Books and Magazines
- 1 How can I write to the stars?
- 2 What newsletters and fanzines have existed throughout the years?
- 3 What books exist?
- 3.1 Books About the Movie and the Play
- 3.2 Books by Sal Piro About the Cult
- 3.3 Non-Fiction Fan-Written Books
- 3.4 Photo Books
- 3.5 Biographies by People Who Were There (Notable Rocky Content)
- 3.6 Non-fiction with tangential content
- 3.7 Piano Scores
- 3.8 Nonfiction Books With Notable Rocky Content
- 3.9 On-line Chapter Excerpts With Notable Rocky Content
- 3.10 Fiction Books With Notable Rocky Content
- 3.11 Fiction Books With Tangential Rocky Content
- 4 What magazine articles have been written?
- 4.1 Reviews of the film / experience
- 4.2 Mostly about the cult
- 4.3 Mostly about the film itself
- 4.4 Interviews which mention the film
- 4.5 Articles about the Rocky Horror Glee Show
- 4.6 Articles about the 2010 Rocky Horror Tribute (Painted Turtle charity show)
- 4.7 Articles about sequel attempts
- 4.8 General interest articles which mention the film
How can I write to the stars?
You can write to the stars care of the Official Fan Club or Time Warp (see Fan Clubs). They will forward your letter...you might even get a reply! Include the name of the Fan Club on your envelope so the post office will deliver your letter to the Fan Club's PO Box.
Richard O'Brien no longer guarantees an answer to fan mail unless a self-addressed envelope and a couple of International Reply Coupons are included (ask for them at the post office). He's moved to New Zealand, so postage costs are higher.
Some of the stars, such as Patricia Quinn and Perry Bedden, are on Facebook. There is a Richard O'Brien Facebook page, but he's not on Facebook; it's run by a fan (and there's some nice stuff there, too!)
No, we don't have their addresses, and if we did, we wouldn't give them to you. So there.
Many casts have newsletters, fanzines, programs, et cetera, and it is nearly impossible to keep track of them all (and most don't last that long). Many people collect this sort of thing, so you can also just ask around. When you see the show in a new place, ask the cast if they have a mailing list or a semi-regular newsletter. Most nowadays are electronic; you can often sign up at a cast's website. (Alas, these are often short-lived too.) They should be more than happy to have an additional subscriber. If you're looking for paper fanzines, they've pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur; vendors have back issues sometimes at cons.
Some significant newsletters from the past include (in no particular order): TimeWarp (now in electronic format, but still going after more than 10 years!), the fanzine for the UK Fan Club; The Transylvanian (former fanzine for the US and International Fan Club); Rocky Horror Shop Talk (ran for 9 years, evolving from a simple catalog to a fullblown fanzine); Crazed Imaginations (1995-2006); Castle Times (formerly run by Eric Bradshaw out of Rochester; mostly regional); The Transylvaniagram; The Master's Affair; Madness Takes Its Toll. There have been many others; most lasted a dozen issues or less.
You can find page-by-page scans of a couple of early fanzines at the Rocky Horror Preservation Foundation at Cosmo's Factory, notably issues 1 and 2 of the Transylvanian and apparent one-shot Inside Insanity (still fairly easily available; they must have printed hundreds of them). http://www.cosmosfactory.org/gallery/imageFolio.cgi?direct=RHPF/Document_Archive .
What books exist?
The UK Fan Club "TimeWarp" has an excellent detailed listing of different Rocky Horror books, with photos of the covers and reviews of the contents. Most of the books listed below are included. Highly recommended!
Books are in print unless otherwise noted. Some of these books sell for really ridiculous sums in used bookstores and on eBay: people see the words "Rocky Horror" and assume it's rare and collectible. Shop around before paying a lot of money. Most of them (with the possible exception of the RH Experience and hardcover Movie Novels) aren't that hard to find.
Books About the Movie and the Play
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show Book - Bill Henkin (1979) Probably the best-known. The binding is very cheap and most of us have loved ours to death. Not that well-organized (most RH books aren't, frankly), but includes lots of good information and was done soon enough after the film that lots of good source material was easily available. Several photos are mirror images, and this book is notorious for the "scrapbook" layout of some of its pages, with things you desperately want to see covered up by another item. A great place to start your collection, and since it was in print forever (until 1995 or so), copies are available cheap ($10 and less easy), though if you *want* to pay $50 for it, you can find copies marked up to that price. The original Hawthorn edition is probably worth a little bit more than the Plume reprint, but to most fans it won't make a difference.
