Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 3)

As FreakShow Deluxe prepared for the 2004 PsychoPath Haunted Trail, things were changing… And not everything was changing in a good way.

Good Things: FreakShow Deluxe was invited to perform a couple of shows at local horror host A. Ghastlee Ghoul’s SPOOKY CAMP – a big horror film convention/event full of horror film stars, vendors and mayhem at the Dayton Convention Center! The boys pulled together a great show and really blew audiences away (and Sid Haig, too, fresh from success as Captain Spaulding). FSD got to hang with their friend Dr. Creep and plenty of other cool folks, too.

Bad Things: However, due to some kind of miscommunication (with events being switched around and normal crazy convention stuff), only Rev. Tommy Gunn made it to the second show that weekend. Luckily, he was able to entertain the audience – including a BIG group of Jr. High & High School kids there for some other convention (they totally stapled lots of $$ to him!). At the end of the second show, the rest of the boys showed up – and an argument ensued about what had happened and whose fault it was… A situation that remained unresolved.

At the theater where the PsychoPath takes place actually featured a show called “Blue Jacket” throughout the summer. As part of a deal with Rev. Tommy Gunn, who was basically running the whole place at the time, FreakShow Deluxe agreed to a command performance. So one night, after “Blue Jacket” was over, the cast (including a LOT of college-age kids from out-of-town) stayed around for a special late-night show! A great time was had by all who attended.

Good things:  in preparation for the Haunt, FreakShow Deluxe needed to perform once again at Clear Channel’s annual X-Fest concert! The previous year, with a big stage and a cutting edge show, FSD had been a big success to the near sold-out crowds. This year, the boys were trying to step it up a bit with more of a stage production.

Previously, the set decoration had consisted only of a few props and four simple hand-painted banners done by the Reverend Tommy Gunn. This time, with the amazing talents of Dirty Jonny Grinder, the stage at the X-Fest (and, in turn, the PsychoPath) was going to get pretty crowded. From a metal backdrop with the FSD logo topped with light-up skulls, to a large metal demon ready for grinding, plus decorated boxes for gear and more (including a full-sized, coffin-shaped bed of nails – things definitely looked more interesting! Add to that the teaming up with Travis from The Pickled Brothers Sideshow and two beautiful belly dancers, Jennifer Rose and the lovely Deniz, and the show was a feast for the eyes!

Next to the stage sat FSD‘s own Rev. Tommy Gunn‘s Harley Davidson bobber, courtesy of Dayton’s own LED SLED CUSTOMS, and next to THAT was some new FSD merchandise: dolls and new t-shirts hand-crafted by Dirty Jonny Grinder sitting next to the shirts Tommy Gunn had created the previous year. The shirt featured a spot-on caricature of FSD‘s four boys and the logo, and was very popular. If you got one – that show was the only chance you ever had to do so!

On the bad side: FSD‘s stage at this year’s X-Fest was NOT in the middle of everything – but over to the side (like, the middle of the side) – AND significantly shorter. This made it VERY hard for the capacity crowd (X-Fest was totally sold out) to see what was going on at the stage – especially for acts like the Bed of Nails or Broken Glass – which happen directly on the stage.

Also – some argument was starting between the boys… Little things, really, about who was picking up what props, who had the responsibility of making day-to-day things happen, and what the schedule was and who should set it. The typical growing pains of any group in their position —

But this year’s PsychoPath and the subsequent Boo Bash with Clear Channel would set the course for REAL change in the troupe.


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