The last minute of Peter's last Radio Free Oz from Super Tuesday (March 6, 2012)
"Take heart, dear friends. We are passing through the darkening
of the light. We're gonna make it and we're going to make it
together. Don't get ground down by cynicism. Don't let depression
darken the glass through which you look. This is a garden we live
in. A garden seeded with unconditional love. And the tears of the
oppressed, and the tears of the frustrated, and the tears of the
good will spring those seeds. The flag has been waived. It says
occupy. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy the banks. Occupy the nursing
homes. Occupy Congress. Occupy the big law offices. Occupy the
lobbyists. Occupy...yourself. Because that's were it all comes
together. I pledge to you, from this moment on, whatever it
means, I'm going to occupy myself.
I love you. See ya tomorrow."
Richard Metzger's memories of Peter Bergman
KPCC Radio on radioman Peter Bergman
Jesse Walker at Reason Magazine
LA Times obituary
Steve Gillmor remembers Peter Bergman
Hour of Slack on Peter Bergman
|See ya, Lieutenant...fangs fur the memories...|
|I don't care if Peter was a die hard progressive; he was a VERY funny guy. And one fourth of a VERY funny group--The Firesign Theatre. Personally, I liked Peter's characters the best. I can't begin to name all of them. So I won't. Shine on, man.|
|How long have I been listening to Firesign Theatre? Two years...|
that I can remember.
Actually I've been listening to or recalling Firesign Theatre for about 40 years. Thanks to the Firesigns, all that time I had blue moss, a potent... jot(!) of hell oil, Fudd's First Law of Opposition, Ralph Spoilsport, and groat clusters to buffer the world's coldness with kindly absurdity. Catching up during the last several years, I added The Giant Rat of Sumatra to my experience, and except for the words with an "r" in them, now it is among my few favorites.
"Is it going to be all... RIGHT?"
"Take heart, dear friends. We are passing through the darkening of the light. We're gonna make it and we're going to make it together. Don't get ground down by cynicism. Don't let depression darken the glass through which you look. This is a garden we live in. A garden seeded with unconditional love."
So said Peter Bergman, whom I never met, but whose work I admired and enjoyed nearly all my life.
Thank you for sharing it with us, Peter. I wish you good luck, peace, and happiness always.
|I've been to heart broken to write anything here. Nothing I can think of is good enough. All I can say is I loved you and your Group all my Adult Life. Rest in Peace you Genius. This World is a sicker and darker place without your input. Thank GOD for Recordings so we at least have those to reming us of you.|
|I know it is custom to listen to the FST while stoned, but I enjoy them sober (I have never done drugs). Frankly I find them confusing enough! Almost every time I listen I hear something that I missed before, and every time I listen I laugh at the same things. Listening to these guys are my drugs! It is such a shame that we won't hear Peter and Phil doing new shows with Phil and David anymore.|
|I met Peter in New Haven about a hundred years ago in the stiff traditional atmosphere of the Yale Drama School. It was nothing like the free-wheeling life I'd gotten to know at in Chicago's Hyde Park - Hanging around with the likes of Paul Sills and "Second City" veterans. |
Peter was a madman, a fixture in the New Haven scene. He introduced me to thebest and seediest drinking holes - He even managed to sneak me into Moreys, that exclusive old-time Yalie boozing-place We'd improvise Second-City routines or just get drunk and make off-beat jokes about Aristotle. After I left Yales and we lost touch.
Years later, while I was working in Los Angeles, my wife and kids a continent away, I turned on the radio and heard that voice and that same insane humor! I tracked him down and occasionally joined the radio show! I felt like I'd come home again.
My job over, I returned to domestic life and, aside from an occasional card or phone call, we lost touch.
News of his death throws me back to those days in New Haven, looking for girls, getting thrown out of bars because we didn't "belong." - Yes the best drinking places were on the "Wrong Side of Town." How strange and oddly freeing it was to find out that I could be a "minority." Maybe we all are -- we just don't want to admit it.
I'll miss you Pete. We had some unforgettable adventures!