- The Rocky Horror Show Book - James Harding (1987-Out of Print). Tends to be harder to find and will probably run you at least $50. Badly organized and heavy on coverage of the UK Hanley tour, but there are lots of great photos and information.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Novel - A&W Visual Library, edited by Richard J. Anobile; intro by Sal Piro (1980-Out of Print). Both hard and soft-cover.
- The Rocky Horror Scrapbook (limited printing of 2000) - designed by Brian Thomson; reissued in 1999 in the UK -- The original printing is traditionally bound (signatures of pages glued together) and has the number stamped in blue ink. If yours is autographed by Richard O'Brien, don't get excited; the reissue master is Christopher Malcolm's autographed copy of the original printing. It's bound with staples, like a giant booklet, and it's copy 27 (in gray, not blue, as ALL of the reissue is #27). Expect to pay about $50, though people will happily sell it to you for more.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show Comic Books (three issues, a second printing of issue #1, and a jumbo "compilation" book of all three) - Kevin VanHook (out of print but available cheap on eBay). Badly-copied from frames of the film, released right after the 15th anniversary to make a buck. The appendices are interesting, and the covers are pretty. Took forever to start appreciating; don't pay too much.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Movie Script (1995). A nice edition; handy for reference if you want a paper copy.
- Cultographies: The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Jeffrey Weinstock(2007). Like an extended academic article; rather dull reading.
- Reading Rocky Horror - Jeffrey Weinstock (2009). A book of academic essays on the film. Print on demand from an academic press ($110 for the hardback!), which is why it's so ungodly expensive (apparently it's intended as a textbook). In 2014 the paperback is still "Coming Soon". http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/reading-rocky-horror-jeffrey-andrew-weinstock/?K=9780230612327
- " The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Music on Film Series (2012). The series covers other films such as Grease, West Side Story, Cabaret, etc. Recommended for people who would like a handy reference, or who are new to the film (95% of the information here is available elsewhere).
150 mini-book-sized pages (only 115 are text; the rest is notes, lists, footnotes, index), $9.99. If you've got the 1979 Official Magazine, the interviews here at Rockypedia, and a search engine, you don't need this book.
Well-organized; includes lists of which songs were added to the original play at which theater; the casts of the original play at various venues; and a list of foreign soundtracks. Small photo section isn't of much interest.
Books by Sal Piro About the Cult
- Creatures of the Night: The Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience - Sal Piro (1990-Out of Print). I often forget how much great material is in here; it's the history of the RH fandom until 1990. Some places sell this for $50; you should be able to find it for $25.
- Creatures of the Night II: More of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience - Sal Piro (1995). Out of print. Covers 1990-1995. Still available for $20-$25, but some places will try to sell it to you for $50 anyway.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show Audience Participation Book - Sal Piro and Mike Hess (1991, out of print). I refer mostly to the appendix, which includes what was a fairly thorough list of collectibles (now out of date, but still interesting).
Non-Fiction Fan-Written Books
- Confessions of a Transylvanian- Kevin Theis and Ron Fox (2012). Theis documents his experiences in the early 1980s with a Rocky Horror shadowcast in Florida. Theis's reminiscences should strike a chord with anyone who's spent time in a shadowcast. His time with the cast was only 18 months, which caused the occasional sour grapes among long-term performers...but none of them ever got around to writing a book about it, so good for Theis!
- Researched Books with Interviews
- If you want to read what the people involved say about the project more than 20 years later, you will love these. If you just want pretty pictures and basic info, you might want to start with the Henkin book instead.
- Rocky Horror: From Concept to Cult - Scott Michaels and David Evans (2002; they interviewed just about everybody involved). The most recent RHPS book; heavily researched, with an index and some nice photos from the personal collections of people in the film.
- Cosmic Light: The Birth of a Cult Classic - Jim Whittaker. A history of the play and film from its origins to the release of the film. Highly recommended. Written by a fan with an extremely limited printing (1000 or so), this has gone out of print.
For non-US books, it's really worth your while to check out the various country-specific branches of Amazon.com. Stuff that was unfindable even 10 years ago pops up, and Google Translate's gotten pretty good.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 25 Años de Culto - Miguel Ángel Parra. From Midons Editorial, ISBN: 84-89240-65-5. In Spanish; includes information you'll find nowhere else on the development of RHPS in Spain. Unfortunately, we're not sure where you can buy a copy. Try hunting by ISBN. Or contact the Rocky Horror Fan Club Spain and propose a trade; that's how we got our copy.
