This album was the very first actual "tribute" album to Rocky Horror that I'm aware of, released on the occasion of the film's 20th Anniversary. It was recorded by Gene Chiovari and the Completely Crazy shadowcast of Chicago, Illinois. Several different musical styles are represented (or parodied), from reggae to metal. This is an amateur production to be sure, but it does make up for it in spirit ("Of the Fans! By the Fans! For the Fans!"). Think of it as what could potentially happen if your own local cast got a number of people together and recorded them singing all the songs from Rocky Horror... if your local cast also happens to include a member with copious amounts of free time who enjoys coming up with odd projects and is able to scrounge instrumental tracks up from random recordings lying around in his closet from years previous.
Five hundred total copies of this LP were pressed. Four hundred of them were numbered, and the other hundred had that area left blank so that people could order a personalized copy with their name on it. This is why the name of some guy named Joe Digilio appears on my scan of the back cover... because I somehow ended up with his copy of the LP apparently. Only about fifty personalized copies were actually sold. The album package also included a twenty page booklet, numbered to match the LPs.
USA ©1995 Krunchy Panties Records (4711)
Private pressing. Includes booklet.
Missing songs: NONE!
It was strange in the way it happened. One of those quirks of fate, really. One of those moments when everything looks black! The chips are down! You're back is against a wall - you panic! You're trapped! There's no way out!... And even if there was, it would probably be a one way ticket to the bottom of the bay!
And then suddenly, you get a break! All the pieces seem to just fit into place. Oh what a sucker you'd been! What a fool! The answer was there all the time! It took a small accident to make it happen...... Well, actually, it took an enormous amount of rather inconvenient and large accidents to arrive at the album you now possess. All of which will hopefully be explained shortly! (although I'm still not sure about all the particulars, and I've been in the middle of this whole brew-ha-ha)
Originally this was not conceived as a release album, but rather a soundtrack to be played for special entertainment at a convention to help raise money for AIDS, featuring PATRICIA QUINN as the star attraction. That is to say, we were going to record our voices and dialogue on tape and lip synch to ourselves on stage for the planned entertainment. I have been involved with other such ROCKY HORROR projects in the past, although some of them have been live singing to recorded music tracks. In all cases, I still own the multi track masters to these projects.
Some of the instrumentation on those past tracks were just too good to let go, so when the time came to start doing the music for this shin-dig, I dug out the old master tracks and began to transfer only the instruments I wanted to keep (which didn't work out in all cases, some of the old tracks were recorded on inferior tape and began to degrade past the point of usefulness), and began to build new musical arrangements around them.
While this was going on, people were rehearsing their lines and practicing their singing, and others were getting all the arrangements for the Convention under way. SAL PIRO was inquiring to the availability of PATRICIA QUINN, and possibly RICHARD O'BRIEN. At the time, Patricia was available, but only for a short time. This was okay because we were ahead of schedule on the rest of the project.
Then came the delays!
Let's just suffice it to say that everyone's schedule fell apart due to home/work/family, etc. All the rest of the music tracks were recorded in our living room, and all the vocals were recorded in the bathroom! At one point, we had people coming over at all times of day and night (lucky I'm an insomniac) to make up for the disheveled schedules, but the people in the rest of the apartment building didn't seem to like people singing Rocky songs at the top of their lungs at 2:43 am, so we had to stop for a while and go back to working around people's precarious schedules, which slowed things up greatly.
By the time we got back on track, there was no way we would have the convention ready in time for Pat Quinn's free time schedule, for she was to begin performing MAGENTA in a new tour of the ROCKY HORROR SHOW. So here we were with all this music almost done, a lot of time, money and R.H. history invested in this project. At the very most, it should at least get the chance to be heard because so many people put time, money, effort and their hearts into it. And at the very least, we had to figure out how to cover our costs and still raise the charity money now that we were not having our convention.
