-- A newsletter of, about, and for
The Firesign Theatre...
...and their loyal fans
Four-Alarm FIRESIGNal #28
FALaFal is produced thrice yearly, in fire sign months (April, August and
December) for the members and dear friends of The Firesign Theatre, by
Elayne Wechsler-Chaput, who can be reached by "snail mail" at 1747 65th
Street, Brooklyn, NY 11204 or by E-mail at email@example.com (preferred),
72672,2714 (on CompuServe) and ElayneWC (on America Online). Electronic
FAlaFal is free of charge, the hard copy version costs $5 for a year's
worth, and both our electronic and hard copy version are freely
reproduceable. Printing and mailing services were performed by Roger
Snyder at The Print Shop; EFAlaFal was organized by Jamie Schrumpf at
Monrovia Communications; Richard Fish, Fred Wiebel and the 4or5 supplied
news; thanks also to Richard Arnold, Tim Shell, Jerry Stearns, Chris Ward
and our letter writers for their contributions this issue!
No. 28 of ? TABLE OF CONTENTS DECEMBER, 1995
[] THIS IS WORKER SPEAKING: Words from Elayne, Our Founder
[] RUMORS BEHIND THE NEWS: The latest on the 4 or 5 Crazy Guys
[] TAKEN APART, STACKED UP, AND LABELLED: Archival news from Fred
Weibel about his Firesign Theatre project. Collector alert!!!
You don't want to miss this!
[] REVIEW: Jerry Stearns' reportage from this year's Midwest Radio
Workshop, which included Phil Proctor and David Ossman. Thrill to
Jerry's exploits with his "first job of consequence!" Experience
the queasiness as he attempts to maintain the all-important
[] SAVIOR IN A BOX: Being an unfinished tale of Action and Adventure
in a Strange Land; come with us now to those exciting Days that
[] EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG: Quiz #3 from Richard Arnold to
challenge the self-proclaimed FT "expert" fan. Do YOU have what
IT takes? Also: answers to quiz #2 and a WINNER IS ANNOUNCED!
[] POSTMARK: DEEP SPACE -- Letters to the Editor
[] SEE YOU ON THE FUNWAY... It's a wrap! Endnotes & stuff from
Jamie, Your Electronic Editor.
This Is Worker Speaking...
You're reading the words of one tired Worker. In an effort to
better concentrate on the things I've deemed important in my life, I've
been trying, these past four months, to eliminate the effluvia. I have,
admittedly, not been very successful at this, with a severe case of
near-burnout the result.
These things go in cycles. I still love the works of The Firesign
Theatre, of course, and I adore interacting with fellow fans, but I'm
perhaps less enthusiastic about FAlaFal than I ought to be, considering I
coordinate the whole thing. This doesn't mean I'm going to give up the
newsletter before issue #30 - when I took a year's worth of subscriptions
from you all, that was the implicit promise. But I am seriously
considering handing the whole thing over to whatever conscientious person
wants to take it from here, come next December. (This is one reason -
aside from wanting to see what kind of financial shape we're in when I
re-evaluate things next August - on why I'm only accepting one-year subs,
which perhaps I should have made clearer last time. New folks who
subscribe to our hard copy version as of this issue will have a "31"
marked on their label, but should be informed that I don't know at this
point if I'm going to publish beyond #30.)
Here's the deal on the printed version of FAlaFal: We sent out
around 2320 copies of #27, which got to everyone in record time. I made
about 150-200 address changes and remailed a whole bunch. I received a
little over 200 subscriptions, not counting donations above and beyond the
$5 rate I set. This is good; it means we can keep our bulk rate status.
It also signals to me that most folks are either getting their Firesign
news, ads and other info via the 'net (which is great) or they're not that
interested any more. It necessitates a lot less work on the back end for
me and Roger - he only prints 500 copies now, and I can label and bundle
everything myself so there's no need for FAlaFal parties (not that I'm
necessarily going to stop throwing them).
I'm grateful to Richard Fish and the LodesTone folks for taking on
the task of news gathering, and to Fred Wiebel and Chris Palladino for
their archiving work - both have been given extensive space in this issue
to tell you what they're up to. This issue's online-only bonus is Jerry
Stearns' MTRW report; this issue's print-only bonuses include the latest
Chris Ward Crossword and an oldie-but-goldie from Jim Middleton. As most
of you received #27, I don't need to rerun the SPARKS ad (except to remind
you SPARKS head Michael Packer is the one to whom you should send a
52-cent SASE to receive our audio archives list), and as everyone on the
"snail mail" list should have gotten the LodesTone catalog, I trust I
don't have to run their stats in this issue either.
Unfortunately, the record/CD exchange service Frank Bland and
Taylor Jessen were hoping to start never got off the ground due to lack of
participation. I'm afraid anyone seeking to buy, trade or sell
out-of-print Firesign stuff is on their own. The best suggestion I can
think of for those on line is to place your own ads in the
I'd like to thank Dave Axler, Keith Bayard, Chuck Bradley, Ken
Croatman, Keith Dick, Jody Forest, Tom Fronczek, James Garner, Rob
Kinmouth, David Koster, Louis Krasser, George McLaughlin, G. David Parker,
John Steinberg, Steve Urban, Chris Vaughn, Doug Wakil and Mike Wilkinson
for their donations this time (which covered our printing costs!), as well
as everyone who continues to purchase Abkhazian Marx/Lennon stamps from me
at $10 a pop (I'm about to place another order with D&G to raise
additional FAlaFal funds). Also thanks to everyone who showed up at my
December party to make Le Trente-Huit Elayne a little less traumatic.
I'll leave you with a couple snippets (not enough to warrant their
own column this time): Entertainment Weekly continues to abound with
Firesign fans, as Ty Burr recently spoke of "Firesign Theatre-esque
background babble" when reviewing a recent CD-ROM. Also, Bud Webster
<firstname.lastname@example.org> writes, "Just wanted to let you know that I've
signed the contracts with ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION for the above-mentioned
story, in which, as usual, I inserted several FT references: first, one of
the charcters - an artificial intelligence housed in a small,
Etch-a-Sketch sized box - is described by the main character as 'not from
around here, but a real square little feller. Well, rectangular, anyway.'
Second, as the main character and his alien companion are stepping out
onto the alien's home planet, Bubba says 'Once more into the breach, dear
friends, for Grid, for Goofy, and Saint Walt!' Third, near the end when
Bubba and the artificial intelligence are discussing a recording made by
UFO-nut Howard Menger called Authentic Music From Another Planet in 1955,
the AI says 'Howard Menger? My reluctance to talk about him has little to
do with whether or not this mindless dweedling on a piano in the middle of
an enormous echo chamber is gas music from Jupiter.' It's a fun story, and
one I hope you'll hunt up when it comes out (dunno the publication date,
but if you like, I'll be happy to let you know)." Thanks Bud - and thanks
to everyone else who helps carry the torch! Enjoy this issue, and happy
Rumors Behind the News
by Richard Fish (LodesTone)
Here's More Sugar!
