This set is a distillation of the Firesign Theater's 21 hour-long weekly radio programs conceived and produced live on the air at KPFK in Los Angeles between September 9, 1971, and February 17, 1972. These tapes were then whittled down to 12 one-hour shows and syndicated under the title Dear Friends, and were subsequently broadcast throughout North America on burgeoning underground FM stations. Unlike most other Firesign Theater recordings, the emphasis here is on improvisation, with a keen ear toward the medium of radio. The Firesign Theater actually incorporate and refer to the medium throughout their impromptu sketches as if it were the fifth member of the troupe. The four human Firesigns are: Phillip Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman, and Philip Proctor. Their background includes several other short-lived series for radio, including Radio Free Oz and the Firesign Theater Radio Hour. For Dear Friends, scripts and other preconceived notions were dismissed in an effort for the members to explore the possibilities of congruous verbal improvisation, incorporating many of the same techniques that musicians employ when performing live. The major difference being the absence of instant audience feedback as radio, which is infinitely more insidious -- practically invading the homes and autos of willing participants. The Firesign Theater of the air deftly construct premise after premise with verbal sparring and wordplay. The freshness and spontaneity in their oft-times bewildered retorts is contagiously funny. No matter how many times you hear a routine, the impeccable timing never fails to garner a smile at the expense of the audience's expectations. Dear Friends, originally issued as a two-LP set, consists of comparatively short extracts relating to four subheadings: "A Properly Religious Opening," "The T.V. Set," "Animals, Vegetables & Minerals," and "It's Sure Realistic." Many infamous characters and bits that would exist beyond Dear Friends include: "Freezing Mr. Foster," "Deputy Dan Has No Friends," a collective glance into the "T.B. Guide," "Balliol Bros.," and "Poop's Principles." The latter features the fictitious Principal Poop from More Science High School -- a character being concurrently developed by the troupe on the Don't Crush That Dwarf Hand Me the Pliers album. Locating a copy of the 1992 CD reissue of Dear Friends on the audiophile Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab might be difficult, as it was limited in edition and likewise became an unfortunate casualty of the demise of the label in the late '90s. For enthusiasts of the Firesign Theater, it is a mandatory find.
Picking up exactly where Don't Crush That Dwarf left off (with the sound of an ice cream truck), I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus isn't so much a revelation as its predecessor. This is another concept album, this time about technology, the future, and humanity's place in the equation. There are less obvious laughs this time out, and the album really needs repeated listens to begin to make any sense of it (indeed, in the Mobile Fidelity reissue, two of the members of the group contribute essays in an attempt to make it less incomprehensible). Still, there are some really fine moments that immediately click, like "Breaking of the President" and the visits from the Holygrams. Repeated listening will bring out all the album has to offer.
Firesign Theatre's previous work had already proved that the troupe wasn't particularly interested in releasing conventional comedy albums. While earlier albums had longer pieces, Don't Crush That Dwarf is the first time they dedicated an entire album to a single theme. Although initially it sounds like a loose collection of semi-related items, it later becomes clear that the whole album is a look through the past of a single character, George Leroy Tirebiter, with a few flips of a television tuner knob taking you through his early days as a child star all the way up to a This Is Your Life-style reflection and beyond. Television and movie parodies still figure prominently throughout: "High School Madness" is a hilarious spoof on wholesome '40s boys' adventure films, but the group also takes on war films, televangelists, commercials, and more. In many ways, this is a comedy concept album. What's more, it moves past comedy in places, proving that you can be funny while remaining intelligent. The group even throws in a touch of poignancy at the very end. Masterful.
01 Tingings: This Side
02 Tingings: The Other Side
Peter Bergman, founder of the surreal comedy group Firesign Theatre, and the man who coined the term "Love-In," died Friday morning in a Santa Monica hospital. He was 72, and had been suffering from leukemia.
Firesign grew out of a radio show Bergman hosted at KPFK in the late 1960s. The group made two dozen popular comedy records — the most popular of which included “We’re All Bozo’s on This Bus,” and “Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers” — and continued performing live into last December.
On his own, Bergman produced a political satire series for KPCC called “True Confessions of the Real World,” which ran in 2002 and 2003.
I'll be posting a couple of Firesign Theatre's more famous records here soon...
Derek and Clive Ad Nauseam is the third and final recording made by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore featuring their characters Derek and Clive. It also charts the breakup of Cook and Moore's partnership.
As a marketing ploy the record was initially released with its own airplane sickbag. Moore walked out before the end of this recording as he found his relationship with Cook untenable, particularly because of the level of vitriol directed at him throughout the sessions. The two never worked on a major project again.
