October 1971

DEAR FRIENDS. AGAIN! by Bill McIntyre

So, as I remember, Phil Proctor and I were rolling the big round table out of the conference room, down the poster-paint blue hall, to Studio A where Phil and Anna Lee were pounding out Rock on the big grand piano.

"God, this IS a terrible piano," Austin laughed. "Terrible."

Peter Bergman bounced around the far end of the hall looking in all the doors as he came.

"Hi, guys; hi, Anna Lee."

"Hiya, Peter."

David Ossman showed up, he and Tiny all brown from Santa Barbara's nude beaches, and the Firesign was together again in the new KPFK building.

First order of business: Pictures for the Dear Friends album on Columbia, the pick of the radio shows done this past year at KPFK. Second order of business: the new shows. The new shows that were all but set with everybody. Shows that would play twenty-eight stations across the country – maybe seventy-eight. All originating from good ol' Kapufka where it all started for the Firesign Theater back on Radio Free Oz.

For the album pictures the studio had to look like a show was in progress, so everyone had been dumping stuff they'd brought on the table. David swam through the sound effects suitcase - "Let's see, here's the foot" – squack, squack - "Here's the plastic fish" - squeek, squeek - "Oh, and here's the cow in the can" – moo. mooooo. Then he sat Horrible Happy Harry the robot center table - Click Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha, HA HA HA HA HA, CLICK.

"Good ol' Happy Harry, faithful audience when all else fails." CLICK Ha Ha Ha Ha

There was the Drucker Foundation All-Stars baseball shirt, the Malmborg in Plano tee shirt, the live, tape, theme, station-break cue cards, comic books, Austin's far out steel- winged butterfly. The American Dream Book, Roller Derby Magazine, The Art of Kissing, the xylophone, Proctor's violin. The Goshen Daily News, The Mixville Rocket, Soviet Life, Der Flug Sum Mond, and Anna Lee taking super-urgent movies of it all as the JIVE walked in wearing a starred ail-American Olympic-shield shirt – red, white and blue, with pink white up-and-down striped pants, and SPATS!!!

"Spats! Jesus, he's wearing spatsl Far out."

Earl Jive, evertrue engineer and junk pitcher, came all the way from Laguna carrying his trumpet.

The photographer was late. "I knew this would happen." So raps segued into a jam. Two on piano. Earl on trumpet, Austin on party horns, and Proctor finally on fiddle. Someone from four doors down came in wanting us to shut the door, but the air-conditioning was out, so the noise rattled down the hall 'til John the photographer entered to cheers.

Click crank, click Crank, a change of hat a change of shirt, pictures done, and now down to business in astrological order: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Sagittarius.

Paul Fagan fielded for the station. He was new. but he'd heard all about the great Firesign-KPFK snafu of '70. "Yeah, as far as I can tell, the station will be able to deliver everything you need by the end of next month." He meant it and you believed him.

"Well it feels good to me, how about everybody else'" Peter asked.

It felt good to Austin, it was great with David, and Proctor thought it looked very encouraging. It did. too. KPFK gave off the strong impression that it was getting itself together. It was amazing how relaxed and confident the vibes were.

"OK then it's set for October?"

"Yeah, the first Thursday in October."

"Seven to eight, with rebroadcasts midnight on Sundays. Right?"

"Right."

That was it. In one round of nods we'd all - the Firesign, Earl the Jive, me the producer, and KPFK – married each other and Thursday nights seven to eight, twelve in a row.

Thursday nights, with Pico and Alvarado. Sargent Luis IIluminato, Harry The Robot. Pastor Flash, and Doctor Memory. All brought to us by Leg of the Crow Restaurant.

LA. madness for mad LA. Live from KPFK. Poetic justice. Twelve weeks of poetic justice, and won't that be fun.

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