|I got stoned with Peter Bergman several times in the mid-70s in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where the University of Illinois is located. I worked at a restaurant called Bubby and Zadies' Deli located underneath McBrides Drugstore at 6th and Green in the heart of Campus Town. When the Firesign Theater came to town, Proctor and Bergman came in there, and my older brother, Peter and I, got stoned with Bergman in a narrow corridor in back where freezers sat. We called getting high "counting bagels" because one of the freezers did have frozen bagels in it. About a year later, only Proctor and Bergman came to town for their "TV or Not TV" album, and brother Peter and I went to Bergman's hotel room in the Illini Union, and smoked a joint with him in his room. He was a very sweet man, and was kind with me, giving me advice about how to feel better about myself when I was briefly alone with him for a few minutes. He told me to re-write in my mind whatever abuse I had suffered as a child. I didn't know it at the time, but it was a form of therapy called Structuralism, which talks about life as a script we write and follow. I have no idea if Bergman had studied this, or not. I learned about this form of therapy years later as a social worker. He was not only a very humorous man, but a humane one as well.|
|My weeez has been squeezed and I just fell right over. I feel no fun at all. I owe you guys big time for all the great laughs. See you on the Cosmic Flip-Flop.|
|I met Peter in Ann Arbor, MI in the early to mid 70s when they were performing there. I left a note at the Michigan Union where they were staying, threatening to blow the place up if he didn't let me buy him lunch, an act that would get me arrested today. Well he met me and we had a wonderful and hilarious meal together. A brilliant and funny man. He is very missed.|
|One time in the early '90s I had been a participant in a debate on Usenet having something to do with internet piracy and the morality (or lack thereof) of the participants. I got a call, the caller ID said 395-4321. The caller disagreed with something I had said on Usenet, I forget what it was, but the voice sounded oddly familiar. After a few minutes, a light went on in my brain and I asked, Are you by any chance a performing artist? It was of course Bergman, who was a champion in favor of artists' rights and against copyright piracy, long before anybody knew what it was.|
|The gag he pulled in high school when he announced that the Chinese Communists had taken over the school is a masterpiece of performance art unequaled in our lifetimes. "This story shall the good man teach his son . . . "|
|Although I had not seen Peter since we graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1957, I have strong memories of him when we grew up together in the basement under the stage of Shaker High when our parents were rehearsing a Shaker Player's presentation or at one of their family socials. Both his parents and my mother were really into theater. My inclination has always been to be behind the scenes in support rather than his love of performing.|
|Just another non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim wishing Mr. Bergman's survivors the best, always. I wish you well. I know how it is.|
|I was introduced to the FT by my older brother, who came home one day with an album called 'Waiting For The Electrician...or Someone Like Him'. It wasn't long before I had memorized 'Temporarily Humboldt County' and working my way through to the other side and 'Beat The Reaper'. I knew if I was ever arrested and put into solitary, I would just recite this album over and over to keep my sanity. Since my brother's passing, it has fallen to me to take that little acorn and nurture an oak from it. 'Forward Into The Past' led to 'Dwarf', 'Two Places' and the rest. Now 40 years later, anytime we're bored of the radio, my kids and I will recite 'Nick Danger' to my wife's great consternation. Thank you, Peter (also my son's name) and thank you David, Phillip and Phil.|
|If it wasn't for Peter Bergman & his co-conspirators in The Firesign Theater, our minds would've turned out a lot more boring & America would be a far duller place. Thank you Peter for everything.|
|In 1977 I was 13 years old, and my soccer coach, Bob Curtis, was driving a group of us to practice in his 1971 Cutlass convertible. He had an 8-track cassette playing that was unlike anything I had ever heard. |
"What is that?", I said.
"Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers", he said.
"What?", I said.
I'm pretty sure I've never been the same, and am richer for it.
Shoes for Industry, Compadre. Shoes for the Dead.
|The Firesign Theater was first heard by my family and me around 1969. Chicago had a late night DJ named Wayne Juhlin who played comedy on his WDAI 94.7 FM radio show, and an underground radio show called "TRIAD", hosted by Saul Smaizys (WGLD 103.5 FM), who also played comedy in short spurts, or 'soundbites', as they term them now. We were fascinated by these comedians who sounded like Spike Jones without music, or Flip Wilson multiplied by Three Stooges, with a dash of Whatever/Whoever writers the Marx Brothers had. "The Adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye", is so layered with funny stuff that our Southern-raised mother enjoyed them too. My family still throws quotes around from the Firesign albums on a regular basis.|
I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman when they toured with each other in the early '70s. They played at a club called the Quiet Knight on Belmont Ave. next to the "L" tracks in Chicago. I baked them a cake, frosted and decorated it with the phrase, "Half The Wit's Better Than None!" My father drove me to the club, since I was underage, warned me about "guys", and told me to call him for a ride home. PB & PP were kind, gracious, amusing, and polite. Peter sat at a piano and told me how being left-handed allowed him to play 'dirty boogie-woogie and blues". As a left-handed person, i was happy to learn that one of my comedy heroes shared that trait with me. We talked about other left-handed people in history and pop culture at the time. Phil spoke of getting some parts on TV shows. They did a hilarious set and I went home, dazzled by two of the funniest guys ever. Seeing the "Martian Space Party" at the movie theater a while later confirmed my estimation of politics - corruption and obfuscation stinks!
I hope it's not true that, "In the Next World You're On Your Own!" I like to think that there is a section of the "Happy Hunting Grounds" where comedians congregate to bring laughs to us in a cosmic way; sort of like the Simpsons" episode where Crusty the Clown has a near death experience and sees Jewish Comedian Heaven, where Rodney Dangerfield and J.C. sit side by side, drinking and laughing. May Peter's spirit inspire everyone to see the absurdities all around us, and to laugh more!
May the Giant Rat of Sumatra never darken your doorway, and remember to follow the yellow rubber lines to your seats, then deflate your shoes. Watch out if you time-travel - "Osiris, my friend! What has happened to your nose?" He did not reply that he had run into a great sandstone building ...
|thank you mr, bergman...god bless you!|
|I was introduced to FST back in the early 70's thru "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers". I hooked on FST after that. We'll see you on the other side my friend.|
|My brother and I were introduced to Firesign Theatre by my father when I was about 14 (2001). The first time listening, we sat there for the whole shebang of "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All" and didn't understand anything. We listened to it again after a short break and finally understand the meaning behind the nonsense. We LOVED it. Even now we quote segments and songs from that album, and drove me to listen to a few more. It's made a huge impact in my life and inspired me to see the humor in things. Good sir, to you I throw my boots. Good boots, I throw you to the sir.|
|Between the ages of 17 and 25 Firesign was a regular feature of entertainment for me and my friends. It became our culture and merely the mention of a phrase or word would not only send us into laughter but acts as a shortcut to a meaning that we understood.|
Now being surrounded by those that have not experienced the next world as we have I find myself getting puzzled looks when I quote such genus.
