The Rock-afire Explosion and Pizza Parlor Tricks

Pay no attention to the man—or rather, the band—behind the curtain.

Like Dorothy and her beloved band of Oz oddballs, Chris Thrash wondered what the curtain concealed. As a child in the ‘80s, Thrash frequented Showbiz Pizza Place and found himself fascinated by the Rock-afire Explosion, the franchise’s band of animatronic animals.

Parents probably saw Showbiz’s mechanical musicians as pricey parlor tricks in a restaurant where pandemonium was more plentiful than pizza. To Thrash, however, they were wonders to behold.

Once, after the band finished performing and the curtains closed, Thrash peered behind them. There, he beheld the band in a state of suspended animation, staring at him. [Read more…]