OK, boys and girls. Read this aloud.
"Los Angeles....He walks again by night. Out of the fog, into the smog. Relentlessly....ruthlessly....doggedly....towards his weekly meeting with....the unknown. At 4th and Drucker he turns left, at Drucker and 4th he turns right. He crosses MacArthur Park and walks into a great sandstone building. Groping for the door, he steps inside, climbs the 13 steps to his office. He walks in. He's ready for mystery, he's ready for anything....he's...."
Sounds a bit like a bad hard boiled dime detective novel. Close, but let me 'spillane. Or better yet, let these guys.
There, that better? I bring this up because one of the gang of 4 that make up The Firesign Theatre, Peter Bergman, passed away this weekend at the age of 72. Bergman, along with David Ossman, Phil Austin and Philip Proctor were the team that made some of the best, hippest, smartest commedy records of the late 60's and early 70's.
The crew first got together in the mid 60's, doing comedy shows for KFPK (Pacifica Radio in L.A.), graduating to LP's in 1969 with "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers". With 4 very popular record releases between 1969 and 1972, the group continued to perform off and on until Bergman's death.
Aparently they were as funny in person as they were on record. A 2009 interview with NPR's Neil Cohen had me in stitches when I first heard it, and on a repeat playing, did the same thing.
And I've got to admit, I haven't had so much fun putting a blog together in a long time. While listening to Nick Danger for the first time in probably 15 or 20 years, the story got to this point....
....from "All right Nancy, go on with your story...." to "...it's OK, they're speaking Chinese...." I recited the whole bit along with it.
Performing together as late as December of last year, the group had noted that they were the longest surviving group from the "Classic Rock" era still to be intact with their original members.
Not anymore. I guess in the long run, no one can "Beat The Reaper".
Rest in peace, Peter Bergman. It was a great ride.