* Triviata: Allen Daviau, cinematographer on Everything You Know Is
Wrong, was one of the interviewees on the recent "Alien Autopsy" special.
Make up your own joke!
* DAVID OSSMAN and PHIL PROCTOR spent a week in Columbia, Missouri at the
Midwest Radio Theatre Workshop this year, and had a blast! In keeping
with the Firesign tradition of pushing the envelope, this year's MRTW
performance made radio history: the first time anyone on the planet has
ever done radio theatre live over the Internet! Thoughtport, Inc., in
Columbia provided the link with the CU-SeeMe system (developed at Cornell
University), and indications are that we had about 750 cyber-listeners.
Not bad at all, considering that this came together at the last minute and
we only had 2 days to promo it on the Net.
David directed, and Phil starred in, a play called "Not Another
Talk Show," written by Jon-Erik Villesvik. Phil played an abrasive
talkshow host after the manner of Guess Who, and the results were
hilarious! MRTW hopes to have a tape of this show available in a couple
of months. Our own Tony Brewer was featured as Geronimo, an
eco-terrorist, and Canada's George Plumley (Stuffed Moose Productions)
played a psychologist.
Workshops with Phil and David included one on the Firesign's
techniques, one on Norman Corwin's material (and Corwin's direct influence
on TFT), Radio Poetry, and others. Phil's influence was felt throughout
the show in comedy performances, and it was one of the best Workshop shows
ever. By the way, MRTW will be moving to a spring date, when hopefully
more people will be find it easy to get away -- June of 1997 will be the
next one. Both David and Phil plan to come back, and we sure hope this
time we can bring out the lovely and talented Melinda (Mrs. Proctor)
Peterson as well!
* David and Judith are hard at work on a new project, a production of
e.e. cummings slated to be ready by Valentine's Day. David Ogden Stiers
will be playing cummings, and Phil-and-Melinda will be doing voices, and
some lovely original music has just been laid down.
David reports that "The Ronald Reagan Murder Case" is still in
search of a publisher, but continues to collect the most enthusiastic
rejection slips since Gutenberg. He's now hard at work on the second
George Tirebiter novel, "The Flying Saucer Murder Case," and hopes to
premier that in April at Minicon, as a reading... If you're going to be
on Whidbey Island in the upcoming future, you might catch David on stage
in "Wings Of The Termite."
* Phil Proctor continues to get lots of work in Hollywood doing voices
for both cartoon and live-action features. He did voices for "Toy Story"
(listen carefully to "all the other toys" and see how many you can pick
out!) He was featured 11/19 on KCRW Playhouse's one-hour radio drama "Dear
Diego," about Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Daniel Zwerdling interviewed
Phil on Weekend Edition, Sunday before last, during a story on ADR work
that Phil helped him put together. Phil had a very interesting time working
on "Up Close And Personal," a Robert Redford/Michelle Pfeiffer film due out
soon; reports being very impressed with the film and says, "Redford is
ageless," muttering something about the "T-shirt of Dorian Gray." Also
radio spots for Disney World and a very funny one for Cadillac with Bert
Berdis, and a cameo in a music video upcoming on VH1 -- a song by The
Foremen (satirical group) called "Ain't A Liberal No More." Look for PP in
* Here's one on Phil -- walking down the street in Columbia, he was
telling me how every time he & MP go to visit his Mom in Goshen, Indiana,
they fly in to South Bend or Chicago and rent a car, and every time he
manages to get lost somehow. We suddenly realized that for Phil, "which
way's Goshen?" has become a way of life!
* PETER BERGMAN reports that he and Proctor are moving right along on
that CD-ROM, but it's still under wraps; when the green light goes on for
publicity we'll get the info out in this column -- over the net first. He
notes that TFT is in this month's Vanity Fair, as part of a giant
comedy-influences tree on page 116. PB will be keynoting the AFI Digital
Storytelling Conference in Kauai in April (having attended one last month
in Crested Butte). He's got a new one-man show, "Sobriety," which has
nothing to do with W.C. Fields, either now or Forever, but is a rhymed
spiel and very well received. He's just done radio for "Desperado" and
* PHIL AUSTIN and Oona have been peripatetic between LA and Fox Island.
Phil's new audiobook, Tales Of The Old Detective And Other Big Fat Lies,
is now in the new edition of our catalog!
* We here at MORE SUGAR have been working our tails off getting out the
new LodesTone Catalog, which has made a big jump this year: in 1994 we
had 12 items, one page, one color, and a mailing list of about 5000; this
year we have 70 items, 8 pages, full color, and over 9000 on the list! If
you haven't gotten one in the mail, call, FAX, write or email and we will
cause a government employee to deliver it personally to your address. The
great majority of items in our catalog, we find, were created by, inspired
by, or influenced by The Firesign Theatre. There's only a few exceptions
and most of those belong to Norman Corwin, who was an influence on TFT.
The two big new releases from More Sugar are very exciting: we
are now taking orders for Nick Danger in The Case of The Missing Yolk, and
also for -- hold onto your hats -- Martian Space Party! PLEASE NOTE: we
don't have either one in stock yet, but we will be shipping in time for
Christmas. At the last minute, it was decided to put MSP out on a
separate tape, leading to an overstamp correction on page 1 of the
catalog. Nick Danger (MS-004) is priced at $19.95, MSP (MS-005) is
$15.95, and we're offering a special deal on both of those products for
just $29.95 as MS-003, the combination deal. So: we'll take orders for
both these items now, but we will NOT cash any checks or process any
credit-card orders until we're ready to ship the product. We anticipate
that both videotapes will be shipping by December 12 (before if possible,
you bet!) and thus in time for Christmas.
Steve Gillmor, the original director/cinematographer on Martian
Space Party, has come up with a 35 mm film print. This is great -- we'll
certainly have the best quality copies of this film that have ever been
seen in decades. Steve is enthusiastically working on the video transfer
now, and will be helping to promote the film out there in cyberspace --
he's now a well-known writer in a number of major computer publications.
Thank you beyond words, Steve, for all your help and faith!
The re-release of this film is especially timely with the
elections coming up: NOT INSANE IN 96 is our motto! And we are trying to
track down and license useable prints of a some very cool photos -- John
Lennon in 1972, wearing one of the original Not Insane buttons.
