better
dancing. Better everything! "
To this day, Drew's words continue to resonate with me.
Spring 1998, fortune had smiled upon me, and I took a road trip across
the USA for 3 weeks.
I left Steve in charge of the apartment, and I knew that he was happy
about having the place to himself for a while.
My journey started at the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Vine Street in
Hollywood, and I headed East on Interstate 10.
I traveled through the Southwest, Texas, and the Gulf Coast until
I got to the Atlantic Ocean in Edgewater, Florida.
From there I headed North up the East Coast all the way to Monmouth
County NJ where I had spent 8 years of my youth.
I went to NYC for few days and visited with Jade Blackmore who was
working at Mix Magazine In Chelsea.
From there I traveled through the Midwest, Texas, and the Southwest
to Phoenix, Arizona where I bought a car.
And out of all that traveling, I knew where I wanted to call home...Hollywood
I returned home, bought my first computer, and got a job working at
Brentano's in Beverly Hills.
Miller at Brentano's in 1998. She was a lot like her character,
Coco, from "Mulholland Drive".
She could be really nice, or, she could be volatile. I once saw her
go on a tirade about Esther Williams.
I never did ask her if she was aware of that reference to her in the
Original Roxy Cast Album.
I soon met Drew Carey when I was working at Brentano's.
I met Richard O'Brien in 1999, and I'm very sorry to say that he was
a total dick to me.
We were standing in line at Starbucks in the Beverly Center.
He was practicing "The-Fine-Art-Of-Being-Noticed-Without-Looking-Like-He-Wanted-To-Be-Noticed."
He stared at me as we waited in line for our coffee. I recognized
him and said "Hi".
All he did was put both of his hands up to his mouth and say "Oh
Dear!...Oh Dear!...Oh Dear!"
I tried to explain that I was big fan and that I was honored to meet
him. He was having none of it.
He glowered at me with contempt. His two comrades appeared out of
nowhere, and flanked him.
One of them told me, "Contact Sal Piro regarding any kind
of ROCKY HORROR fan activities".
Richard O'Brien then stormed off like I had just killed his Mom. Needless
to say, I was very disappointed.
I wondered if he treated all of his fans like that. Oh well...That's
BARRY BOSTWICK, TROY MARTIN
"SPIN CITY - BALLOONS OVER BROADWAY"
Studio City CA
November 22, 2000
March 5, 2000, I left Brentano's and went back to acting.
During the season, I was cast in an episode of "Spin City"
I played one of Mayor Randall M. Winston Jr.'s bodyguards. WOW!!!...I
got to be in a scene with Barry Bostwick!
ROCKY HORROR was turning up in places where I least expected it. It
made me happy.
It brought back positive memories. I had now been a ROCKY HORROR fan
for more than half of my life.
I was reminded that I was a part of a very special group of people.
In 2001, Kurt informed me that the UA Cinema 4 Tyler Mall in Riverside
was being closed.
Another important part of my "Rocky" past was gone.
Naturally, I felt sad about it. It was the theater where I first saw
"THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW".
It was where EROTIC NIGHTMARES
did their best stuff, and where we had learned to "tread the
Today, it is a Barnes & Noble, Tyler Mall is "The Galleria
At Tyler" with AMC Tyler Galleria 16 as it's theaters.
After 9/11, things changed for me. Production started winding down
and security was being increased.
It was hard time for everyone. It became very difficult for me to
make ends meet as a struggling actor.
I had to make a change. I was tired of hustling and struggling for
low pay at my age.
I accepted a postion with a major motion picture studio and devoted
all of my time and effort into my new work for the next couple of
In March 2004, I started singing karaoke at The Bigfoot Lodge in order
to relax, have a good time, and to keep my voice up.
I started including ROCKY HORROR songs in my repertoire. I was stunned
by the positive response I got from the audience.
Drew Carey would show up to sing there, too. Drew's a good singer,
and a ROCKY HORROR fan.
I'll never forget the time I sang "The Time Warp" for the first
From the stage, I could see Drew in the audience taking "that
step to the right".
I started having fond memories of ROCKY HORROR again.
In September 2006, I started writing the story that I hope that you
have been reading so far.
At the time, there was almost no information available regarding some
of the early history of ROCKY HORROR in Southern California.
I decided to gather as much information as I could and post it all
as soon as I could.
I figured I was there, so why not?' And I knew that people would like
Within a few weeks, I started hearing from people that I hadn't heard
from in years.
It was wonderful to know that we all still had great love for ROCKY
We had all returned to Transylvania. And in some ways, it was like
we never left.
But I never thought that I would ever go back to ROCKY HORROR.