The Musical World of Rocky Horror

The Original Mexican Cast of El Show De Terror De Rocky (i.e. The Rocky Horror Show) performed in Mexico City at Teatro Bar Salón Versalles and Teatro Venustiano Carranza in 1976. This cast album was recorded in Feburary of that year at Churubusco Studios (also in Mexico City), a large movie studio whose credits include Romeo + Juliet, Total Recall, and Romancing the Stone. The album was originally released on LP by Orfeon in 1976. Its availability was always extremely scarce for whatever reason and to make matters worse it had been pressed on recycled vinyl (frequently used for bootleg and low-budget independent releases at the time), causing even some pristine copies to sound terrible after some years. As a result a dedicated fan arranged to have a small number of bootleg CD-Rs pressed in 1996, to preserve the recording on more durable media. Surprisingly a couple of years later, an official CD reissue from Orfeon actually appeared as part of a 2-CD set packaged with the Original Mexican Cast of Vaselina (Grease). Strangely the copyright date on the reissue is 1995 and the CD states "Made in U.S.A." - I say strangely because nobody in Rocky Horror circles inside the U.S. saw a single copy of this CD appear until 1998. This is just one of several strange things that have been noticed about the releases of this album, and there has always been a cloud of uncertainty around its legal status.

You'll notice the name Julissa is featured very prominently on the cover, and with good reason. Julissa was a well-known actress of the time and a one-woman force behind the stage production, which she directed, produced, translated, and played Chelo (the Janet equivalent) in. El Show De Terror De Rocky was her first attempt at directing a stage musical, though she had previously produced and translated others including Vaselina (Grease) and Jesucristo Superestrella (Jesus Christ Superstar). Julissa's Spanish translation of song lyrics seems to be very stylized, including changes to the names of main characters - Brad and Janet become Carlos and Chelo while Dr. Scott is instead Dr. Carrillo. Baile del Sapo (the Time Warp equivalent) is another example, as I'm told the title actually translates to something more like "Dance of the Frog".

The Baile Del Sapo track became something of a hit in Mexico, due to later cover versions by Mexican pop groups. Timbiriche first covered it on their 1983 La Banda Timbiriche: En Concierto album. Timbiriche was a group that debuted in 1982 composed of six children, most of whose parents were famous Mexican actors, singers, and composers. One member of the band was Julissa's son, an eleven year old Benny Ibarra (junior I suppose since his father's name was the same). So as a result two of the band's songs on the En Concierto album were translations by Julissa from her stage musical productions (the other song being "Noches De Verano [Summer Nights]" from Vaselina). Timbiriche went on to have many years of success, though with numerous line-up changes (Benny Ibarra left the group in 1985). The original group would reunite for a few extremely well received tour dates starting in 1998, which would then lead to a national tour with a live recording of Baile Del Sapo on their 1999 Timbiriche: El Concierto double live album.

Baile Del Sapo was in turn covered by RBD, who were simultaneously a Mexican pop group and a telenovela ("Rebelde", 2004-2006). In the television series a group of high school students form a pop band, which also happens to be a pop band in real life as well (shades of Miley Cyrus!). In July 2005 they released their second album "Tour Generación RBD En Vivo" on both CD and DVD, documenting one of their sold out live performances at the Palacio de los Deportes (seating 23,000 people) in Mexico City. Two medleys of cover songs were performed, with the first medley featuring four songs recorded by Timbiriche including... Baile Del Sapo! It should be noted that RBD was specifically covering Timibiriche's performance of the song, so at that point it's actually twice removed from this original production of El Show De Terror De Rocky.

Each of the releases includes all tracks that were on the original LP. The bootleg CD splits up "El Show de Frankie" (Floor Show) into three tracks though, and some bonus tracks were added to fill out the CD (since at the time it was made, mastering a CD was quite an expensive proposition). Several live audience recordings from the 20th Anniversary Convention in Los Angeles were added, as well as all of the various Rocky Horror Picture Show radio spots.

The official CD reissue has much less vinyl noise than the bootleg (though some is still present), and is presented as part of a two-CD set with Julissa's 1973 production of Vaselina (Grease). Julissa similarly produced and translated Vaselina, while also playing the lead role of Sandy. Her husband Benny Ibarra (senior) played opposite as Danny. El Show De Terror De Rocky cast members Héctor Ortiz, Luis Torner, and Manuel Gurría also turn up as performers in Vaselina. And the band ("Zig-Zag") is the same for both productions.

Rocky Horror Show - 1976 Mexican Cast ("El Show De Terror De Rocky")

El Show De Terror De Rocky (1976 Mexican Cast)
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El Show De Terror De Rocky (1976 Mexican Cast)
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El Show De Terror De Rocky (1976 Mexican Cast)
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Dr. Frankenfurter: Gonzalo Vega
Chelo Derecho: Julissa
Carlos Cabales: Héctor Ortiz
Riff-Raff: Luis Torner
Magenta y Usherette: Paloma Zozaya
Colombia: Norma Lendech
Eddie y Dr. Carillo: Lauro Pavón
Rocky Horror: Cecil Goudie
Narrador: Manuel Gurría

Coros: Aida Pierce, Laura Aspeitia, José Luis Acosta, Adrián Mayo, Mix Fedex
Coros Adicionales: Norma Lendech, Héctor Ortiz, Luis Torner, Manuel Gurría, Perico

Instrumentación: Zig-Zag

Francisco Torres: Piano acústico, piano eléctrico, sintetizador ARP y órgano.
Perico: Batería, timbales, gong, pandero, taps y vibraslap.
Neto Palestino: Bajo eléctrico.
Héctor Ortiz: Piano acústico, piano eléctrico, órgano y guitarra acústica.
Víctor Arreola: Guitarra eléctrica y guitarra acústica.


Roberto Gaytán: Saxofón tenor y flauta
Mix Fedex: Guitarra eléctrica en "El Baile del Sapo" y cencerro en "Dulce Trasvestista"
Gerardo Gómez "Uri": Guitarra eléctrica en "Qué le ha Pasado al Sábado"
Raúl González "El Pelos": Batería en "Los Superhéroes"

Stage Production

Teatro Bar Salón Versalles y Teatro Venustiano Carranza, 1976
Autor: Richard O'Brien
Productora, directora y traductora: Julissa (debut como directora)

Dirección Musical: Héctor Ortiz y Francisco Torres
Coreografía: Cristina Gallegos
Escenografía: David Antón

Album Production

Dirección Escénica: J.I. de Llano
Producción: Alfonso González y Héctor Ortiz
Grabación y Regrabación: Alfonso González "Poncho"
Libreto y Música Original: Richard O'Brien
Traducción: J.I. de Llano

Grabado en Estudios Churubusco el 13, 16, 17, 18 de febrero y en "La Casa" 24, 25, y 26 de febrero.