I do still encourage them to visit but the world has moved on and obviously Beyonce or Twiting is much more of a pull than the sanity of these guys.
I know I would not be the same if I and my friends had not been infused with the blue moss. We own them so much, they are the third largest part of my collection at 60 recordings excluding Radio Free Oz only just behind Zappa and some way behind the Dead. For a Limey that is rare but not unusual. You have my thanks and love all of you.
|I have been a fan of Firesign Theatre since my high school days in the early 1970s. It is no exaggeration to say that you guys were a huge influence on my twisted sense of humor. Without you, it is fair to say that I'd have gone nuts by now. It may or may not be a coincidence that the last LP played on my turntable before I had my house fire in 1999 was "Waiting for The Electrician". Thanks for the laughs. RIP, Peter Bergman.|
|So yes I am very way late to the party here... let me tell you how i got here... there's a story on npr today about how a mars-sized planet once slammed into the earth, tilted its axis and blew off a piece that became the moon. and I thought, right, everyone knows that don't they? (Nairobi, isn't everyone?), because i learned about that a thousand years ago, from hearing an ancient myth about it recited on the Firesign Theatre Radio Hour Hour. then i tried to find it, and google brought me here.|
Reading these comments has had me crying and laughing harder than I have in a very long time, at the same time. As the kids say nowadays, fuckyeahpeterbergman!
i can't even begin... although yes it has been a very long exposition... I lived on the edge of KPPC's broadcast range... you had to make sculptures out of metal hangers and stuff stuck to your antenna to get that church-basement station, especially when it was in low-wattage mode... but i would do whatever it took to be there in front of my radio at 7pm on Wednesday, or was it Thursday? whenever it was, because that show, and Radio Free Oz before it, were one window, one lifeline that I could count on, a time in my life, and in a crazy world, when i needed one.
Peter, David, and the Two Phils slammed into my mind like, well like a mars-sized planet, tilted the earth on its axis, and blew off a million pieces that became a slightly magical part of so many of us. I will miss you, but thankfully a part of you will always be with me. Thank you, Peter.
|I've recently revisited the genius of Firesign Theatre. I'm an old hippie teaching my teenage daughter about 60's & 70's culture. Proud to say she's a hippie too. I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Bergman. He holds a special place in my heart and memories.|
|I know it's been some time since Peter's passing, but I just want the Firesign Guys to know that I have been a fan since "Before the Begining" and that I still "Shift on my sanitary pedestal" and listen to you all (on vinyl) and laugh. You are one of a kind and find it amazing how many Firesign references I hear on different media today. I'm sure Peter's up there with his "Shoes off, sitting in a tree and learning how to play the flute"....God bless you all.|
|I want to thank Peter as well as all of the guys for enlightening my journey through this life. Peter will be greatly missed. I have felt as though a piece of me has gone since his passing.|
|And soon the second year begins. Condolences to the family and friends of Peter Bergman. Please be comforted by the outpouring of love by the many fans of Firesign Theatre.|
|RIP Sgt Bradshaw [Lieutenant!]|
|R. I. P. Peter Bergman|
Thanks for the laughs.
|A GREAT deal of My "Formative" years were spent on Acid listening to Firsign Theater. You helped shape My "Psiche" Phil.|
Rest assured you WILL be REMEMBERED!!!
|We spend our years as a martian fly in a klein bottle ... all Bozos on this bus ... Psalm 92|
|Yes he's gone now but lives on in stereo high fi.|
|P.S. I too am a "FIRESIGN"|
|just found out about Peters passing, such talent. So glad I got to see them live in Hollywood, about 20yrs ago, and got all of their autographs. ALL HAIL MARX AND LENNON down at the "old Same place", he's not your son Fred. Stop torturing me!|
|Radio Free Oz Saved Me from Mormonism: (http://www.dbdoty.com/WordPress/?p=20) Together with Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Peter was a seminal influence on my life as a Southern CA youth in the late 1960s.|
|TO THE "SOUND EFFECTS MAN" , "SYSTEM", "VIOLET DUDLY". "REBUS", "SID", AND MANY MANY MORE, I AM GRATEFUL FOR HAVING HEARD YOU AND ALL YOU DID. YOU WERE THE ELECTRICIAN!> YOU TOOK RADIO AND SHOWED IT TO A GENERATION THAT NEVER EXPERIENCED IT. FROM THE FEW, THE PROUD..... PETER.... REST IN PEACE AND MAY GOD MEET YOU AT THE DOOR,( ACTUALLY IT MAY BE ANOTHE PETER)."AS IT MYSTERIOUSLY OPENS...", SINCERLEY, FROM JUST ANOTHER CLONE|
|Thanks for all you have done for my brain. Rest in Peace, Mr. Bergman|
|I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Firesign Theatre in October of 1981 when they were performing in San Diego. I was so close to the stage, that I was able to throw some of my "Doctor Technical" guitar pics on the stage. (My band had dubbed me that name because I was the one build and set up our PA system) After the show I was so honored to be able to go backstage and meet them. I'd been a fan for many years. Peter was so friendly. When I introduced myself, I think it was Peter who said "So, this is what the doctor looks like" |
I am sadden and down to hear of his passing. I will remember him fondly.