Future plans for More Sugar include the Latest Firesign Product:
The Holey Script for Anythynge You Want To is really coming together. I
saw a printout of the current version at MRTW, and it's wonderful. The
guys have had a ball writing annotations and annotations to the
annotations. The only problem is that they're still creating! When it's
ready, plans are to publish two versions: a special collector's edition,
and a popular-priced version in lesser binding (The Coarse Book, sez
Proctor). We'll be putting this up on the Net and the Web when it
Special commemorative editions of three items are in the works,
and we're looking for ways to afford the upfront costs. These would be
signed and numbered limited editions, with material not available
elsewhere -- memorabilia, pics, notes, fun stuff and amazing trivia. The
three items are: The Holey Script for Anythynge; Martian Space Party; and
the last CD's of Don't Crush That Dwarf. Yes, we possess 100 CD's of
Dwarf and want to make the ultimate collector's edition thereof. We held
this up when Sony/Columbia was talking about a re-release, but now they
haven't done that and we can't find out if they will or not, so we'll do
The big hurdle on these is the upfront costs, so here's a
marketing survey question: how many people would be willing to subscribe
in advance for these very special items? The price would be relatively
high -- $50 to $100 -- but we'd make it worth the money as a collector's
item. There would be a deadline for subscriptions, and if we don't
collect enough by then, we'd return the money. Anybody who might be
interested, please write FAX call or email us, SEND NO MONEY NOW!, and let
us know. Suggestions welcome for commemorative inclusions, too.
One other thing about money: LodesTone/More Sugar has got a bear
by the tail, and we're looking for additional capital. We're feedin' this
thing with a teaspoon and ought to be using a frontloader. Our product
sales revenue went up tenfold last year, and the enterprise justifies
expansion way beyond our means. Anybody want to buy in and help out? We'd
be happy to talk about a general investment or a venture on a specific
NOT INSANE IN 96!!
Thanks -- Rich
Taken Apart, Stacked Up and Labelled
More archival news and advertising from Fred Wiebel!
I have just completed the first draft of the Chrono-Histography of The
Firesign Theatre. It's 109 pages of small type and really covers a lot of
ground, from the births of the members up to the present. I've including
everything I could find from all of the fanzines, newspaper clippings from
your press archives, and various additions and corrections from the group.
It's an ongoing task as more info continues to trickle in every day.
What I've decided to do is to take everything I've assembled for my
"book" so far and divide it up into separate booklets to sell to help fund
the entire project as I'm already several thousand in the hole. I'm offering
it to the fans as a prepublication service and for any corrections or
additions that they may come up with. Anyone who contributes will be fully
acknowledged in the credits. Chris Palladino has been helping me gather info
and has made some phone call interviews with Tiny Ossman, Bill Malloch, Buddy
Zellman, you, and others that we will drop into the Internet group from time
to time. Any of these that you wish to carry in the fanzine, you will be more
than welcome to.
I want this to be a fan's project as much as it is mine. I've already
spent over a year working on it, and feel that I'm in too deep to quit now.
The group has been very helpful and forthcoming, but the info has slowed down
in the last several months as I'm afraid I've inundated them with tons of
material and requests. It's a major project that I hope to assemble and offer
to a publisher when finished, hopefully sometime next year. All elements
combined, it's already over 400 pages, depending on the type size.
The discography has really come into shape but there are a few items that
I need photographs of. Any collectors can contact me and I will send them a
list of needed items.
Mark Garland also from Hagerstown, MD has been digging in his unlabled
archive of photographs and negatives from the '70s and has come up with
many rare shots of the Firesign from their 1974 appearance in DC, and also
Proctor and Bergman from the next year. He's still looking for some of the
"Fighting Clowns" tour photos from the Celler Door in DC, and I have some
from the 1993 Warner Theater show. Anyone wishing to contribute photos can
also contact me.
I recently got a call from WETA's Debra Lambertson, who was the producer
of Ossman's Sunday show in the '80s, worked on "We Hold These Truths," and
the upcoming e.e. cummings NPR project, and she gave me a lot of good info
on the show and has indicated that she will let me go through her files.
I sent out numerous copies of the Discoveries article to peak people's
interest in providing info, but have received nothing yet. Anybody wishing to
relate interesting anecdotes or info can also contact me.
I've started to run off some of the orders that I've gotten so far, and
they should be arriving in the mail soon. The deluxe copies I'm printing
individually on the computer and am assembling in various orders and colors
so that each numbered edition is unique.
I'm sorry I can't give away any copies, as the prices barely cover
printing, postage and an occasional pizza, etc. If I get a lot of orders then
I hope to show some profit. Mark Garland has lent me a computer and has also
lent me some money to keep the project going. I just bought a new
Hewlett-Packard 600C Deskjet printer that does a fine job, though the ink
cartridges are expensive. Anyone wishing to contribute cash can do so and will
be paid back in full when the project shows a profit, if ever.
THE FREDERICK C. WIEBEL, JR. FINE ARTS STUDIO is proud to present for a
limited time, the following Firesign Theatre related items:
1) "A CASE OF IDENTITY: A REVIEW OF PHIL AUSTIN'S TALES OF THEOLD DETECTIVE"
- Review, bio, long interview, canary yellow card stockcover, green pages.
18 PAGES ......$ 5.00
2) "THE EIGHT SHOES TRACK RECORD" (A FIRESIGN THEATRE DISCOGRAPHY) DELUXE
EDITION - The most comprehensive discography yet compiled (augmented by
the group), commercial, promo, radio releases,videos, fan tapes,
unreleased archives, color photos of labels and jackets,with color
92 PAGES ......$ 20.00
3) "THE FIRESIGN THEATRE CHRONO-HISTOGRAPHY" - A time line lookat the
careers of the individual members and group from 1936 to the present
compiled from all available sources, card stock cover.
109 PAGES ......$ 12.00
4) "BACKWARDS INTO THE FUTURE" (AN INTERACTIVE ROMP WITH THE FIRESIGN
THEATRE) - Extensive interviews with THE FIRESIGN THEATRE done over the
last year about all aspects of their careers, an intriguing look into
the history of the group, card stock cover.
172 PAGES ......$ 15.00
5) "BACKWARDS INTO THE FUTURE" (AN INTERACTIVE ROMP WITH THE FIRESIGN
THEATRE) LIMITED DELUXE EDITION (only 50 copies will be printed)
- Extensive interviews with THE FIRESIGN THEATRE done over the last year
about all aspects of their careers, discography, rare photos, weird
drawings, color pages, imprinted with your name, autographed by the
author, ring bound, color cover
200 PAGES ......$ 35.00
[reserve your copies now, they're going fast, will be printed when the orders
are filled, then that's it!!!!!]
MAIL CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:
FREDERICK C. WIEBEL, JR.
FINE ARTS STUDIO
136 E. IRVIN AVE.
HAGERSTOWN, MD 21742 - 3430
MRTW 1995 Review - short version
by Jerry Stearns <email@example.com>
It was my first year as a director at MRTW. In fact, my first
time with a job of consequence. I was the Director of Continuity, which is
everything between the three plays. I was to write and direct it. Whew! I
worked with my friend, Brian Price to assemble a script that played with
the concept of radio today. It included a lot of channel switching.
