RADIO FREE CATMAN
This is the archive of Cat Simril
Ishikawa's Audio Collages
check out Cat's Plays at - Seem Real
LISTEN - RIGHT CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
FIRESIGN AUDIO BIOS
- 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
On This Bus
- As 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
OPENING COLLAGE TRILOGY
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 think not...
MARSHAL MCLUHAN TRILOGY
- 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
(Temporarily McLuhan Rag)
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
featured, Samantha 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 youtubery: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=The+science+of+dreaming%2c+SciShow&view=detail&mid=CDFF3881E360D9810E0DCDFF3881E360D9810E0D&FORM=VIRE
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.
- 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 orientation.
- 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
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"
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
- 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.
- 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 galore.
- 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 Bogdonovich, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
that has just proved useful for something
other than gathering dust. The Welles biopic Magician http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Magician%2c+Orson+Welles&view=detail&mid=3A2EBF1E459FA0477F963A2EBF1E459FA0477F96&FORM=VIRE
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 tunes.
- Dylan celebrates his 75th birthday.
Don't bogart that joint, Bob.
- 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
- My most ambitious collage project. Sgt
Pepper came out as the Firesign Theatre were writing their first album
Electrician and greatly influenced its production values.
- 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, 1977.
- 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
- 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 optimistic.
- 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
- 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 Peggy?"
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