RIP Peter Bergman

Peter Bergman, founding member of Firesign Theatre, died last week.  If you haven’t heard them, break out your headphones and check out my two favorite albums of theirs (both on Spotify and iTunes): “Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers” and “How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All

Their work was a huge influence on me – I first heard the Firesign Theatre in college, when I played their albums so many times that the grooves on the records wore thin.  These weren’t merely comedy recordings; they redefined spoken word recorded performance: stereophonic cinematic plays, best through headphones, even better with dwarves.  They played with language not just as hipster word-poetry, but to reveal important truths about the nature of conscious experience – while managing to be as ghastly funny and frightening as the expanding universe itself.  Many consider “Dwarf” to be the greatest comedy record ever made, although I tend to play “How Can You Be…” more often.



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2 Replies to “RIP Peter Bergman”

  1. Whether or not you like the Firesigns is one of my favorite tests for how much I need to know you.

    As for Peter, he may be dead, but he doesn’t have to be there when it happens. (“Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death” isn’t anywhere close to their heyday, but it’s not bad for stuff done in the last 15 years.)

  2. A very sad day indeed. I apaporched Peter and Phil at a mexican restaurant, Gardens of Taxco, in West Hollywood in the mid-70 s where the two were dining alone and told them that I was a long-time fan and just wanted to tell them how much FS meant to me. They were both gracious, friendly and open and I cherish the memory of meeting them. P.S. I was also born in Cleveland but don’t hold that against me

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