I'd written a Ralph Spoilsport commercial into it, and asked Phil
Proctor to perform it. Of course, he accepted. We also wrote in two
promos for the third play in which Phil played a radio talk show host. So
he did those, too. During our rehearsals, Phil used his experience to help
my cast find their voice and the comedy in the script. He's very good. He
also made suggestions for the script, some of which we incorporated into
it. As Brian said, the script "passed the Proctor test."
After one rehearsal David Ossman told one of my cast that her
portrayal of a community radio DJ dealing with technical problems was
"priceless." I appreciated his complimenting her, a local college theater
major doing her first radio show. I also accepted some praise for the
scripting of that bit.
One thing I want to mention that is worthy of Firesign minds. The
band had ideas we put into the continuity, especially doing a skipping
record, Live! It took them a while, but they did create a piece that
worked - it was identifiable as a record skip even before we said so, and
wasn't more than ten seconds long. A brilliant silly concept, and well
executed. I love it.
The most fun was working with Brian Price to write the script,
hacking it out line by line. Twisting ideas and words to get something
unexpected. Second most fun was directing the performance. It wasn't
perfect, but it worked, and it got a few laughs.
I felt all through the experience that everyone just expected that
I'd do a good job. They were confident in me, probably more than I was in
myself. And they supported me when I expressed my apprehensions. At the
workshop party afterward, David O. told me it was "the best continuity
we've ever had." Others agreed. "A signature idea," he said, whatever that
means. I'll ask him.
I had SO much fun, I plan to go back next year - if there is one.
And I look forward to working with David in next spring's Science Fiction
convention here in Minneapolis. It's too much fun, dear friends.
SAVIOR IN A BOX
by Tim Shell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Excerpt from the unfinished, unauthorized Tales Highlighted in the Snow,
seventh in the Firesign Series of Action and Adventure Books for Young Boys.]
How Many Christs Are Buried in Grant's Tomb?
High in the frog-shrouded peaks of Kashmir, the wooly, heaving
bosom of human civilization, stands a small, stoned tomb guarded by chains
and Rusty Iron. Rusty, a Fung-kyu trained fighting clown monk from the
ancient and mystical Lost Order of Deli, has but two goals in his life.
One is to guard to his death if necessary the whole, hallowed final
resting hole of the original (and some say the greatest) uncopyrighted
Christ. The other is to someday hit the Holy Trifecta at Rocky Rococo's
All-New Classy Dog Racing and Massage Emporium in Muzaffarabad.
"Faq, it's a lonely, frustrating job," Rusty hissed through
betel-stained, pox-scarred gums, separating the remaining few of his
mouldering molars. "First there was that ridiculous ascension rumor, then
we missed getting that Antelope Freeway off-ramp, then to top it all off
there was the Second Coming. Business stinks!"
An ill wind broke as he pulled a withered finger from a
posey-filled pocket and pointed it at a small, rustic kiosk piled to the
heavens with a plethora of trinkets, geegaws, gimcracks, doodads, and
hand-worked whatnot from the old growth whatnot forests of Tibet and
nearby Off-Track Tibet. Each item bore some limited-edition engraven
image or inscription of the forgotten but not yet lost holy place. "The
Constant Patience carved walnut bowels are not moving at all," Rusty
jabbered, "and I haven't sold a collector earwax spoon, Santa Jesus
snow-dome, entrenching tool magnet, mosh pit deoderant, or Crunchy Christ
Groat Cluster Bar in weeks."
As we bid adieu (and were out-bid by aquatre) to the dedicated
overseer of Christ's tomb, a Ralph Spoilsport Motors commercial chattered
from Rusty's Sumoshita portable TV, featuring respectable, reflective
chrome-plated plastic low-income student housing, friction-free fictional
fine-tuning, theoretical cable-ready capability with picture-in-picture,
and two free months of Hideo Savant on-line service with Hinternet
Infobomb access for the low low low low price of only
seventreefiftyHUNdred dollars and a buckthreeeighty per hour, per day,
basics available separately. Mint-flavored packaging not intended for
Everything You Know is Wrong: The Firesign Theatre Trivia Quiz
by Richard Arnold
This quiz is part of a contest sponsored by FAlaFal. See the rules
in the April 1995 issue on how you can enter, or see my Firesign Theatre
Official Rules World Wide Web page at
The deadline for submitting answers to these questions is March 1, 1996.
Entries for this quiz can be sent to Richard Arnold at 1303 R Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20009 (no phone calls, please) or by e-mailing Richard at
email@example.com. This and subsequent quizzes appearing in FAlaFal are
excerpted from a quiz Richard is developing for his World Wide Web page.
The quiz in its entirety will be posted in installments after the publication
of these excerpts. Prizes will be determined by Richard, Elayne, and/or the 4
or 5 at the end of the quiz.
Part Three: Questions from the album
DON'T CRUSH THAT DWARF, HAND ME THE PLIERS
1. What kind of meal did Rod Flash give George through the TV
(specific dish)? (1)
2. What was "the word?" (1)
3. Who was the founder of Morse Science High School? (1)
4. What were Peorgie's post-graduation plans? (1)
5. Complete this sentence: "I'm high on the real thing: _______" (2)
6. Who opens and closes the curtain on Rod Flash's show? (2)
7. What drug did George find when searching his kitchen? (2)
8. What TV station broadcast "High School Madness?" (2)
9. What was Rod quoting when he said "get thee behind me," and in the
original quote, who said it and to whom was it spoken? (3)
10. When George called for pizza delivery, who answered the phone? (3)
11. The movie "High School Madness" was released by what studio? (3)
12. The melody of the hymn sung by the St. Louis Aquarium Choir was
based on what song? (3)
13. What number was the hymn sung by the St. Louis Aquarium Choir,
and what was the historical significance of that number? (4)
14. When Rod Flash said that "we ate" the duck, to what TV show was he
referring, and who was the star of that show? (4)
15. Who were Adam I-III's "Honorary Aquarium Parents," and what were
their primary claims to fame? (4)
16. Ethel's line "Peorgie! Peorgie Tirebiter!" was a reference to what
radio show? (4)
"The Other Side"
1. What fictional soldier sold Napalmolive? (1)
2. What word was Lt. Tirebiter unable to say in "Parallel Hell?" (1)
3. What government body guaranteed "food, housing, insecurity?" (1)
4. How long had Pico and Alvarado been out on patrol? (1)
5. What was Sgt. Mudheadski's password? (2)
6. What two phrases were repeated three times, with an emphasis on a
different word each time? (2)
7. Why wouldn't Silverberg go over Pork Chop Hill? (2)
8. Who "took the bag" on "Hawaiian Sell-Out?" (2)
9. Who walked into the trial scene of "High School Madness" and
disrupted the proceedings? (3)
10. Name three of the four specific things found when Peorgie and
Mudhead located Morse Science High at Commie Martyr's High. (3)
11. In the crowd scene after Poop's radio address, an unnamed character
says "Who's excited?" Of what famous personality was this character
an imitation? (3)
12. One spoken line on the album was started by one character, and
completed by another. What line, and what two characters said it? (3)
13. The characters Pico and Alvarado were separate references to what?
14. The name George Tirebiter was taken from what university source
(college and position)? (4)
15. Hugh's mention of George Antrobis was a reference to what famous
play (title and author)? (4)
16. The name of the character Mudhead was derived from what source?
17. According to Phil Austin, what was the other proposed title of "Don't
Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers?" (4)
Answers to Part Two:
HOW CAN YOU BE IN TWO PLACES AT ONCE
WHEN YOU'RE NOT ANYWHERE AT ALL?
