The Musical World of Rocky Horror

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:51 am 
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It has, from the first time I encountered Rocky Horror at the age of 14 (too long ago for me to reveal my current age :) ) been my belief she was singing about Eddie. Yet regularly when I talk to people these days, they are sure she's singing about Frank.

Here's my take:

First of all, although generally a dance-step number, the three solos spots speak to the character's deepest desire, so to speak. Riff-Raff about losing control (which I take to mean both going postal on Frank in particular, and in losing the pent up inhibitions of playing the part of "faithful handyman," in general). Magenta about watching other people get it on (and she's always the giddy onlooker to other's activities throughout the evening). Columbia's deepest desire is clearly Eddie. She rushes to him when he comes back to life. She sobs over his second death. She sings a solo verse in "Eddie's Teddy." In the stage show, the Time Warp is set up by her mentioning Eddie, and Riff-Raff trying to cover up, only she won't let the subject go. So he's clearly on her mind when the song starts. The lyrics refer back to that.

Secondly, the members of the household never seem to leave the house. People and things come to them. So I don't see Frank driving down the streets of Denton (or anywhere else on Earth). Actually, I'm not sure I see Frank driving, period. Being chauffeured, possibly.

And finally, a pickup truck just doesn't fit Frank's personality. He's all about gothic/glitter. A custom hearse. A bitchin' vintage 30's roadster. A Nora Desmond-style Isotta-Fraschini limo? I can see that (with Riff as Max driving up front). A pickup truck? Not so much.

But a truck fits Eddie's R&B nature, perfectly. Okay, not quite as perfectly as a vintage Harley Davidson, but well enough.

I'd love to hear comments from others as to who they think she's singing about, and how they came to that conclusion.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:23 am 
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In my humble opinion, I don't think she was singing about any experience she had personally. I think the song "Time Warp" is just a very popular tune in Transexual, Transylvania and each character was just singing the lyrics. Much like how we sing songs from the radio.

As for the characters never leaving the house, they are all present at Betty and Ralph's wedding.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:33 am 
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LOL. I does seem that way, or at least that they all visited Earth 20 or so years earlier and had sex with a Dentonian (is that the word?).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:29 am 
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Yeah, I think they have visited Earth before to study humans. This would explain why they would be so interested to portray characters at a wedding. Since "Time Warp" seems to imply they can jump from any time and space point to another - perhaps using the Sonic Transducer. Also, the narrators ending speech gives some weight to this theory too. "Lost in time. Lost in space."

Going back to Columbia, it was never made clear if she was a Transylvanian or not. Some have suggested she was an Earthling who was swooned by Eddie before Frank seduced her. It is unlikely that they (Frank, Magenta, Riff Raff) would have adopted her as their own. I think Eddie was just a regular dope pusher that made frequent trips to the castle as their personal "candy man" and Columbia was infatuated with him. Since we don't know how long the castle was there, it's possible Columbia and Eddie had a long-term relationship until Frank needed half of Eddie's brain. Finally, I doubt Riff Raff would kill a human (without good cause) or his actions of killing Frank (to justify Frank killing Eddie) was in vain.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:15 pm 
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I've wondered about Columbia's "earthling" status, too. I assumed she wasn't from Transylvania, but never questioned why.

Of course, none of them are "really" at the wedding. That's just an in-joke about the need to reuse actors onstage in different parts, and a subtle commentary on how the so-called "alien" elements really aren't as alien as Brad and Janet and Dr. Scott may like to think.

I get a kick out of Frank being the minister and the Our Father being at the back of the church. Of course if someone like Frank is officiating, cue cards of a sort are probably necessary.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:52 pm 
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Ah! They were really at the wedding. Two points:

1. The Criminologist has the photo in his book and Riff Raff is clearly circled. He suspected that they were infiltrating our society to pose as humans in order to study us.
2. Frank has the number 4711 written on his leg which was Ralph and Betty's car license plate number. For some reason, he needed to write that down.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:50 am 
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Yeah, but those are winks by the filmmakers, not part of the "reality" of the movie.

By the way, you've pointed out a piece of trivia that in my 28 years of Rocky fandom I have never encountered before: Ralph's car has the same number as Frank's tattoo. I haven't exhausted what there is to find in the film. Very much thanks!


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