Archive for the Behind the Scenes at FSD Category

Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 5)

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on September 19, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

So the date arrived to move to Los Angeles.

After much discussion, arguing and the like, Reverend Tommy Gunn was ready to head to Los Angeles. Deciding to accompany him were Miss Malice Aforethought, Phil, Dirty Jonny Grinder, and Grinder’s girlfriend. The Wolf decided to remain in Ohio and there was no dissuading him.

Before they headed out, the Rev and Wolf had a heart to heart conversation about the future of FSD. They decided to set things up so that the Wolf could continue to use the FreakShow Deluxe name and logo in Ohio while the rest of the cast did the same in California  – effectively setting “East Coast” and “West Coast” versions of the show. The Wolf would take responsibility  for all aspects of his show (including insurance, marketing, website and all that stuff) while the Rev. would keep doing what he had been.

Then – all loaded up – everyone hit the road! Phil, Johnny and his girlfriend headed out in the big truck and a car first to do a little sight-seeing on the way. The Rev and Miss Malice headed out a few days later in their two vehicles with the plan to meet up with the rest of the group on the way.

But on the road somewhere between Dayton, Ohio and Los Angeles, California – everything went awry.

It is still not entirely clear exactly what happened. Miscommunications, misunderstanding, rapidly rising fuel prices, vehicle problems, the stress of travel and ego/personality issues all led to an argument. That first argument led to more arguments. So before they even arrived in California, the two groups of traveler were no longer speaking to each other.

Upon arriving in the Riverside, CA area, Phil and Jonny decided that was far enough. They stopped at a storage place and unloaded the truck. The Rev. and Malice arrived just in time to get their things off the truck – and it was the last time any of them spoke for quite a while.

It was a dark time for your FreakShow Deluxe.

The Reverend and Miss Malice got a place in Hollywood and began settling in.
Jonny Grinder and his girlfriend made arrangements to live in Long Beach. Then pursued their own interests.
Phil, not happy with how things were turning out and feeling homesick, returned to Dayton within a week.

Now it was just the Rev. and Malice trying to make things work. This was proving to be difficult as the big-name theater company job the Rev. was supposed to take upon his arrival dried up – leaving him with no employment. Also the Rev’s friend that the entire FSD crew was supposed to stay with was having some personal issues. So long before they were ready to, the Rev. and Malice had to find a place.

Luckily, your Reverend can’t be kept down!

Not to mention, he is pretty resourceful, too. The two found and set up in a little apartment in the Little Armenia area of Hollywood, the Rev. got some temp work which quickly led to a full-time job at a prestigious entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills, and things got to some semblence of “normal.” Now all he had to do was get FreakShow Deluxe up and running.

It took a few weeks – but luckily there is this thing called THE INTERNET! With that, some social networking (it was MySpace, back in the day – along with Tribe), and a few personal connection from when he lived in SoCal before, that got on track too. His online posts offering his services as a “fire-breathing minister” garnered some attention, which led to an offer to host and perform at a show at the Sacred Fools Theater (The F.L.E.A. Show).

The show at Sacred Fools is a key turning point for FreakShow Deluxe for several reasons: Not only did it give Los Angeles and Hollywood a chance to see the Reverend Tommy Gunn in action for the first time (since he was the lead singer of the short-lived band Not Now I’m Naked), but it gave plenty of folks who had only conversed with the Rev online (MySpace, again) a chance to meet him in person.

Miss Malice and the Reverend met Vincent Wolf, the Devil’s Plaything and Mr. Marcus for the very first time that night, among many others. Also Vincent Wolf & the Devil’s Plaything also met for the first time – and would begin dating soon after. Meeting these folks was the genesis for a new beginning for your FreakShow Deluxe – and it led to the creation of the Empire Amusement Hall – which would help catapult FSD into the national spotlight.

How 9/11 Was Responsible for Creating FreakShow Deluxe

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on September 19, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

** This entry is directly from FreakShow Deluxe’s founder & president, the Reverend Tommy Gunn.

On September 11, 2011 – the tenth anniversary of the tragedy of the terrorist attacks on the United States – I was listening to coverage on NPR and doing a bit of reflecting myself, when I suddenly had a realization. A connection I had never made before. One might call it an epiphany of sorts.