"How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At
All" (44 points total)
1. Tropical Paradise (1)
2. Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Smith (1 -- deduct 1/2 point if "Mr. and Mrs."
is not in the answer; will accept answer if it doesn't contain the
middle initial Q.)
3. "Nairobia, ma'am. Isn't everybody?" (1 -- answer must include full
4. He turned in his badge (1)
5. Agnes Moorehead (2)
6. "In America, with Armenians" (2 -- deduct 1 point if "with Armenians"
is not in the answer)
7. The one with the ever-widening hole in it (2 -- will accept a
paraphrase of this answer)
8. "Babes in Khaki" (2 -- answer must be exact)
9. Bill; W.C. Fields (2 points for first answer, 1 point for second)
10. "Sig Freud! Sig Freud!" (3)
11. Oil companies (3 -- will accept any answers with "oil" and "company"
or synonyms of each word)
12. Ulysses; James Joyce (2 points for first answer, 1 point for second)
13. "Spartacus" (4)
14. Zeno's Paradox (4 -- will award 2 points if a description is given
instead of "Zeno's Paradox")
15. Coca-Cola (4)
16. All were declared candidates for the 1968 Presidential Nomination (4
-- award only 2 points if answer was "all ran for President" without
giving a year)
17. Homer's "The Odyssey" (2 points for author, 2 points for title)
"The Further Adventures of Nick Danger" (40 points total, plus 2
18. Regnad Kcin (1 -- only exact spelling accepted)
19. 666 (1)
20. A grape (1)
21. He faded his voice out and cued the organist (1 -- answer must
include both parts)
22. A brown paper bag; a pickle; a 2-bit ring from a Cracker Backs Jox (1
point each for first and second answer, 1 point for third; last answer
MUST state "Cracker Back Jox" - alternative spellings allowed)
23. Melanie Haber; Audrey Farber; Susan Underhill; Betty Jo Bialowski (1
point for each answer; 'Nancy' not required as an answer as it was
listed in the question; alternative spellings allowed)
24. Glycerin Vibrafoam (2 -- alternative spellings allowed)
25. Dan (2)
26. Key Largo (Half-a-Key Largo) (3)
27. He sat in the Waiting Room (3)
28. "Maggie's Farm;" Bob Dylan (2 points for first answer, 1 point for
29. The I-Ching (3 -- will also accept The Book of Changes; will award
1 bonus point if answer includes the hexagram "The Army," and 1
bonus point if it includes "Youthful Folly")
30. "Million Dollar Legs" (4)
31. "...more holes in it than Albert Hall;" from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely
Heart's Club Band;" "Goo-goo-goo-joob;" from "Magical Mystery Tour"
(1 point for each answer, will accept alternative spellings)
32. December 8, 1941; the date of Franklin Roosevelt's speech announcing
the bombing of Pearl Harbor/"Date that will live in infamy" speech
(2 points for each answer -- will award 1 point for December 7, 1941
if second response is correct, since 12/7/41 was the actual date of the
bombing and on "Nick Danger," the President described it as
happening "this morning," and will award 2 points for December 6,
1941, but only if the reason is because that is the date of the
broadcast listed on the back of the LP.)
33. "Scene 3, take 600;" Cyrus Faryar (2 points for each answer.)
Total points possible for the quiz: 84 plus two bonus points
Winner: Sheldon Leemon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Postmark: Deep Space
(You can stop complaining already - I know who Jackie Chan is, and that
his name doesn't end in a "g." But I chose not to edit/change Richard's
news column on the off-chance that he might have been talking about
someone else... Blame Richard, not me. Not responsible!)
Dear Elayne, August 7, 1995
Gosh, what can I say about these little fellows?
Got your mailing of FAlaFal today and I am whelmed over. A few
weeks ago I thought I was one of the few oldtime Firesign fans still
dedicated to their works. I have been humbled to the nth degree to see
what happens when a truly dedicated person carries the torch....
You must get SOOOO tired of every new contact wanting to give you
their FST backstory (Ed. No, not really...), so I will keep mine short
(rather than spare you entirely). Picked up on these guys at the time of
Dwarf when I was 17. Had the rare opportunity to hear most of the
original Dear Friends radio series when FM radio was Still Cool... Then
came "Not Insane," after which FST seemed to disappear. I was working for
Billboard magazine in 1974, and was surprised to see a tiny blurb in their
"also recommended" section (the one with tiny print) for "Giant Rat."
Otherwise I would never have known about it. Obviously, Columbia had
given up on promoting the group by this time. Then came the solo albums.
Austin's and Ossman's today stand up as pure genius. P&B's "TV Or Not TV,"
while certainly funny, suffered from having too few voices. For my
tastes, the true FST "rebirth" was in two shining works of art -
"Everything You Know Is Wrong" (I think it is their funniest) and "In The
Next World, You're On Your Own" (their most apocalyptic and dark). For me
their only Rhino effort of note is "Shakespeare's Lost Comedie," which I
would gladly add to their canon... Thu Sep 7 1995
Got your new FAlaFal in the US Guv PeeOh today. Call me a Luddite
("David, you're a Luddite") but I think I will always prefer the hardcopy
newsletter. My download missed a lot of Cat's "Old Detective" review, as
well as few other "page-joiners".
I'll say this much, $5.00 a year for a sub is PEANUTS, or walnuts,
or pecans or sump'n, and anyone who can't cough up that much is Freddie
the Freeloader. To the best of my abilities, I think I can always be good
for at least $100-$200 a year, and will do whatever I can to help you keep
this effort in print. I want to save trees too but there needs to be an
archival record on paper of the work you do.
