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2012-03-10 20:27:35

Peter Bergman (corrected version)

2012-03-10 19:48:30
From: Dr. Demento
Peter Bergman
As you have probably heard, Peter Bergman of Firesign Theatre died on March 9, from complications of leukemia. He was diagnosed with the disease last fall, but it did not go into acute state until a few days ago, and he did not choose to tell the world about it.

For anyone who went to college in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Firesign Theatre's first four albums, "Waiting for the Electrician, or Someone Like Him" (1968), "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All" (1969), "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers" (1970) and "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus" (1971) were as much a part of college education as draft deferments. Inspired by 1940s radio dramas on the one hand, and bootleg tapes of Britain's "Goon Show" on the other, Firesign Theatre created anachronistic, anarchic theatre of the mind, using the most advanced studio techniques available.

I never played a lot of Firesign on my show, because their twenty-minute sketches didn't quite fit in with the short attention span theater that my show evolved into (well before someone else started using that name on TV)…but I jumped at the chance to interview them on the show, and did so three times, in 1979, 1986 and 1998.

Peter Bergman and his fellow Firesign Phil Proctor performed and recorded as a duo on and off in the 1970s and 1980s (Proctor and Bergman), and I interviewed them in 1978. A year earlier, I went to see a Spike Jones Jr. performance at the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip, and sat next to Peter and Phil. We got to talking about management, and they put me in touch with an agent who wound up putting together the deal that established my show on the Westwood One Radio Network for the next fourteen years.

I'll have a little more to say on the March 17 show. Thanks for everything, Peter, and rest in peace.

Previous Replies:
2012-03-13 16:45:45
From: Dr. Al
Firesign Theatre
Having a full-fledged flower child, tie-dye wearin', hippie as an older sister, I first heard Don't Crust That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers on a home recorded 8-track. This was about the time I graduated college (mid 80's) and thought I'd wear that tape out. I found a copy of the LP but eventually the CD made it's way into my collection. Nick Danger was a favorite segment and found other Firesign Theatre fans.
Shoes for industry!
Shoes for the dead!
Shoes for industry!

Dr. Al
2012-03-11 20:18:06
From: SunBaked Records

I've always been a fan of firesign. This is sad news indeed :(