- Rocky Horror: 25 anni di cult In Italian. The "Tim's Lips" website says you can order it from them, but when we contacted them, they never got back to us. Fortunately last time we checked it was easily available at http://www.amazon.it/.
- Still the Beast is Feeding (2013) By long-time Rocky fan Rob Bagnall and RHS fan Phil Barden. Covers the play and the film; the authors declare their intent to continue the history out past the 1970's, covering various UK versions of the play, the 2001 Broadway revival, etc. Listing will be updated when I'm finished reading it.
- Rocky Horror - Mick Rock (2005). Out of print. A beautiful large hardcover book of Rocky Horror photos from the set of the film (a few casual stills are also included). Pricey (100 euros or so since it's gone out of print) and you'll have to order it from Germany or get it used. Amazon.de has it regularly; so does Amazon but US sellers are asking $200+. If you are at all serious about costumes you need this book.
- Mick Rock: A Photographic Record 1969-1980, Mick Rock (1995). A beautifully presented hardcover book with only 3 pages of rather small Rocky Horror photos. Prices have come down a lot and it's worth picking up, particularly if you also like Debbie Harry, Lou Reed or Queen (some breathtaking, iconic Queen shots are included).
- Blood and Glitter - Mick Rock (2004). Mostly photos of David Bowie, with some other classic rock photography (Lou Reed, Debbie Harry). There's a brief Rocky Horror photos section - this kernel grew later into the Mick Rock Rocky Horror book; the style is very similar. Released in limited edition as a hardcover and as a large format paperback. The covers fell off of mine when I took it out of the box; you may need to re-glue them.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie Novel - A&W Visual Library, edited by Richard J. Anobile; intro by Sal Piro (1980-Out of Print). Both hard and soft-cover. Fairly easy to find on eBay.
Biographies by People Who Were There (Notable Rocky Content)
Most of these feature only some Rocky content; Rayner's is the exception.
- The Rocky Horror Show: As I Remember It - Rayner Bourton (2009 - the original Rocky)
Available for sale at http://www.raynerbourton.com/. Available as an audiobook, too (read by Rayner). Independently published so you'll have to order from the UK, though the audiobook is available from iTunes. Or you can get the Kindle version from our Amazon store. Having heard Rayner read from it, you need this.
- Collage of a Life - Jonathan Adams (2008)
The original Narrator and the film's Dr. Scott. You can get it at amazon.com's UK branch or look for it used. Only 4 pages discuss Rocky Horror, but it's an interesting read.
- Just Biggins: My Story - Christopher Biggins (2008). Biggins does a lot of live theater in the UK; he was a Transylvanian and also did the Narrator for one of the UK tours.
- Blood and Tinsel: A Memoir - Jim Sharman (2008). Sharman directed both Rocky and Shock Treament. Shock Treatment is acknowledged but not really discussed.
- Knight Errant: Memoirs of a Vagabond Actor - Robert Stephens (1996). An autobiography of Pat's husband, a famous UK actor. He describes how he first met her when she was in the Rocky Horror Show. Well worth picking up.
- To Hell and Back - Meat Loaf (2000). Spawned a filmed biopic with a brief Rocky Horror scene.
- Empty Seats - Michael White (1985). The story of producer Michael White's career in theater and film, told by Michael White himself. 7 pages of discussion of the show and the film, and a brief summary of the film cult and audience participation. Shock Treatment is briefly mentioned. While impressive, Rockywise, you'd probably learn almost as much watching the documentary The Last Impresario, which to boot will let you hear Richard's original demo of "Science Fiction." "The Last Impresario" is available to watch on-line (Amazon.com offers it streaming with the right subscription, and it turns up on YouTube).
Non-fiction with tangential content
- London Living, Lisa Lovatt-Smith (2005). Available cheap in the UK; pricier in the US. 216 pages; 10 of them are dedicated to Peter and his apartment (2 pages text including brief intro to Peter; the rest are photos of his apartment and one teeny one of Peter). See, he really did become an antique dealer!
- The Andy Warhol Diaries, Andy Warhol (1991). 807 pages; 10 references to Nell (mostly Andy being snippy) and several more to her club.
Little Nell's father was a famous columnist (the National Library of Australia now has his papers) who did a weekly column for the Australian Women's Weekly, in part about his adorable children.
- The Road to Oxalis Cottage (alternate title: An Urge to Laugh) - Ross Campbell. Autobiography by Nell's father with very little Nell (Laura) in it.
- Daddy, Are You Married? - Ross Campbell. An anthology of newspaper columns. I bought a copy, and while it's cute, unless you're interested in seeing Nell in the role of a kid saying the darndest things, it's probably not of great interest. Minimal Nell content and a historical curiosity at best.
