Local artist, music enthusiast, and entrepreneur Lawton Duffey announced plans to open the new Charleston Rock & Roll Wax Museum on Tues. April 15th. The thematic, tapestry-laden, 12-room facility is located at the former downtown spot that housed the Buxton East Bay Theatre (184 East Bay St.).

“Our gallery allows local rock music fans the chance to get a close look at more than 50 of their favorite local rock stars,” says Duffey, pictured here with the statue of local songwriter Jay Clifford. “The presentation of the life-size wax figures starts with personalities of the 1980s, including members of the Killer Whales, the Hollywood Squares, and The Parrots. Then it’s on to the punk rockers, including Johnny Puke, Verb from the UnCalled Four, and Billy ‘Bino from Prism Records.”

Other life-sized wax figures and wax busts — sculpted by students at the Collage of Charleston’s School of Waxian Arts — include Bobby Houck and Hank Futch of The Blue Dogs, the Map Room’s Ryan Brown, guitarist Everette Bigbee, guitarist Ward Bruckheister, all three members of Morimoto, two ladies from Joy Ride, members of Jump, Cary Ann Hearst, Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne, the DaliDrama, two of Lindsay Holler’s Dirty Kids, former radio personality Woody Bartlett, all three of The Defilers, keyboardist Bill Nance of Hot Sauce, music shop owner Charles Fox, and Amy & Toker of 98X’s weekly “Local X” show. [Pictured at the left are Futch and Houck of the Blue Dogs; pictured at the right is the DaliDrams’s Chris Patterson].

“I think it’s a great idea, but they’ll have to expand to include all of the blues players who’ve been a part of this scene for years,” says Gary “Shrimp City Slim” Erwin, whose likeness is on display in the “Blues Cats” room.

Such a gallery of stars may not be for everyone in the local music scene. “I’m too creeped out by wax museums to even step foot in the place,” says guitarist Mike Sivilli, of Dangermuffin. I went to Madame Tussauds in London in 2001 and nearly had a heart attack. No way, José.”

“Screw this stupid-ass wax museum with its poor look-alikes,” states Dr. Rev. Johnny Mac, of the BootyRanch. “They tried to sculpt a version of the Jumper Cables [his local band in the 1980s], but they made us look like the Three Stooges with bandanas on. Stupid asses…”

Duffey says they’ll feature several living versions of their featured figures at a kick-off event block party on East Bay Street on April 15. “At the core of our business is a heartfelt desire to enthrall and inspire and we are constantly developing our ability to do this,” he says. “From state-of-the-art interactivity to an exceptional gift for partying, we’ve got what it takes to keep our customers smiling. Now, if we can only talk Darius Rucker into posing for our waxian artists…”

Check out www.charlestonwaxmusic.com for more.

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