You, eBay and The Firesign Theatre
By Justin Dortwegt


When someone mentions the Firesign Theatre, you're likely to get any one of these responses. Either they, the person in the street whom you might ask this, will remember them with overwhelming excitement. Which will prompt them to start quoting intangible phrases from any one of the Firesign recordings. Then again you might get the person who, pauses, momentarily in the street with a genuine grin gracing their face as the little neurons spark up, from deep with in their fleshy data-bank, the nostalgic memories of a comedy group long ago. Or you just might get the guy who doesn't know what the hell you're talking about.

But sooner or later, those who remember, those who want to, and those who are looking to, will eventually congregate somewhere. Possibly in reality, but most likely virtually, like in the Firesign News Group community. Then quite suddenly without warning they will find themselves looking for ancient recordings and other memorabilia, hoping to experience the Firesign Theatre all over again or for the very first time. That's when they arrive at EBAY, either looking to create a collection or to complete one.

Then with in the digital horizons of Ebay, a new fire breathing cult of Fireheads are born. Swimming around like a pack of hungry sharks looking for a tasty auction. When a juicy auction does appear, the waters begin to swell and churn. The first bid is made, then they attack, bidding one by one, until nothing remains but the victorious.

Ebay has inadvertently become the focal point of the strongest perpetuators of the legend. The Firesign Theatre has created some pretty surrealistic audio theater comedy recordings. From their very first LP in 1968, "Waiting For The Electrician, Or Someone Like Him" which was about the rise and fall of the respect for the Native American people, and the overly hip nation ruled over by a constantly regrooving government. To their latest recording, "Boom Dot Bust" which is just a too little surreal for me to comprehend. They have always looked for the common sense in America's evolution, and turning what they find into a comedic, thought provoking sound scapes of the personified lunatic fringe that seems to prevail in our estranged culture. They have become, dare I say it, milestones of counter-culture thought. It's all right there in their words, in their recordings, and Ebay has literally become a cornucopia of Firesign memorabilia, new and old. And with each rise and fall of the tide, more items are washed in from the the volcano of material possessions that had never stopped flowing since the beginning. Whether you're a shark at a frenzy or a beach comber strolling along the digital shore line, Firesign Theatre is worth checking out and Ebay is the best place to start.

So for all you Firesign Fans out there, who are looking to find the Firesign community nearest you. Next time, when you're in a swarming crowd of people, just stop and look around sometime, and say "He's no fun, he fell right over!" We're closer than you think.