The Dark Origins of "I Was A Teenage Homo" The Musical:
Book & Lyrics By Bill Fagan and Jeff Scott
Music By Jeff Scott

OPENING SCENE: October 1997, Los Angeles CA. My writing partner (book/lyricist writer Bill Fagan) and I had just completed a successful reading of our second musical ("Til Death Do Us Start") at Theatre Geo. Shortly thereafter, Bill and I were approached by a very talented local director who attended our reading, to collaborate with him on a project he had an idea for (a musical parody of the movie "Scream").

Bill and the director began work on the book, while I began composing the horror-music themed songs (Billy wrote the lyrics too). With three people working, it came together quite fast...and soon we had new actors every week working towards a big reading. I even got some interest from Jamie Kennedy (from the real "Scream" movies) to read our script, and maybe participate in the reading, or at least attend (an idea that for unknown reasons the director was against...?).

Eventually, we ran into some more serious problems; One, this project came about during the exact time Bill was taking a turn for the worse with his battle with AIDS. And two, the director wasn't as concerned with that matter as we were. Since I myself have been HIV+ since 1985 (and amazingly healthy to date), I understood better than some what Bill was experiencing... and as he told me one day while talking about this new project, Bill just wasn't having fun working on this, and wanted to end it. So in early 1998, we parted ways with the director (giving the rights to the book to him, even though Bill wrote half of it with him), and we retained the rights to our songs and lyrics (more songs to file away for a rainy day).

Cut to a few weeks later when I awoke one morning after having the strangest dream. I called Bill to tell him about my dream, and to ask if he'd ever seen the classic 1957 B-movie "I Was A Teenage Werewolf"? He had not...so I told him my dream...

In my dream, I was backstage at some theatre in NYC, on the opening night of "Til Death Do Us Start" (our second musical). I was watching from the wings. It was all going perfectly. Cut to a scene change, and the leading man exits the stage, walking right past me. I turned around to say something to the actor, but he kept walking... Again I say something to him, but he quickly leaves the theatre through the stage door. What the hells going on? And during the opening night performance? What the hell was he up to? So I followed him out the door, and saw him enter the stage door of the theater across the alley from ours. I followed him inside. Once in the other theatre, I found my lead actor in the wings, feverishly being made-up as a werewolf...? But again, before I could ask him just what the hell was going on, he made his entrance onto the other stage. Horror of horrors! Our actor had been double-cast in the lead role of two Broadway shows...at the same time (our production, and a stage production of "I Was A Teenage Werewolf")! A writer's worst nightmare! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Bill rented and watched "Teenage Werewolf", with my suggestion that there are a lot of gay undertones in the film (if you choose to read into it that way...of coarse it was 1957 too). For example, within the first twenty minutes, the local police are telling Michael Landon's character that he "...needs to straighten up, fit into society, conform and stop fighting with other boys". And who better to help him do that than a strange male doctor and his male nurse, living in the woods on the edge of the next town (hee hee). It's all there, in glorious black and white.

The next morning I got the most excited phone call from Bill who thought it was a better than just good idea, and we soon started to adapt the horror-themed songs (from the previous project) into this new show! Though they all needed new lyrics, we found a good home for about 6 of them.

Sadly Bill's illness progressed quickly, so shortly thereafter, Bill decided to move back home to San Antonio, Texas, to enjoy the time he had left with his family. Over the following six years, Bill continued to work on the book and new lyrics, visiting me in L.A. a few times (when his health permitted). Unfortunately Bill Fagan passed away on January 1, 2005, leaving most of act two unwritten, and five songs in need of his wonderful lyrics. By April of 2005, I finally decided the best way to honor his memory was to attempt to completed the show myself.

I dug out my high school yearbook from 1978, and even found a coming out letter I had written to a friend. This jogged the memory of my first crush on a boy (in Jr. High), and how I felt all "tingly" around him...a sensation I wasn't feeling from the girl I was dating at that time!

Who knew that my personal coming out story would now help me finish the show.

Add in a ton of online research into gay right history, and the year 1978 in general...and by October I had a finished script, and felt ready to do a public reading. I requested a reading with the theatre company where I did sound design (Theatre NEO), and they enthusiastically agreed. Several weeks later, and with only a few rehearsals, the show was read for the public (and member of Theatre Neo's Company).

Not only was the reading a great success, but by a huge majority of NEO members attending, they decided to produce the world premiere production, which had a fabulous six week run in September 2007.

This was so much more than I ever hoped for, and I know Bill is proudly overseeing the show from above. And who said dreams don't come true...not us! Thank you dear Bill Fagan for your guidance, love and friendship...even now, from the great beyond!

- Jeff Scott
Co-Author/Composer "I Was A Teenage Homo! A Scary Fairy Tale."