May I offer a few critiques? (of course you can, David, she can't
hear you yet). I personally hate to see you fading into the background of
the FAlaFal, even though I understand your reasons for letting Richard
Fish gain his voice. Looking back at your old issues, I see you caught
some flak for being "too personal" around #6 (?). Well, I welcome
personality into the newsletter. I am a great believer in the editorial
"we" but I fear the day when the newsletter becomes an impersonal forum or
just a bunch of "My first times...". You have very keen editorial
instincts and I would hope the newsletter can return to a forum of
insights, surprises, analyses (such as Cat's GREAT review of the Old
Detective). Looking back at old issues, I found myself delighted with your
personal observations, especially your reviews of Eat or Be Eaten and
Missing Yolks. Not to flatter you, but you are an excellent writer. Keep
P.S.: A few years ago, my cat Raor died at 10 years of age of
cancer. The night before I had to put her to sleep, we stayed up till 3
am watching "All About Eve" together. A very bittersweet memory. Your
notices in the newsletter brought this back home to me in a tearful way.
Bless you Elayne!
Love, DAVID WEEMS
aka Professor Seevots Winsakel
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne, Wed, 30 Aug 1995
(not just a good opening for a correspondence, but a decent song by Roy
I just received the hard copy of #27, and thank you very much for
it. I assume that I am among those who leaped into the data base by
purchasing the EYKIW video. I'm ecstatic that there are still people
vitally concerned with the comings and goings of Firesign, and I look
forward to future correspondence with you and other like-minded
individuals. First of all, I should mention that I am a freelance
journalist here in the thriving metropolis of Cincinnati, and I have been
toying with the idea of some sort of Firesign article for one of my
freelance outlets. With the DISCoveries article among others detailed in
#27, my contributions would probably be superfluous. But I keep it in mind
anyway. I will probably be ordering the Austin cassette and some of the
other ephemera shortly (now that I know it exists), and I have a couple of
specific questions about some other Firesignalia that you may have a
handle on. The first is a three-cassette set that was offered by Rhino
back in the early 80s, which was a compilation of their campaign pieces
done for NPR in 1980. Is this available anywhere or do I need to talk to a
collector? The other thing is the Tunnelvision movie...is it available on
video? I saw it once in the theatre back in 1976 and never heard another
thing about it.
Well, that's it for now. I will send for a subscription in the
near future. Keep up the very important work of bringing Firesign
activities to light, and thanks again for contacting me through the
Sincerely, BRIAN BAKER
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne, September 5, 1995
Sorry to have remained silent so long. There's actually a very
good reason for this. I have had nothing to say. The latest issue,
however, prompts me to once again loosen my tongue...
Please pass my thanks on to Boyd Crow! Though I thought the
Papoon for President campaign was both hilarious and necessary, I had
somehow never connected the "Not Insane" slogan with the Eagleton
psychiatric brouhaha (by the way, I still have the tattered remnants of
the Papoon bumper sticker... long ago I cut it up and pasted it onto the
face of a tambourine). No, curiously, Eagleton never came to mind. I had
merely taken "Not Insane" as a general comment regarding the sanity of all
other candidates (just as I took "Not Responsible" to be a general
statement about Papoon's lack of involvement in Vietnam, Watergate, or any
other aspect of Washington's institutionalized legacy of crime). In any
case, I'm thrilled to have been given an opportunity to see the light on
this one. It had been so dark and dirty in there, it's a wonder I never
put an eye out... PAUL KAZEE
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne: Sept. 7, 1995
I just received back issue #26; it's always a great buzz when
FAlaFal arrives! Who'd a thunk that the issue my first-ever fan letter
would be printed in was the same handled by lazy union schmucks in some
mailroom... (Fortunately, the non-lazy union folks have since deposed
them, and the bulk-mailed #27 arrived in record time to most
My last letter was a soapbox rant about the title of "Firehead."
It makes sense to me now knowing that it was a PA joke... You shouldn't
feel bad about having to charge for a subscription. If I was your
economics teacher I would ahve flagged you 27 issues ago. Honestly, I'll
never understand you young girls in love.
Keep the hard copy intact. This computer revolution is still in
its nascency. Print can be distributed and new readers can be brought
into camp even when a copy of FAlaFal is just lying around waiting to be
picked up. Print ain't dead yet, and it's going down with a fight.
I can hardly wait until I get a job so I can start buying some of
this sugar product... RIP Peter Cook... Take care and keep up the
Sincerely, RON MAUDER (Leo fire sign)
P.S. If I'm a victim of the collective unconscious, where do I file
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne: September 8, 1995
Thanks for sending #27. To a charter member of the Young Tom
Edison Club, and a Firehead since the release of How Can You Be..., your
publication is truly nectar from the Grid.
Having entered my fan club request at TFT's Chicago appearance
during their 1993 anniversary tour, I had by now given up on anything
materializing. Imagine my surprise, then, when #27 arrived at my
doorstep, like a deranged puppy waiting to alight in my lap. The issue
was impressive, well-written and - oh yes - well worth five dollars...
Sincerely, DR. TRACY KNIGHT
(Did anyone else have the same problem Tracy did - signing up on Jim
Henry's list two years ago during the tour, only to find #27 was the
first issue you received? If so I apologize; I thought I'd gotten all
of Jim's names for the list, but a few must have slipped through.)
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne, 9-12-95
Just received the newest issue. I meant to write some time ago to
let you know that there are still a great many of us out there (well, at
least ONE) who are entirely computer-illiterate, and who must therefore
depend upon the vagaries of the POST to connect with the outside world.
(When they let us have sharp pencils here in the home.) I hope I can
encourage you to continue to make this publication available to us on hard
copy. If you want money, I can print some, but please don't hang us out
I would appreciate a mention in the newsletter about the Proctor &
Bergman appearance on our local show "Talk of the Town." It may not be
the most significant appearance they ever made, but I think the fans would
get a kick out of seeing it, and I don't mind making copies for a FEW
people - but I must say I almost passed out when I read that your mailing
list is now up to 2300! (It's back down again with the advent of
subscriptions, as I mention in the editorial.) I'm not sure how to
interact with that large a crowd. But in any case, it would be nice to
get a mention (or a short review) on the piece, since this sort of
intimate appearance tends to be more and more rare among the Four or Five
these days. However, if you ever hear of them playing a small supper club
locally, let me know - maybe it would be like the old Ash Grove days
On an unrelated note (aren't they all?) one of your readers asked
about a comedy album but he couldn't recall the name of it. "I can give
you the Saviour himself, soooo small that it can be used as a rifle
sight." Well, that sporadically brilliant LP was called "Bill Martin's
Concerto for Headphones and Contrabuffoon in Asia Minor." Released in
1970 by Warner Brothers (WB 1856), it was produced by the late, great
Harry Nilsson. Some of the sketches don't hold up too well, but the one
mentioned by Roger Buttermore in his letter from down under was a bit
revolving around an "embittered desert rat and soul citizen of
Chuckawallla, California" called "Flash Flood" (in three chapters, no
less). And it's still brilliant! As to "where are they now" - well, the
last I heard Bill was involved with video production with Mike Nesmith at
Pacific Arts, both writing and performing.