- Mummy, Who Is Your Husband? - Ross Campbell. Also an anthology of newspaper columns. I don't own it and don't plan to.
- Foreign Correspondence - Geraldine Brooks. Nell appears very briefly as one of Brooks' pen pals. One photograph of Nell as a child with her sister Cressida.
References to the movie itself
- Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good, Corey Taylor (2011). 256 pages; 2 of them at the beginning speak fondly of Taylor's (yes, the singer from Slipknot and Stone Sour) days attending Rocky Horror at Billy Joe's Pitcher Show in West Des Moines.
- If you want to get seriously blink-and-missed it, check the character description for Dr. Hibbert in "Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide, Seasons 1-20." For the reason why, check out The Simpsons on the Pop Culture References TV page.
May also be found by looking for "sheet music" or "vocal selections."
- The Rocky Horror Experience - Richard O'Brien (piano score: includes photos from London, Roxy, Belasco, and the movie) (Out of Print) Worth picking up for the beautiful color photos even if you're totally nonmusical. Intro by Sal Piro. The photos from the film you'll have seen before; most are in the RHPS Book. Slightly larger than the Roxy songbook. Roxy face cover.
- The Rocky Horror Show - Richard O'Brien. This is the piano score / songbook (music and lyrics; guitar chords), released in conjunction with the Roxy show. Includes photos from the Roxy; similar to "The Rocky Horror Experience" but with no film or fan club content. Some gorgeous photos of Frank in his red cape. Roxy face cover; slightly smaller than the RH Experience. (Out of Print)
- Richard O'Brien's "The Rocky Horror Show": Vocal Selections. (1990) Another piano score, this one with black and white photos of the 1990 West End revival with Anthony Head as Frank. Cover is a startled-looking Janet. I prefer the piano arrangements in the earlier release. Re-released in 2007 with what is essentially a karaoke CD ("soundalike backing tracks").
Nonfiction Books With Notable Rocky Content
- Midnight Movies - J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum, 1991 - not a RHPS book, but has many pictures and commentary. And if you like other cult movies, it discusses them too.
- Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll and Musicals - Scott Miller, 2011. See "Inside Rocky Horror" below. Excellent chapter on Rocky; on its strength I bought the book.
- Wild and Untamed Thing - Phil South, 2014.
This is actually an unedited transcript of an interview Phil South did of Richard O'Brien in 1985. It's available in book form (published on demand through Lulu - check out that faux-retro cover!; Amazon has a Kindle version) and includes a thoughtful preface, an afterword (what happened to Richard?), a good mini-biography of Richard, and an interesting appendix that includes some information on the auction of Michael White's affairs that netted fan Larry Viezel the treatment for "Rocky Horror Shows His Heels" (which you can get Richard's blow-by-blow description of in the interview). A treat for Richard fans; 106 pages. I read it in one sitting. Rather a nice little book trailer with some nice images and Richard's voice from the tape here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtX0mAqbVYs
On-line Chapter Excerpts With Notable Rocky Content
- Inside Rocky Horror This is actually an on-line chapter written by Scott Miller for his book Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Musicals. It's very well-thought-out and is unusual in that it primarily addresses the play.
Fiction Books With Notable Rocky Content
- Far From Grace, Bryan Rockstroh. A cast alum attends a reunion and gets mixed up in the cast's plan to blackmail their theater owner to keep it from being torn down.
- Midnight at the Lost & Found, Eric Bradshaw. Unlike the other books here, this is self-published (1995). No ISBN; the author sold it directly. Perfect-bound. Lightly fictionalized events from a Rocky Horror cast in Rochester, New York in the 1980s.
Fiction Books With Tangential Rocky Content
- The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks- on page 224 of the book, Logan and Elizabeth are eating at a restaurant where newbies learn the normal shoutouts for dining and the regulars are pros. This reminds Logan of RHPS and there is a brief explanation of the film.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky. A coming of age novel with a protagonist who regularly attends the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Don't get your hopes up; he mentions going to the show a total of three or four times. Will be a major motion picture in fall 2012 with Emma Watson.
- Princess in the Spotlight, Megan Cabot (The Princess Diaries, Book 2). Mia joins her friends at the Village cinema on Halloween night to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and angsts endlessly over whether a boy she likes will go. Rocky is a plot device, and the Time Warp is referred to as "The Pelvic Thrust," making me wonder just how much homework the author did about the film.
