14 Mar 2017

Frock ‘n’ Roll

From Upbeat, 1:40 pm on 14 March 2017
Richard O'Brien

Richard O'Brien Photo: Supplied

Richard O’Brien is the god-parent of combining frocks and rock and roll.

The creator of Rocky Horror is celebrating being 75 with a musical extravaganza, with all the money going to the Starship Foundation, which is celebrating 25 years. 

He says the show will be an occasion to dress up.

“Try and stop me! One of the things about being me is the more I do it and the more I’m out there, the more I am allowed to do it and be out there.

“So it’s a form of freedom in a way and being free myself, I give other people the courage to be free themselves as well, hopefully.”

The show will feature broadcaster Mark Sainsbury, who will be leading an audience Q&A session with O’Brien, and there will be musical guests in the second half of the show.

Ticket holders will also have a chance to bid on a “doodle” by O’Brien.

“I do doodle, I’m not an artist, I wouldn’t go that far. Sometimes I get lucky and I love pushing crayons around and seeing what happens.”

His partnership with Starship came about after he moved to New Zealand from England, where he was involved with the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“I like the fact [Starship] is not driven by any other agendas. There’s no religious agenda, no political agenda, it’s simply to try and make children better and there can’t be anything nicer than that,” he says.

Now that he is living the quieter life in the Bay of Plenty, O’Brien says he loves to sit on his back porch with a glass of wine.

“I’m exceptionally lazy, but I make sure that what I do is what I want to do, rather than do a lot of silly… and waste time and energy.”

“Every now and then I’ll force myself to write a song, because I’ll feel guilty about not doing something creative in that area. So I’ll find a topic and go down that avenue.”

Richard O’Brien 75 Years of Frock n Roll – Friday 24 March, Baycourt Community and Arts Centre, Tauranga.