FIREZINE is marching along to the beat of a different drummer and quickly toward world wide obscurity. Pulse Magazine, the glossy rag spewing forth by the thousands at your local international Tower Records store chain, gave us a nice review blurb and printed the cover of FZ#1 in its April '97 issue. That generated some subscriptions. (Ed. note: the article is outdated in one important respect: subscription price is now $15.) Now if only they'd carry this magazine in the stores.
BRUCE LITZ, Firesign Theatre cover artist and friend, sent us copies of some of his marvelous sketches of the group and various projects over the years. Look for them in future Firezines.
THE FREDITOR spent several days in lovely Flushing, NY staying with 'semi-official' Firesign archivist and official pal, Alan Gross. We viewed most of his marvelous FT video collection, till our eyes bugged out, gathered together and checked out his extensive cassette collection of live performances and went through his photos and paper memorablilia. Highlights were Firesign appearing on The David Suskind Show ('74), Jack Poet TV ads ('69), Midday with Bill Boggs ('81), Live At Santa Cruz "Questions & Answers" tour ('75) and many, many, more. Alan and I spent several hours pipe dreaming about just what to do with this material and how Firezine could filter some of it out to you.
Mr. Gross allowed us to dupe some of his audio cassettes, with approval from the guys, for release to help raise funds for Firezine, and we are very grateful. The first in the series will be Firesign Theatre Live At the Westbury Music Faire: 5/20/74, recorded by Alan with FT seating him under one of the speakers with a portable deck. The performance is excellent and the recording very good of their "Firesign World" show. If you want to find out how to get a copy for yourself, click here.
Another one of the ideas was to have a video event at the Museum of Television and Radio in NYC similar to the one in LA, screening parts of his collection. A call to Ken Mueller at the museum resulted in a positive response. Hopes are to coordinate with FT should they decide to do an East Coast tour.
During our visit Alan got us in contact with Bill Boggs, a long time fan and TV host who worked with Firesign on Midday Show and Comedy Tonight over the years. Bill is a very nice man who hosts a cable cooking show and would like to have the guys on. He has also agreed to do an interview with Firezine for a future issue.
FIREZINE has been getting FT related tapes from the guys and fans and is asking that you send us lists of rare items that you might have for a mention in this column, our files, articles and reviews, research and possible release to help raise funds. Thanks to those who send us stuff. Here are a few mentions, more next time...........
MICHAEL SHORES (P.O. Box 901, Alston, MA 02134) sent us a booklet of his Max Ernst-inspired collages and interesting catalog from The American Living Press. Check it out.
ED WESTON gave us a copy of his graphic 'suitable for coloring' book Please Adjust Your Set. Write him at Eirenicon Design 4521 Harper Hill Rd. S.E. Port Orchard, WA 98366.
JOE HAMPTON's Mosquito Magazine continues to arrive in the mailbox and amuse us. For details write: 2288 River Rd. Calverton, NY 11933.
KEN WILHITE gave us some memorabilia and included a delightful can of Skyline chili for some Coneys. Yumm!
WALT 'FROM FLINT' TRANDUM sent us a free 8-track of Roller Maidens. Wow!
KEITH DODSON of Freeport, IL sent us some helpful clippings and picked up Cabbages & Kings for us. Thanks!
MICHEAL SHANNON won the sealed bid for the personally autographed to him by Phil Austin copy of Roller Maidens. Thanks. We recently found another copy and Phil has again agreed to sign it for the winning bidder.
THE EDITORS have been and will be 'doing' some record shows this summer, in the MD and PA areas, displaying our wares, and selling records and posters from our collections, to help raise funds for Firezine. Stop in and see us and get aquainted. We'll be at the Keystone Record Club shows in Lancaster, PA and Chambersburg, PA, see Goldmine for listings and dates. If you would like us to appear at your events please let us know.
http://www.firesigntheare.com, Firesign Theatre's official website, set up by the Lodestone designers, is on-line and in the experimental stages right now. There is a mystery building around notes from Dr. Happy "Harry" Cox. The idea seems to be that as the summer goes on, you will work your way around, solving the puzzle and ending up at a bulletin board. Phil Austin has been working on some ideas for the site and has asked your editor to 'handle' the proposed discography section and I will, gladly.
http://www.clark.net/pub/rarnold/firesign/pp, Phil Proctor's Planet Proctor website, is designed and maintained by NASA computer whiz Richard Arnold. He has done a superb job of archiving and posting Phil's orbits to the newsgroup. Go there and collect all of the Planet Proctors you've missed or would ever want to read. The presentation sports some very nice graphics ("Where'd you get that idea for the logo?") and many photo scans of our favorite orbiter.
http://www.rfo.net is still frozen in time but the Berg man says he will turn his attention to it soon. It's a wonderful site with lots of RealAudio of Bergman, Proctor, Ossman, Eddie McClurg, John Goodman and others. When asked about his plans to reactivate the site, PB replied: "If you'd like to donate $100,000, I'll make you a partner and it will be real funny." Though I think that's a good idea, I had to decline for obvious reasons. Maybe Bob Dole could lend him the money?
The PYST website, an adjunct to Bergman's CD-ROM, is doing very well and is a lot of fun. It has some audio and graphics and links to other looney sites. If you go directly to the site while the PYST CDROM is running on your PC, you can enter the exclusive Members Only section where you'll find additional goodies not available to the general public, including RealPlayer audio and video fun.
http://www.firezine.net, our close personal website is up and running - hell, you're lookin' at it now! We got a big Yahoo mention on April 14, and have been promised and have gotten a lot of links from various other sites. Feel free to link to us. We'll be upgrading and posting more issues and articles directly. You'll find some items not in the real Firezine that had been edited out for spacial reasons or dropped altogether. Also, your illustrious editor acquired a hand held scanner from Rick "What About That Lost In Space Robot?" Castle to spruce up the site. Assistant editor, Chris "The Record Detective" Palladino, that's two "L"s, recently came on-line with his brand new 'tax refund' computer. You can e-mail him now at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, and give me a break, but if it's the big cheese you want with your baloney try email@example.com.
The alt.comedy.firesgn-thtre Usenet newsgroup continues to provide a forum for fans and spammers. You never know what you will find there but it's sure to be interesting, and if not, do something about it.
Firesign fans sites are popping up like mushrooms all over the net. I was going to mention them all but that would take up too much space and time. As most are linked together, I'll go out on a limb and say that just about the best place to start is http://www.doctechnical.com. There you will find a great looking Firesign Page with all the links to golf from, FT album descriptions and covers, etc. The fact that Doc has taken on maintenance and updating of the FIREZINE site and run roughshod over it has absolutely no influence on our judgement of his own site (wink wink)...
http://www.lordbuckley.com at the Lord Buckley on-line web site has posted our Lord Buckley tribute, which includes interviews with Proctor and Austin. Cruise around this wonderful location for a discography, interviews, articles and just about everything else about His Majesty L.B.