Interview Dori Hartley
Play it again Rocky recently had the pleasure of conducting an interview with the one and only Dori Hartley. Just in case you have been in a cave for the last 25 years let me give you a little run down on Dori. Dori is one of the very first obsessed Rocky fans (in other words our goddess). She is credited as being the first fan to dress in costume. She has an amazing Rocky history and you can read more about her in Sal's book "Creatures of the Night".
Play it Again: In your own words describe your Rocky Horror Involvement?
Dori: Presently I am not very involved except to make appearances at Rocky related gatherings or TV shows. But I always attend and I do love being part of it.
Play it Again: You mentioned in an email that you were going to see the Broadway show. What did you think of it?
Dori: Well, as a play, book or movie the actual 'Rocky Horror Show', in my opinion, is pretty awful. It's 'life' is dependant on the actors portraying those characters. I thought the cast was good, the Frank was excellent and hilarious and the Riff had a fantastic voice. Eddie was also very good. I was not crazy about the audience participation though. The whole thing seemed too much like a tourist site. All that beautiful naivete is gone forever. I did meet the cast afterwards and they all knew who I was! Guess they'd been doing their homework!
Play it Again: What do you think contributes to the success of this show over the original broadway production at the Belasco?
Dori: The success of this show is due to the fact that we all have made this thing very famous over the years and people have heard of the 'phenomenon' and are curious about it. Back in the Belasco days, there was virtually no hype at all. No legend, no history.
Play it Again: At the 25th anniversary Rocky Horror convention you auctioned several items from the Belasco play and even Frank's dinner shirt from the movie. If I remember correctly you said that the shirt was a gift from Sue Blane. How did you obtain the other items?
Dori: After one of the conventions, God knows which one- Sue Blaine came over to me after my performance and said, "Here, I'd like you to have this." That was the gift of the dinner shirt. I was overwhelmed. I felt like I was the luckiest person alive. I had been spending alot of time in those days with Sue B. and Brian Thomson. I lived in her house in London. You can only imagine what I saw there! Between Sue and Brian it was like heaven.
Play it Again: Do you have any other special items that you still keep in your collection?
Dori: Not much, just a couple of gifts I recieved from Tim Curry. He sent me a bouquet for my birthday and I saved the petals. I also have a beautiful antique lacquer box filled with lavendar that he gave me. And I have his letters to me. I've got the original "Paradise Garage' film footage an a reel somewhere. And assorted pictures of me and him. There's probably more but I can't recall offhand.
Play it Again: After I purchased the shoe from you in Vegas I began to look for play images so that I could get a picture of Tim wearing it. I notice that Tim's shoe inside the Roxy gatefold appears to be the same shoe...did any of the costumes carry over from that production? is this the same shoe?
Dori: Yes, that is the same shoe.
Play it Again: What has been the most interesting benefit you have received from your Rocky involvement?
Dori: My 'fame' is very interesting. It seems I'm a sort of legend in this tiny little circle. So I get to know what it's like to be a celeb without the hassle of not being able to walk down the street. I will be famous forever because that's what cults do. I love it and I am very grateful to those who have elevated me to this status.
Play it Again: There is talk of Richard writing a sequel for the stage. How do you feel about a sequel? What do you think of "Shock Treatment"?
Dori: Sequel? Well, Good for him. I guess it could be great...if I could star in it! No, seriously, I should star in it...no, seriously...uh, uh, ummm.... Shock Treatment was fun, but not over and over again.
Play it Again: How did your cameo in Tim's "Paradise Garage" video come about?
Dori: He called me up one morning and just asked. He also prefaced it by saying, "I'm afraid there'll be no pennies in it..." (Meaning NO PAY) What did he expect, that I would say, "Fuck no, I need pay, Curry. I ain't in!" Ofcourse not. So I dashed on over to Mozart Motors (where it was filmed) and did whatever he wanted me to do. It was FUN!!!! I was there for the 'I do the Rock" vid also. Man, I was everywhere he was!!!!
Play it Again: Where do you see yourself in the future of Rocky Horror?
Dori: Same place as now. Just watching the websites under my name grow to like fifty thousand..(Only joking) . I'll just make appearances and sing my songs until they have to bring me out on stage hooked up to an IV with one foot in the grave. That's the cool thing, no matter what happens in my 'real' life...I'll always have this Dori Hartley persona. And as it stands I've got myself a little bit of immortality. Wow!