A Graveyard Smash
by Eva Pasco
Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers' "Monster Mash" caught on in a flash with its
release in 1962. You might say Pickett's Transylvanian twist was a blood tansfusion infused by his father,
a theater manager, who distilled in his son a love of horror films. From his humble blue collar abode, a
jolt of electrodes juiced impersonations of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, with Pickett performing a
Hollywood nightclub act in '59. An excerpt from Pickett's autobiography, Monster Mash, Half Dead in Hollywood, reveals
that one day, while he and his co-writer futzed around with chord progressions on the piano, a Eureka
moment transpired: "Maybe the Frankenstein monster should start a dance craze."
Most every major record label passed on "The Monster Mash," but
long story short, the tune became a no. 1 hit within eight weeks of its release. Fang-bitten by success,
Pickett stuck with his grave situation--in 2005, he recorded "Climate Mash," in protest of what he perceived as
inactivity against global warming.
Meantime, "While the zombies were having fun," our own Halloween
parties of the Sixties rocked and apple bobbed with polyester jumpsuit costumes and plastic unbreathable masks.
In the 60s, the Ben Cooper company turned out some of the most collectible to-die-fors: Lost in Space suits,
Land of the Giants, Dr. Spock, and Star Wars from the Sci-Fi division. Let's not forget the cryptic Addams
Family and Munster threads haunting the hollows.
The Sixties have inspired their own far-out costumes cashing in on
our heyday of swinging parties, free love, and psychedelia. One can snatch a Dr. Dooby tie-dyed lab coat, Go Go
Retro sheath, or Woodstock Wally tunic. But, could these wannabes walk the walk? My eyes will surely behold an
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