Orlando, FL – Born from the ashes of the Wolf Pack 5 and the Hard Luck Bears, The Rock-afire Explosion blew up the eighties, leaving a generation of face-melted preteens in its wake. By the end of the decade, musical differences combined with waning record sales and allegations of infighting and substance abuse proved fatal.
By 1990, the Rock-afire had imploded. For some members, stints in jail and court-appointed rehab would be the last time they see each other.
During the group’s animatronic heyday, the influential robotic rock band sold millions of albums and sold out multiple world tours. In 1983, Rock-afire merchandise generated over four million dollars in domestic sales alone.
Fast-forward to 2017. Major media outlets around the globe are dominated by stories of a possible reunion of the classic lineup. Although there has been no official word from any of the band members, there have been enough signs to suggest there is some degree of credibility to the rumors.
One of the recurring notions is that, if the band were to reunite, it would likely take place during the summer amusement park season. With many of the major parks getting ready to announce their lineups, we decided to assemble this timeline that retraces the steps of a potential Rock-afire reunion.
July 10, 1990: Billy Bob Brockali, Looney Bird, Dook LaRue, Fatz Geronimo, Beach Bear, Mitzi Mozzarella, Rolfe DeWolfe & Earl Schmerle perform for the last time as The Rock-afire Explosion at Thrill-Ville USA, in McDonough, GA.
1990-2016: Various “mini-reunions” take place. These range from one-off guest appearances to Billy Bob, Beach Bear and Mitzi’s five year stint in Pneumatic Valves. Meanwhile, the Fatz Geronimo fronted group return to the road, and after a considerable delay, release Fatz Geronimo’s Rock-afire Explosion Experience in 2008.
Feb 8, 2012: Beach Bear stokes possible reunion rumors ahead of Rock-afire’s looming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by tweeting “Sup” to former bandmates LaRue and Geronimo.
April 10, 2012: Unfortunately, the perfect opportunity to reunite at the induction ceremony comes and goes. Billy Bob, Beach Bear, Looney Bird, DeWolfe and Schmerle perform three songs, but Fatz refuses to show up. Instead, he pens an open letter saying it was a “no win situation.”
May 5, 2016: Beach Bear, who once banned reporters from asking about a Rock-afire reunion, seems open to the idea on CBS This Morning. “The fans would dig it, you know? Never say never dude.”
July 20, 2016: Jasper T. Jowels quits after six years with The Rock-afire Experience. He cites his desire to focus attention on Munch’s Make Believe Band as reason for his departure.
August 23, 2016: Rolfe DeWolfe drops a bombshell on Swedish TV, saying he and Fatz have buried the hatchet.
August 29, 2016: Following DeWolfe’s revelation, a Rockford bar owner claims he heard from reliable sources that the classic lineup would perform at Odyssey Fun World in Tinley Park, IL, although they were soon quashed by the promoter.
September 3, 2016: Drummer Dook LaRue declares himself in favor of a reunion, stating, “We owe it to the fans,” before adding, “I’m done with methamphetamine.”
September 8, 2016: Shooter Jennings claims he is responsible for Fatz and Rolfe resuming their friendship. “We had a sesh and it went really, really well,” he told a crowd in Iowa City.
September 13, 2016: The potential reunion was almost derailed after Earl Schmerle’s sister, Pearl Schmerle, told fans on social media to “get a life,” while calling Dook LaRue a “f*cking drug addict.”
September 17, 2016: Billy Bob and Beach Bear perform “Beatle’s Medley,” “Sal’s Birthday” and AC/DC’s “Beating Around the Bush” at a benefit.
October 4, 2016: LaRue says he hasn’t heard from the others about a reunion. He believes they doubt his sobriety. The drummer added he’s been clean for 18 months.
October 7, 2016: Jowels admits he has no idea what’s going on. If they do reunite, he doesn’t expect to be involved. “The fans want the original band, and I do too,” he said.
November 11, 2016: An anonymous “insider” says The Rock-afire Explosion is looking to headline parks in Europe and the U.S. in 2017. Then, the group’s official Twitter account releases a series of cryptic tweets. Finally, a friend of Mitzi’s husband says, in his presence, “The Rock-afire’s coming back motherf*ckers!”
November 16, 2016: On Twitter, Chuck E. Cheese is asked if the Rock-afire should do a reunion. He answers: “They are. Everybody knows.”
November 19, 2016: A new report says the reunion will only consist of Billy Bob, Looney Bird, Geronimo, Beach Bear, Mozzarella, DeWolfe and Schmerle.
November 22, 2016: The merch section of Rock-afire’s website is updated to include gifts bearing their classic logo. A search of public documents show those trademarks are co-owned by Billy Bob, Beach Bear and Geronimo.
November 26, 2016: Rock-afire are rumored to headline Citrus World 2017 in Haines City, FL.
December 3, 2016: Rock-afire changes the homepage of their website to the classic “explosion sign” logo.
December 25, 2016: Teaser trailers featuring “Little Sister” and black & white shots of the band are seen during advanced screenings of Pizza Clam: The Revenge.
December 29, 2016: The Rock-afire Explosion confirm they will headline Citrus World 2017.
January 6, 2017: A press release confirms Billy Bob and DeWolfe are returning to the band for Citrus World 2017. There is no other info regarding which other Rock-afire members will be involved, nor any details about a possible tour.