Well, that's all the poop that's fit to scoop. Please feel free
to say HI any old time. And if you ever find yourself in these parts, DEW
Your Pen Pal, GLEN BANKS
Long Beach, CA
(I can't recommend P&B's TALK OF THE TOWN appearance enough, especially
they give FAlaFal a nice plug as well - anyone who wants a copy of this
should send a blank VHS tape and the requisite $3 return postage to Glen
at 1915 Washington Street in Long Beach, 90805.)
* * * * * * * * * *
I'd just dug out my last issue of FAlaFal to see how long since
I'd received a copy when #27 arrived in the mail... For whatever reason,
#26 didn't find its way to my mailbox... hope that I'll be online before
There seem to be so many new names appearing in the newsletter
these days! I can only attribute this to the opportunities for
information sharing provided by the various networks. Folks are so much
more aware of the existence of others with the same interests as
themselves. I'm looking forward to getting involved as soon as I get
School finished up in May and I started a new job as an apprentice
computer systems product developer shortly afterwards. Most of my spare
time is spent reading up on Windows application programming techniques
(mostly Windows 95-related stuff, gambling on there not being a massive
backlash resulting from Microsoft's shameless self-promotion)... This is a
great chance for me to kinda catch up on the technology...
Well, I see there's a new Phil Austin cassette for me to track
down, and I'm glad to get a second chance to order David's War of the
Worlds production (can anybody tell me how to get a CD or cassette of the
original version?). And speaking of Orson Welles, I recently saw his film
F for Fake which came out around the time of EYKIW (either 1973 or 1975,
depending on which copyright date you believe). The film is a study of
frauds of various types (the Clifford Irving Hughes biography is one
focus), with Welles breaking in from time to time to rewind a tape, switch
films, etc. It began to remind me a lot of the contemporary Firesign
album, and I wish I knew which came first! (Welles even mentions his
famous radio hoax, which is illustrated with scenes from Ray Harryhausen's
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, whose alien ships look an awful lot like the
ones on EYKIW's LP cover). Neat - a very underrated Welles film...
Affectionately, DON LEIGHTY
* * * * * * * * * *
Howdy Elayne, 9-29-95
Man-o-man, where to start... one of the loves of my life, the
focus of summer vacations, has been called home... cashed in his chips...
boy, but what a hand-clappin', foot-stompin' legacy the Jerry man left
behind... May the rest of us go on as loved as Jerry... thanks for the
I'm glad you decided to charge the coin-o-the-realm for yer
illustrious 'zine; it's worth every penny... I highly recommend "Tie-Dye"
for a happy-sad foray into what for me became my destination since the
mid-'80s, and "Sex, Drugs and Democracy," reality as you've never seen
it... Tell David Ossman to take a taste of the Seattle Peace Concerts -
the '60s live on...
Forward into the past. I'll be on the holodeck circa "Frisco
66"... MIKE WILKINSON
* * * * * * * * * *
Elayne, October 9, 1995
It's been great receiving the newsletter for the last couple of
years. Saw the boys in Boston in November '93 during the 25th anniversary
tour. Had not laughed so hard in 20 years - they were great! It was
hilarious to see hundreds of folks with illegal grins emerging from a
dozen or so smoke-filled alleys around the Orpheum Theatre five minutes
before showtime. Everyone would break out giggling just looking at each
other. Audience participation was at the max! Got the tour jacket and
wear it proudly all the time. occasionally someone will ask about it and
it's like meeting old secret friends. Most are very disappointed to have
missed them - hope they come by Boston again soon.
Also hope that all the old albums can be re-released sometime
soon. Strawberries record stores out here have the "big three" available
(on cassette) most of the time but no later productions. I have about
eight of the originals in pristine condition...
Trivia: There's a restaurant in Hopkinton, MA (where the Marathon
starts) called The Glories of Food. I wonder where they got that name?!!
I haven't seen any mention in the letters of anyone using Firesign
phrases and quotes as a short-hand language. I and several close friends
have done this for over 20 years. To us, a simple phrase can convey all
kinds of meanings which go right over the head of everyone else who might
be present. Eg: "Only to ten, Mudhead" immediately conveys our perception
of the IQ of the subject. The context conveys the meaning - there are no
set meanings for any particular phrase, but we always know what we mean
Please convey to the 4or5 my fervent hope for a new album(s) in
the near future. The solo efforts are great, but the sum is greater than
Keep up the great work! GEORGE McLAUGHLIN
* * * * * * * * * *
Elayne - October 12, 1995
Sorry for the "snail mail," but online services in this part of
western New York (almost Iowa!) are scarce... You'll be hearing from more
"workers" in the near future as I try to get the word out from our "little
By the way, I am originally from Arizona and remember very well
Rebus Caneebus' big jump into the Big Hole, the Gog Brothers, and
especially "those little guys" who landed in Proctor's well up in Curio.
Saw the 4or5 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix during the "Dogs Flew
Spaceships" tour. If you ever see them, ask if they remember K-DIL pirate
Gotta go - my best to Juicy and Tricky, wherever they may be.
Go Nancy! PAUL MAGEE
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne, Dear Friends, October 15, 1995
Herewith my glad five to keep the next twelve alive. Too cheap
for such a neat trip. Iv'e gotta get in my .02, and I don' got no
E-whatzit. Don' need. Do need other Firesign aficionados. Would be most
welcomin' correspondence (ole fashioned, land-type) from any and all who
fit (somewhat) the following criteria: reading list from Oxford English
Dictionary, Uncle Scrooge Comics, Walt Kelly, Loren Eiseley, and Ray
Bradbury; soundtrack by Mozart, Pink Floyd, Clannad, Bach and Leo Kottke
and, of course, the 4or5 crazies; basic reference by Palmer & Fowler.
Would also open membership in Northern Maine Perloo Society to those who
dig Gaia. (So-called Greens subject to background check) But if you think
Aldo Leopold and Joseph Campbell are equally hep, I'd enjoy hearing from
Aside from reminding you/all that it's in the soap, I'll not clog
things with gobs of quotes from the world's most cogent satirists.
Firesign quote-identify and trivia-repartee are endlessly fun & rewarding,
but really are best when done face to face and spontaneously. But reflect
on the coyote's importance. Or the Russian proverb about the birch tree.
Or the Bene Gesserit litany against fear.
Can offer for sale/swap reasonable variety of Firesign vinyl: in
good-fair condition, Dwarf and Everything You Know...; in good or better,
Missing Shoe, Electrician, Next World, Two Places and Fighting Clowns; in
good-excellent condition, Not Insane, How Time Flys, Just Folks, Bozos,
Giant Rat (2), Eat or Be Eaten and Lost Comedie. Woulc welcome
correspondence from any and all who might be interested in the above
(criteria) as well as vinyl. Odd that no one has, in your reprinted
letters at least, mentioned one of George Tirebiter's more sublime
moments: a live interview of some 6-7 minutes smack in the middle of
Public Broadcasting's lengthy coverage of "Neptune All Night." This was
an evening/early morning segment of what television can sometimes rise to.