The terrorists are responsible for the creation of the FreakShow Deluxe.

I am not trying to be funny, or make a joke out of this. Here is what happened:

On September 11, 2001, I was in the production offices for the theatre company I had just recently joined as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. The former Director, Scott, was scheduled to fly in from his home in Manhattan in that day to finish going over things with me.

When we got the call to turn on the television, and saw that the first tower had been struck, I remember thinking, “It has to be an accident. No way someone would do that on purpose.”

Then we watched in horror as, on the live feed, the second plane deliberately crashed into the second tower.

Shock washed over the staff as we watched the television. It wasn’t long before onscreen voices were saying this was bigger than a simple accident. Within moments, we were all scrambling for telephones.

In addition to Scott and his wife living in Manhattan not far from the Twin Towers, we had other friends and colleagues in New York. Unfortunately, we quickly discovered phone calls were pretty useless.

Scott was supposed to be flying in – was he okay? Was one of those planes his? We just had NO idea…

Then I noticed his icon on the Instant Messenger. Sending a quick note – I got the reply back right away, Scott and his wife were okay. He had just been getting ready to leave for the airport when the first plane hit the tower. New Yorkers were being told to stay home and that all travel was being shut down, including the airport.

They could see the devastation from their apartment, and it was awful.

Relieved they were safe, the office spent the rest of the day with the television on, watching the footage of the plane crashing into the Tower replayed over and over again. And it sparked a discussion.

In just a few weeks, our company was to open the annual Haunted Trail fundraiser. With the devastation and horror of what happened – was it really a good idea to open? Would blood-covered victims, screams in the darkness, and maniacs in the woods coupled with all the fire and smoke (common for the outdoor attraction) just be in bad taste after what happened?

Sure, we would lose the money, went the argument, but better that than incur the wrath and bad will of the people.

I argued for the Haunt, with the belief that people would need some relief from what was going on – and that classic entertainment like it would help. We could play down some things and play up others with the hope not to offend. Marketing would be a huge factor in this goal. Plus we had just a horrible season and needed the money.

In the end, it was decided we couldn’t do without the money.

So it became my responsibility to market the crap out of it – which is exactly what I did. In fact, I ended up bringing in enough business that it was too much. Crowds came in such numbers that they often had to stand in line to get into the Haunt for up to two (2) hours AFTER purchasing their tickets!

I was right. People needed some respite from the real horrors of life, and the fake “horror” of the Haunt.  Unfortunately, they also needed some respite from the HUGE lines – or they were going to riot and tear the place up.

Reaching out to my contacts and friends, including filmmaker Andy Copp and horror show host Dr. Creep, I began experimenting with ways to entertain the crowd while they waited. A big screen featured snippets of horror movies (compiled by Copp), there were live interactions with the cult figure of Dr. Creep and an hourly “electrocution show” with an automated prop. Then, finally one night – inspiration came…

Pulling up some skills I had picked up over time working theatre, I built a small bed of nails and some simple torches, and began entertaining the crowd eating and breathing fire and laying on the bed of nails and inviting people in line to come stand on top of me. Within the evening, one of the “scares” told me he had some skills and I invited him to help me out.

By the end of the run, we had started coming up with other acts and getting some ideas of what we could do for the next year. And from that simple beginning – FreakShow Deluxe would be born!

And with it an idea: that despite how difficult things may be, it is possible to overcome and carry on.

It is one of the foremost ideas behind your FreakShow Deluxe. That pain is only temporary. And while the scars may remain – it cannot keep you down unless you let it. The world continues to turn. Life continues to go on. And you need to be there with it every step of the way, living each precious moment to its fullest.

It is amazing what the human body AND the spirit can endure, can suffer, and yet still carry on. To heal and repair itself. To face even MORE challenges and still keep its spirit intact — brave and unwilling to give up.

I am proud to continue this idea with every FreakShow Deluxe show.

