The Richard O'Brien Crusade

Richard

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Kimi and Ritz

It's often been said that Richard's resume resembles a plethora of this, that, and the other.

I'm not quite sure where Kimi and Ritz fit in to the grand scheme of things, so to speak- but we can say that Richard and his first wife, Kimi Wong (the long-haired Transylvanian in RHPS) recorded a number of songs under this particular moniker.

Richard recently claimed in an interview with Ruth Fink-Winter that there was at least one picture sleeve single that was released, but to date, no one has been able to find any trace of one. The chances of finding an original Kimi and Ritz 45 is fairly close to none. (Unless of course, your name is Leon and you have somehow polarized your personal magnetism to attract these things out of the blue.)

Luckily for fans, Richard has also stated that he doesn't mind that there are bootlegs of his work that make the rounds of fans. (I should note, however, that in the case of material still in production- you SHOULD BUY IT. That's why they're still making it after all) And it is in this form that you are most likely to hear or own these recordings.

Merry Christmas, Baby- A trip back to the 'wall of sound' variety Christmas songs, complete with jingle bells in the background. Kimi sings the lead, with Richard joining in on the harmonies of the chorus. The lyrics are brilliant, though in the wash of cheery melody and orchestration- you may miss some of them.

"May Christmas past and future be, a Christmas present just for me"

As a perfect example. Richard incorporates all forms of Christmas from Dickens' Christmas Carol, creating an effective lyrical image. The spoken bridge, by Richard, is equally reminiscent of 50's rock. The harmonies are quite nice- in particular in the ending choruses of the song, where you can hear Richard deviating from the simple harmony in an ad-lib.

I Was in Love With Danny, but the Crowd Was in Love With Dean- I think I would have enjoyed this record being a hit somewhere- if only to see how they would go about printing the entire title.

The song itself is a simple rock ballad about two race car drivers, Danny and Dean, and the fateful accident they encounter on the track. It's a cute little story, and the chorus fades out a'la Beatles Sgt. Pepper era, with full orchestration. This is my personal favorite track that the two did together, in great part because of the melody. It's one of those songs that will stick in your head for days after you hear it. And one of the rare occassions when you won't mind that it does.

Pseud's Corner- Pseud is British slang for someone who thinks they are, or tries to pass themselves off as an intellectual, but in ttruth is far from it. (faux-smarts, as us Yanks might say) Richard has never really been a big fan of intellectualism (so-called) and it's evident in this song.

The most interesting part of the song for me is the fact that he is in essence lampooning those who try to appear brilliant, and it's one of the most brilliant lyrics I've ever read.

"Anthony Haden's Guest" as an example. Anthony Haden-Guest is a British writer. But Richard has transposed it to let his last name serve as a noun, giving it a compound meaning. The entire lyric is chock-full of pop culture references specific to the time the song was written. Knowing the background of the references now, the song moves from a catchy ditty as I originally saw it- to a biting social commentary. Such is the tendency of O'Brien songs. They're incredibly easy on the ears; to the point that the song seems to lull you into it- to not ask questions. And you accept everything you hear without thinking about it. And one day it hits you square between the eyes.

The music itself is reminiscent of the Duane Eddy style of guitar work. Very raw and dirty sounding. The spoken section at the end is also of particular interest, as it holds what seems to be the first recording of what many would consider the "classic" O'Brien vocal sound.

As uncovered by Marty (Rocky fan of Scottish origin...) Pseud's Corner is the name of a magazine column.

Eddie- While previously thought to be written before RHS and added in after it's release by Kimi and Ritz, we now have found evidence that it was released AFTER. It's been reported that on the single it states "From The Rocky Horror Show" as a notation.

The vocal is Kimi's, and listeners who are used to the film version of Eddie will be a bit lost in this one. The phrasing is altogether different. It is interesting, however, to hear a version of the song sung entirely by one person.



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The Richard O'Brien Crusade est. 1996