The Sordid History of Showbiz Pizza Place House Band the Rock-afire Explosion


So here’s one for all you children of the ’80s who had the vast pleasure of dining at Showbiz Pizza Place, a tremendously loud/garish/awesome video-arcade/pizza-parlor hybrid that also featured the Rock-afire Explosion, a house band of enormous animatronic animals lip-syncing the hits of the day. You loved it, you parents hated it, and now thanks to YouTube you can all relive it, as the band, once laid low by the nefarious Showbiz Pizza Place/Chuck E. Cheese merger, has risen from the dead and triggered a minor Internet craze, as exemplified by the version of Usher’s “Love in This Club” provided above. (Stick around for Young Jeezy’s guest verse, at least.)

Acerbic Voice contributor Andy Beta delivers the scoop on how this all came to pass in the latest issue of Spin magazine: It involves more litigation than you might think. The Internet is a wondrous and terrifying place; yesterday’s bizarre childhood memories are tomorrow’s viral sensations.