"Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death!" the new Firesign Theatre CD on Rhino has certainly created quite a lot of brouhaha. Ha ha ha! Time Magazine, CNN, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, LA Times, Phily Inquirer, Knight Ridderó itís weirdly cool. After hearing it more than the needed 33 1/3 times, and playing it for well over 100 people I can say this:
Established Fireheads all seem to immediately compare it with their favorite Firesign album, and the general consensus puts GMIOGMD up there with the best. New listeners (e.g., younger folk) seem to have the same kind of experience I had with "Electrician" in 1969: getting sucked in, and then spit out at the other end, going "Wow! What just happened to my brain!" Personally, I think the new album is as good as anything theyíve ever done, and better in several particular respects, such as characterizations and use of music. They are back, they are BACK!
Thanks eternally to The Four Or Five, I was able to make the World Broadcast Premiere on my show here in Bloomington, IN, over WFHB, which is webcasting 24-hours these days. All four came on, live via telephone. Talk about a dream come true! The station reports that we had hundreds of listeners on the web, which is about ten times the usual number of listeners at any given moment, and the show was a stitch! I could hardly get a word in edgewise, which should be no surprise to anyone. The show was recorded, and we plan to get a cassette of the live interview/insanity portion together in the near future. Meanwhile, Iím playing Firesign every week, and taking requests! Email the station at firstname.lastname@example.org or me personally at email@example.com. If you are Web and RealAudio capable, you can tune in at http://www.wfhb.net or http://www.wfhb.org every Sunday night. Seven to 8:30 PM is the timeslot, and thatís Eastern Standard Time all year round -- weíre on Chicago time during daylight savings, and on New York time the rest of the year. Even when Iím not on, the stationís pretty cool -- check it out!
Peter Bergman let slip to me, and now Phil Proctor has announced in the Planet, that Firesign have begun working on the NEXT album! Dancing in the streets is once again the order of the day. Their creativity keeps bubbling and just canít be stopped, it seemsóhooray!! "You Just Donít Get It, Do You" is the working title mentioned by both, and that may indeed be the title, but Iím not going to bet any of my own money on that just yet.
Rumors of an Impending Tour continue to fly, but I have heard no definite dates as yet. The Left Coast in early Ď99, the Right Coast later in the year, and the New Album next fall: thatís our Golden Dream at the moment, so letís all grasp Princess Goddessís hand and leap into space.
My new partners, Joel and Dana Pierson, have been hard at work along with Daniel (double Edmund) Geduld and Fulfillment Manager Ron Keithe, and me. "IMMORTALITY" is bringing a lot of new recognition to the major renaissance in Audio Theatre, for which The Firesign Theatre deserves an enormous share of the credit.
If packaging can be arranged, we are trying to make Pink Hotel and Anythynge available on CD in time for Christmas. George Tirebiterís Radio Follies is now available, on CD, in a regular unsigned version as well.
Youíll find Peter Bergmanís book in the new catalog ó ok, so itís not a tape! Itís the "Survival Guide To The Millennium", and the natural companion to GMIOGMD.
And look for the long-hoped-for release of Proctor & Bergmanís POWER to finally come true on CD in the new catalog! Itís an absolutely hilarious sendup of Hollywood, and what a delight to finally make copies available.
Finally, a hopeful note regarding Sony/Columbia. We believe we have finally tracked down wholesale supply for "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once" on CD, and will be placing an order for actual stock in the next week or so. Weíve been trying to do this for a year now. They say we can also get "Shoes For Industry," and if so then we will.
I asked specifically where people can send requests for re-releases, and was told this: go to http://www.sonymusic.com and down at the bottom of the page thereís a clickable mailto link for "feedback." Click on that and send them email about all those old Firesign titles! OR, call them at 1-800-255-7514. Theyíre not antagonistic, just completely ignorant -- the fellow I talked to was young and had never heard of The Firesign Theatre. Wake up . . . wake up!!!
But the release of the new album has started other energies flowing as well. Here are three examples:
Last week the telephone rang and the voice at the other end introduced himself as ó Jack Poet! Yes, it was Firesignís Most Famous Client himself. He was delightful to talk with, and informs me that heís no longer selling Volkswagens; today, heís running two businesses: one makes loans to third world countries, and the other markets hydroponic farming equipment.
And finally, the other day I went to the grocery store to pick something up. While there, I added the copy of TIME which has the Firesign mention in it (Sept. 28 issue), and that made my total come out to $6.66. Co-incidence? I think not.
Thatís all for now. Many big and genuine thanks to all who have called, emailed, posted, and (especially) ordered, dear Friends. LodesTone, http://www.lodestone-media.com gives Firesign the biggest royalty cut they get anywhere ó so think of MORE SUGAR when you think of Firesign!