Special thanks to these Dear Friends for their continued support: Phil Fountain, Edgar Bullington, Glen Banks, Elayne Riggs, Fred Wiebel, Maureen Weston, Taylor Jessen, Brian Westley, Thomas O'Neill, Cat Simril Ishikawa, Bill McIntyre, Scott Wild, Keith Jones, Gretchen Steiner, and The Firesign Theatre.


IN LOVING MEMORY OF
DEBORAH BENEDICT
1951-2010



















Mini Biography



My introduction to all things "Firesign" began with a local FM station here in Lincoln. Their format was Classical, but every night, for 3-4 hours, they'd feature "progressive rock" programming. And with that, I'd hear the occasional Firesign sound bite, and maybe the entire side of an LP. Waiting for The Electrician was the first album I heard and bought. In 1972, while engrossed in the Dear Friends album, I decided to place a classified ad in Rolling Stone about my newsletter Firemail. Originally a one-sheet, it was done on a manual typewriter and photocopied. It was mailed to Firesign Theatre fans across the country. That initial ad eventually built up a solid readership. [At the time of the RS ad, I also wrote to Columbia Records. Phil Proctor replied, and the rest is history...] That same year, after we first connected via postal mail, I met Mark Leviton (UCLA Daily Bruin) in Los Angeles while on my vacation, and he introduced me to Proctor. I also met the other members of Firesign at the premiere of Martian Space Party. About a year later I placed another ad in RS for the newly-named Chromium Switch, and more subscriptions followed. An historical moment for me was having my publication mentioned on 1974's The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra. The liner notes listed my mailing address, and that brought more Firesign Theatre fans my way. That same year I saw Firesign in Chicago (Auditorium Theatre) during their "Anytown, USA" tour. I recall hanging out with Proctor and Ossman at some aftershow in a Chicago highrise. Great, great memories.

On a subsequent vacation to California in 1975 I met Deborah, who was one of my original subscribers/contributors to the newsletter. This is the year we both met Edgar Bullington, and the three of us visited the Ossmans in Santa Barbara, as well as witnessing the recording of Next World at The Burbank Studios. After Deborah and I were married in Lincoln, we moved to Los Angeles and the final issue of Switch, which included some inserts from Columbia Records, was mailed.

Fast forward, 1980: we moved back to Lincoln, and life situations and challenges sort of put my Firesign history in the corner. I'd hear often from Edgar - at first by letter, and then by new and improved Email. A storage room organizing project in 2003 uncovered a box with "The Edgar Letters." The entire collection was mailed to Edgar - he transcribed to PC, put it on disc, and returned it. I used his Word files for coding that section of my website.

So with some renewed Firesign-related enthusiasm and ideas, I've launched this redesigned website. Facebook has helped me contact thousands of Firesign fans, and we affectionately refer to them as "Fireheads." I hope you find the content and navigation to your liking. Please Email me with any comments or suggestions. Thanks, and Cheers!

Tom