My son flips his lid whenever “Groove is in the Heart” comes on the radio, and I thought if it was going to play anywhere, it would be on that program. But when I turned on the station a different song was on, one that always gets my heart racing and brings my teenage years flooding back.
It was “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, of course.
I was singing every word and acting out the role of Magenta with every eye roll, hand motion, jump to the left and step to the right that I could without getting us into an accident. I couldn’t help it, it was just second nature. I know that movie like the back of my hand, and I should, as I have seen it hundreds and hundreds of times.
I was a teenage Rocky Horror Picture Show FANATIC.
|It came from (where?) outer space (thank you!)|
My friends and I would drive to University Mall Cinemas in Tampa every Friday and Saturday night to see the movie. In retrospect, my gang of girls humored me by going, none of them were nearly as obsessed with it as I was. I will never forget seeing Tim Curry for the first time, or doing the Time Warp, or being shot in the back of the head with a water pistol, and listening to all of these people around me scream in unison the funniest and dirtiest things I’d ever heard to a movie screen.
I was hooked from the get go.
I loved the culture of Rocky Horror fans, and how every person who felt like they didn’t belong outside the theatre, did indeed belong when they were there together in the velvet darkness. I loved the live cast performing the movie right in front of the screen simultaneously with the film. I WANTED TO DO THAT and looked up to them all like they were big time stars.
I thought that my parents were super supportive of my passion for the movie and the experience when they stayed up late to catch a midnight showing one weekend. On this night I was very excited because I performing as one of the Transylvanians and got to do the Time Warp with the cast in front of an audience. In retrospect, they probably just wanted to see what the hell I was doing until three in the morning every weekend and make sure it was safe and legit and that I really was where I said I was. They sat in the back and watched, and I remember I kept looking over my shoulder to check in with their response and they were laughing, a lot. Lucky for me, my dad’s love of rock-n-roll music, Meat Loaf, and science fiction made him love it as well, and he had the soundtrack blasting from the tape deck in his car the following day.
|With a Riff Raff who was not devoted enough to do his hair or |
change out of his grey acid wash jeans. Not good.
The license plate on my poop-brown Camaro soon read ‘HOT P2T’. I was a member of the Rocky Horror fan club, had a fuzzy, illegal, bootleg copy of the movie on VHS, and had posters, albums, books, and magazines. I could not get enough of the movie and the music, and I especially could not get enough of Tim Curry. His voice, his presence, his makeup - good God! I thought he was the most beautiful man/woman I had ever seen.
Tim Curry became my new Mick Jagger, someone new to obsess over. Oh joy, another androgynous, flamboyant, big-mouthed English man in my life! I bought his albums, read any interview I could find with him, and dreamed about our life together day and night.
And now my three year old was in the back seat was asking,“What is this song Mommy?”
“Ohhhhh, this is a special song, this is the Time Warp” I replied.
“Do you like this song Mommy?”
“Mommy LOVES this song, do you like it?”
“YES, I LOVE IT. I love it too!!!”
By the end of the song he was singing the chorus with me, and asked if I could show him the dance steps that go along with it when we got home. The moment was so cathartic it brought tears to my eyes. It may seem like a small thing, but introducing my son to music that toucha-toucha-touched my life so deeply was a very big deal.
I don’t think I will show him the movie for years to come, it may confuse him...
But I am happy to do the Time Warp in the living room with him whenever he wants.