Cook filmed some of the proceedings and these were released on the documentary Derek and Clive Get the Horn.
Up in Smoke OST is the soundtrack for the 1978 Cheech & Chong film Up in Smoke. Released in 1979, the album featured music and audio excerpts from the film. The album was originally released in 1979 by Warner Bros. Records. It was released on compact disc in 1991.
Country artist Hank Williams III covered "Up In Smoke" as part of a "hidden" 42-minute track on his 2006 album Straight to Hell.
"Here Come the Mounties to the Rescue"
"Sometimes When You Gotta Go, You Can't" (dialogue)
"Lost Due to Incompetence" (Theme for a Big Green Van)
"Lard Ass" (dialogue)
"I Didn't Know Your Name Was Alex" (dialogue)
"Earache My Eye"
"Up in Smoke" Reprise
L'Amour Perdu Gibberish (a sketch) Front Loader Say Sorry Again I Must Be in Love Twenty-Four Hours in Tunbridge Wells The Fabulous Bingo Brothers Concrete Jungle Boy The Children of Rock and Roll Stoop Solo Song o' the Insurance Men
2) Side Two (Sunday)
Testing I Give Myself to You Communist Cooking Johnny Cash Protest Song Accountancy Shanty Football Boring L'Amour Perdu Cha Cha Cha (a sketch) The Hard to Get The Song o' the Continuity Announcers
McGough & McGear's sole album is a witty delight, notable for both its occasional cool tuneful pop-psychedelic rock songs and more frequent blends of music and whimsical Liverpudlian comedy/poetry. Of the song-oriented tracks, "So Much in Love" is groovy circa 1967-68 British harmony pop/rock with touches of heavy rock psychedelia, while the satirical "Ex-Art Student" (with Jimi Hendrix on guitar) combines sunny pop verses with an extended freaky psychedelic break. "Basement Flat," by contrast, is a funny take on a British pub-style sing-along, while McGough's poem "Summer with Monika" bears similarity to outings by the Bonzo Dog Band and Monty Python. The spoken bits are nicely embellished by eclectic folky and jazzy musical backups and background sound effects, and the sad piano ballad "Yellow Book" is indicative of their debts to British theatrical music traditions.
McGough and McGear - McGough and McGear (1968) McGough & McGear was a spin-off of the Scaffold, the British comedy/pop trio famous for including Mike McGear, Paul McCartney's brother. The Scaffold also included poet Roger McGough and John Gorman. Minus Gorman, the duo of McGough & McGear released a self-titled album in 1968.
Far from being just a Beatles-related curiosity, McGough & McGear is a fine (and rare) album deftly combining poetry, comedy, and a good amount of solid pop-psychedelic rock. McGear tended to be more prominent on the straighter rock songs, while McGough had a greater role on the pieces dominated by goofy, yet intellectually sharp, poetry. It's heartily recommended to fans of the more famous Bonzo Dog Band, who had a similarly appealing blend of comedy and rock, though McGough & McGear has a more poetic, spoken word bent. On tracks like "So Much in Love" and "Ex-Art Student," however, the act presented accomplished, sunny British pop-psych that could be enjoyed as relatively pure, tuneful rock songs.
The record also boasted a roster of all-star guests, including, unsurprisingly, Paul McCartney; McCartney's then-girlfriend, actress Jane Asher; Jimi Hendrix, who adds cool psychedelic guitar to "Ex-Art Student"; the other members of the Jimi Hendrix Experience; John Mayall; Zoot Money; Graham Nash; Spencer Davis; ex-Pretty Things drummer Viv Prince; ex-Yardbirds bassist Paul Samwell-Smith; Dave Mason; Gary Leeds of the Walker Brothers; and yet more names that will be known to aficionados of swinging London, like Margaret Asher (Jane Asher's mother) and socialite Prince Stanislaus Klossowiski de Rola. The Beatles' official biographer, Hunter Davies, wrote the liner notes.
The album was largely recorded in the summer of 1967, but not completed and released until the following year. It's been reported that it was intended for issue on the Beatles' new Apple label, but in the end it appeared on Parlophone (the Beatles' standard record company). The album went little noticed, and was only briefly reissued on CD before it went out of print again. ~ All Music Guide -------------
Beatles---The Ultimate Christmas Album (2 CDs!!) Beatles---The Ultimate Christmas Album
This is really an incredible line-up and covers EVERY Christmas recording by The Beatles together and solo! The Beatles "Christmas Records" from 1963 to 1969 are all 320kbps and are fantastic! They are not taken from the scratchy old 45rpms that were sent out to fan club members back in the 60s. These recordings are taken from the original EMI Mastertapes! Awesome!!! Check out CD #2 and you will see some of the rarest Beatles material around! Alot of this stuff is not in the trading circles in this kind of quality! It's the ultimate Christmas by The Beatles!
