The Ron Kane Files

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Firesign Theatre



11-12-08 The Firesign Theatre


Los Angeles-centric radio comedy; Counter culture icons; Masters of language; Four (or five) Very Funny Guys! – The Firesign Theatre are all this…and more! Peter Bergman, Phil Proctor, David Ossman and Phil Austin. Concentrating on their Columbia Records output today:


CD WAITING FOR THE ELECTRICIAN OR SOMEONE LIKE HIM MOBILE FIDELITY MFCD 762

1968 4 TRKS

LP WAITING FOR THE ELECTRICIAN OR SOMEONE LIKE HIM COLUMBIA US CS 9518

1968 4 TRKS debut

CD HOW CAN YOU BE IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE... MOBILE FIDELITY MFCD 834

1969 2 TRKS Cyrus Faryar

LP HOW CAN YOU BE IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE... COLUMBIA US CS 9884

1969 2 TRKS Cyrus Faryar

CD DON'T CRUSH THAT DWARF, HAND ME THE PLIARS MOBILE FIDELITY MFCD 880

1970 2 TRKS

LP DON'T CRUSH THAT DWARF, HAND ME THE PLIARS COLUMBIA US C 30102

1970 2 TRKS poster

CD I THINK WE'RE ALL BOZOS ON THIS BUS MOBILE FIDELITY MFCD 785

1971 2 TRKS

LP I THINK WE'RE ALL BOZOS ON THIS BUS COLUMBIA US C 30737

1971 2 TRKS

LP NOT INSANE COLUMBIA US KC 31585

1972 2 TRKS "Martian Space Party"; I don’t have this on CD (it definitely exists)

LP FIRESIGN CHAT WITH PAPOON COLUMBIA US AS 41

1972 2 TRKS promo-only LP (which I think is on CD, these days)

CD DEAR FRIENDS MOBILE FIDELITY MFCD 758

1972 29 TRKS radio show material

LPx2 DEAR FRIENDS COLUMBIA US KG 31099

1972 29 TRKS radio show material

CD EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG LAUGH.COM US LGH 1077

1974 2 TRKS ('01 issue)

LP EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG COLUMBIA US KC 33141

1974 2 TRKS autographed

LP TALE OF THE GIANT RAT OF SUMATRA, THE COLUMBIA US KC 32730

1974 6 TRKS I don’t have this on CD (but I guess it exists?)

LP IN THE NEXT WORLD YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN COLUMBIA US KC 33475

1975 2 TRKS

CD IN THE NEXT WORLD YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN LAUGH.COM US LGH 1078

1975 2 TRKS ('01 issue)


LPx2 FORWARD INTO THE PAST (Collection) COLUMBIA US PG 34391

1976 18 TRK Collection, promo – primarily notable for the inclusion of “Station Break”, their non-LP 45

CDx2 SHOES FOR INDUSTRY! - BEST OF COLUMBIA US C2K 52736

1993 31 TRK Collection (60's/70's recordings)


I grew up with this stuff, so it all makes sense to me. In the new century, I am a bit miffed at how hard some of this material is to find. Even though listed in numerous places, I can’t seem to find the Proctor & Bergman “TV Or Not TV” LP on CD. I can’t seem to find a CD album called ”The Pink Hotel Burns Down”, which is supposedly out-takes from the Columbia era. Most baffling is that I think their first few LP’s were issued in England by CBS Records, in the late 60’s – I wonder what the Brits made of ‘em?


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5 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Wow! You mean that I have a copy of "TV or Not TV" on LP and Ron doesn't? That's so wrong! If it weren't a Proctor & Bergman album, I'd gladly give it to you, Ron, but as a member of the Church of Firesign I couldn't do that - as much as it pains me. I will make you a CD of it, though! It's by far their most FST-like recording! I almost think of it as a sequel to "Bozos." Some more very prescient conceptual comedy from the jokers in the FST pack!

The HARD FST solo LP for me to obtain was Phil Austin's "Rollergirls From Outer Space." I paid $20 for it, so you know I really wanted it... and that was in the new century, too!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Jim-san,

I have an LP of "TV Or Not TV" - I'm after the short-lived 'real' CD of it. Please consult me before buying any FST titles, I have extras on lots of stuff, incl. "Roller Maidens".

RK

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Ron:

Re: consult... too late! Well, I have it all, except for "Three Faces Of Al" and "Pink Motel Burns Down!" Fortunately, the BOX OF DANGER has the Al recording...
http://www.amazon.com/Box-Danger-Complete-Nick-Casebook/dp/B001EOQV5Y/ref=dp_return_1?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music
... as well as every other Nick Danger recorded performance! 40 bones is a lot for a package that I have 2/3 of in other formats, but that Al disc was their 1st CD from the dawn of time, and I never saw it ever!

But soft! David Ossman just put out a book! http://www.amazon.com/Firesign-Follies-David-Ossman/dp/1593931484/ref=pd_sim_m_1 I have the first 2 FST books but this looks like a worthy addition to my FST library!

FST is an amazingly weird thing. Proctor & Bergman would have been a hot comedy team in any era, but the collective FST vibes could have only happened in the late 60s when they bumped into Ossman & Austin. Thank goodness "The Beatles of Comedy" met to create such a unique body of humor. So many levels of reference and the rare ability to aim it high and low simultaneously make for a body of work that rewards multiple listening far more than most "comedy."

10:03 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

Now this is weird -- I too have a Proctor & Bergman LP, but it's 1978's "Give Us a Break" I believe (it's in storage).

I was just too young to really grok all of FST's work at the time, but once they did Nick Danger it suddenly clicked and everything they did was funny. I still quote Ma Rainey's Whole Moleskin Cookies slogan -- "Eat Em, Wipe Em Off, Eat Em Again, Your First Bag Will Be Your Last!" and "Octo-Glomerate" and suchlike to this very day!

They were both a unique product that could only have happened in the drug-soaked late 60's, AND ahead of their time! Nice trick if you know the secret!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Chromium Switch said...

And from the publisher of the original Firesign Theatre fanzine, go to chromiumswitch.org where you will find a repository featuring Chromium Switch newsletter, Edgar Bullington session notes, Phil Fountain cartoons, Firezine Archive, and Four-Alarm FIRESIGNal.

4:51 PM  

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