(J. Doc DePrima)
|He was a funny funny man and humor is divinity. Yeah verily he goes to that G spot in quadrant one. That greener place where there is no filibuster and I suspect the giggles never end. Ashurbanipal!|
|Peter your many incarnations continually made me laugh and examine myself and the world around me. You will be truly missed and always appreciated. Even though most of my family and friends just "didn't get it" I was hooked since the first time I heard "Don't Crush That Dwarf". The genuis of the Firesign Theatre will always be loved by the greater minds and hearts of this sorry excuse for a planet. Here's to better days when we of similar character are finally united in love and harmony in that great Billville in the sky. RIP Peter.|
|Only today did I learn of Peter's passing. I can almost see him marching to Shibboleth with his very own eagle and sword, or perhaps riding stylishly in his own flaming Ford. During a very sad part of my life, Peter & the Theatre gave me a glimmer of hope. I was able to take from their albums the message that life was going to be messed up, but that's all right. Thank you, all of you.|
|I just finished listening to 'Don't Crush That Dwarf..' and after all these years it still breaks me up. A work of genius.|
In the next life we're not on our own, Peter Bergman will be with us to show the insanity of it all.
|I can't remember when I heard my first Firesign Theater album but I have been listening to them every since. One of the things that amazes me is the additions to our lexicon from The Firesign Theater. When I hear someone say "What is this brew ha ha?" I ask if they know where that comes from and they have no idea, so I introduce them to the outrageous world of Firesign Theater. I am sorry that I am just finding out about Mr. Bergman's passing. I am so grateful for him and the rest of the gang for helping us get through the 70's. May their work live on for many generations.|
|I apologize for hearing of your departure last year. I need to pay closer attention. I will always remember you best in a weird little film I saw in 1974... you played a man in love with a stuffed armadillo. FIresign helped get me through the late 60s and 70s with my brain mostly intact. Thanks!!|
|Reat in peace, Peter. You gave the world a lot of joy and laughter.|
|There can be no doubt that Peter Bergman and the Firesign Theater had a profound impact on American society in the late twentieth century. I read somewhere that many people my age cannot go a week without quoting Peter and his work. What more profound tribute to him could there be than confirming this is true for me. RIP, Peter, and thanks for the memories.|
|Miss you every day Pete though as I listen to the Radio shows almost daily, you are not far from the daily zeitgeist. Your voice is still vital! I have no doubt you are pissing off the Cosmos in your own unique way, by making it laugh when it wants to cry! Here's a little tribute to Pete and the boyz!|
|Phil Austin shared his memories of Peter Bergman with me last spring on KPLU.|
I'll never forget Peter's voice. It was unique in every sense of the word. And it makes me smile every time I hear it.
|What a loss for us. But, perhaps now, he can come in out of the cornstarch and dry his mukluks by the fire.|
|In Latin, above the grave of Jonathan Swift, it says this: HE HAS GONE WHERE FIERCE INDIGNATION CAN NO LONGER PIERCE HIS HEART. GO, TRAVELER, IMITATE HIM IF YOU CAN. HE SERVED LIBERTY.|
That's Peter Bergman all over again. Laughing and outraged and quick of wit, he and those other maniacs transubstantiated genuine political shock into a private language of funny. I know I am in the presence of a serious thinker when they drop into Firesign. God Bless you, Peter Bergman, and welcome to the seventh Bardo of hell. Follow along in your book as we learn the next phrase in Turkish...
|after recovering from the inspired game of STICK TAG of A Child's Garden of Grass while taking residence in a front insane row seat for all those years I finally "Got it"; one of PB's greatest gifts to me: |
To turn the other cheek.
(aka actor, Bill Johnson)
|just a kid off the ohio farm in 1970, i found myself working in a navy hospital, reassembling g.i.s returned in pieces from vietnam, or trying to. into that mad world came firesign theater and radio free oz, brought to my head by a buddy corpsman with time on his hands and more dope than the rest of us.|
all i can say is, "THANK YOU" peter and the rest of the mad cappers for helping a lot of us get through the madcap hell of those days.
we love you!
|I enjoyed Peter's work; My deepest condolence to the Bergman family and to the rest of the boys.|
When you ride the bus eventually, you'll have to get off...
|Damn. We ARE all bozos on this bus.|
|I was unaware of the man's passing until today. I feel a great sense of loss. I have reveled in his (and the group's) wonderfully perceptive take on modern life for decades - sort of a guiding principle for surviving it all. Farewell Peter.|
|Gone but not forgotten.. WAIT, WAIT, can't we start over from the beginning of the script?|
|Gone but not forgotten.. WAIT, WAIT, can't we start over from the beginning of the script?|
|Condolences to all of Peter's family and friends. He and the FT were a life-altering experience. I have a strong sense memory of an episode of "Radio Free Oz" which had as guests one Charles Keating, who went on to become obscenely rich off the backs of an S&L he ran aground (Lincoln S&L?), but back then was (naturally) representing "Citizens for Decent Literature." The other guest was David Crosby. Nuff said.|
Thank you Peter, for the brilliant light of your intelligence and humor.
