New York Book Party
Freditor has returned to the Firezine bunker in Hagerstown after surviving a NY adventure
Tuesday eve 4/6/1999. Peter Bergman flew in from CA and Firesign's West Coast tour to
schmooze with the NY suits and promote his newly co-authored book at a pre-release
launching party. FT vid head Alan Gross and the Freditor truly were flushed out of
Flushing and subwayed their way down the immigrant pipe. The Freditor was at a complete
dependence upon his faithful companion, guide and interpreter, Mr. G, as they transferred
several times in the deep dark bowels of NYC and miraculously made their emergence several
blocks from 1st Ave. and Sessions 73, one amongst the zillion bars in Manhattan, I'll take
one, for the 'big to do'.
The book, "The Official Millennium Survival Handbook"
offered for the almost give-away price of $5 and a free glass of not-too-bad champagne was
selling like... well, not hot cakes, as they don't mix too well with mixers, a $5 book
with free champagne dished out by a gorgeous heroin emaciated-like blonde model that
NYCers seem to favor, as do drunken hillbilly fat men half juiced from a distance, I know
I was. While Uncle Peter rabbited the suits and signed books at the bar, "Sorry sir
that seat's reserved", "But I'm the author and this is my party..." the
crowd surged in and pressed forward, toward the free champagne, there seemed to be a lot
more glasses passed out than books.
Doc Tech showed up beaming and was finally able to buy one of the
books he's devoted a large section of his cyber life settin' up it's site for. We yelled
mutual congratulations and gratuities at each other with many pattings on the back before
he was sucked away by the suits who picked his webbrain. The scene was serenaded by a 3
piece, guitar, bass and congas, jazz / blues band letting out their belts on such numbers
as a tango version of "Cold Shot" and a white boy blues take on "The Thrill
Is Gone", mixed in with some "Return to Forever" or so it seemed. David Samson, Pete's co-author, was also flown in from LalaLand
to pigeon hole his wit for the evening's discourse. Curmudgeonly Jack Medoff, inside
illustrator, gripingly signed books before splitting for Grand Central Station in time to
catch the 9:07 to CT.
A highlight for your dim Freditor was being introduced, by Pete,
to FT and OMSH cover artist Robert Grossman.
We hit it off OK as we both shared an affinity for things Bix Beiderbecke blew out of a
horn 70 some years ago, and a promised forthcoming Firezine interview was trumpeted.
Grossman drew a Freditor portrait in his recently styled cheap line drawings in the book.
Not to be outdrawn, Medoff whipped out one as well, looking more at the Grossman than the
Freditor himself, not that I blame him. The crowds surged again and the hormone driven and
single minded, at that point, males thrilled being rubbed up against by "real"
After not seeing Bergman's bald ice berg head floating among the
titanic throngs, the Freditor coyly forced his fat form through the maddening crowds
towards the flesh air in the back. Much to his / my surprise there was another bar in the
back where the domed prince held court between downing doubles. Having worn out all of the
people who didn't know who he was, Pete got down and drunk with his fans, Doc, Alan, Freditor and a few others and filled us in on the strong bond going with the
Firesigners today, the tour show, acting out his parts and clueing us in on the present
workings of the new un-named in spite of all of the working titles, album, some of which
wormed it's way onto the Firezine tape recorder. Bergman then split after inviting us to
dinner, which we had to unfortunately decline. He roared off to scout out a theater for
FT's fall appearance put together by some guy who did Sandra Bernhardt, perish the
thought, or savor it. Doc then quickly copped out to go back to Wall St. and drive home to
CT and the Freditor and Alan arrested their plans and staggered to the nearest subway
station to ride back to Queens, laden with autographed books and horny dreams. Along the
way the Freditor got an unusual pleasure watching people walk their dog's in Manhattan.
They lead them to the nearest tree, surrounded by a short fence. Pick up the dog and put
it in the little square lawn and then adeptly with the precision of a surgeon and timing
of an acrobat, slip a section of newspaper under the protrusion, fold and stuff, all with
one hand, while the other holds the leash and dog. "I found it in the New York
Here's the transcript of the tape informally recorded in the back
bar of Session 73 during the Official Millennium Survival Handbook book party. We were all
One thing I can't handle is sending Kosovar refugees to Guantanamo. Wait a minute. That's
Cuba. What is this all about? Wait a minute. Is there going to be a Kosovo Miami Cuban
state in 20 years?
Firezine: Can you talk about the tour show for Firezine?
PB: We do some of the old show but it's all new material. We
do Ralph Spoilsport. "I've been driving this '79 Crown Victoria, police package. I
love the car man but I don't like the kind of women I'm attracting. So I want to buy a new
car." So then here's this chair. In Santa Barbara, they had this big Spanish chair.
One of those great big leather ones. "Oh man it's a GM BMW, the car of tomorrow and I
got it today. It's got the Eddie Bauer King Kong package. Oh and the inline duo port high
blinder beams. I don't know, look! Oh no! The asynchronous dense surround holodeck sound
server and subwoofer comleather bark and roll seats. I'm in fucking heaven." I get in
it, you know. I wonder if it speaks. I hit it. "Sure we do driver. Get ready
Fahrvegnugen". I get on the freeway and off I go. It's all new. Then we do
"RadioNow". "I'll listen to the radio." Click. Then Austin does Bebop,
"You're in FunFun Town man." And we go into the station. We then do a whole
bunch of stuff. We do Happy Pandit, we do Ralph Spoilsport, Chump Threads, we're going to
add Winquedinque, we're gonna add a bunch of stuff.