 

From this point, if you are interested, you can read more about the history of this company in other posts on this blog!

At the FULL THROTTLE SALOON – Sturgis

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, Upcoming FSD Events with tags , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

So barely a week before the Bike Week in Sturgis is about to begin, Rev. Tommy Gunn‘s phone rang. Michael Ballard, owner of the famous Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, SD needed FSD to come out and be a part of the show. Could we do it?

The answer, of course, was YES!

So your FSD crew is at the Full Throttle right now – a small camper parked next to our friends from Led Sled Customs (Dayton, OH — happens to have been FSD‘s first sponsor), and the guys from KBER in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s been a crazy trip (which will have to be recounted), and we are having a lot of fun.

Rev. Tommy Gunn made sure to get an on-air interview with Dayton, OH’s B-Man on WTUE 104.7, who are also there broadcasting — and hung out on the air with KBER (making sure to throw a shout-out to our friends at Utah State University, too!).

While performing on and around the main bar, FSD met and hung out with Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, who really know how to rock! Unfortunately, the dust is getting to Rev. Peyton’s throat – so they asked FSD to get up on the stage during their break and buy them a little time to recover…

How could we refuse!

So for two nights, FSD has made it’s way over to the front bar’s stage for actual SHOW shows – and then the Big Damn Band asked us to make our way onto the Main Stage to perform with them tonight! How much fun is THAT?!?

Everyone is so great – even the overworked Michael Ballard – but the staff and patrons have been great. We are having a GREAT time! Hope they invite us back next year – with a little more notice we can bring an even MORE amazing show!!

Don’t forget FSD will be at PTs Showclub in East St. Louis August 22 through 27!!

Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 4)

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on April 26, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

Part of what led to the big changes in FreakShow Deluxe during the 2004 season needs some back story about what else was going on at the time:

Rev. Tommy Gunn had been working for the theater where the PsychoPath Haunted Trail took place for several years, which is what led to the creation of FSD. Over the years he had risen up in the ranks until he was top management. Under his guidance, the theater and the PsychoPath had become more profitable every year, especially with the partnership deal he had worked out with Clear Channel – of which FSD was an integral part.

However, by the summer of 2004, Gunn was on his way out. Despite his successes, he had become unhappy with the company, plus the non-profit theater’s board did not like his management style or approve of him in general and – after repeatedly butting heads and arguing – removed him from his post. There was a lot of ugliness involved in how this came about, and a lot of bad feelings on both sides. Eventually Gunn was informed that neither he, nor FreakShow Deluxe, would be a part of the 2004 PsychoPath event.

While this was going on, tensions were growing inside FSD. Both Reverend Tommy Gunn’s and The Wolf’s big personalities (and egos) were creating a lot of friction. Gunn had taken to making decisions and doing things for the troupe without checking in with The Wolf or anyone else. In turn,  a promotional photo shoot was scheduled without checking with Gunn – and when he could not make it, the rest of the guys decided to go ahead and do it without him. Distrust was growing, and Gunn’s getting canned and banned from the PsychoPath‘s home (and his divorce, which was also starting about this time) did nothing to reassure the rest of the troupe he had their best interests in mind.

Clear Channel, actually, came to the rescue. It seems one of the main reasons they had partnered with the PsychoPath was for the marketability of the FreakShow Deluxe – and they were not about to do the event without FSD. Clear Channel informed the theater’s board that, in no uncertain terms, they were to allow FreakShow Deluxe to do their scheduled shows – and that Reverend Tommy Gunn would be a part of those shows. The board acquiesced, and FSD was back on track.

So the show was back on, but the theater was not going to lend any support to the troupe. Using some ingenuity, and some hard work, the guys built themselves a space where it always had been – though more ornate.  Jonny Grinder built and hand painted a huge decorative facade (with a full-sized ticket box). He also created extensive set pieces. Reverend Tommy Gunn got LED SLED CUSTOMS and BLUE BYRD TATTOO to sponsor the show – and hung their huge banners on the stage.