And how prescient was, and is, "Not Insane."
|Peter, We won't see you again in this world, but we'll see you in the next one, we'll just have to wait. I have been FiredUp since before graduating High School in 1969, was lucky enough to see Firesign et a few times in the Chicago area in the early 70's and you and Phil in Champaign-Urbana at The Red Lion in about 1977 or so while you guys were on tour supporting "What This Country Needs is a Good 5¢ Joke" I believe, the feelings of the event are clearer than the details probably because it was 35 years ago and I was in the "augmented reality" seating section, and you were so very gracious in seeing my girlfriend and I backstage after the show, with Phil, chatting with us and you both signed "TV or Not TV" and "What This Country Needs" album jackets. You have been the soundtrack of life for me and innumerable others with more listeners to come. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.|
|When I was a kid in high school I came home one day to find my dad laughing hysterically to the dwarf album. I knew he was on to something good because I hardly ever remember him being so happy. Then a high school electronics transplant from ohio needed a lab partner. Dickie Lutkemier turned me on to all the brew ha-ha from Firesign, among other things... |
The world is a better place because of Peter, and his co-horts.
Thank you to all of you "crazy" guys for all you have done.
|I got to see Proctor and Bergman live in 1975 in a nightclub in Illinois, right across the river from St. Louis. One of my cherished memories. That and listening obsessively to all their albums with Dear Friends who could and would recite entire album sides at the drop of a gnat.|
|When I was a freshman at the University of Georgia my roommate had many albums Peter helped create. I can't imagine what Peter did to have earned the chance to meet and work with such amazing people, and I can't imagine what they did to deserve him, but it must have been awesome.|
When I first heard "Waiting for the electrician" I was astounded to hear anything but standard American History, and found my snoot in A People's History of the United States as a direct result. Rest assured, it was not a text assigned by a professor.
That is but one tiny example of how my life is better for having gotten to know Peter as a fan.
|I've listened to FST daily for years. I have great memories of seeing Peter in 1976 (TFST), 1978 (Proctor and Bergman) and 1993 (Back to the Shadows). During the recent weeks, the Duke of Madness Motors data DVD (Radio Hour Hour, Dear Friends and Let's Eat broadcasts) have been bringing me endless joy (much of which is new to my tired old ears). Add in archived podcasts of RFO, and my tears of sadness at his passing turn to tears of hysteria and convulsive laughter. This man's great spirit and huge heart will live on as long as the art of the spoken word continues. I love ya, Pete!|
|I'm still laughing after all these years. My brother used to playall your albums and we would quote them often and stll do to this day.|
|When I first heard "We're All Bozos on This Bus," I went "WTF." I laughed my a-- off. All of their subsequent works. OMG so much rib aching amusement. I've seen attempts at FST inspired imitation, but no one does it like them. You know we are all "up against the wall" of time. Sooner or later we all leave. Thank you for all the laughs. Rest in peace Peter...|
|We were just talking about some old Firesign stuff the other day and I decided to "Google" to get an update on the gang. Naturally, I was saddened to read the news about Peter. Thanks to Peter, and all of the guys, for providing some of the funniest stuff ever during my college and early 20's years, so long ago. I still can recite a lot of dialogue from "Nick Danger", "Don't Crush That Dwarf...", "Waiting for the Elctrician...", and so much more. I will always remember you guys and can never adequate thank Peter and all for the wonderful times they provided. Rest In Peace.|
|Loved all you guys in spite of your political views. Takes a word or two in conversation, movie or radio to relight some line from your work. He will be missed|
|Just heard the news. Well, the olds by now, but just heard it anyway. One of my four favorite members of Firesign. Certainly made my life better. Much thanks, Peter.|
|I saw Proctor and Bergman open for the Bay Area Band "the Tubes" back in 1975 or 76. I was lucky enough to get to meet the guys back stage. What a great couple of guys. Peter was low key and easy to talk to. A real pleasure. We joked about them being an "opening" act for a crazy group like The Tubes. I remember they started the show with a group sing-along to "Toad Away". Half the crowd had no clue what the hell we were singing and the other half joined in a rousing chorus. Great memory of a better time. Whether as a duo or with the whole gang, Peter was always a joy to watch and more importantly, listen too. My other memory is of Firesign Theaters 25th anniversary show in Berkley, and Peter telling the story of the first album coming out while he was stationed at Fort Ord and going into the record store and showing the album to the clerk and pointing out he was on the album! He will be sorely missed, but he left his mark on the world. RIP|
|Firesign Theatre spoke to me very viscerally from my mid teens in 1969 when I first heard them, and onward. I had the pleasure to see them live on three occasions. At this stage of my life I look backward as much as forward. The wonderfulness of the troop has bathed my consciousness through all of my adulthood. I have never stopped listening and re-listening to the work. I lament Mr. Bergman's passing, and extend my condolences to the other 3 or 4 Krazy Guys left.|
|I didn't know until minutes ago. Since I was a little kid in the sixties, I wanted to understand what was really going on in the Mad World and Peter and his friends challenged me to think and to reach for something beyond the trash that the masses are fed daily. To know the past and to see the future and to share those visions with such loving levity is a powerful gift that he never corrupted or wavered from. I have always had so many questions? I'd like to think that I might be someone like him? Gas Music From Jupiter, please...|
|I had the pleasure of meeting, having lunch with, and then working with theFiresign Thaetre at a show they did at the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver a long time ago. Probably 1979 or maybe early 1980. Talk about a creative and witty group of guys, not to mention all around fun great guys to hang out with. Peter, a big two thumbs up for you my friend for bringing an incredible amount of laughter, smiles, and overall good feelings of happieness to all of our lives. You will be missed incredibly! We'll meet you in the next world so don't be late!|
|Thanks for the laughs, my friend sleep well|
|Peter. As a mid sixties WBAI listener and Bob Fass admirer and the man who turned Ricky Rebus on to FT ( I created a Monsta)I have to say thanx and you were always my favorite Beatle (besides George)|
not responsible, not insane!
