Friday, April 06, 2012


Back in 1974, my girlfriend and I had had been to see Brian de Palmas 1974 film “Phantom of the Paradise” which starred Paul Williams and some band called ‘The Juicy Fruits”.
It was a huge flop unless you were 17 and clueless.
The plot was a combination of “Phantom of the Opera”, “Dorian Gray” and relied heavy on the “Faust” theme. Paul Williams, all 4 foot ten inches of him, was miscast as the devil. The scene that barely sticks out in the deepest parts of my memory is...well....I can't remember a fucking thing about it except when we left the theater that night we wished we could go to a rock concert that was like the movie we had just seen.

Our appetites were wet for some theatrical rock. I had missed Alice Cooper (he cancelled) the year before, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show was still on the cutting room floor, and we had never heard of Riff-Raff or Time Warps or  Meatloaf except for what mom served up on Sunday nights.
They said The Who's "Tommy" was supposed to be a Rock Opera, but I hadn't seen it, and there were only like two songs on the album I liked anyway.


I saw Genesis at, of all places "The Will Rogers Auditorium" in 1975. I had seen them on 'American Bandstand " or something, and the song they did featured Peter Gabriel crushing the rest of the band with a big mallet, one like you would imagine Thor carrying, and he had a deranged look on his face and this appealed very strongly to me, being 17 and all.

So I got tickets to go to see Genesis, and I told my girlfriend it was like real Rock Opera, but when we got there he didn't have the big mallet, and no one was crushed, he just stood there in a weird hat and a one-piece bathing suit with his arms hanging straight down his side.
It was very un-operatic.
They didn't do a single song that anybody knew what the hell it was, and I don't really remember much except that the music sucked big-time at the Will Rogers Auditorium that night, and the entire crowd took to hollerin' out 'Aa-rrrriiibbbbbaaa" as loud as we could between songs.
That was the best part.


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