RADIO FREE CATMAN
This is the archive of Cat Simril
Ishikawa's Audio Collages
check out Cat's Plays at - Seem Real Theater
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Phil Austin Story
- This is the first
audiobiography of Phil Austin I created shortly after his death.
- My 2nd Austin bio, this was
inspired by an interview Phil did on WBAI about writing a screen
play for the Grateful Dead. I combined it with Jack Kerouac's
story, Visions of Neal and the 3 Stooges, considering how close
Neal Cassady was to the Dead. Also featured, the Credibility
Gap's portrayal of the 3 Stooges during a phone strike in LA in
the early 70s. Various Beat generation folks make their
appearances, and Bergman tells of losing a girl friend to Neal
Think We're All Bergmans On This Bus
requested, an audiobiography of Peter Bergman, including stories
of his death from a Phil Proctor interview.
- Also upon request, an
audiobiography of David Ossman on his 79th birthday.
Album (Part 1
Album (Part 2
David Ossman suggested I put the solo albums he and Phil Austin
did together in 1973 with Proctor and Bergman's TV or Not TV
(plus some extras from the TV or Not TV film) into one "album"
Dave calls The 6th Album.
- This is the first in a series of
autobiographical collages, starting with events that happened in
my early childhood. Beginning with my favourite Dylan tune, my
story continues with a bit from Phil Austin's radio show
Hollywood Nightshift, part 2 of their Train to Hell. Austin's
song from Roller Maidens. The CBC comedy show The Debaters
features a debate about the relative merits of heaven and hell,
http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thedebaters. A clip from Dwarf is
followed by Bergman's radio free oz show from
1966, and finally my 1996 play Big Time with its
debating angel and devil.
Takes A Holiday
- Death Takes a Holiday is
my second autobiographical collage, continuing from last weeks
train ride to hell. It begins with Hellbound Train, by Savoy
Brown. That's followed by my chinchilla tale, along with the
Firesigns chinchilla piece from Dear Friends. Nearly getting
killed is from an Hour Hour show collected on the Duke of
Madness Motors compilation. It's followed by the Beatles' Day in
the Life; Nick Danger, Electrician, Peter Bergman talking about
death on an episode of his 1967 Radio Free Oz show; Give Me
Immortality, a clip from the Magic Mushroom play Freak for a
Week, a Radio Free Oz ad from their Pink Hotel Burns Down
compilation, live Dwarf, Anythynge, Scrooge and a Neal Amid
fragment. The Electrician finally shows up. He wants to see your
Sputnik, Part 1
- This was inspired by
seeing the program The
that one of the chatters turned me on to,
as part of the Making Sense of the 60s series. An old
Beatles single sums up what I remember of Kindergarten.
The Firesigns share their enjoyment of sleep as well. Also
colouring books. Eddy Murphy's Dr. Doolittle is
reviewed. Nick discovers a dog. Science films
prevailed. Donald Duck discovers Math. Hey,
everybody. Let's study science!
Sputnik, Part 2
- This is my 2nd collage
about the effects of Sputnik on my education, this one focusing
on the year 1959. Words from the Firesign Theatre from their
Fools in Space satellite radio show.Vin Scully calling the 1959
World Series.I Owe Russia $1200 by Bob Hope. More Fools in
Space. The Peanuts album with Kaye Ballard and Arthur Siegel.
Proctor interviewed by Clam Radio in 2002. How Can you be in 2
Places at Once. Monterey, by Eric Burden and the Animals, a song
as good as the festival itself. How to tell real jade from fake,
from You Tube. Bird of Prey Motors. The collage ends with the
song Satellites by Rickie Lee Jones from her Flying Cowboys
These three collages were Cat's first works
- Toward the end of 2009, I had a
dream where Phil Proctor's daughter (whom I have never met)
called me lazy. Lazy, eh? I reacted to that by creating the
following collage. I had recently heard an interview with Carlin
(archival) talking about memorizingthe lyrics to Pass that Peace
Pipe in 1947 when he was 10. I thought the song was written for
the Duckman cartoon, which I saw in the late 90s. I asked Phil
Austin if he knew the tune but he said he didn't, or at least
didn't recall it. Still, Austin's 1967 radio play A Shadow Move
Upon a Land and the Peace Pipe song are very similar in their
listing "Indian" tribal names as a musical device.