True to the majesty of real-time encounters with our gas-giant neighbors
waws this erudite clown George being magnificent and vacuous all in grand
manner in the least expected milieu. Would happily make arrangements to
copy (VHS only) either the George Tirebiter interview or the whole 6-hour
shmear for any Firesign faithful...
Here's hopping' for more members of the Northern Maine Perloo
Society, dedicated to some insanity, good comics (on the page/vinyl/disc
and in the wild), any unattached Zen-Druids, and a general hearty time.
I'm the CEO and a founding charter member of the Northern Maine Perloo
Society, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fleesum, Skinnum, Bleedum
and Splytte, which is in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of the the
Northern Maine Perloo Society. Our organizational tree strongly resembles
a Moebius stryppe. (It was designed posthumously under a special
commmission by MC Escher.) All this interdimensional coming and going
keeps us amused, it generaly keeps us off the (paved) highways, and drives
the tax people absolutely nuts.
Hoping to hear from one and all, I am your obedient (let's not get
too crazy here), PETER M. HILTON
(aka the Ent)
21 Turner Street
Presque Isle, ME 04769
(Michael Packer has an audio version of "Neptune All Night," but
aware there was video of the Tirebiter interview. Could you send it to me
for our archives, Peter? Thanks.)
* * * * * * * * * *
A falafal tale for you, others: October 30, 1995
June, 1970. Sunday evening. Proctor is in NY becoming a movie
star, Ossman is looking for his WC Fields voice in Lompoc, just Bergman
and Austin on their Hour Hour radio show to premier Dwarf. I'm lost.
Driving unfamiliar streets in the hills of Encino, behind Ralph
Williams Ford (ralph spoilsport on 2 places) in search of my friend
Jonathan's new house. The lights of the San Fernando Valley below, instead
of shining, are shrouded in fog. On the radio, "they never come up into
the hills." It seemed to be a story of a war taking place in LA. I feel
transported to that temporally distant Proctor's Mills, New Jersey,
listening to the Mercury Theatre describe the Martian Invasian and
expecting Orson Welles to land on my house any minute. Is that you, Sgt.
Mudheadsky? The 4 or 5 did promise to bring the war back home on 2 places.
Maybe they really did it. The Electrician finally pulled the plug. The
plague is upon us!
Finally find Jonathan's house and of course he's also listening to
the unveiling of the Dwarf. "Isn't it great?" he asks, rhetorically.
"What, to be surrounded by a war in LA? We can't even see the city
through the fog. Maybe Pico and Alverado are really at war right now."
"It's just a story, Cat," Jonathan assures me. But you never know,
with the Firesign Theatre. CAT SIMRIL ISHIKAWA
* * * * * * * * * *
I first really listened to the Firesign in '73. A friend gave me
the album Not Insane... My lack of Shakespearean exposure is a deep
personality fault. It was enticing and fun. And after about 5 plays I
began to understand the skeleton of what was going on. Today I retain
about 90% of the words, but have had few requests to do any of it... I got
to see both shows TFT did in '93-94 in Seattle. The first one was
overwhelming, even with a few technical difficulties. I said "damn" quite
a few times and not much else after it was over. It was a rare bit of
heat in an otherwise cold summer. Show #2 was better, but that's to be
expected. So was the rest of that summer. I look forward to another
appearance in their own time...
All for now, ED WESTON
Port Orchard, WA
* * * * * * * * * *
Dear Elayne, November 29, 1995
Hello! I am one of your many FALaFal subscribers. I've been
meaning to write to you for some time to thank you for your efforts... As
much as I love the Net (and I spend a lot of time on it), there's just
something cool about getting Firesign Theatre-related stuff in the mail.
I just wanted to share my little bit of experience with FT, which
isn't much. My uncle gave me tapes of a few albums one summer when my
family was vacationing in Southern California (I was 15). I instantly got
completely into them, searching out their albums in new (you could still
get them then!) and used record stores for the next few years. I'm now 25
and one of the youngest FT fans I know. It's always fun surprising older
people with that. I was lucky enough to get to see the guys perform in DC
during the 25th anniversary tour. I'm so thankful I got to see them live!
I never thought it would happen, being born several years too late.
Reading your newsletter and seeing all the incredibly cool stuff that
people had brought to get autographed at the concert really makes me
lament that. I would so much love to have the book(s) they did. But I'm
still happy to have all (most) of their albums (and CDs) and an
autographed picture. I wish I had been more outgoing after the concert,
because they all seemed really nice. I just always find it hard to
express the sheer joy someone's work has given me.
Jeez! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to babble. I've just never
e-mailed anyone about FT before. So, thank you again for all that you
have done and continue to do! You're terrific!
See You on the Funway!
Once again, I apologize to everyone for the hideous mailing list test. If
you were one of the many who were puzzled/befuddled/annoyed/outraged by it,
I humbly grovel at your shoetops and can only say that ELAYNE MADE ME DO IT!
IT WASN'T MY FAULT! HONEST!!!
No, really. Elayne was as much a victim as anyone (hey, I sent a copy to
myself! I'M a victim TOO!), but if you think about it you know that It Was
Necessary. And I did find out a lot of the addresses were bogus/obsolete,
and when you're mailing a 70Kbyte file around the 'net to over 450 people...
well, it's better to know. Trust me.
This issue of EFAlaFal is number six for me, which means that I've now done
two complete years of the electronic version. I don't archive the Web
version, but I think this will be the third edition in that format -- and
now I feel like a veteran (a 'net-eran?) It seems like only two years ago
that I suggested to Elayne that she put out an e-version of FAlaFal, and I
still remember her gracious response: "HA! You want an electronic edition,
YOU DO IT! Here's the files." And I jumped away from the keyboard just in
time to avoid burial in a flood of bytes.
And now Elayne has selfishly decided that she would like her life back, and
isn't sure how many more of these that she's gonna subject herself to.
So before anyone goes and starts thinking that Your Electronic Editor might
take over -- au contraire, mes freres. I get my grins and chuckles editing
this version and creating the Web pages, but doing all of the organization
and initial writing? No way, uh-uh, not me.
Let's just praise and cajole poor Elayne some more and see how many more of
these wondrous collections of Pure Fun we can squeeze out of her before she
keels over. Nothing in life is forever (except maybe a good hate-filled
grudge), so let's Get While the Getting is Good and send Elayne lots of money
to help cover expenses. She might be too proud to beg, but NOT ME!
I have no sense of shame. My wife tells me that all the time.
Have a great holiday season