Tiny Tim Gets Real! A different side of Tiny Tim, really. It's just Tiny Tim, XXXX beer in hand, telling stories of his youth and of his travels. From his crushes to his eccentric behavior, it's all heart-felt, humorous and insightful. Don't fret, though. There's still plenty of ukulele playing and his charmingly high falsetto, though it isn't anything that it used to be (This is 35 years later, remember).
A must listen for Tiny fans, but newcomers would be better off checking out his debut, posted elsewhere on this blog...
01. Welcome To Tiny Tim's World 02. The Ice Skaters Song - 1994 03. Poem For Elizabeth Taylor - 1947 04. You're The Only One - Song For Elizabeth Taylor 05. Tiny Tim's Search For The Magic Princess 06. The Destruction Of The Captain America Collection 07. Tiny Tim's Quest For Elizabeth Taylor 08. When I'm Feeling Sad - 1948 09. Jane - 1948 10. Our Little Secret - 1958 11. Stephanie - 1958 12. Pretty Baby - 1958 13. Don't Call Me Anymore - 1958 14. Whispering Voices - 1958 15. Heaven Only Knows - 1958 16. Dear Tuesday - 1960 17. Tiny Tim At The Café Bizarre 18. Hello Ellie Halsey - 1963 19. Tiny Tim At Page Three 20. If I Could Ride A Spaceship - 1964 21. Tiny Tim Records His 78 Classics 22. Spoiled - 1964 23. Just Another Girl Called Judy - 1964 24. Tiny Tim Receives "Siddhartha" From Miss Bluebell 25. The Tragedy Of Romance 26. Introducing Miss Dixie! 27. Forever Miss Dixie - 1982 28. Tiny Tim Meets The Eternal Princess 29. Jessica Hahn I - 1989 30. I Used To Love Jessica Hahn, But Now I Love Stephanie Bohn - 1990 31. Jessica Hahn II - 1989 32. Santa Claus Has Got The Aids This Year - 1980 33. She Left Me With The Herpes - 1980 34. The Ballad Of An Impotent Troubadour - 1995 - Tiny Tim 35. Just What Do You Mean By 'Antichrist'? - Tiny Tim with Current 93 and Nurse With Wound
A soundtrack album featuring Morton Stevens' theme and incidental music was issued by Capitol Records in 1970. One of the instrumental pieces on the album, "Call to Danger", was excerpted as background music accompanying a "Special Presentation" logo that CBS used to introduce its prime time television specials throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The album was reissued on compact disc by Film Score Monthly in 2010.
Hawaii Five-O (the complete studio version of the theme) Call to Danger (Interestingly, portions of this theme were used as the theme jingle for CBS Special Presentation spots back in the 70's and 80's). McGarrett's Theme Front Street The Long Wait Blues Trip
The Floater Interlude Operation Smash Beach Trip Up Tight The Chase/Hawaii Five-O (the Five-O theme here is the same as the TV version (the first few bars)
The information in the back cover of the album:
Music from the TV Soundtrack A CBS Television Series starring Jack Lord Composed, Arranged and Conducted by Morton Stevens (Capitol/EMI ST-410 Stereo) All selections published by April Music (ASCAP) Produced by Mel Taylor for Melee Productions
Back cover blurb (by Leonard Freeman):
"Before taking a tough new assignment, Morton Stevens (Director of Music, CBS West Coast), graduate of Juilliard School of Music, arranger and conductor for Sammy Davis, Jr. in those halcyon years between 1950 and 1960, composer of literally hundreds of segments of television's finest dramatic shows, and in my opinion, a stone cold genius, made a pilgrimage to Hawaii.
"In our seven-island FIVE-O state, Mort discovered for himself what I had already found: the last Eden, palm trees and skyscrapers, aloha spirit and snarling traffic jams, America;s heartbeat in the Pacific, mecca for more than two million tourists annually, and home for the polygenetic golden people of Hawaii, a vital, hip, swinging place, Polynesia now!
"That's what I asked Morton Stevens to put into music. The value of a great one-minute theme to any television series is inestimable and I wanted one for my then brand spanking new HAWAII FIVE-O. No ukeleles or steel guitars or falsetto singers or overused bongos, but a kind of melding of the Polynesian, the classic, the jazz and most of all the pop sound of today. HAWAII FIVE-O is all of these things and so, happily, is Morton Stevens' music, as you will discover. Aloha!"