- John Hockenberry's NPR show Heat, from 1990, was almost
Firesonian good. Not surprising, as it featured Proctor and
Bergman. The Firesign wanted to create an album based on Homer's
Odyssey. Is this it?
- Bergman was way into death
on his 1967 Radio Free Oz show. Now he's dead. Coincidence? I
- Marshall McLuhan was a great inspiration to the Firesign
Theatre. His bright comet passed over public consciousness in
the late 60s just as they were beginning to deconstruct media in
real time. He even made an album, The Medium is the Massage with
Firesign pal John Simon in 1967, while they were writing
Electrician and Sgt Pepper was filling the air. This collage
takes the first 5 minutes of that album and mixes it with other
things, just as it was a collage of Marshall's voice and Simon's
production ideas. This will be the first of an intended series
of meditations on Mcluhan. Perhaps he will give us a clue to
surviving a world of alternate facts and a true madman with his
finger on the button.
(Temporarily McLuhan Rag)
Marshall McLuhan suggests that we're living in the rear-view
mirror and trying to live in the past. or at least enough of us
are to elect Trump. The Firesign Theatre explains how this
didn't work out so well for the "American Indians." Steely
Dan also explores nostalgia, though a bit more tunefully.
McLuhan's McLuhan is Harold Innis, a contemporary of McLuhan at
the University of Toronto and a media theorist very influencial
on Marshall's thought. This collage is based on part 2 of
a 1994 CBC Ideas series about Innis, written by prolific Ideas
creator David Cayley. I've also included more of Tom Wolfe's
biographical talk about McLuhan that mentions the Innis-McLuhan
Bee's interview with Russian journalist Masha Gessen, from http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Masha+Gessen%
Thanks also to Judith Stamps' book Unthinking Modernity: Innis,
McLuhan and the Frankfurt School.
- A long piece by Proctor
and Bergman, Ry Cooder's great version of Johnny Cash's Get
Rhythm, a sprinkle of George Carlin and you have a new collage.
- The Firesign Theatre span
the administrations of LBJ to Obama but Nixon provoked their
greatest outpouring of satire, not only AS Nixon (Phil Austin
did a great immitation) but also as The President in Bozos and
Nick Exxon on Roller Maidens. This is but a small sample of the
Nixon parodies they did.
- When I started doing long
collages in 2015, this was one of the first ones I wanted to
make. There are so many Firesign food references. Recently a
chatter suggested I revisit this project. Here it is. Hope Arlo
likes it, and I don't get sent to the Group W bench.
- David Ossman wrote a poem for Peter Bergman who was in and out
of Turkey while the Firesigns were writing their first album
Waiting for the Electrician in 1967. A new song, Tease, by
Toronto singer Ralph reminded me of KD Laing's Constant Craving.
Peter has a poetic dream about a wonderful future. A short
story, Neal in LA, the 2nd of my Neal Cassady tales, this one
from 1981. Judy Collins sings a Donovan song about as well as
anyone ever sang anything.
- Some dreams of The Firesign Theatre. Some dreamy tunes. My 2nd
radio play, Big Time, about a dream of Big Foot in 1996. A
google search for the science of dreams led to this bit of
Dreams are supposed to make us less crazy. Jon Stewart explains
to Colbert why that isn't so believable.
- Boomers on a Bench is Phil
Proctor's latest project, as hilarious as ever. I do some
disrespectful things to an episode. Let's Not Eat.
The Firesign Theatre
- There is a
confluence to these collages from Wave (Hunter Thompson) to
Hunter and Bear to Magic Keys to Gambling on Firesign. I've been
exploring themes well explored by the Firesigns, Ken Kesey, Paul
Krassner, Owsley and others. When I started in radio in the 60s,
I could listen to that kind of themed show all the time.