- The Princess Diaries (series) by Meg Cabot- the books are very different than the movies. There's one reference each in Book 1 and Book 4, so references are even fewer than in Book 2 (see above).
What magazine articles have been written?
If you are looking for more recent articles, there are several zillion available on the web: ladies and gentlemen, start your search engines!
If you are more interested in scholarly articles, here's a very incomplete list. Many thanks to Elizabeth Allen, whose excellent site (http://welcome.to/thefrankensteinplace) has an annotated bibliography. Another listing of articles from reputable sources can be found at http://www.filmreference.com/Films-Ra-Ro/The-Rocky-Horror-Picture-Show.html .
We've made a conscious decision to exclude university papers and senior theses here, though Rocky Horror does appear to be a popular topic for them - when the Rocky Horror newsgroup was still active, regulars became downright blase about the periodic requests for help writing papers on the subject.
Reviews of the film / experience
- The A.V. Club
"Better late than never: the Rocky Horror Picture Show" December 6, 2010
Mostly about the cult
- Toward a Sociology of Cult Films: Reading Rocky Horror
Kinkade, Patrick T. et al.
Sociological Quarterly (33:2), 1992. 191-209.
- 'Rocky Horror: the case of the rampant audience'
Rolling Stone, April 5, 1979 p. 20
- The Rocky Horror Picture Cult
Sight and Sound, spring 1980 (London)
- Midnight S/Excess: Cult Configurations of Femininity and the Perverse
Journal of Film and Television, vol. 17, #1 Spring 1989 (cover article)
- Rocky Horror: The Newest Cult
Christian Century. Sept 12, 1979 p 860
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "The Rocky Horror Picture Cult." Sight and Sound (49:2), 1980. 79-80.
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show: More Than a Lip Service
Science-Fiction Studies (7), 1980. 305-312.
- Think Magazine
"The Subculture of the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'"
http://www.think-magazine.com/culture/31-artists/503-the-subculture-of-the-rocky-horror-picture-show.html (college paper: sociology senior seminar)
Mostly about the film itself
- Frankenstein and the Anatomy of Horror
Georgia Review, (37:1), 1983. 41-78.
- Postmodern Gay Dionysus: Dr. Frank N. Furter
Journal of Popular Culture (26:3), 1992. 183-192.
Interviews which mention the film
It's essentially impossible for Richard O'Brien to get interviewed without being asked about the film; this appears to be true for Tim Curry as well.
- Start the Fans, Please, Dangerous Ink, Vol 2, Issue 3 (no year listed), pp 28-34 An interview with Richard in an alternative UK art magazine - painting of Riff Raff on the cover; some stock photos of Ritz in various films and about a page of discussion about Rocky Horror.
- The Celebrity Cafe online magazine: An interview with Richard O'Brien on September 1, 1999. http://thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/richard_obrien.html
- Sci-Fi Online interview with Patricia Quinn on May 22, 2006. http://www.sci-fi-online.com/2006_Interviews/06-05-22_PatriciaQuinn.htm
Articles about the Rocky Horror Glee Show
- Entertainment Weekly
"'Glee takes on 'Rocky Horror': see Kurt as Riff Raff" October 12, 2010
- Latino Review
"RHPS eyes remake with 'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy" October 19, 2010
"'Glee-Cap: 'Rocky Horror' comes to McKinley High" October 27, 2010
Articles about the 2010 Rocky Horror Tribute (Painted Turtle charity show)
- Rolling Stone Magazine
"Glee Playback: ‘Rocky Horror Glee Show’, best episode yet" October 27, 2010
- The Advocate
"Tribute: The Rocky Horror Picture Show" October 31, 2010
- USA Today
"Stars take the stage for 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'" October 29, 2010
"'Rocky Horror' tribute unveils lineup" October 12, 2010
Articles about sequel attempts
"Rocky Horror Show" February 1, 1999
"MTV readies 'Rocky Horror' redux" July 23, 2008
"'Rocky Horror' remake finds funds" August 13, 2008
- "'TRHPS': 5 attempts at Hollywood revivals" June 18, 2011
General interest articles which mention the film
"In A Time Warp" January 17, 1999
- Out Magazine
"50 Essential Gay Films” and “Seven Iconic Movie Posters"
"Rocky Horror Picture Show added to National Film Registry"
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show to make Singapore debut"
- Edinburgh Evening News
"Musical Review: the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'" June 22, 2010
- Hit Flix
"Barry Bostwick talks 'Glee' and 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' 35 years later" September 23, 2010
- Style Weekly
"A week of 'Rocky Horror'" July 8, 2009