HERDED THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
BOOM DOT BUST: The big big big news coming out of Firesign World is that the 4 or 5
have just completed an album at Sunburst Studios for Rhino Records that will be released
October 19th. The case of the missing title is at last solved. Firesign's new recording is
called "boom.bust". After a merry-go-round of titular spin the bottle, the
Firefunsters have kissed off such nom de plumes as: "You Just Don't Get it,
Do You?", "You Just Don't Get It, Do I", "Meanwhile In
Billville", "Big, Big, Big", "We're All Cats In this Bag",
"If It's Not Life Threatening, I'm Not Interested" and just plain
"Billville", but when the lips parted, they blurted "BOOM.BUST". The
Freditor was awoken from a deep induced sleep by a late night phone call from Messieurs
Proctor & Ossman, jubilant over their final decision. When queried about how to spell
it or write it the answer came after a pregnant pause, "No matter how you type it,
caps or lower, it's OK as long you have a period!", which may be difficult for the
males of our species. However, after long thought and various committee meetings and
numerous martinis, the current finalized approach is BOOM DOT BUST.
INSIDE DOPE FROM THE INSIDE DOPES: Firezine subscriber and Firesign Theatre dear friend / collector Glen Banks reported by phone from his cell home in Long Beach, CA, that he just spent the better part of any day but particularly Friday (7/16) in the studio with the 4 0r 5.1 Krazy Guys during the Boom Dot Bust recording sessions. Here's the scoop from our mole in the hole. The guys were just finishing up several bits including some fake commercials and talk show interviews. The working method seems to have extended from the last album; round table discussion, reading lines, consensus, re-drafting and editing on computer, print out, reading lines, acting lines, choosing takes, moving on, discussion, etc. More than one time when they were ready to roll, Bergman would stop and say, "That's not good enough." And then it would be improved. Lot's of good hilarious stuff got tossed for something better for the album. The performances are at a peak, presumably as a result of just coming off tour. The magic is stronger than ever, especially when all 4 are standing at the microphones and directing each other. Having a small audience in the studio to play off of, also helps as the laughter was piped through the cans on the talk-back channel. At first the guys thought that this was ruining the takes. The over all session was a good one as 5 min. were laid down for the day, a major accomplishment, soliciting high four or fives all around. 10 or 15 min. remain to be recorded. Progress was going according to schedule with the basics being finished by the end of the next week. Then the foley items are to be inserted and the 2 mixes performed. Here's some random memory clips from the day's session, some of which may or not end up on the album: David Ossman hosts a talk show, "The Money Bubble", where he interviews Bob Sprawl (Proctor) from his virtual house who's furnishings upgrade or degrade as the stock market booms or busts, such as his "Nude Descending A Staircase" changes into an Elvis velvet. An infomercial for "Devil Master", an exorcising machine. Send 3 easy payments of $222 to Wrestlemania, MN. Esther Wood Rosin demonstrates as her head stays still and her body rotates. "Roll up your pants boys." Proctor perfectly plays the enthusiastic pitchman, running around screaming, and Austin, the devil's own. Various lines either spoken or repeatedly sung on and off mike: "We're doomed!"; "Hail the size of marmosets."; "Gladly the cross eyed bear."; "Flown in on a broom and swept out with the dust." And variations on Stephen Foster songs. Banks returned to the studio Monday to be in a crowd scene. Just so happens that he was off that week and was be able to attend more sessions. We're encouraging him to report for Firezine and put together an article for issue #7. Stay tuned........... (photos: Dave Stephens)
SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK TOURS: The Firesign's mini-tour of 4 West Coast cities in April '99 was a mini success. Firezine staffers were able to attend the Seattle shows and snap up hundreds of photographs and miles of tape. A full fool's report will just about fill up the next issue of Firezine. The guys put on a great show comprised of their favorite 'classic' bits neatly wrapped up in a RadioNow setting featuring humankind's history from "The Wall of Science" on "Bozos"; "Babe in the Car" from "How Can You Be"; "Parallel Hell" from "Dwarf"; "Aliens in the Eggs" from "Everything You Know", later substituted with a 'new' version of "Nick Danger" from "How Can You Be" and a slightly truncated "Anythynge You Want To" now called "Spamlet" or "Shakespeare In Heat". The highlights were presentations from "Give Me Immortality". The program developed over the tour into a dress rehearsal for a "March To Broadway", which seems to have since subsided to cooler heads. Plans now appear geared to a more realistic series of LA performances in November & December. Keep checking the Firezine website by clicking through www.firesigntheatre.com for more info as it arrives.