Podcasting seems to continue that tradition. Whoever bet, in
1962, that Bob Dylan would win the Nobel Prize in 2016 would now
be rich, and probably dead.
- From before they were the
Firesign Theatre, the lads were heavily into Native America,
thought, politics, etc. Murphy's great tune goes well with their
- My favourite Rolling Stones song is 100 Years Ago, on the
Goat's Head Soup album. When I learned that Firesign Phil
Proctor was in the studio watching it being mixed with Mick, I
decided to make a collage out of the song and assorted goat
references. Thanks to Chris Palladino for a copy of Austin's
rightfully obscure Astrology disc. Elivs/Nixon is from a 2
episode radio show called Digital Diner Peter Bergman did in
1974. The information about goats is from this website, http://donate.worldvision.org/goat
one of several charities that provide goats to people.
- A great Traffic tune. The
Firesign Theatre's favourite gay newsmen. Gun violence. Kind of
a movie for the mind. A disturbed mind.
- I listened to an interview on CBC
with Hunter's son Juan in July http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-january-28-2016-1.3423319/hunter-s-thompson-s-son-on-fearing-loathing-and-loving-the-gonzo-journalist-1.3423337
shortly after I read an article someone posted on facebook about
how the Steely Dan tune Kid Charlemagne was about acid
democratizer "Bear" Owsley http://sfist.com/2015/07/20/san_francisco_show_and_tell_steely.php
Their twin lives called for a collage. I asked Paul Krassner,
who knew both men, what they had in common and he said Bear gave
the counter culture acid, Hunter gave the same culture gonzo
journalism. I patched together some interviews and documentaries
about Bear and Hunter from Youtube and read a few online
articles. The edge has been pushed forward.
- There was a ton of great music
happening in the late 60s-early 70s but the musician I listened
to and enjoyed most in those years was Steve Miller, before he
became rich and famous with Fly Like and Eagle. His song about
the shootings at Kent State and Jackson isn't nearly as famous
as CSNY's Ohio but a more interesting tune. Whether I've made it
more interesting is up to you.
- The great Pentangle tune Train
Song, from their Basket of Light album mixed with "Carl Sagan"
and "Albert Einstein" take you to the furthest reaches of the
universe. Get your brain on board "now," whatever that is.
- My previous collage, Hunter and
Bear featured a bit from a Rolling Stone article about Bear
Owsley. The article had Bear, reacting to a bad trip at Kesey's
place, accuse Kesey of meddling with the universe in a Howard
Beale manner. This naturally made me want to do a collage on
Kesey. I had help from chatter Llan and DJ Tween reading from
that RS article and Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.
Chatter Lil convinced me to go with the current ending. Two of
Marc Maron's interviews are also included.
Klein Kicks Ass
- Naomi Klein's books,
articles and interviews show us that resistance is possible.
Like the Firesign Theatre, she lights fires. You should too. - http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Naoimi+Klien%2c+trump&view=detail&mid=73526303114E5FBCCCF773526303114E5FBCCCF7&FORM=VIRE
- Facts About Cats, my favourite tune
on the profoundly tuneful Welcome to Timbuk 3 by the musical
couple of that name. Louis Armstrong speaks African. Pussys
- To survive the Trumpocalypse, The
Firesign Theatre, Hunter S. Thompson, a poem by David Ossman,
Mel Brooks, Noam Chomsky and Peter Bergman's final podcast offer
analysis, humour and hope.
