Mike Quinn already somewhat answered this for me (thanks Mike!), but I was watching Rocky Horror Picture Show the other night and I couldn’t help but remember hearing somewhere that you are a huge fan, Steve. I think it was the commentary for MTI that mentioned you spent the entire time gushing over Tim Curry (who wouldn’t?)
Do you have a particular favourite song from Rocky Horror, or are you like me and just love the entire soundtrack?…comment by Marni Hill on August 3, 2017 at 9:11 PM
Love the whole thing. Why do you think I called one of my characters “Lips”? Let’s talk Rocky Horror for a minute…this oughta’ bring Melissa Yowhan running! lol
Yes, I was “a regular Franky fan” back in my high school days. Even did the late night double feature, 12AM and again at 2AM, nearly every weekend, once in a while in costume (Frank-N-Furter), standing out on the side of the road at the old Peachtree Playhouse in Atlanta.
While we were in Los Angeles shooting The Muppet Movie, I organized a group of us to go to a late night show complete with all the props, and Jim and Frank came along. Evidently, Jim had not seen the film prior to that night. We had a blast and he loved it. I recall our talking about the audience participation, how fascinated he was that Rocky Horror had the cult following, and that it had lasted for 4 years…remember Jim was shooting his first Muppet film.
Later that year when we all headed back to London for The Muppet Show it hit me that I was smackdab in the middle of the film industry in London. So, I thought, why not set about meeting every single person who worked on “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”?…(I had a lot of spare time back in those days…)
With The Muppet Show being the hottest thing in the world, and Richard O’Brien living in London, I just extended an invitation to him, and within a day or so he responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’. He was staying at the Holiday Inn Swiss Cottage, the hotel I had stayed in when I first came to London, so my wife and I met him there for dinner.
Now, you have to remember I was only barely 21 and my wife was 20, and here we were having dinner with Riff Raff. That basically meant we were the intellectual equivalent of Brad and Janet….here is this seasoned show biz guy and two near teenagers from Georgia. I was in awe.
Richard was one of the nicest and (obviously) most accommodating people I’ve ever met, a true gentlemen who I can only imagine must have never figured that some guy who was working on The Muppet Show would have turned out to be such a completely geeky fan.
He came out to Elstree the next day to visit to show, and I introduced him to Jim. I remember Jim saying to Richard how amazing he thought the film was, particularly the impact it had on audiences. Richard said, “Well, it’s really just an innocent little movie…”.
Then I was invited to the set of “Shock Treatment”, which was meant to be the Rocky Horror sequel. We spent a day there with Richard, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Barry Humphries (Dame Edna), and Cliff DeYoung talking Rocky Horror and Muppets between scenes. I’ll never forget that day – I had smoked salmon for lunch in the studio canteen and got food poisoning….
Richard and I kept in touch a little, and I ran into him again a few years later in the line waiting to get into Kew Gardens. We talked for a bit and went our separate ways. Then, we reconnected briefly during Muppet Treasure Island when he visited the set, as it turned out, on a day when Tim wasn’t there.
I hear he now lives in New Zealand, and I nearly had the opportunity to connect yet again. I was set to be in New Zealand for a Jim Henson Legacy celebration this past April, but the events of October made that go away.
I may never actually connect with Richard again, but what great memories!
One more thing: In this clip from The Muppet Show I‘m doing the lead guitarist. The video is very poor, but you might be able to make out a very large Rocky Horror Usherette button on his left shoulder. He‘s covered in Rocky stuff…
Have a great weekend, everybody, and we’ll take up some for the more serious topics next time…