Rock-afire Explosion - Billy Bob

At Maker Faire The Rock-afire Explosion Finds New Life!

It should come as no surprise that I’ll talk about the Rock-afire Explosion at the drop of a hat. While Showbiz Pizza is of course a cherished memory for me. It was in fact Creative Engineering’s delightful animatronic band that is such a vivid memory.
Rock-afire Explosion

Well, in addition to all of those video games that Showbiz Pizza provided a vidiot like myself.

Perhaps when you have time you might enjoy my own memories of Showbiz Pizza on the Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast?

Now the reason we are still talking about the Rock-afire Explosion is because of the work of Creative Engineering. The blood, sweat, and tears that creator Aaron Fechter and his company put into the characters paid off. As a result they obviously transcended their original purpose.

I have mentioned on the Diary Podcast as well as on The Retroist before of my first encounters with the Rock-afire Explosion. It wasn’t just the kids that were being entertained by the likes of Billy Bob’s gentle nature and humor. The adults also were being captivated by the melodious cover songs of the Rock-afire Explosion themselves.

[Via] Fan Programs

Not only did Aaron Fechter and his staff create the band, they also provided the music and voices to the characters. Fechter in fact voiced Billy Bob, Rolfe DeWolfe, Looney Bird, and Earl Schmerle to name a few.

[Via] Rockafire Explosion fan

Now having said all of that, thanks to Caseen Gaines, we have this fantastic YouTube video. Uploaded by Norman Chan of Adam Savage’s Tested, it focuses on Jack Turner at Maker Faire 2017. A young man who in fact with the help of his Father has begun to learn firsthand the amount of work it took Creative Engineering to bring the Rock-afire Explosion to life.
Rock-afire Explosion - Mitzi - Jack Turner

Rock-afire Explosion - Solenoide Valve

As well as restoring the characters, in this case. Billy Bob and also Mitzi Mozzarella, to as near as original working condition as he can. In regards to the parts and method used to bring them to life.

I think the work that Jack Turner has done is of course amazing. However, I would quibble over his statement about Chuck E. Cheese purchasing Showbiz Pizza. As it was in fact the other way around. Due to them attempting to buy the Rock-afire Explosion from Fechter and his obvious refusal. They decided to rebrand everything to Chuck E. Cheese as they owned the rights to it.

Furthermore, regardless of the title to my post. The Rock-afire Explosion are doing quite well. Fechter is releasing brand new YouTube videos featuring his creations. As well as in the case of this video uploaded by Michael’s Short Films. Fans are using Minecraft to bring Dook LaRue’s cover of Heartaches to life!

While it is natural for younger generations to compare the Rock-afire Explosion to Five Nights at Freddy’s. I would have them watch this vintage commercial showing what the characters really do after closing.

[Via] SPP California

Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne’s Dreaming Made Me Lose My Mind!

I’ve not heard of Mayer Hawthorne before today. But to be honest working down in the Retroist Vault means I’m surrounded by about 100 years of retro culture. I find I have no real need to venture up to the surface. Which is the only way I can explain to you how I missed Mayer Hawthorne’s song entitled Dreaming as well as his 2011 album, How Do You Do.
Mayer Hawthorne

In addition to missing Mayer Hawthorne’s album, not to mention Dreaming of course. I also had no idea that he had a music video for it. An absolutely astounding piece of work by Ross Harris featuring Showbiz Pizza’s The Rock-afire Explosion!

I’m not ashamed to admit that many joyful tears started to fill these old eyes watching this video. Not only that, friends. But the video also sneaks in some vintage swag from Showbiz Pizza in regards to the one and only Billy Bob Brockali.

Having pointed that out – Mayer Hawthorne’s video for Dreaming. Also includes the likes of Fatz Geronimo, Mitzi Mozzarella, Beach Bear, Looney Bird, Rolfe DeWolfe and Earl Schemerle, and of course Dook LaRue. Who I must say appears to have an admirer in the video.

For my first Mayer Hawthorne song, I cannot think of a better way to hook me. Granted the song itself is fantastic – has kind of an Electric Light Orchestra vibe to it. Furthermore I think it’s safe to say that Mayer must have been a Showbiz Pizza kid too. There is just too much love shown for the characters of The Rock-afire Explosion for this not to be the case.

[Via] Vevo

Now that you’ve enjoyed Mayer Hawthorne’s Dreaming. Take a moment and listen to The Rock-afire Explosion‘s tribute to the late great Davy Jones.


This video comes courtesy of the The Rock-afire channel and was uploaded after the passing of Jones in 2012. So…you are seeing a new show of sorts!