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In 1973 my next door neighbor in Birmingham, Michigan had shoulder length black hair. He showed me how he tucked it up under a short haired wig to keep his job at the fastener factory. He told me about FST and invited me over one day and said, "I gotta go to work. Check these out." He turned on the stereo, then he left me alone with five or six albums, a bong, and a bowl of weed. I played one after another through the entire stack. In the end, I had no idea what I was listening to, and had completely lost track of any of it. Coulda been too much weed... Ya think?

But I got my own FST albums, and after a few years of listening to them every little sound made sense. If I were to introduce anyone to the opus myself, I wouldn't start with Waiting for the Electrician (or Someone Like Him), but rather Everything You Know Is Wrong to soften them up. Younger folk these days will need some history lessons to dig a lot of the albums.

Stop me if I've told you this. In 1975, I was in a three month run of "Arsenic and Old Lace"--two different characters, one middle-aged and one ancient. I was in the first five minutes and the last ten minutes of this two and a half hour play. So I had lots of time between my first and second appearance. I spent those two hours painting on wrinkles for my second character, the old one, who drinks the poison at the end. (oops--spoiler alert). I couldn't watch tv while I worked, as I had to look into the mirror. So I played my cassettes of Firesign albums. One after another. Fifteen weeks. And always something new to discover. Thanks guys.

PS Ca. 1997, I was hired to play Mark Twain for CNA Insurance, and also to help cast other Mark Twain impersonators for a national event. One of them was our own dear David Ossman--I had the honor of talking to him over the phone, but not of meeting him in person. Still, an honor.

11 months ago


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In which movie does this quote appear: "I'm sure in 1985, plutonium is available at every corner drugstore, but in 1955 it's a little hard to come by"?
  • A. The Big Lebowski
  • B. Love & Plutonium
  • C. Back to the Future
  • D. Pulp Fiction