Miss Malice Aforethought had come on deck at this point, beginning to manage some behind-the-scenes things. She got the boys a camper, which was a BIG boon to them as a warm place to hang out between shows at the especially cold PsychoPath that year. Additionally, with no responsibilities by Gunn to run the event, FSD got to just hang out together – which went a long way to helping them all get along again.

That’s right! By the end of the PsychoPath Haunted Trail, getting ready for Clear Channel’s annual Boo & Brew event, FSD was getting along pretty well! As part of their deal with Clear Channel, FreakShow Deluxe was given a stage in the middle of Dayton’s Oregon District, which was shut down for the BIG party. The camper was parked behind the stage for in between shows, and the boys were excited about the upcoming evening!

Then: disaster!

Leading up to the Boo & Brew showtimes, Reverend Tommy Gunn, The Wolf and Phil had no word from Dirty Jonny Grinder. Phone calls were not be answered, messages were not being returned and, obviously, something was very wrong. Finally – a phone rang…

It turned out that while getting ready for the Boo & Brew at the PsychoPath site, Dirty Jonny Grinder had a horrible industrial accident that had left 3rd degree burns on his face, hands and chest. While working, a small explosion ignited flammable chemicals on his clothing – and he was at the hospital. He would not be doing the shows.

While upset, this helped pull the remaining three together. In tribute to Grinder, Gunn slapped on the skull-type make-up Grinder had been wearing for a good part of the PsychoPath season – and the Freakshow Deluxe hit the stage like a raucous freight train! They brought foot traffic to a standstill in front of their stage – AND then from the stage verbally went after a group of conservative-types protesting the “debauchery” of the event down the street, turning the capacity crowd against them. They brought a contortionist, Baby Doll, up on the stage with them where she wowed the crowds.

By the end of the night they were united and ready to fight anyone who stood against them (and there were plenty of folks who wanted to – but in the end, they all backed down). Thankfully, within a couple of weeks, Dirty Jonny Grinder recovered from his injuries.

But things were not to continue smoothly.

Reverend Tommy Gunn had been talking of returning to Los Angeles, CA for some time. Now, with no job to hold him down, he made plans to move back there. In his preparations he had an epiphany: the realization that FreakShow Deluxe had the potential to really be something big – but that it could only go so far in Dayton, Ohio. In order for the show to get big, it needed to go somewhere it could be noticed… Like Hollywood.

Gunn invited the entire company to come out to California with him – further causing friction with The Wolf, who did NOT want to go as he had both family and other responsibilities in Dayton. Arguments ensued, feelings were hurt, things went awry. At a final local show at Dayton’s The Foundry, The Wolf nearly sliced off his own finger during a stunt – but like a trooper, eschewed a visit to the Emergency Room to finish off the evening’s shows.

With the final move date approaching – tensions were especially high as everyone had to make a final decision of what they were going to do…

An update about the FSD Facebook Page(s)

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

So here’s the thing —

In an attempt to keep up with the 21st century technology – we have done a bit of updating to Facebook. So NOW there is a new Facebook page for FreakShow Deluxe (as a ‘company’) here:

http://www.facebook.com/freakshowdeluxe

Please go to it. “Like” it and all that kind of stuff. Post pictures and video of FSD to there, if you have them.

If you are still interested in the “old” Facebook profile (with FSD as a ‘public figure,’ it can still be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-FreakShow-Deluxe/5940383978

Now, if we could only catch up on everything else!!

the big banner from FreakShow Deluxes show in Lakewood, TX

Just Who the Hell Do You Think You ARE?!?!

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD on April 16, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

What criteria does someone base their judgement on to call themselves “the World’s largest and greatest touring circus sideshow?” Another group refers to themselves as “one of America’s last travelling sideshows?” (the misspelling is theirs). A venue advertises an upcoming show with “magicians, circus performers and freaks.” Another venue promises itself as “a signature entertainment staple of the twenty-first century” by featuring such performers and acts.