Then it hit me! A thought that crossed my mind in 1983. The thought that Rocky Horror has had several Cast albums in several languages, the film soundtrack has been pressed every which way! (picture disc, etc.) there is even an AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION ALBUM, but nothing tangible in the realm of why we do Rocky. Nothing that represented the philosophy "DON'T DREAM IT, BE IT!". We've all felt the mood to sing along with the film at one time or another at the show. Audience and Cast alike. This project hopefully personifies that desire, that extra bit of being it, just beyond the realm of dressing up and performing. To take participating in this philosophy to the next possible avenue of expression! WHAT THE HELL! WHY NOT! Yes, it's about time. The fans have been entertaining the fans for years, we've all given expression, joy and laughter to one another for almost 20 years now in many forms.
Perhaps the voice characterization is a bit cartoonish. Maybe, but in light of "The Whole Gory Story" recording, (of which the toon quality of character is almost epic) and the very wonderfully Low-Tech High-Tack feel to the Original London Cast recording, I am not sure. Then again... The Gory Story Cast, and the Original London Cast could actually sing. Ah well, we forged ahead anyway! To boldly push the boundaries of human listening endurance and bad taste! To dream that impossible dream! To get completely carried away, much like I am right now...
Sorry, where was I? Ah! in front of the typewriter, that's right! Okay. Anyway, a lot of the characterization was intended for body language as this was intended to originally be seen acted out with dialogue, sound effects, etc., at the time of the initial voicings. I would like to take the time right now to apologize to some of the cast members on this recording for not getting their best takes, both singing and instrumentally, on tape from time to time. Course' at other times it was because of a very deep and meaningful lack of professional talent! (come on guys, I'm not taking the blame for the blood in these poor peoples eardrums alone! I'm taking you all down with me!) Some of the recordings were recorded over for second takes to add other voices together due to the limit of tracks. In this process I thought I had lost some very good renditions to the winds. However, fortunately at the hectic time of this recording, some cast members would bug me relentlessly for copies of the work up to date. Some of those takes are on a few of those tapes, mixed well and clear.
Of course, we find this out after the record was pressed, but just in time for me to whine about it in this booklet! Who knows... maybe I'll do something stupid like instead of buying a car, I can spend it on hauling all that fucking equipment out of the rental store, spend six months assembling the best music and voice takes, EQ the hell out of it, add in all the dialogue tracks lying around, fork out some more money I can't afford and get it pressed on a double record! Better sound quality, I am told, less time on each side makes for deeper grooves and richer sound. 20 minutes a side for best fidelity. This record here is pushing 30 minutes a side, the absolute ultimate in low fidelity stereo sound! We could only afford one record but we felt that if we were going to go this far we might as well put all the songs on just for the sheer fact that a lot of us audio collectors of R.H. have had it up to here with all these cast recordings that are missing a song here and there, DAMMIT!! Oh dear, I seemed to have gone off on a tangent again.... Anyway.... It's tacky, suitable for framing, useable for a cutting board or Frisbee. And if you put it in the microwave until the ends curl up, it makes a nifty ash tray! (trust me, I've done it with a Shaun Cassidy album!)
Many casts have put on live shows in the past. Some have even recorded their shows for themselves and their friends. (Indeed, some of the musical tracks contained here span several casts, and theaters across a 14 year period of Rocky Horror Fan History!) This is the same extension of that train of thought on a larger scale, hopefully to reach undiscovered members of our Transylvanian community and inspire the notion that we are all in this together! That we all make a difference. That anything is possible if you stop dreaming it, and start being it!!