|I've been a big FT fan since '69, and had the pleasure of seeing them live in '73 in St. Louis. Peter, thanks for the many laughs, and rest in peace. I hope to meet you when I get on the other side. More sugar!|
|I hope that where you are, you are doing what you have always done and make people laugh and think. Thank you for many a night, stoned or not, enjoying your records. My prayers are with you.|
|Very sad to hear that Peter Bergman has passed. I was first turned on to the Firesign Theater in Da Nang,Viet-Nam in 1971 and spent many zany hours listening to them there and in NKP,Thailand and on Okinawa. I'm proud to have been another Bozo on the bus. R.I.P., Peter. Thanks for the laughs and the sanity you helped us manage to hang on to during those crazy days.|
|My friend Gordon introduced me to Firesign Theater back in '78. Even after all these years, I still laugh my butt off listening to Nick Danger, Hemlock Stones or Porgy Tirebiter. Thanks for a lifetime of laughs!!|
|One of the sweetest and best princes of mirth. |
|Many Great times since introduced to the work in '71 and still listening !!!!! Fair Sailing to you always Peter !!!|
|Thanks for so many great memories and laughs, Peter. We all miss you.|
|He has gone to the pub in the skies.|
|My college roommate brought Firesign Theater to our room and life progressed wildly from then on. He will be missed.|
|I can't believe I missed finding out about this till today. Peter's passing is "A fair for all and no farr (fair?) to anybody! I last saw him in Tucson with Michelle Shocked on the 'Operation Campfire, Shocked and Odd.' tour. We'll miss you.|
|I am saddened that this wonderful mind is no longer among us. Thank you for filling my brain with such great stuff! We are marching to Shibboleth with the eagle and the sword in your memory.|
|Just ran across the news of Peter's death. Went googling around, and found so many quotations that set up reverb of memory in my mind. Apropos of way too much:|
"Many busy executives ask me, what about the job displacement market program in the city of the future?' Well, count on us to be there, Jerry, because, if we're lucky tomorrow, we won't have to deal with questions like yours ever again."
We ARE all Bozos on this here bus. Sorry Peter got off us.
|I just found out about Peter's passing and was so saddened. Firesign Theater's comdy and insight have been part of my DNA for 40 years now. For many of those years one of my friends and I would take turns getting refamiliarized with each other by saying, "Out of the fog, into the smog, relentlessly, ruthlessly..." and the other would answer, "I wonder where Ruth is?" and we'd crack ourselves up by continuing as far as we could--somewhere around "the Anselmo pederasty case..." I hope the rest of the group will get together to celebrate Peter's new gig in the afterlife. Could make a great skit. Rest in peace, Peter. Thanks for all the laughs!|
|I'm a bit late in finding out, sad about that and Peter's passing. Goodbye, you were appreciated greatly.|
|Why,this is a bag of shit! Yes, but it's really good shit.|
One of many of my favorite lines from the genius that was Firesign Theater.
|Wow! So sorry to hear of Peter's passing. Some of my fondest memories are surrounded by the classic comedy of Peter and his colleagues and their wonderful characters, like Nick Danger, Third Eye and phrases like "She's got a balcony you could do Shakespeare from!"|
God Bless Peter and the Firesign Theater.
|For myself, it was Peter Bergman, The Firesign Theatre and Radio Free Oz that was the start of my awareness of the real (screwed up) world. The truthful absurditys were funny and socially disrespectful and, now we find they were prophetic.|
Peter you will be missed.
