What This Country Needs
he news keeps coming - 1. Proctor sends along enclosed photos the new official Firesign photos. 2. Tonight between 7:15 and 8:00PM in Studio B, RCA Hollywood, Proctor & Bergman performed live, passing out (almost) Col. Sanders chicken and Almaden red and/or white wine to about 75-90 people. The occasion was the necessity of capturing about 5 minutes of live tracks for the new album, What This Country Needs. The concept is this: Old P&B look back over their career in flashbacks while waiting to go on at their 35th anniversary in show-biz performance. The last 5 minutes of the album is part of that performance (admirably introduced by M. Rattman, in the person of Richard Schulenberg). The guys did the needed bits as old men then segued into regular TV material in order to give us a show and make the whole thing seem worthwhile. There was the usual bevy of familiar faces without names. Once again, Paul T. took most of the photos taken. Mark L. was present and we made the usual promises to keep in touch. Have enclosed blue poop sheet, in case you haven't seen this edition, or need another copy for someone. Managed to see the RCA Work Order on this thing: Master #D4RS 7524/#D4RS 7525. Studio time thus far: Feb. 4, 7:00PM-12:30AM; Feb. 5, 6:30-11:00PM; Feb. 6, 6:00PM-12:00AM; Feb.8, 6-10:00PM. They'll be back in the studio next week to work on this material, plus to rehearse for both tours.
3. Next Friday, P&B do one-nighter in Rochester,NY, at University.
Amherst, Mass. Feb. 20
U of Buffalo Feb. 21
El Mocambo, Toronto Feb. 25-27
Stonybrook March 3
Washington, DC March 8
Phoenix, Arizona March 26? (at Celebrity Theatre)
U of MT (Missoula) March 30
4. Firesign Tour Program as written tonight for the first time by Phil P:
The Firesign Theatre Presents "Anytown, USA"
Visit the world of Yourtown, USA, with Progie and Mudhead!
Go to the Little Church Around the Corner (with Pastor Flash)
Take a ride on the Spoilsport Freeway!
Stay at a Nice Motel and participate in an American Pageant!
Join the Army and see the world
(10 minute intermission)
Welcome to the world of the Future Bozo!
Break the President
Hide on the Funway, and escape into a world of Danger (Nick's Haunted Mansion)
Beat the Reaper! And count Mrs. Persky's load so far!
Enter the mind of Dr. Memory then leave it with the Gypsies.
That's Firesign World
5. Discography Info Proctor says Firesign definitely on Chad and Jeremy album, "Of Cabbages and Kings"
Side 2. I'm unfamiliar with the material, but it's the American thing. Also, Austin on Cyrus, by Cyrus Faryar (Elektra EKS 74105 Stereo) recorded August 1970-August 1971. P. Proctor says he recorded an obscure thing in conjunction w/Dating Game people, but has no copy. You might bug him to look up info.
6. News photo item dated 1-28-74, Daily Hampshire Gazette: "Beat the Reaper" and 4 other plays presented at University of Mass., by Roister Doister Productions. Total program entitled "Five-Way Overlay" featuring Tom Flynn, Debra Novak, John McGee, Judy Leamon.
7. Possible Firesign appearance at Lincoln Center, March 10. Possible Firesign material there (or for new album, or both?): "Six Famous Ghost Stories." This from Peter, and no hint as to content of material.
8. Latest scam on extended Firesign Foursome appearances is that they won't happen. Phil, Phil, and Peter are very interested in live stage performing. David prefers to write, to concentrate on working out new Firesign radio thing.
There is the possibility the three will tour extensively as Firesign, giving David his cut as author, which will help to subsidize the radio venture.
This is all speculation and not yet out of concept stage. Anyway, if three do tour, that's the reason and it can then be told. First tour, at any rate, will be all four funny guys.
9. COMEDY SEMINAR: The ad I sent you was published without permission of those listed. The people evidently have a habit of publishing things like that then hoping the people mentioned will follow through so as not to disappoint people. P&B will try to cooperate, but nothing yet settled.
10. Paul T. says he has very superior quality recording of recent Royce Hall, UCLA, performance by P&B. Promises to pass it on. If he does, will forward copy to Nebraska.
11. Just discovered one other stage credit for Peter Bonerz STORY THEATRE. (I believe he was in original production, Los Angeles. He was definitely in show on Broadway, where it went from LA).
12. Have not read it, but evidently Billboard has given Giant Rat pan review, because it is not complex-complicated I think the term quoted this evening was "flaccid." No comment on that at this point, except to ponder: Does it need to be as complex as, say, Bozos or as message laden as Dwarf to be a good piece of entertainment, to qualify as "Firesign"? How deeply laden are Cheech and Chong or the Gap or even Monty Python? Perhaps that's a cop-out, but there was a time when Firesign was good fun educated fun but good fun. The cosmic things developed evolved in their own time and probably will again. Not every one of Shakespeare's plays was a Hamlet, and it's probably a good thing. Since Firesign are almost pure theatre, their material should be approached from that level first, the level of color, spectacle, involvement, entertainment. Then, perhaps, on the level of scholastic art. Oh, well.
13. February 9: Wrote and listened myself to sleep. Will try to mail this today, rather than take more time writing. I'll probably write more this week anyway, as the moon is full and the guys are working MONDAY AND TUESDAY in various combinations at various places where I will sometime be.
PS: All are in agreement that Austin's LP due soon and on EPIC.