One should expect a certain amount of bravado and posturing from ANY performer – from (just about everyone) saying they are “bigger than the Beatles,” to claiming to top box office records with every single release. It is TO BE EXPECTED —

HOWEVER ~

There is this point of ridiculousness. Where you are totally just talking out of your ass. Which no one should really care EXCEPT when it starts affecting people’s bottom line. But even then – even in our own punkrock/DIY way – we know that that is PART of it, you know? Part of “getting in people’s faces” and “raising a rucus” or whatever – say what you want when you want, yada yada yada.

Bravado and posturing is part of the history of sideshow, freak show and circus — most famously shown by P.T. Barnum. A fair amount of hokum was always par for the course. But, the thing is, HISTORICALLY that is part of it. But that’s history. The past.

Audiences are far more sophisticated now. No kidding.

In recent conversations with freak & sideshow greats Harley Newman (famous for lying on a single nail bed) and James Taylor (Shocked & Amazed: On & Off the Midway), we all agreed it’s tougher to pull that kind of B.S. on an audience who can use their smartphone while in the audience DURING the show to see if one’s claims are true! When the audience can get on YouTube (possibly during one’s show), and see OTHER – possibly better – performers doing the same stunt…

Acts have to be put in context. Being entertaining is the key…

HERE’S THE THING:

In many conversations that we have had with other companies, troupes and individuals who do what FreakShow Deluxe does, we come across a similar point:  When a venue, whatever it may be, brings in a (say) crappy rockabilly band and it bombs, they do not stop bringing in rockabilly bands. They write off the crappy group and try someone else. But if said venue brings in a crappy side/burlesque/variety-type show and it bombs, they say, “We tried this show, it failed. No more.” And they don’t allow such a show there again.

Is that fair? No. Does it make sense? Not really. But it does happen…

FreakShow Deluxe is artistic, sure, but it is also a blue-collar, hard-working group of folks. We have worked very hard over the past 10 years to build a good product and reputation of being both professional AND entertaining. It’s been hard – but we think it is working … FSD has been growing at a steady pace each year.

But it sure feels like a set back when we approach a venue and are told, “We had so & so group in here, and it was a disaster. Those shows don’t work here.” Or when a venue or event producer/promoter saw so & so and an event and hated it so much that they won’t bring OUR show into THEIR venue.

When “the World’s largest and greatest touring circus sideshow” actually doesn’t even HAVE a group or show to be promoting, but does it anyway. When “one of America’s last travelling sideshows?” is nothing of the kind – there are a fair amount of traveling sideshows out there – do your research!!

That venue advertising “magicians, circus performers and freaks” never bothered to hire any such performers – putting on their ads that if any such performers showed up ready to perform they would get “free admission to the event” (our understanding: none came). Another venue promising such performers and acts couldn’t deliver, either.

This isn’t just bravado — it is blatant false advertising.

Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 3)

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on March 30, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

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

SPOOKY CAMP –
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.

BLUE JACKET SHOW –
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.

X-FEST –
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.

How Did the Dr. Creep Benefit Go?

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD on February 8, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

Phil, the Reverend & Jonny together at the Dr. Creep Benefit on January 28, 2011. (photo by Melissa)

A lot of folks have been asking: How did things go at the Dr. Creep Benefit? How much money was raised? And how was this “reunion” show?

Well – the Benefit was, in our opinion, a huge success! Put together in only 10 days by Matt Freeman (DJ from VEX), Kelly Walker, Mike Foy & Foy’s Halloween Stores in Fairborn, OH) some great local artists and people who donated items to the Silent Auction (too many to list here), and a performance by FreakShow Deluxe – the crowd packed the club, and the event raised $1,376!!!

As far as the “reunion” – it featured Reverend Tommy Gunn, Jonny Bailout and Phil, who have not performed together on the same stage since 2004. Granted your Reverend and Johnny have done shows together as recently as 2009, and Johnny and Phil were last onstage together in 2008 – but to get all THREE onstage together was quite an accomplishment!

The boys (greatly assisted by Miss Malice Aforethought and our boy Friday, Kyle Thirteen) rocked almost like they have never been apart. The Reverend chewed apart an entire grinder wheel, then did Blockhead. Phil put his face in glass while an audience member stood on him – then Jonny let us try to cut his head off with a scimitar. Phil risked the bed of blades as we smashed concrete blocks on him, the Reverend ate some fire, and then Johnny wrapped it up laying on the bed of nails while audience members stood on him. And the crowd loved EVERY moment of it!

