I received a gift from the past!
A just received a recording of an opera that I wrote with some friends back in 1977. It was on the verge of going to the stage with a big name producer but it never flew. Who knows, maybe its time is NOW! It was a musical bridge between Arena rock and Punk with some disco and more than its share of bombastic overwrought overtures.
My thanks to Darlena Goetz who found the tapes, and transferred it to CD.
Thank-you to Tommy Goetz for having such a great idea for an Opera.
Tommy Goetz received numerous industry awards in his illustrious career as Art Director; He designed the hit show “Taxi” and many others. I met him when he was doing the amazing set for Wolfman Jack’s Shock n Rock Review at Knott’s Berry Farm at Halloween in 1977. I played percussion. John Herron was the musical director. The graveyard set caught on fire. It was wild.
Thanks to John Herron for being such a great musical influence.
John Herron, my musical collaborator played keyboards with Wolfman Jack’s review, Johnny Rivers, Hoyt Axton, Flo & Eddie, and others. I first played with John Herron with Tim Buckley.
Peter Brown, the producer was with Apple records, producing the Beatles, Eric Clapton and others.
Thank-you to Peter Ivers for lending me his Teac 4 track and playing harmonica on Jimmy the Geek.
Imagine yourselves in Hollywood in 1977….
Ladies and Gentlemen presenting…
The Last Rock n Roll Show
A puppet theater is the main scene for the Opera. The puppet master is a leather masked woman. The main puppet, a tall good looking blond Bowie type wants to break free and become a human being, specifically, a rock star. He must overcome her control, answer her riddle and become his own master. He succeeds but then finds out that he does not like what he has become. The audience gets to tear him to pieces at the end.
Full size puppets were built by the Rosebowl float designers in Pasadena, CA. The studio recordings were done in Hollywood at Sunset Sound.
Music and libretto written, produced by Russell Buddy Helm
Concept by Tommy Goetz
I actually wrote this in Key West in 1971. But it sets the mood for a decadent production in a puppet theater in the heart of the biggest city. My favorite lyric in this song is:
“They’re selling dreams and falling stars here in the streets of Zanzibar.”
This is the theme song for the Puppet Master
Sung by the puppet who wants to be free
“Out in the night, No One to connect to, You came along, I knew it was right”
The dance production number where the dancers have tailights on their arms, blinking, as if they are cars cruising the Strip.
The confrontation between the puppet and the puppet master
The magical, Frankenstien transformation from puppet to human performed by the cast and crew of the puppet Theater.
The first song by the newly form human from the puppet. Thank-you to Peter Ivers for playing great harmonica.
A pompous, goofy tribute to every Wagnerian rip off plus a full on Disco classic “Im Feelin So Fine”
The former puppet/new human soon discovers that being a human can be decadent and cynical.
“Escort me to the symphony of pleasure, love and pain.”
The puppet turned rock star hits his peak. Gigantic rock n Roll production number. I had some great players and singers on this session. All I remember is that Jeff Eyrich was playing bass. John Herron on keyboards, I played drums and guitar.
Here the rock star is getting too big for his britches. He starts tossing his new found weight around in an egotistical swagger.
But the crew of the puppet theater confides with the audience about how crude he is. They plan on bringing him down and offer to the audience that they can come and take a piece of him home with them.
Pompous confrontation where the puppet defeats the master and becomes the new ruler of the show.
The old Master plays her last card and demands the riddle be answered before surrendering her place as puppet master. He figures out the existential answer.
The heartbreaking realization by the puppet turned human that being the master is not anything like he wnated it to be. He is very disillusioned.
The last huge production number where the rock star knows that his fate is to be sacrificed to the audience. He goes willingly and lets them tear him apart as if he were still a puppet while he sings the last Rock n Roll song
All Songs Helmtone BMI
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