"IN THE FIREZONE": <font FACE="Arial, Helvetica" "IN THE FIREZONE": Firezine recorded the last Seattle show on DAT and the guys are graciously allowing us to offer it on CD to help raise funds for the mag. Advance sales have been brisk with many fans delighted by the efforts and package put together by our own Doc Technical, with some minor help from Tom O'Neill and Fred Wiebel. See ad on back page.<font FACE="Arial, Helvetica" "IN THE FIREZONE":
"MO-FI FELLAS FEEL-OUT FIRESIGN FOR FAR-OUT FIDELITY FORMAT": Mobile Fidelity, who re-issued Firesign's classic Columbia albums on CD in the late 80's, have recently contacted the group, hoping to re-release their "Back From The Shadows" double live CD of the '93 re-union tour on a gold based disc. The hard to find set has been languishing in the cut-out bins for several years. This time around the digital recording will be re-mastered to bring up the sound quality to their current Higher-Fi levels. You might not be able to tell the difference but your dog will love it. Other projects are being discussed.
FT GOES TO THE MOUNTAIN: On Friday 4/30, Firesign (sans Austin) were interviewed by John Fisher and Mike West (the morning drive time jocks) on KMTT 103.7FM radio in Seattle. Firesign frolicked in the studio and gave away tickets to their performances at the Bagley Wright. The interview can be heard on the Firezine website thanks to Mark Wierd Al Time Peltier.
RADIO DAZED: On April 10, Firesign appeared before a studio audience on the syndicated radio program West Coast Live broadcast from The Theatre On The Square in San Francisco before their evening performance at the The Warfield. The show was carried by 50 stations across the country, NPR's America One in Europe and Japan and around the world by RealAudio on the web. Their 25 min. interview can also be heard on the Firezine website.
MENSA SCHMENSA: Phil Austin held an hour long "Millennial Hoedown" at the Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, CA to a full house of some of the smartest self proclaimed people in the country at the 7/3 annual Mensa gathering. Austin performed readings from his work, including "Nick Danger, Third Eye" and "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death". The crowd also enjoyed Austin's candid take on such subjects as success, the new millennium, and the Grammy Awards behind the scenes. (Photo courtesy of Julie Olson Managing Editor of Mensa Bulletin www.us.mensa.org)
BERGMAN BOOK BASH: Peter Bergman attended a mid April New York release party for his co-authored "The Official Millennium Survival Handbook" in a swanky bar in Lower Manhattan. Among the notables present were cover artist Bob Grossman, Firesign webmaster Doc Technical, video archivist and blimp fantic Alan Gross and media warlord and blimp look-a-like Fred 'Hindenburg' Wiebel. Check out the Freditor's report later in the mag.
THE VOICE OF GOD: David Ossman has been very busy on numerous projects of late, one of which was providing the narration for the CD "Rock Opera: The Fossil Record" a supernatural history. Being on tour and hopping back and forth between WA and CA for recording sessions has tied up most of the elder statesman's time and he is looking forward to some quality moments with his family. All of the Ossmans were present for a FT Seattle performance.
MOUTHING OFF: Phil Proctor has been juggling his various commitments between FT obligations, assembling and writing Planet Proctor and his voice over work but somehow managed to find time to act in the upcoming "Rocky And Bullwinkle" movie and direct some plays for the Antaeus Theatre group. Proctor bounced off the FT tour by again directing the striking comedic monologist Tulis McCall in her new one woman show "Running With Scissors" to rave reviews in the LA papers. It enjoyed a 6 week run at The Court on La Cienga in LA. Phil and his charming multi-talented wife Melinda Peterson co-directed the Antaeus Co. in "Robin, Polished By Love" a one act play by Mariaux, for the NoHo Arts Festival 6/12 in LA as well. As usual it's best to just to let the 'busiest mouth in Hollywood' tell you what he's been up to. Take it away Phil!
ROCKY MEETS ROCKY: "I will be performing a cameo as a TV Floor Manager opposite Robert DeNiro as Fearless Leader in "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie" at Universal. It is a live/animated feature where R&B are cartooned and all the other characters are real with Renee Russo as Natasha and Jason Alexander as Boris. Lots of other stars, including Carl Reiner, by the way, are involved."
RUSHIN' RUSSIANS: "We're also both busy adding character voices to Yuri Rassovsky's NPR Sci-Fi series for Hollywood Theatre of the Air. For example, I just did several parts with Tom Poston, Hamilton Camp and Marion Mercer in "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; and David Ossman and Melinda and I co-starred in "Collector's Fever." Great fun."
TOYING AROUND TOO: "For the nonce, I'm running wild taking care of my 21-year-old daughter and 85-year-old Mom who're out here for a visit; and yesterday I added voices to "TOY STORY 2" at Disney for director John Lassiter. Wait 'til you see it! Melinda's TV ads for Saturn LS (she’s a supermarket food sample lady in it) and Geiko Insurance are also presently on and running."
TARZAN SWINGS: (Phil, what parts did you do in the new Disney
2) English ship captain trying to convince Jane to return to England.
3) Pirates, apes, bad guys, etc. We got "additional voices" credits because the producers didn’t keep careful notes on who played what! Sure. You’ll also hear my elephant voice in the TARZAN interactive game!"