A couple people wondered where FreakShow Deluxe‘s original fourth horseman, The Wolf, was. Well – he did call up Reverend Tommy Gunn a few hours before the event to wish everyone the best, but it turns out he has moved elsewhere and has his own things going on. We wish him the best of luck!

You can still help Dr. Creep and his family!!

Donations can be made by cash or check to: Memorial Account for Barry Hobart/Dr. Creep (account #4240363896) and deposited at any PNC Branch Location
or to: The Barry Hobart/Dr. Creep Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 186 Franklin, Ohio 45005
Contributions are tax deductible.
Thank you so much, everyone, for all your support!! Perhaps more FSD reunions in the future…?

Why is FreakShow Deluxe at the Dr. Creep Benefit?

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, History of FSD, Upcoming FSD Events on January 27, 2011 by freakshowdeluxe

A number have people sent emails [thomas (at) freakshowdeluxe (dot) com] wondering why Hollywood’s own and ONLY carnival-style sideshow is doing a benefit in Dayton, Ohio – and what does it mean “3 of the original 4 members will reunite on stage?” And just who is this Dr. Creep?

Well – if you have not read enough about the history of FreakShow Deluxe, then please do so here:  https://freakshowdeluxe.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/examining-10-years-of-freakshow-deluxe-part-2/

Hitting the stage at VEX nightclub in Dayton, Ohio will be your Reverend Tommy Gunn, freshly returned from FSD‘s big Hollywood show with We Are The Fallen at the Avalon Theater. Joining him will be Johnny Bailout (who fans may remember as Jonny Grinder back in the old days), who last joined FSD onstage in Memphis, TN for part of the Delta Fair & Music Festival in 2009, AND Phil (who was also called Phildo the Barbarian back in the day), the mysterious & elusive Midwestern Beer Monkey who last appeared together with both the Reverend AND Johnny October 2004.

Some have asked, why isn’t the Wolf, the other original founder of FSD in on this?

It’s because we can’t reach him. That’s the ONLY reason why not. If you know where he is or how to reach him, please help put us in contact with him ASAP! We have been worried about him.

As far as the Dr. Creep connection — Dr. Creep and FreakShow Deluxe have been intertwined since the beginning of the show! From sharing their first stage with him while busking the queue at the Psychopath Haunted Trail in 2001, to bringing him in to host the ‘banned’ FSD Christmas Special on television – to even now, his signature voice provides the voice-over warning at the beginning of nearly every FreakShow Deluxe show! And if it was not for Dr. Creep‘s influence on the young FSD founders, there probably would have NEVER been a FreakShow Deluxe.

How sad would your world be without it?!

So please come out – revel in the reunion and enjoy the show – it’s for a good cause.

DR. CREEP BENEFIT
All proceeds donated to Creep’s Family & Funeral Expenses
featuring FreakShow Deluxe!
January 28, 2011 – Doors open at 9:00pm
18+ is $5
21+ is $3
Vex
101 S. St. Clair St., Dayton, OH 45402

You can also find more details regarding the event HERE: http://www.freakshowdeluxe.com/node/163

What happens to scheduled shows sometimes…

Posted in Behind the Scenes at FSD, Upcoming FSD Events on October 22, 2010 by freakshowdeluxe

Recently, a fan asked why shows scheduled on the FreakShow Deluxe calendar sometimes just seem to “disappear.” A fair question, especially for FSD fans who are planning to see the show at various locations —

FreakShow Deluxe tries to only list shows that have been confirmed and contracted on our calendar. Occasionally, we list things on the calendar once we have a verbal commitment (which can constitute a binding contract in California, by the way – and we ARE a California company) for reasons which are known only to us and our web guy. It happens. Everything seems fine and great and we are ready to move on a show —

Then, sometimes, things happen. We know. We have been there.

