Do you remember the first time you saw Rocky Horror Picture Show? Were you prepared to throw rice? Toast? Use a squirt gun? A lighter? Could you dance “The Time Warp”?
Sing it with me, “Let’s do the Time Warp again . . .”
Wasn’t that fun. And Christopher Lee to boot!
Meet the mind behind the cult classic, born Richard Timothy Smith on March 25, 1942, he is better known for his stage name, Richard O’Brien. Or if you’re a fan of the movie, Riff Raff.
In 1951, his father bought a sheep farm in Tauranga, New Zealand, where the family emigrated to from England.
While growing up in New Zealand, he developed an interest in horror films and comic books. He eventually left the farm in Tauranga and moved to Hamilton. There he worked at a barber shop and spent many hours attending films next door at the Embassy Theatre. It was during his tenure in Hamilton he developed the story, which would eventually become The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
During an interview, Richard said of the movie, “The most amazing thing that Rocky’s done is put the fish nets (stockings) into Halloween . . . If you were the person who put the bunny into Easter you’d be quite proud wouldn’t you.” What a humble man. 😉
He writes, sings, performs, and is probably best known in England as the host of the game show, The Crystal Maze. Or perhaps you remember his performance as Pierre Le Pieu in Ever After, A Cinderella Story?
In 2004, The Hamilton City Council honored him for his contributions to the arts with a statue of Riff Raff. It is located on the site of the old Embassy Theatre. They heralded him as a son of New Zealand.
What ever you do, do not ask the locals for directions. They have no idea where it is.
In 2010, Richard decided to retire to New Zealand where most of his family lives. Thinking it would be a slam dunk, he applied to become a citizen, but was denied citizenship owing his age at the time exceeded the country’s immigration criteria. His application garnered a great deal of public support and the decision was overturned on appeal. He was officially registered as a citizen of New Zealand on December 14, 2011.
So, if you were watching the Live Riff Raff Cam on the evening of November 6, 2011, you would have seen me dance the Time Warp.
It’s just a jump to the left . . . .