Hi all! Bill Forster here. Recently I was chating about the Roxy Sparkles character in the AllSpark Almanac. It seems no one knows what we were referencing. After all, everything in the Almanac is a reference to something, right? Well, ...not exactly. Roxy Sparkles is a red herring.
Jim and I are not inclined to use inside jokes, ‘cause well…they’re just not funny, however this was the one exception. A few years ago I was at work and a coworker came up to me and started a conversation about Motley Crue. Back in 1984 lead singer Vince Neil was in a drunk driving accident. The passenger in the car, Hanoi Rock drummer Nicolas “Razzle” Dingley, was killed. My coworker asked me, “What was that guy’s name that died?” And I just came out with, “Roxy Sparkles or something.”
This just became funny to us and soon we were talking about Roxy as if we had been fans since the 80’s and he had risen and fallen in the world of Heavy Metal Glam Rock. “Hey man! You know what I heard on the radio today? Electric Stiletto by Roxy Sparkles!” “Hey I saw him play that live at the Nassau Coliseum back in “86.” It was just stupid shit that made us laugh at our otherwise boring jobs. Pictured is the late, great Razzle. Hanoi Rocks rocks!
So when I was writing and laying out the newspaper for the Almanac I cut a pasted one of the random Detroit citizens into a skinny on the side. He looked like a washed up rock star and in an effort to make Jim laugh I temporarily labeled him Roxy Sparkles and wrote a little story. Since the whole book is littered with references I thought, “Why not leave it? Maybe it will drive someone nuts!”
So I hope you all enjoyed my meaningless story about something that ultimately is nothing. I offered a prize to the person who knew the reference. The answer I was looking for was: He’s nothing! You just made him up. But I will tell you what, since nobody got that one, the prize will go to who ever can tell me what the “X-LN247” is a reference to. I assure you: It does exist! It’s Sci Fi and the property that it comes from is referenced elsewhere in the Almanac.
By the way, did anyone get the Street Sharks reference? That’s one of Jim’s favorites.
Also, recently I was asked about all the Iron Maiden references. In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, I am rather fond of the band Iron Maiden and feel compelled to talk about them ad nauseam. Just ask Jim. Here are all of the Maiden references in the first Almanac…that I could remember. I will start with what I know was found.
According to the McFeely report:
- Page 134: The header reads: 'My son, ask thyself for another kingdom", the spoke line which begins Iron Maiden's song, 'Alexander the Great".
- Pg 144: The header reads: "He is the Kwizatz Haderach He is born of Caladan And will take the Gom Jabbar", lyrics from Iron Maiden's "To Tame a Land", which are in themselves a reference to Dune.
- Pg 146: The header reads: "I'm not a number, I'm a free man, Live my life where I want to", lyrics from the Iron Maiden song, "The Prisoner". The entire song (and these lyrics in particular) are in turn a reference to the 1960s cult TV show, The Prisoner.
- Pg 122 - The stationery on which Professor Princess writes her account of "Whatever Happened To Whatisname?" is produced by a subsidiary of "Seventh Son Industries", presumably a reference to the Iron Maiden concept album "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son".
- Pg 125 – Adverts on this page refer to: The Dancitron is located in St. Nick's Hall, location of Iron Maiden's first concert;
- Same page: This theme is continued in the location of the hall—"
22 Acacia Avenue"
- Page 139: From the "fueltritional facts" box- Janick jaAm from Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers. Here's a picture of Jan!
Other Maiden references are:
- When I wrote the bios for the Seekers I had Thundercracker refer to his Screamer traits as “Aces High” after a Maiden song about World War II aerial dogfights.
- The Soccer/Football team that beats Defensor United is West Ham, which was found however, I will let wikipedia explain this one: Iron Maiden frequently use the slogan "Up the Irons" in their disc liner notes, and the phrase can also be seen on several t-shirts officially licensed by the band. "The Irons" has been used to refer to the
football club, West Ham United, of which founder Steve Harris is a fan. Fans of Iron Maiden have been known to use the phrase as a greeting or sign-off to other Iron Maiden fans. West ham is also mentioned in the references on the Somewhere In Time album cover. Here's Steve with his signature bass guitar. Note the West Ham logo! London
- Which leads us to me posting “Up the Irons!” on the “thank yous” page. Along with a bunch of anagrams. A Red Minion is IRON MAIDEN.
Sorta Maiden references:
- Originally I intended my mugshot number to be the 356-323 after the Somewhere in Time song Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) However, somewhere in time the number accidentally became 356-325. Oops!
- The spoon on the Garbage O’s box was originally the spoon from the Derek Riggs painting “Can I Play With Madness?” however, it got changed a little and we decided to change the liquid from the yellow stuff in Eddie’s head to a green sewage muck.
I think that is it. The Blondie song that gets repeated in the Cybertronian text was supposed to be a Maiden reference but ultimately got lost. There are still a few more references not found...including my wonderful Derek & the Dominos reference. How did nobody see that?!?
Before I go, Roxy Sparkles will be playing the House of Blues on Sunset in Hollywood on the 24th! Tickets are still available.