|Our dad would recite your routines verbatim, much to our delight as kids growing up in the Reagan-Madonna Eighties. You were a lifeline. Because of you, I cut the soles off my shoes, sat in a tree and learned to play the flute! See you soon!|
|Sitting in a smoke filled living room watching my friend resite the entire album of "Don't crush that dwarf hand me the pliers" word for word as i listened in total amazement...it changed my life...i felt like i was just born and everything up to that moment was labor. we must have listened to it about six times that night..."surrounded by a thin thin thin 16 millimeter shell... and inside...it deliciouse...that Arnies whole beef halves...we deliver" Thank you Peter|
|Rest in Peace Mr. Bergman. Thanks very much for the laughs. Your contribution to silliness was a gift to us all.|
|I am so sorry to hear of Peter Bergman's passing. His humor shaped my life in many way|
|Wow, the wee hours of Fri 09 Mar 2012? That was right about the same time as I got back to the states...|
I first ran into FT back in the summer of '87 in New York, and just the one album at that: Bozos. I loved it, and have a lot of fond memories from it. I think that we'll all miss you, and hope that there's something good for you on the other side.
|Wow, the wee hours of Fri 09 Mar 2012? That was right about the same time as I got back to the states...|
I first ran into FT back in the summer of '87, and just the one album at that: Bozos. I loved it, and have a lot of fond memories from it. I think that we'll all miss you, and hope that there's something good for you on the other side.
|Listened to the FS since 1969...along with the 14,238 Furry Freaks who trapsed through "The Busy House" living room. :)|
This is a loss for all of us that we'll never get over. This guy was irreplaceable, as well, we all are....but Peter just had the trick of "getting it all out there"; I mean, this guy could communicate, he was smart, warm, compassionate, witty and wise, _and he never sold out_...and that's a damned hard act to follow, dear friends.
We could use 1000 like him.
I am sure Peter, wherever he is now, is doing whatever he can to fulfill his last words in his last show.
We'll never get over it, but time will ease some of the pain, bit by bit, until what will shine uppermost in memory is his genius; the guy was a real "mensch".
Shine on, man, shine on.
|I just found out today May 17th that Peter passed. As many have stated... I new this day would come, just not as soon as it did. What a talent he was! Everything I love in comedy... that doesn't come as a surprise since I worshiped Firesign Theater growing up. I still envision someone somewhere producing a computer animated version of "Everything You Know is Wrong". I'd love to see the boys produce and direct it just to experience their visual interpretation. I'll certainly miss you Peter. Be well Phil, David and Phil!|
|I began listening to the Firesign Theatre at an early age, at my father's behest. Of course, I didn't get all of the jokes or understand the underlying social commentary until I was much older, but at the age of 10, I adored the characters. As I matured, I would go back and listen to the tapes again, each time taking away something new. Thank you, Peter, for all of your contributions.|
|I was saddened to hear of Peter's death. Forty years ago Firesign and the works he did with Phil Proctor were revelatory to me and my friends (and staff). I was recovering from several years in a fanatic religious organization, the lunatic, but deadly serious theatrics were just what I needed to gain perspective. At first hearing it was obvious that inside the lunacy was great intelligence, and it lifted me up just as the Goon Show in the fifties in England. Thank you Peter for thinking outside the box; thank you for thinking and prompting us to think about our mad mad world. You will be missed.|
|I "grew up" on a steady diet of Firesign Theatre and George Carlin. Bought the albums the day they were released. I entered a contest at KPFK and won one of the two 6-foot diameter "LP"s used in some 1972 publicity shots for Bozos. Wish I still had that. I got to work with Peter at KFWB doing straight news. Every on air minute I expected his to break into some crazy story featuring "Nancy" or George Tirebiter or Pappoon. Peter, you are missed and your creativity is greatly appreciated. NOT INSANE!|
|I've no idea who you were and I guess that's kind of a moot point now anyways but best of luck in the beyond.|
|Always a pity when a surrealist becomes a realist.|
Peter B. should have been eviscerating and mocking the infantile Occupy insipidities not hum-jobbing this puerile, re-tread pabulum at the end.
But his early Firesign lunacies will always glister with inspired and sardonic brilliance, from the Wonderful City of Emphysema to You Can't Get There From Here.
"Free! Only a dollar!"
"With doors to match!"
|Peter and the guys helped form the sense of humor of myself and my generation. The laughter will live on in our hearts. Thanks Peter.|
|Simply, Thank You and your group for some of the greatest comedy ever ecordead. Peace to you as to us. Lloyd Johnson.|
|What was 4 or 5 (crazy guys) is 3, what was 2 is 1 and what was 1 is nothing. |
I (sadly or, considering the chemicals, amazingly) have too many memories to enumerate in this limited space. Last time I spoke with Peter (at the Barnsdall show) we talked about one of his TV appearances I had recently seen. Peter said "You know, I never really got TV". All I can say is thank god for that or we would have missed out on his brilliance.
RIP Mr. B
|So sad! When I was at Ritgers in 1969 my room mate and I could recite whole Firesign Theatre albums and converse in|
bits..Now I am getting to theat part in life were my heroes
that are 10 years or so older are dying off, Levon Helms, Arthur Lee and now Peter Bergman..
Thanks for the wit and the laughs! If you lived here, you'd be home by now.
