The Gepetto Files™ is a rock, comedy puppet show from Detroit ,

Michigan U.S.A. The show mixes a wild assortment of characters,

with twisted sketch comedy and heavy rock music to blow your face

off with a shock and awe, one of a kind experience. This show rarely

ventures outside of the Detroit area. We are planning a tour some day. 

Here is a brief history of The Files. This is a work in progress.

 

The Beginning

In the fall of 1996 or 1997, it's not quite clear, a puppet show was born in a dirty old basement in a house in Ann Arbor Michigan by artist Ted Talvitie. This puppet show would premiere it's act at a Halloween basement party full of the worst assortment of misfits, punks, drunks and skunks ever assembled. Carl the ghoul and his pal Frank did stand up comedy and danced to entertained crowds. The smart mouthed little puppet got into an altercation with a drunk guest who had just gotten out of jail. This was a sign of things to come.

The Golden Age

After that first show Ted had a creative enthusiasm like nothing before in his life. He was overtaken by a vision that would occupy his every waking moment for endless years to come. He spent day and night building puppets, often watching X-Files episodes while working. This gave him the idea for the name, The Gepetto Files™. The main cast of characters were created relatively quickly, within less than a year. There's Carl, Frank, Goward, Cold Timmy, Goth Boy, Melvin D.A., Veronica, Drunk Santa, The Black Frog, Mole Boy, The Fuzzy Bunny, Klaus, Tripetta, Hopfrog, Death, and Satan. Over the years there will be many more characters introduced, but these first ones mostly remain the core to this day. 

 

A crew of friends was assembled and started performing in and around the Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit area. The shows were vaudeville style sketch comedies, often improvising to fit the circumstances of that day or evening. They took any gig they could get. These shows consisted of house parties, rock bars, cafes, sideshows, fetish shows, goth clubs, hippy fests, etc. Our in your face comedy style got us the nickname from fans as, The Most Dangerous Things On Strings™. The shows popularity and media attention was quickly growing, as was the drama between the cast and crew.

 

During this time our Christmas tale was created Santa's Been Drinking and He's Got a Gun! It's the story of Santa's fall from grace and rebirth as an anti-hero. It was performed at 1515 Broadway in Detroit. Right when the show was at it's peak, we recieved the news that our rental house was to be torn down to be made into a parking lot. That's when a few of us packed up the puppets, stage, and a motorcycle traded for a marionette and went off to Woodstock 99 as construction workers. 

 

Woodstock 99

On the very first day on the job we got booked to perform at this giant concert by the producer himself Michael Lang. It was a dream come true. But the concert was a few months a way still. We thought, "Piece of cake." After surviving several months of drama and insanity being a worker there (which will be a full article or book at a later date) we managed to secure a time slot after the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the final night to perform. We had a puppet stage set up just outside the rave area, between the two main stages. But before we could open the curtain the whole place broke out into a riot, with fires and riot police. We packed up the puppets and stage, and ran for our lives. We hid atop a large water tower watching the whole place burn all night long. In the morning we discovered that the water tower we were on to avoid the fires, was filled with jet fuel.

 

The Age of Enlightenment

After the Woodstock 99 disaster Ted Talvitie decided to temporaraly shut down the show and get some serious puppet education. He moved to Hamtramck, a village within Detroit and joined a local Russian puppet troupe. During that times he created The Magic Van Gogh a horrible magic show featuring a bungling, foul mouthed Van Gogh puppet and his sidekick monkeys Mr. Bixby and Mr. Sparkles. Drunk Santa performed poetry at St. Andrews Hall.  Also the gradual move bagan away from marionettes and towards larger hand puppets. Many important things were learned in the three years time with the Russians. Most importantly.......

I forgot.

 

The Silver Age

After many years as being a marionette sketch comedy opening for bands. The Gepetto Files™ returned with a bang as a puppet rock musical with a full rock band pit orchestra. The musicians, we called The Lighter Thieves were all dressed in black clothing and hoods, and eventually viking helmets. The puppeteers stood behind rather than from above as before and also dressed in black. Sketch comedy was replaced with song. This is when Goth Boy, Melvin D.A., Goward, and many others found their voice. This is also the dawn of The Ballad of Jeffery Dahmer™. Once again audiences went wild. First starting out as the opener but quickly headlinging venues across the Motor City. Headlining at Theatre Bizarre, also appearing at the Hamtramck Blowout. We have opened for acts such as Mushroom Head, The Meatmen, Crud, and Sponge. The show was unstoppable, so we thought.

 

The Dark Age

In 2010 at the peak of the silver age it crashed and burned, and disbanded. When things are perfect they are sometimes also on the verge of collapse. Just like so many rock band stories, this puppet show imploded under it's own weight. It was a combination of too many options without a clear goal that caused the crash. The show only performed with the current line up once more in 2010 at St. Andrews Hall for Devil's Night. In the period following Ted Talvitie traveled to Los Angeles to meet with some industry hotshots a of couple of times. On one such adventure he made Cold Timmy Lost In Hollywood™ with a small crew of friends. It's the story of a red headed stepchilds quest for a coffee cup. One could say it's a metaphor for his experience in L.A.

 

Today

The show briefly emerged from it's slumber in 2013 for a Halloween performance of all new songs at Woodruffs in Ypsilanti, and again the next night at the Russell Industrial Complex in Detroit. It featured an all new tornado monster, and Goth Boy riding a sliver dragon. The backing musicians were the talented Jeramie Dean Yates Band. No more performances are scheduled until the long awaited album and DVD are complete. 

 

We are  concentrating on finishing a very long list of video projects that have been piling up for decades. Our Halloween production, The Ballad of Jeffery Dahmer is complete. As well as a few others like Santa's Been Drinkin and He's Got a Gun featuring the music of Harms Way.  A couple full albums are in production, as well as merch like toys, comics, etc. We had to quit what we were doing in order to do what we need to do. If that makes sense. It's not as much fun as being out there with the friends and fans that have always supported us. Which sucks because the roller coaster we were on was amazing and wild but this puppet world is so huge that it deserves to be seen  by a much larger audience. I suppose the reason that The Gepetto Files hasn't toured more or produced more over the years is because we were content where we were at, being underground and possibly afraid of larger exposure. Well that shit's changed. lol

 

We are reluctant to tell any more of what we are up to until it's ready to go. Less creative, and unethical folks love to steal. So please be patient, and stay tuned Gepetto fans. Rock!!!