Not Insane! – The Firesign Theater

firesign10   I was laughing so hard, I had to leave the house.  I ran out of the house barely breathing and it wasn’t just that I was high, these guys were blowing my mind.  I didn’t know it was possible to be that funny.  Four guys – Phil Proctor, David Ossman, Peter Bergman, and Phil Austin.  They were telling a story, no, they created a story with sound effects and dialogue that was thick with jokes, wordplay, innuendoes, bizarre allusions, and serious goofiness.  This wasn’t a comedian doing his routine.  This wasn’t Frank Zappa being funny, while plying music with humor.  This was some smart smart-asses presenting a sonically Technicolor, political, and cultural kind of satire that definitely had bite, but was really, cerebrally, hysterically, incredibly funny in the process.

Mr. Coffee Comes Up Zeros

firesign4 It was an experience that wouldn’t go away.  I played the records over and over.  I listened and I forgot where I was.  The walls dissolved, rugs began to turn ridiculous colors, I began having visions of landscapes that had to be in California, not Colorado.  Yes, it was that weird.  Unlikely characters showed up – George Tirebiter, Nick Danger, Rocky Rococo, Principal Poop.  Ralph Spoilsport, Hemlock Stones and his sidekick, Flotsam.  Someone said, “I can shout! Don’t hear you.”  On this bus, we were all Bozos.   I became aware of a power so great, it can only be used for good or evil.

firesign2 Tonto’s Cowboy Bank  These were guys who were up to their necks in a stream of consciousness, who were (or had been or still were) as high as we were.  They had been around the block several times, been towed away, and were improvising and acting out.  They were surreal and just weird in the best way possible.  Everyone was in on the joke and it was authentically wild and crazy.  These jokers were having a good time.  They were creative, brilliant, unique.  Their words and phrases and ways of looking at things found fertile ground in the minds of an entire generation.

Ralph Spoilsport’s Going Out Of Body Sale

From those early years of yesteryear to the mind-numbing complexities of today, these guys have been educating, entertaining, and propelling me forward, whether I want to or not.

10-4, Eleanor!

firessign1    Temporarily Humboldt County

About Ted Ringer

I am a writer, artist, and listener. Great music is everywhere and has no limits. Some of it is well-orchestrated and some is short and sweet. It can spring out of a moment of deep feeling or result from long periods of development. Music is communication, inspiration, and a million other things. This blog wants to share the wealth and keep toes tapping.
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