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THE FIRESIGN THEATRE
(released - late 97)
~ Press Release ~
First off, it's not a theatre at all-- at least it doesn't have four walls -- but the fiery foursome that created it: Phil Austin (Aries), Phil Proctor (Leo), and Peter Bergman and David Ossman (Saggittarians), have managed to make theatre wherever they go and over the years they have sold between over four million albums. Indeed, this year, they were chosen among the"Fifty Greatest Acts of All Time" (actually it was *30*) by Entertainment Magazine.
Firesign first became widely known in 1966 at L.A.'s listener-supported KPFK (where Austin and Ossman were on staff), and when Proctor came West with the musical The Amorous Flea they started performing together on Peter "The Wiz" Bergman's Radio Free Oz, rapidly evolving from doing put-ons and live original half-hour comic plays before ecstatic crowds into the multi-media production and performance entitity we know today.
For the next three decades, The Firesign Theatre has enjoyed wide popular success, producing twenty-two best-selling records including the Grammy-nominated Three Faces of Al, seven nationally syndicated radio series, many local shows, musicals, and national tours, and the short films: Everything You Know Is Wrong, Eat or Be Eaten, Nick Danger in the Case of the Missing Yolks, and The Madhouse of Dr. Fear (with Don Adams) and Hot Shorts --which by re-editing, re-scoring and re-dubbing, brought new life to old horror films and classic Republic Studio cliffhangers.
In 1993, the boys regrouped for a national Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Tour to promote the release of Shoes For Industry, a Sony double CD of their greatest hits, and "Fighting Clowns - A Musical Cabaret" on Mobile Fidelity. In '94, they toured the West Coast,from San Diego to Seattle, promoting yet another double album, "Back From The Shadows".
In recent years, they've released videos of Everything You know is Wrong, Nick Danger in the Case of the Missing Yolk, and Martian Space Party, as well as audio cassettes of Shakespeare's Lost Comedie, Anythynge You Want To, Austin's Tales of The Old Detective, and Ossman's Mark Time, plus their latest release,The Pink Hotel Burns Down - all available from LodesTone Media in Bloomington, Indiana.
Firesigns can be heard on Ossman's ninety-minute PBS radio adaptation ofEmpire Of The Air, his award-winning version of War Of The Worlds starring Jason Robards, in Norman Corwin's We Hold These Truths, and on Bergman's Digital Diner national radio special, and the entire Firesign have added their voices to episodes of the popular Saturday morning Fox cartoon "The Tick," as well as a series of Nick Danger radio spots designed to kick off Pizza Hut's "stuffed crust" campaign.
Two years ago, they assembled in the Santa Monica studios of KCRW to record and produce a 7-minute satirical piece titled Everything You know Is Wrong About the Future, which was broadcast nationally on NPR's Weekend Edition of All Things Considered and tempted by the world of cyberspace they predicted, these intrepid surrealists performed at the Knitting Factory in Tribeca for the annual Toyota Comedy Festival in the historic ninety-minute Big Internet Broadcast of 1996, accessible live on the Radio Free Oz website and over local station WNYC.
Last year, they produced ten comic commercial and newsbreak parodies for Pop Quiz, syndicated on over one hundred stations by New York based Radio Today; and this year, they were honored in a sold-out symposium at the Beverly Hills branch of the Museum of Television and Radio where their audio and video material is permanently available.
Now, after 15 years, they are writing a brand new CD to be released by Rhino Records and presently titled "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death" along with a compilation of rare Nick Danger material. They hope to support their new product with a national tour and TV appearances in the spring.
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