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June 18, 2011 10:34 AM   Subscribe

RIP Wild Man Fischer (NYTimes link) Only saw him once, opening for the Mothers of Invention.
posted by Danf (34 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Alt link
posted by clavdivs at 10:38 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Merry Go Round
posted by adamvasco at 10:54 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

A true Los Angeles character, kinda scary and with a sad story, but you had to respect his intensity of vision. And jeez, could he craft an earworm! Wild-haired dot.
posted by Scram at 10:55 AM on June 18, 2011

I just two hours ago found some old songs of his on an external I haven't used in a while. A quick google bought up a youtube playlist for him.

posted by postcommunism at 10:57 AM on June 18, 2011

I say the Taster is as good as the Twister.
posted by klangklangston at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I saw him all the time when I lived in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Never performing -- I didn't even know he was a performer. But he hanged around Rhino Records just south of Westwood all the time, as did I. He was often in very high spirits, and would wave to me every time I came in.

I later got to know his work, which I really liked, and now regret that I never did anything more than wave back at him. I really find his songs to be inspirational.

Ah, hell. The guy's dead, and may be unfamiliar to some of the people here on MetaFilter. Here's a sampling of his work:

The Circle with The Mothers of Invention
"Monkeys Vs. Donkeys"
New Kind of Songs for Sale (an example of Fischer spontaneously creating music, which he would do for money)
Larry Under Pressure
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love the two records he did with Barnes & Barnes -- Pronounced Normal and Nothing Scary. There's also a really good documentary out on him called Derailroaded; it was made a while ago, but only now got a DVD release (in the US; I think it's been out in the UK for a while, which is odd, since it's a US film). If anyone cares, I did a review of it here (self link, um, duh), but the short version is that it's a really good film about a talented artist.

And, seriously, can you go without getting "Merry Go Round" stuck in yer head? I didn't think so.

posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:12 AM on June 18, 2011

The Circle with The Mothers of Invention

Thanks for putting that up AZ. I've bookmarked it for the next time I've got my drink on.
posted by three blind mice at 11:24 AM on June 18, 2011

posted by cosmac at 11:27 AM on June 18, 2011

"Do you want to hear a new kind of song for a dime?"

"Do you like making records, Larry?"

posted by Mental Wimp at 11:37 AM on June 18, 2011



frankly, was surprised he was still alive
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:37 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

The only time I saw him was in the gym at Cal State Fullerton. One of the first times I ever got stoned. The Mothers, Captain Beefheart, Alice Cooper, and Fischer. Zappa's entire stable at the time. Pretty wiped by the time the Mothers came onstage.

1969, or something. God it would have been a good one to pull up on YouTube, if only. . .
posted by Danf at 11:43 AM on June 18, 2011

"Let's do the Taster when my love was so graster..."
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:45 AM on June 18, 2011

posted by Splunge at 12:00 PM on June 18, 2011

posted by Splunge at 12:02 PM on June 18, 2011


I have a mother, her name is Mom.
posted by gcbv at 12:27 PM on June 18, 2011

Mr. Fischer’s other songs include “My Name Is Larry,” “I’m Selling Peanuts for the Dodgers” and “I Wish I Was a Comic Book.” (That aspiration, at least, was realized: he was featured in several comic books over the years.)

I know he did, because I read the comic. I've probably even got it in my collection, but no clue as to where. Up 'til today, I thought Wild Man Fischer was a fictional character.

posted by telstar at 1:08 PM on June 18, 2011

As a young kid just getting into weird music Wild Man Fischer was a turbo boost of odd that made all the other weird records I loved seem sort of tame.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:15 PM on June 18, 2011

posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:42 PM on June 18, 2011


boop boop boop
posted by Spatch at 3:24 PM on June 18, 2011

posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 3:41 PM on June 18, 2011

Around 1985 I discovered I could pick up college radio stations from North Carolina. One of my favorite DJs was a guy at Elon College called The China Pig who had a late Sunday night program devoted to the bizarre combination of hardcore punk and Frank Zappa. I mainly listened for the punk, but sometimes I stayed awake for the Zappa/Zappa-related content which was played later.

One night the DJ talked about a rare, unopened vinyl album he'd found, which turned out to be An Evening with Wild Man Fischer. He played the whole album and I managed to tape a portion of it. I still have that tape.
posted by cropshy at 4:33 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll miss you, you crazy bastard.
posted by jonmc at 5:10 PM on June 18, 2011

I also hope that he's found some peace and rest, which he obviously needed and wanted.
posted by jonmc at 5:14 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by Mister Bijou at 6:20 PM on June 18, 2011

I don't get this.

Wild Man Fischer dies, 20 + comments/respects.

Dude from Mountain Goats gets overcharged for some kale at Whole Foods,
and I assume we'd have 200 posts.

Metafilter, oh what have you become?
posted by gcbv at 7:04 PM on June 18, 2011

In 1989, I was working at a summer internship at a magazine and I had some free time and called Rhino Records and left a message for Larry and he called me that night. Collect. We spoke for about 15 minutes, where he railed against Frank Zappa. Our conversation ended thusly:

Larry: So, am I bigger than Guns N' Roses in New York?
Me: among me and my friends, you are!
Larry: OK, bye.
posted by AJaffe at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

His "I'm a Christmas Tree" is the only holiday song I've ever truly liked.

posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:33 PM on June 18, 2011

Wild Man Fischer on Jimmy Kimmel Live (October 2004)

The best part is Fischer staring down at Kimmel at the end of the song. The interview segment was never uploaded, unfortunately.

posted by spoobnooble at 6:16 AM on June 19, 2011

(Okay, wait a minute, here's an audio file of the interview on Kimmel.)
Better than nothing, I suppose...

posted by spoobnooble at 6:23 AM on June 19, 2011

posted by klapaucius at 7:16 AM on June 19, 2011

posted by Superfrankenstein at 8:39 AM on June 19, 2011

A left toe, a right toe, a pigeon toe, a square toe. DO THE MOPE!

posted by jonp72 at 9:35 AM on June 19, 2011

I've always been meaning to listen to him, and this makes him sound awesome: His voice was raspy and very loud. There was little tune to his melodies, and his lyrics had the repetitiveness and seeming simplicity of nursery rhymes. His singing, typically a cappella, was punctuated by vocal effects like hooting, wailing and shouting.

Whether Mr. Fischer was a naïve genius whose work embodied primal truths, or simply a madman who practiced a musicalized form of ranting, is the subject of continuing debate.

posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:37 PM on June 19, 2011

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