On 12/16/96 the Firesign Theatre gathered in the studios of radio station KCRW in Santa Monica, CA to record a hilariously predictive New Years segment about the year 2000 for National Public Radio's Weekend All Things Considered. David Ossman recorded his parts in his home studio on DAT and Fed-Exed them to be inserted at the proper moments, but you could never tell that he wasn't there in person, for his spirit certainly was.
To the opening strains of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (the 2001 theme), we were re-introduced not only to the Firesign Theatre but the future whereabouts and doings of some of the characters that inhabited the Hi-Low Desert Area of the comet struck world of Heater, Hooker and Hellmouth from the Everything You Know Is Wrong album. Dr. Happy "Harry" Cox is worried about the future and is still wandering around, microphone in hand, leading his fellow seekers over the edge. Art Wholeflaffer, proprietor of the Blue Mouse Trailer Court and Nudist Colony is now the mayor of Heater and advises Cox to broadcast in the nude to get his ratings up. General Curtis Goatheart, Ret. is the commander of the abandoned Air Force base with plans to turn it into an Alien Amusement park, for Aliens. Sheriff Luger Axehandle is busy splitting logs for the big fence to keep out the aliens (Oregonians, etc.). Nino the Mindbender comes out of his steel box on the stage of The Traditional Native American Bingo Palace in Hooker to bend your mind, like a spoon, become your cyber-psychic buddy and download directly into your brain from his web site www.con.man. Gary The Seeker is now a professor at the Hellmouth campus of Solid State University and has written a book entitled "The Future: Look Out!" And what about the Aliens? Well, Cox figures it all out that they really are in the eggs after all, hence the popularity of the hit TV show, "The Eggs File", and once again demonstrates that everything you know is wrong about the future.
The Firesign's 7 minute mini album was recorded in about 8 to 9 hours, all in one day, by NPR's chief West Coast engineer Leo Delagula and Bob Carlson at KCRW using their digital editing equipment with Phil Austin producing. Firesign proved that they can not only pick up where they left off, still write high quality comedy and record well together but that their performances are top rate and better than ever. Taki Telonidas, executive producer of the NPR program was extremely happy with the results and the group hopes to be able to do some more features along the Everything You Know Is Wrong About... theme.
The NPR project carried the group over into the New Year and set up and justified the wonderful experience of the Radio Programming seminar held in the John H. Mitchell Theater of the beautiful new Museum Of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills, CA on February 26th as part of the Winter '97 Seminar series. The sold out crowd was treated to an hour and a half of direct questions to the Firesign panelists with moderator Jennifer Lewis, assistant curator at the museum, handling the proceedings. A full report and review of the event is given by our corespondent Brad Schreiber, later in this issue. All participants had a great time and the group walked away with much encouragement by the positive response and peals of laughter directed at some of the new material they re-created on stage from their Radio Today April Fool's promotion recording session held earlier in the day. As Peter Bergman said at the show, "The good times are back." The Firesign is burning brighter than ever.