An Author's Review

Back in nineteen fiftyeight, when I was supposed to be at nightschool studying art, the nights were warm and the class was boring so I’d stop off at the late-show which was always a double feature. Here amongst the other delinquents, paradise was to be mine. “Horror on the Campus” and “I was a Teen-Aged Werewolf” were very well received. Fourteen Years later I was sitting one evening with my friend John Sinclair, who has since become a successful record producer, (and to think I knew him when he was somebody) and we discussed the thought of writing a show that we ourselves would like to go and see. We were to write it together. It was to be a collection of all the things give you a buzz. Let’s do it said John and promptly went off to open Sarm Recording Studios. Jilted, I sat home nights, writing songs and bits of dialogue. Some four months later I had the good luck to be working with Jim Sharman and Brian Thomson, the two australian wizards who made “Jesus Christ Superstar” a stage hit in London and Australia. The play we were to do was called “The Unseen Hand” written by the great Sam Shepard. I was to play “Willie the Space Freak”.

During Rehearsals I mentioned to Jim and Brian that I was writing a Rock-Horror musical that was amusing me and I added that it might do the same for them. I had no doubt about their talent. I knew they thought I was alright because they’d cast me in the play we were doing. Unabashed naivety is a strong selling point (once).

One fateful night after a rehearsal, director Jim, dragged Richard Hartley who was working on some toons for us in Unseen Hand, back to my place. Richard was enthusiastic in the cab, I remember him saying, “Oh no not another Rock-Musical”. So there I was, with my scribbled few pages and a much loved Levin guitar, on trial. I sang the opening song, “Science Fiction” and I blush to relate this, but I was made to sing it for two more times there and then, and when I’d finished the (then) slender script I had to sing that song again.

We opened for a five week season at “The Theatre Upstairs” at “The Royal Court”, and thanks to the brilliance of the cast, Sue Blane’s costume designs, Brian Thomson’s set, Richard Hartley’s arrangements and Jim Sharman’s direction. We were a sell-out and the rest is history.

My thanks to all those that get off on the show are unlimited. There is no doubt in my mind, that rocky freaks are the sanest madmen in the world...other planets ????????? well, that’s privileged information.

Yours until they come to take us away,

Richard O’Brien