Understand that FreakShow Deluxe, up to this point, has never canceled on a show we have been contracted for. In fact, we have never even canceled out on a show we have simply been scheduled for, either. In fact, the company has gone to extremes to accommodate promoters and venues who want to book the show. Even at times when a lesser company/show would have walked away. But FreakShow Deluxe does not have to.

In most of the Freakshow Deluxe‘s contracts, there is a clause allowing either party to cancel the Agreement up to a period before the beginning of the contracted period. This is to allow for the things that sometimes come up: events get canceled, funding falls through… that kind of thing. Sometimes, however, unscrupulous promoters take advantage of that clause to book us – THAT is what we do not like.

In recent months a couple of promoters have pulled some things that has made FreakShow Deluxe decide to adjust how we promote events we are scheduled for.

There was the promoter who booked us months in advance… MONTHS in advance for his venue during a big event in his city. We put off him having to pay our deposit at his request, but everything seemed on the up and up. We spoke with this promoter on a regular basis, we spoke to people working with the venue regularly about our upcoming performances, and everything seemed fine. We arranged our schedule to accommodate their schedule, and started doing everything we could to make sure the show would be great – and then, suddenly, the promoter canceled us. Apparently, according to his story, the promoter and his partner each booked a different company for the same days & times – and the promoter had to defer to his partner.

Our opinion is that the promoter was probably approached by this other show and — who knows? Maybe they offered a better deal than we did. They had something to offer that we didn’t. Maybe they had some kind of history… *shrug* Whatever the deal, we believe he booked them and then was too afraid to tell us about this screw up until he could not put it off any longer. So here FSD ended up – without a gig and, unfortunately, by the time he told us it was too late for us to secure another venue in time for the event. Not that we didn’t try – and it looks as though we already have a place booked for next year.

In another example, recently FreakShow Deluxe had made a great impression on a record label performing at a big annual festival they have, and then another concert event some months later. So good an impression, that the record label invited FSD to return to the annual festival this year. Like, the president of the company and the label’s biggest artist personally invited them to return. Things seem fine, then, until we actually talk to the promoter. See, it turns out this record label hires a promoter to book their big festival (understandable) – and apparently this promoter was a new guy who hadn’t done the festival the year before. So he doesn’t understand what we do – AND he doesn’t seem to get that we have been invited to return by the people whose festival it is.

SO – phone calls back and forth, contracts are sent off (just as with the other promoter) and, while things are not going as we would like, it is not the worse thing ever and seems to be okay. Okay, that is, until the day I get a hold of the promoter (to ask where the contract is) and he tells me he is canceling us because they are over budget with musical acts for the festival and so are cutting a lot of other things. Now this is only a couple of weeks before the event – so we are pretty angry – but what’s done is done and we are out of luck. So what happened?

People rioted, that’s what happened. FreakShow Deluxe cannot confirm that they threw things at some of the musical performers because we were not there. But we are pretty sure that’s why.

All this canceling and last-minute cancellations really make us mad because of what it takes to put the show together — and by that what we mean is TRAVEL. FreakShow Deluxe is based in Hollywood, CA, so it’s a hassle to travel to some of these locations. Especially by plane. YOU try explaining to TSA why your luggage has only one change of clothes, a chainsaw, straightjacket, 4 samurai swords, a scimitar, three bullwhips, an industrial stapler, hammer, nail, power drill, wheel grinder, crowbar and a bunch of skewers.

Though, to be fair, one time at LAX the TSA agents told Reverend Tommy Gunn that it was NOT the weirdest collection of things they’d ever seen in anyone’s luggage. That kind of creeps us out.

If you want to book FreakShow Deluxe (and we know you do), please work with us as best you can to get dates confirmed, contracts signed and returned promptly and, PLEASE, tell us if anything is going awry! We understand. We have been there ourselves. We will always work with you to make things happen – please show the same courtesy.

Do NOT lead us on while you search for a cheaper alternative, or before you have really figured out your budget. There is no show better than us – so if you go with someone else you will undoubtably be disappointed. And if you have not figured out if you can afford to have a show like ours – just hold off until you are sure you can, okay? We will wait for you.