01. Green Hornet 02. Four Hornets 03. Casy 04. Horneted House 05. Kato 06. Do The Hornet 07. Black Beauty 08. Guadarahornet 09. Activate The Scanner 10. The Green Hornet 11. Main Title
ABC commissioned this TV series which starred Van Williams as the hero and of course, the legendary Bruce Lee as his sidekick. Based on the classic 1930’s radio series about a newspaper owner Britt Reid. Billy May, celebrated composer and arranger referenced his theme music around Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff’s classic 'The Flight Of The Bumble Bee' although there’s plenty of original scoring too. Special limited edition is remastered and the outstanding accompanying booklet is simply stunning packed with masses of authoritative and little-known information and rare photographs! Also, that's Al Hirt playing trumpet on the theme song...
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lux and Ivy's Favorites!!!
Ok, I got kind of sick of repeating this story 1000 times. So figured I'd include this in the latest volume. I'm the guy who compiles the Lux and Ivy's Favorites Compilations.
It started as a way to keep track of some of the songs Lux, and or Ivy, mentioned in THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC BOOK. It was never really intended as anything but a way for a friend of mine and me to have 2 really kick ass compilations.
So we went about the arduous process
of finding all the songs mentioned in that interview. It took a loooong time. We used the file sharing program, Napster, as well as our own personal collections. So, one thing lead to another and when word got around that these compilations were out there, they started being traded from fan to fan to fan. So, at some point I decided to put them up on Napster and let anyone who wanted them have them. As the years went buy, more interviews with Lux and Ivy kept popping up, and the list of songs they mentioned got longer and longer. This resulted in new volumes...~WMFU
i was too lazy to compile a tracklist, but suffice it to say, if you were interested in the first 3 volumes then you'll want these ones, too. and the next 7, as well!
01- pretty things - Come See Me 02 - On the Go - The Leather Boy 03 - Roy Brown - Butcher Pete - Part 1 04 - Roy Brown - Butcher Pete Part 2 05 - The Carnations - Scorpion 06 - Uh Oh - The Imps 07 - Doctor Ross - The Boogie Disease 08 - howlin' wolf - smokestack lightnin' 09 - Polka Dot Slim - A Thing You Gotta Face 10 - ventures - the rat 11 - Mohammed Rafi aka ted lyons and his cubs - Jaan Pehechaan Ho 12 - Bo Diddley - 05 - Congo 13 - Anton LaVey - 01 - Satan Takes a Holiday (instrumental) 14 - the symbols - Do the Zombie 15 - Stampede - The Scarlets 16 - Danny Dell & The Trends - Froggy 17 - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - Shakin' All Over 18 - Kinks - You Really Got Me 19 - The Strangers - Caterpillar Crawl 20 - Rubber Room - Porter Waggoner 21 - robert mitchum - ballad of thunder road [ ] 22 - Duane Eddy - Ramrod 23 - Dick Penner - Cindy Lou 24 - Ideals - Go Go Gorilla 25 - Jack Nitzsche - The Lonely Surfer 26 - Johnny Burnette Trio - Rockbilly Boogie - 13 - honey hush 27 - Mickey & Sylvia - No Good Lover 29 - Bo Diddley - 02 - I'm A Man 30 - johnny fortune - Dragster 31 - the gee cees - Buzzsaw Twist
01 - 13th floor elevators - you're gonna miss me 02 - ric cartey - young love 03 - slim harpo - strange love 04 - the champs - train to nowhere 05 - cozy cole - topsy part one and two 06 - zacherle - dinner with dracula 07 - randey alvey - green fuzz 08 - jackie morningstar - rockin in the graveyard 09 - john buck and his blazers - forbidden city 10 - marvin rainwater - hot and cold 11 - blues rockers - calling all cows 12 - five blobs - the blob 13 - ric cartey - oo eee 14 - june wilkinson and mamie van doren - bikini with no top on top 15 - wayne williams - red hot mama 16 - bosstones - mope-itty moope 17 - kieth corvale - trapped love 18 - storey sisters - bad motorcycle 19 - lightnin slim - its mighty crazy 20 - mcfadden and dor - noisy village 21 - crescents - pink dominoes 22 - markettes - out of limits 23 - chimes - zindy lou 24 - crystals - the screw 25 - invectas - the hump 26 - earl hagen and the new interns - new interns watusi 27 - billy ward and the dominoes - jennie lee