On the last Saturday of every month in the late 70's my store in Ottawa Ontario would be filled to the brim with customers looking for the exotic in wear. Corsets, platform shoes, barely there underwear and French maid costumes. For a month or two I was kind of baffled as to what was going on until one night I drove by the Nelson Theatre on Rideau Street.
There, standing in line were a couple hundred people dressed in things your mother told you not to wear. Of course this was the beginning of the midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and during the decades I had that store I proudly outfitted most of the participants. Years have passed and in today's age of the internet I wondered if the film Rocky Horror excited this generation like it did us?
"Whatever happened to Saturday night?"
I emailed Nate who runs the Bay area's Rocky Horror troupe and he agreed to let me take pictures of the 'participants' of Friday night's event. Nate also plays Riff Raff and that night he was extremely busy bringing in props from the last show in San Francisco and trying to get ready in 45 minutes.
"It's astounding you know; Time is fleeting!"
I got there early anticipating a line of people and sad to say today's generation gets there when they get there. A few people complained that it was chilly and all I could think of was standing in line during a snow storm 20 years ago while my black ankle socks and tap shoes filled up with snow.
"I remember doing the time-warp. Drinking those moments when 'The Blackness' would hit me."
The first people in line were Kayla and Miguel from Fairfax and they were definite Rocky Horror virgins. But I had to give them kudos as they were willing to sit there in the 'cold California air' for 90 minutes. I told them about my past experiences and warned them about the rice and toilet paper. For anyone that doesn't understand; you should duck during those sequences and if you don't - well don't say I didn't warn you.
"With a bit of a mind flip
You're into the time slip."
Brittany and Kassie had seen Rocky Horror before but Faryn had not. She was kind of worried that someone might come up to her and draw a large “V" on her face establishing her as a 'Rocky Horror Virgin'. I assured her no one would do it but if I had a marker in my purse Faryn would have been initiated by me personally.
"And nothing can ever be the same."
Maykayla and Emma had the right idea. That Mata Hari hat would protect you from all the Rocky Horror elements including the spray from water pistols used to simulate the rainstorm Brad and Janet had experienced. Lots of theatres don't allow this anymore and as my grandmother once said,
"Well secluded, you will see all."
By this time the pain killers had kicked in for a kidney infection I have, and names and time are now fleeting.
" Madness is taking its toll."
Cat ears? I don't remember cat ears but those bras are "spaced out in sensation!"
"What interesting underclothes you have!" said Frank
I don't remember a Mexican wrestler in the film but "When a snake of a guy gives you an evil wink" you have someone to protect you!
"He shook-a me up, he took me by surprise" to see Geek Chic next to ladies that are " just a jump to the left."
"Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?"
Now we are talking!
"She stared at me and I felt a change.
Time meant nothing, never would again."
"Hi. My name's Brad Majors and this is my fiance Janet Weiss."
"It's just a jump to the left.
And then a step to the right.
Put your hands on your hips. "
This duo is rated off the charts for originality!
"How do you do? I see you've met my faithful handy man!"
"I've been makin' a man, with blond hair, and a tan and he's good for relieving my tension."
I give you Ms. Tasha Fierce. You go girl!
"Although psychiatrists and sociologists are still putting their heads together to explain the cult phenomenon, Richard O'Brien thought the answer was quite simple. They've asked a lot of people to interpret the show's success and they all seem to miss the very obvious answer. It allows the kids to dress up. I see guys on the street in fishnet stockings and corsets and I think it's terrific. It's a major breakthrough. Women have been cross-dressing for years. Now they can wear almost anything, but a man can't.
Thanks to Rocky Horror a guy can put on fishnets and strutt his stuff and feel okay. I see no harm in that at all. I think the kids are also responding to Rocky because there's an element of naivete about it which is very endearing and not threatening. Its innocence is its strength All the characters appear to be sophisticated, knowledgeable people but they're really not. That allows people of a similar adolescent nature to feel they could be part of the whole thing. "
Rocky Horror will live on forever- Happy Halloween!
"Let's do the time-warp again!
Photos and text by Linda Seccaspina 2011
1970's photo of my friend and old staff Jackie Kouprie
Quotes from Rocky Horror