26 February 2004
By DANIEL ADAMS
a jump too far to the left for two city councillors, but Hamilton's
time-warping plans for a Rocky Horror statue have been approved.
Councillors voted 12-2 to back a Weta Workshops-designed tribute
to former Hamiltonian and Rocky Horror Show creator Richard
O'Brien for Victoria St.
Ratepayers will contribute $25,000 toward the $125,000 statue
of Rocky Horror character Riff Raff, to be erected on the former
Embassy Theatre site, possibly by November.
Perry Foundation has pledged $100,000, and there are hopes the
cult musical stage show and its creator can be brought to Hamilton
for the unveiling.
Last night's vote was dependent on the necessary copyright and
But Lou Adler, who holds the Rocky Horror copyright and was
the show's original US producer, has given his permission saying:
"Not only do I grant my permission, I will stand there
and shoo the pigeons away."
O'Brien says he is "exceptionally flattered" by the
While some councillors were appalled Roger Hennebry feared Hamilton
would now be known as "queer city" or "transexual
town" most favoured the Riff Raff plans.
The debate was held in public after the proposal kept quiet
at the Perry Foundation's request â€- was revealed
this week by the Waikato Times.
Councillor Jocelyn Marshall was horrified at the prospect of
a larger-than-life, stocking-clad transvestite in the city:
"I said to my friends, have you ever heard of Robert O'Brien
(sic) before? No one had heard of him," she said.
"It's demeaning. I won't say anything more because I'm
Councillor Bill Ward said some councillors were living in a
Deputy Mayor Grant Thomas said such icons as Auckland's Sky
Tower had also been controversial, but later embraced by the
Councillor Dave Macpherson said the bronze statue "while
not to my personal taste" would generate debate about public
art, and spawn other ideas for the city.