Some of the music tracks found on this album were originally part of other musical arrangements from other singing performances put on by RHPS casts throughout the years. "THE TIME WARP JAM" (drums, rhythm & lead) were from the CELLULOID JAM'S 9TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION - ORIENTAL THEATER, MILWAUKEE. The Bass and Keyboards were added during this album session. "I'M GOING HOME" (lead & bass) was taken from tracks to be used for live singing preshows for THE CELLULOID JAM in 1985, rhythm and keyboard were added for this project. The second half of Planet Schmanet Janet - "HOT DOG" (lead guitar) dates back to 1983, from jam sessions in Gene's basement; Rhythm, Bass, Drums and Keyboard were added during this session. "EDDIE'S TEDDY" was reconstructed three times. Originally from the Jams 9th Birthday session, then musical elements were transferred for the 400 THEATER'S CHICAGO CONVENTION FEATURING RICHARD O'BRIEN, and then transferred again and rebuilt for this project. "THE CHARLES ATLAS SONG (REPRISE)" (Lead & Rhythm Guitar) were also from the 400 session; Bass, Drums and Keyboard were added for this recording. "HOT PATOOTIE" was transferred from the 400 session tracks (lead guitar only) and the rest of the arrangements were built around that. "THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES" was transferred from another jam session at Gene's in 1985 (Rhythm guitar and Drum machine), and was later used in the 400 Theater's 1987 live singing Halloween show, then transferred during this album session where Bass & keyboards were added. "SWEET TRANSVESTITE" also comes from the 400 Halloween show (Lead Guitar) and Bass Rhythm & drums and keyboard were added for this work. "THERE'S A LIGHT" (Lead Guitar) comes from a recording session for an amateur production of The Rocky Horror Show that almost went on in 1985! Bass rhythm, drums & keyboard were added for this project (well at least it got used somewhere!). And "DAMMIT JANET" (Lead & Rhythm guitar) came from the 400 con with Richard O'Brien, another rhythm guitar Drums and keyboard were added. In most instances of musical instrument additions, some talent was involved, however most of the keyboard work was done through the laws of probability, to explain.... We only had one keyboardist for this project (Mary Gerbode), who is very good at playing written materials, and can play by ear given enough time. Time, however, was not at a premium! So what to do? Well, the only person who had enough free time was Gene. Gene has arranged music before for several shows, however, he can neither read, write or play anything. Most of his arrangements were worked out by very talented people who if you hummed what note you wanted, they could play it after the first or second time! Not having that opportunity this time around, he improvised. And it goes something like this: Every song is in a certain key. In that key there are only so many chords that will fit into that key. Within those chords there are only so many notes that will fit within the chord structure. So all Gene did was go through all the notes on the keyboard, mark off the correct ones with a bit of masking tape, and, sense of rhythm permitting, all he had to do was hit all the notes marked off in time with the music and whoops, there it is! All of the keyboard tracks on the first song "SCIENCE FICTION DOUBLE FEATURE" were recorded in this fashion, and for that matter, any other keyboards Gene worked on during the course of making this album. Weird, eh?
TO BE PLAYED AT MAXIMUM VOLUME
A SPLENDID TIME IS GUARANTEED FOR Y'ALL
(by the way... did you know that the
plural form of "Y'all" is: "All Y'all"?)
NOTE: As has been mentioned before in this booklet, sound quality of this recording (aside from being made in a bathroom and living room) may suffer due to the amount of information being squeezed onto the available space of this record. Fucking around with your bass and treble controls might be in order! Hell! Some EQ wouldn't hurt either! How about a compressor.... Or perhaps a dynamic range expander.... Maybe a good noise gate....
So here we are, 20 years later. Let's review...
Over the last two decades our love for this film has spawned a litany of responses, props, performance and mayhem. Making The Rocky Horror Picture Show the longest running multi-media world wide weekend party! The counter culture we've nourish has spilled out into movies, radio, film & television. Even an Audience Participation Album. What next?!
Well, the obvious answer is the record you are now holding! The First Floor Show Cast Recording Of Rocky Horror, made By The Fans, For The Fans! (the obsessive determination of Rocky Fans never ceases to amaze me!) It's not a great work of art. It's not a beautifully orchestrated musical triumph of Andrew Lloyd Webbed proportions. But what it is, is a home grown bit of whimsy. It's silly and funny, irreverent and witty (or as Gene phrased it: "A comic book for the ears"). It's a bunch of friends getting together and having a bit of fun with their favorite obsession.