Then I come out at the top of "Parallel Hell". I'm in a
helmet, like we've done before. This time I come out, "Budda budda budda,
budda." It's real quiet and then I go, "Rodriguez, Gonzales, Stone!". This
is like 2 days, this is like Friday, the day after it happened. And the people are going,
"Nooooooo." Then we go into Lt. Tirebiter in "Parallel Hell". It's all
different. Different ending. It's about war.
It's been just kick fucking ass out there. The Firesign's
together, it's friendly, it's smart, it's patient, it's anarchy, it's great. Publish the
anarchist handbook because it works. Anarchy works. No contracts. You can't partner with
people unless you're completely free.
This new show is filled with improvisation. Filled with it. We're
beginning to like play with each other. Then when we're in "Parallel Hell" it's
like Garson Kanin and Henry Miller. Role playing. Everyone is like serious theater. As
crazy as it is, it's theater. We're looking for such a venue in NY now with Westbound (?).
He did Sandra Bernhardt. He's doing the Umbilical Twins now. Arnold is like the toast of
smart NY theater. 300 seats for 2 weeks, 7,200 seats. If you want a ticket, you got one,
but it's a tough ticket.
FZ: What about the new album?
PB: The new album is going to be the first DVD audio album.
5.1 surround sound.
FZ:Who gets to be the .1?
PB: We're the 4 or 5 crazy guys and we're looking for the .1.
We're looking for the pinhead to play in that speaker. There's no title for the album...
FZ:In spite of what everyone says...
PB: My working title is "Morning In Billville" but
that's only the working title.
FZ:What's the theme?
PB: It's about a town, Billville, that has a terrible secret,
which is it's not small. It's a small town that really isn't. It's a lot bigger than it
admits. And there's lot's going on in Billville and the "Race Around America" is
coming towards it. The race starts in NY, goes through VA, back to Billville for the 4th
of July. We wrote one piece already which is an ad which takes off on these international
phone ads. It's about young Phat who's dropped down the well that inflated the bombs that
paid for the village to bring it about to make a call. It's one of those things like,
"No matter where you are, you are completely in the global economy."
We wrote an intro to Billville that's just bad science, bad
science, bad, bad science. Really bad, bad. So wrong. And there's 4 characters. There's
the mayor, Mayor Penisnose. He's a Bob Dole 3rd person kind of guy. And then there's Dr.
Infermo, Dante Infermo. "Who poisoned the wells?" "You told me to!"
And then there's the coach who's feeding steroids to the kids in the water and day
training for the basketball game. "Move that bus, bust that move, move that
bus." Ringggggg. He's day training and he's coaching basketball. And their necks are
so big, they can't get into their uniforms. That's the second guy. That's played by
Ossman. Infermo is Austin, "You're doomed, you're doomed." Proctor plays Sprawl,
Bob Sprawl the developer, Sprawlco. And this is just the beginning. It's all taking place,
I want it to take place partially on TV. I don't mean channel changing but not make a big
deal out of it. Not as much comment, as just there. It's surreal, it's 500 channels.
We've worked on it but we're going to go heavy in May and produce
it in June. We're going to produce 3 mixes. A stereo mix for CD, 5.1 mix for DVD audio and
a fold down for DVD video. DVD codex, for 10 minutes of video. We're shooting that right
FZ:Any comments about the Grammy Show?
PB: Us, Brandy, The Goo Goo Dolls, Bare Naked Ladies, Will
Smith and Jimmy Smits, sitting right there. I thought I'd died and gone to fucking heaven.
Where am I?
FZ:We enjoyed those limo shots.
PB: Limos. A thousand of us. A thousand people this close,
all waiting for limos. Hundreds of limos. People going, "152 in lane 5." I
waited for 40 minutes next to Alanis Morrissette. I looked at her and said, "What a
culture, waiting for limos." She's marvelous, I love her dearly, she's a genius but
no sense of humor. No sense of humor. She's like the Dark Lady, no sense of fucking humor.
I'm not going to change my life for her. Miss Shelob is feeling poorly. I've got to go.
See you in Seattle Fred.
David, how did you get together with Peter to do the book?
DAVID SAMSON: We met in a gay bar in Pasadena. He strolled up
beside me and he said, "Hi, did you use the rear entrance?" And I said to him,
"Young Man, you're very attractive but unfortunately my testosterone does not respond
to you. Let's collaborate instead of cohabitate." And from there it was magical.
We're both 2 very sensitive men, much too sensitive for our own good, so we took a special course in insensitivity
training. We became highly insensitive, hard, cruel, domineering and discovered that that
wasn't working either. So what happened was we became very egocentric. So we went down and
had emergency liposuction on our egos.
FZ:I heard they were giving them out here, that's why I
DS: You don't qualify yet. You have enough depth to
accommodate your weight, you see. If you had no depth, then we would have operated. I
would like to introduce somebody but they're not worthy of introduction so I'll continue
FZ:Well, how do you survive the Millennium?
DS:Well I would say the first thing to survive the Millennium
is to realize that it's off by 10 years. The real Millennium occurred in 1990, with the
Bush election. However, my suggestion for the Millennium is that we all covert to the
Hebraic calendar. This way it will be the year
5,673, the year of the chutzpah. And we won't have the Millennium to worry about for
another 276 years or there-abouts.
FZ:The Mayan calendar ran out so...
DS:The Mayan calendar did run out. As a matter of fact, those
Mayan day runners were a bitch, those clay tablets that weighed about 700 lbs were very
very difficult to navigate.
FZ:No wonder they're no longer around. I think we're getting
DS:Oh no, the lights coming on merely mean that they want us
to see each other better, which is the same as getting kicked out, I suppose.