Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Animatronic Drummers

Aaron Fechter had a dream to build a perfectly designed animatronic drummer. His animatronics research team worked on designing a fully articulated drummer in the basement of the Orlando factory tinkering with the engineering needed to make that happen. He considered bringing the Beatles back as an animatronic band. He even hired a female sculptor who created a beautiful bust of John Lennon. She grew upset one day, feeling she wasn't getting paid enough for the work she was doing. She destroyed the sculpture and left. Aaron said he tended to put each of his employees on a pedestals. He considered many of them to be geniuses. He couldn't believe that over time he had to lay them all off.

The dream for this animatronic drummer was that it could one day perform the drum solo from "Wipe Out!" Duke, the drummer for "The Rock-afire Explosion" had somewhat limited drumming capabilities. That dream was put in storage in 1983. When the factory shut down there were 80 Rock-afire shows waiting to ship. These crates remained sealed and slowly over the years they were sold off. It would cost at least $300,000 to build a show today and yet fans have been able to purchase the Explosion for much less.

Thanks to You Tube, "The Rock-afire Explosion" has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Fans who have the entire band assembled in their homes have started programing their own performances. Modern Rock Stars are realizing it is hip to have "The Rock-afire Explosion" as their backup band. Aaron has always admired Rock bands that have stood the test of time like the Rolling Stones. He always felt that as long as "The Rock-afire Explosion" stayed together then they could stage a come back.