Classic Firesign Theatre Live Radio Shows Streaming on WFMU
November 11, 2010
For the uninitiated, the Firesign Theatre – Philip Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman and Philip Proctor – is a comedy group that began on the radio in 1966 and remains together to this day (after several break-ups and re-groupings) producing their unique blend of surreal and silly audio delights.
Now, like worms out of hot cheese log, WFMU 91.1 FM in NYC, is rebroadcasting 16 hours of the Firesign’s work from 1970-1972, re-mixed and re-mastered for your edutainment and delight at http://wfmu.org/playlists/FT.
Even more exciting is the news that a reissue package of the Firesign Theatre’s complete broadcast history from 1970-1972 is being prepared for release. Gimme two! Sorry, only Tub per family. That’s Whole Beef Halves–We Deliver. Everywhere. Offer not good after curfew in sectors R and N.
The Firesign Theatre’s ‘classic’ period is judged by most to be 1968 to 1974 during which they released 8 LP albums on the Columbia Records label (on vinyl for you youngsters, see list below). They also appeared on four radio programs, Radio Free Oz, the Firesign Theatre Radio Hour Hour, Dear Friends and Let’s Eat. At their best the result of their collaboration results in a densely layered audio ‘movie’ both topical and self-referential, laced with pointed satire and a high order of wordplay.
For ‘A Not-So-Brief History’ of the group through 2002 see Frederick C. Wiebel, Jr.’s piece here.
Most of their commercially released material has been re-issued on CD’s, some is available for digital download on iTunes. But obtaining copies of their live radio work has long been the ‘holy grail’ for devoted Fireheads. It was from their improvised, free form radio work – incorporating found texts, short scripts and random music and sound effects – that many of their themes and albums developed.
So fellow kids, let’s give thanks to WFMU and everyone involved in reviving and re-broadcasting these classic FST radio programs.
Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him January 1968
Dear Friends January 1972
Not Insane or Anything You Want To October 1972
The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra January 1974
Everything You Know Is Wrong October 1974