- “This collage was inspired by a
November, 2016 Firesign chat interview with Phil Proctor who
talked about working with Orson in the move A Safe Place. I have
a 4-cassette collection of interviews with Orson by Peter
that has just proved useful for
something other than gathering dust. The Welles biopic
was also useful. I had used a scene from the War of the Worlds
broadcast in my play Red Shift http://www.seemreal.com/ with
Orson Ossman as young Welles and his father David as how old
Welles tried to sound as an actor. Thanks, Orsons. ”
- I got the idea for this
collage when Paul Kantner died recently. Paul Krassner has
stories about being mistaken for Kantner on his albums,
including a hilarious piece by "Homer Simpson." Peter Bergman
talking about Lenny Bruce on the original KPFK Radio Free Oz
went well with pieces by Lenny and Krassner, along with some
- Phil, Phil and
Associates was inspired by the Jackson Browne tune Lawyers in
Love. It is combined with the intro to Lawyer's Hospital, a clip
from the film The Sputnik Moment, the Samantha Bee-Masha Gessen
bit I used in my Trump collage, a bit from my play Neal Amid
starring Phil and Melinda and The Firesigns discussing Donald
Duck and Associates from the Dear Friends episode All We Have to
Fear is me from 12/12/70.
- Dylan celebrates his 75th
birthday. Don't bogart that joint, Bob.
and Charlie Chance
- The song Magical
Mystery Tour (as opposed to the album) along with the mysteries
of sex and drugs and the great detective Charlie Chance from the
earliest Firesign days.
- My most ambitious collage
project. Sgt Pepper came out as the Firesign Theatre were
writing their first album Electrician and greatly influenced its
- The 2nd half of Sgt. Pepper
plus Firesign interventions and a story of Switzerland intercut
with random clips from the US Armed Forces Network in Tokyo,
America (Side B)
- Harry Shearer's novel
is called Not Enough Indians and that's a good title for Side B
of Stan Freberg's USA. Well, according to Ossman and Proctor, in
another universe, Harry was a part of the Firesign Theatre so
they lend a hand to make Side B a bit more entertaining.
Washington can't make up his mind and Ben Franklin demonstrates
why he was the only president of the United Snakes who was never
president of the United Snakes.
- My last collage featured Ken
Kesey talking about casinos on Indian reservations so I wanted
to continue with that theme. It was suggested I do a collage
based on the Standing Rock Sioux situation. It seemed like
something the Firesign would have been involved with in their
60s Indian period. Stan Freberg presents the United States of
America is both Firesonian and relavent to what's happening in
North Dakota today. The voices from Standing Rock are from the
short film Mni Wiconi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDuqYld8C8
and the CBC radio programme Unreserved http://www.cbc.ca/radio/unreserved/something-extraordinary-is-happening-at-standing-rock-1.3850506
- One of my Facebook friends
posted this video about Alexis De Tocqueville's Democracy in
America : http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=De+Tocqueville%2c+Youtube&view=detail&mid=2151CE3FA71FA48C70452151CE3FA71FA48C7045&FORM=VIRE
I read the book in high school and it seems even more relavent
now. The problems with democracy stare us in the face. At a pet
store recently, I heard the Avril Lavigne song Complicated in
the background. The day before, Trump or one of his minions
complained that healthcare was too complicated. A perfectly
functioning democracy is a bit of a dope dream (the song is from
the soundtrack of the movie Grass) but it sure beats
- Well, Peter Bergman wanted to
start the Beatles of Comedy. Maybe the Beatles were just the
Firesign Theatre of music.
- A Facebook friend posted a clip
from My Dinner with Andre, which reminded me of a Firesign
Q&A I was part of in 2010 and Hunter Thompson's wave idea
from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Pharoah Sanders is more
- The Precipice of Angels is the
longest tale in Phil Austin's story collection, Tales of the Old
Detective. Music is provided by Bird Boy, by Nana Vasconcelos
and the Bushdancers, from the soudtrack of Wild Orchid - Tease
by Ralph, and My Crystal Spider by Sweetwater.
Bonzos On This Bus
- What do the Firesign
Theatre, the Bonzo Dog Band, John Wayne, Monty Python, Hitler,
Snoopy, Nick Danger, France and Borneo all have in common?
They're all in my new collage, We're All Bonzos on This Bus.
- Bruce Cockburn is one of my
favourite singer-songwriters and this reggae tune is one of my
favourite of his. When I first heard Roxanne, I thought it was
Bob Marley, though the voice is very different. Eric Clapton
channels Marley in a concert on a Japanese TV show called Best
Hit USA back in the 80s. The Firesign still want to know, "Who's
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