So sit back and enjoy
The 20th Anniversary
Fan Tribute Album
Your Faithful Handyman
AS SEEN ON TV
And now... with a Suburban Garage Sound...
FROM CELLULOID, TO VINYL, TO YOU!!
HEAR: Two men share one brain
SEE: Republicans turn liberal
SMELL: Aliens in lingerie
Great For Kids!!
Not For The Squeemish
NEW!! & unimproved
YOU'LL LAUGH 'TIL YOU STOP!!
POPS AND CRACKES ADDED TO SIMULATE SOUND OF ACTUAL PHONOGRAPH RECORD!
Of the Fans! By the Fans! For the Fans!
100% Vinyl-Contains Hole
SCRATCH 'n SNIFF MMmm.. Smells like Industrial Adhesives and Cardboard!
Trixie (An Usherette) - Tabitha Miller
Janet Weiss (A Heroine) - Robbyn Lynn
Brad Majors (A Hero) - John Lussem
Riff Raff (A Handyman) - Denise "Fred" Olderr
Magenta (A Domestic) - Mary Gerbode
Columbia (A Groupie) - Erin P. Carey
The Narrator (An Expert) - Edmund Zebrowski
Dr. Frank N. Furter (A Scientist) - Gene Chiovari
Rocky Horror (A Creation) - Zac Lyndon
Eddie (Ex-Delivery Boy) - William "P.T. Wolf" Pearson
Dr. Scott (A Rival Scientist) - Ed Webb
Phantoms (Kabuki Backups) - Collin Souter, Pam Van Zandt, Tabitha Miller, Mary Gerbode, Gene Chiovari
Rhythm, Bass, Lead Guitar - Ed Webb
Rhythm, Lead Guitar - Roger Reinsalu
Bass, Lead Guitar - Nick Ferrera
Acoustic Rhythm Guitar - Zack S. X. Pannone
Keyboards - Mary Gerbode
Keyboards - Gene Chiovari
Nicely Real Non-Synthetic Drums - John Kemp and Leon Simpson
Drum Machine Programming - Gene Chiovari
Executive Producer: Bev Gerrish of Absolute Pleasure T-Shirts
Co-Executive Producers: Completely Crazy and Ed Webb
Produced By: Gene Chiovari
Original Book, Music, and Lyrics: Richard O'Brien
Musical Direction & Arrangements: Gene Chiovari
Cover design by Ed Webb and Gene Chiovari
Layout by Gene Chiovari
Screen Art Layout & Design by Ed Webb
Cover Photo by Ed Webb
Cover Girl: Abby Johnston
Cover Drive In: The Twin Drive In
Cover Hearse: Baby
Cover Skeletal Arm: Richard
Initial 4 track mastering, 4 track to 8 track re-mastering, 8 track remastering, 8 track to 4 track to 8 track re-mastering done at: "Basement Recording Studios", "Sun-Porch Studios", "Rec Room Recordings", and "Garden West Studios". And was engineered by: Gene Chiovari.
Erasure of hideous icky sterile uninspired electronic nothing more than a metronome so called drums and re-recording with most cool, real human touch sounding non-fake drums done at "Doll Heaven" by Gene Chiovari.
8 track to stereo mini-disc mastering done at "Garden West Studios" by: Gene Chiovari with assistance from Mary Gerbode.
Mark and Kym Huster, Edmund Zebrowski and Ed Webb for the loan of the E.Q.'s.
To Nick, Mike and everybody else at Discmakers for actually pressing this record and not laughing at us!
To Entertainment Tonight Video for the loan of the additional mini-disc recorder.
To everyone at the Wheeling Twin Drive In for letting us take the cover photo.
To Mike for getting the hearse running.
And to Richard O'Brien, without whom any of this would have been probable.
Copyright © 1997 - 2016 Shawn McHorse. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.