The Rock Opera by Styx, not the World War II era Bathroom Stall Graffiti.Twenty Minutes into the Future, Moral Guardians outlaw rock and roll. Enforcing the new law, a riot breaks out at a concert by the famous "Kilroy" at the Paradise Theatre, someone dies, and Kilroy is framed as a murderer. He is imprisoned, guarded by Mr. Robotos, mass-produced menial-labor robots. Kilroy breaks out, disguising himself in the body of a Roboto he has overpowered. Using a "rock code" graffiti, he leads a protegť, Jonathan Chance, to meet him in the Paradise Theater, now a museum to rock-and-roll depravity. And then it ends.Following on the success of the Concept Album Paradise Theater (and three multi-platinum albums before that), the Kilroy album and tour were far more ambitious, with a pre-concert mini-film that set up the story, scripted dialogue and choreography in concert, and specific roles for each of the band members. But instead of taking it to the next level, the band jumped the shark, breaking up and never going multi-platinum again. Tommy Shaw, on an episode of Behind the Music tells of performing the rock opera in Houston, Texas at the Astrodome, while on a double bill tour with Ted Nugent. Shaw recalled how Nugent (the opener on the tour) did a wild stage show with flaming arrows, and general mayhem we've come to expect from him and his group. And how "I've (Shaw) got to go out there in front of that rowdy-ass crowd and say 'But Kilroy, what about, the young people in the world?' I thought "I'M GONNA DIE! I'M GONNA GET KILLED IN TEXAS!"The story has many similarities to Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage: both feature robot-filled futures with moral overlords who hate rock-and-roll and throw the rocker protagonist in prison. Zappa's work is distinguished by having trickier time signatures, as well as much more gay sex with robots. You could almost mistake Joe's Garage for a parody of Kilroy Was Here, but for the fact that Joe's came out four years earlier.
"Tropes Were Here":