Peace and love, and sympathy too.
|First heard Firesign on WGTB and WHFS here in DC, while in high school. Went to Virginia Tech where I played Firesign on WUVT for the four-plus years I worked there. Had the privelege of being invited to participate in a radio theater workshop in Columbia, MO with Peter and David and Yuri Shikovsky and guys from ZBS Media. What a gas.|
Best way I can think of to pay tribute to Peter is thusly. I've been waiting for the right time to expose my teenage kids to Firesign. I think it is time. . . . . . I can't wait.
|I was 15, and one night on the local Phoenix legendary radio station, KDKB, around midnight, Porgy and Mudhead lured me into a universe in which my comedic thoughts and sensibilities would be forever changed. From that moment on, my entire group of friends and family knew of the FTT. We bought and listened in groups with the lights off. We quoted the lines randomly in class, at the dinner table and in general conversation. We made t-shirts with our favorite lines and quotes. At the forefront of a generations laughter. I saw them live in the 70's and followed them closely throughout and ever after. Phil's loss is a sad and poignant marker on how even the greatest have their final bow. I find it very emotional and most memory stirring, to recall some of the best and greatest moment of my youth, as I think of how great a talent passes away leaving all of us wanting more laughs, more verbal gems and clever ways to stimulate our imaginations and curl the corners of our mouths to laugh and repeat out loud along with Pete and the crew, like singing the chorus of our most favorite song. We miss you, Peter. Follow the rubber line, dear friend.|
|I am so sad to learn of Mr. Bergman's passing. He and his comrades, the writers/performers of the Firesign Theatre made my young adulthood the funnest thing imaginable. I can't wait to meet him in the great Turkey Farm in the sky. God bless you, Peter.|
|I am so sad to learn of Mr. Bergman's passing. He and his comrades, the writers/performers of the Firesign Theatre made my young adulthood the funnest thing imaginable. I can't wait to meet him in the great Turkey Farm in the sky. God bless you, Peter.|
|Just got back from the Firesign Theatre "Big Brouhaha" memorial tribute show for Peter. Hysterical skits & stories, fast-paced improv & well-honed mayhem blended to perfection. Non-stop hilarity overlaid with honest and open emotion for their (and our) recent loss. Many thanks to Peter and all of you for providing a lifetime of honest chaotic rumblings.|
Marching to shibboleth,
|I learned of Peter's passing only yesterday. I don't look at my Facebook feeds very often, where I probably would have seen it sooner. Where I would have expected to see it would have been in Entertainment Weekly as I have a subscription to that magazine. I intend on sending them a note chastising them for not treating this as the big news it wasPeters death is tantamount to a Beatle dying as FT is (or sadly, was) those four gentlemen. This isnt to imply they cannot go on without him, but they, and we, know that it will never be the same. (If you want to also email EW about this their address is firstname.lastname@example.org.)|
I didnt know Peter personally, but FT has played a huge part in my life. Mudhead is one of the iconic characters in all of comedy, IMO, and Babe from HCYBINTPAOWYNAAA took us through a journey that is largely unmatched in comedy. I first saw FT at the Ash Grove back in the day (as my old friend Mike Byrd put it below), and I had followed them ever since, seeing them on every opportunity that was available (the most recent being a few months ago at the Kirkland Performance Center here in Washington stateand where I will be tomorrow night with many others remembering Peter). I always perceived Peter as the most biting of the guys--while he could easily convey innocence there was always an undercurrent that would temperate that with a sly wink that there was more there than met the eye.
Listening to the FTs albums were always events; as they were not a series of bits it was tantamount to watching a mini-movie. I and my friends would spark a bowl and listen to an entire album start to finish, with each listen exposing nuances and themes that were not apparent in previous listenings. It was dense in the layers it was smart in its execution.
I havent listened to FTs output in a while, but I intend on revisiting it in the coming weeks, keeping Peter on the forefront of my mind. While Im sad hes gone, Im happy he lives on through the recorded output (including through Proctor and Bergman), and his contribution to both the FT and comedy at large cannot be understated.
RIP Peter...though Im guessing that peace includes letting it rip, as you had so many times in your wonderful lifetime.
|Back in the day...My good friend Mike Tiano was enthralled with the Firesign Theatre. Growing up in L.A. Calif. Late 60's. He would always make me listen to the albums when they came out. I particularly like the one with Nick Danger, Third eye. I finally got to see them at the last show @ the Kirkland Performance Center a few months ago.I finely got it! Unlike seeing my favorite band, I got to really know the guy's because they were talking to me! Peter was like my favorite Beatle! I really feel the loss, because at my age you don't really make a lot of new friends. And I feel like I made new friends @ that show. God Bless you Peter! And God bless you all, Firesign Guy's!|
|When I was 15 or so I used to see Peter walking around at the Love-Ins by the merry-go-round at Grifith Park in LA. I remember his voice on the radio late at night when I was on the edge of manhood and I would like to think that his some of his humor helped form the man I became.|
|Joy and sorrow to Peter and Firesign Theater . The Bobs sing their praises! "That dime was in my pocket"! I will miss him.|
|Peter will be greaaly missed. One of my only naturally high moments came during a marathon listening session of two of Firesign Theater's seminal abums: "All Hail Marx and Lennon", followed by "Don't crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers". By the end of the second record I felt as though I were hallucinatng! To this day they are my favorite performances of my favorite comedy troupe. RIP Peter!|
|I first heard your work in 1968 on KSFO, I think it was, drugs and time having dulled the memory. You have been a hero and model in the years since. Thanks so much for so much. Your loyal servant, Jacomus d'Paganus-Fatuus, Scribe in residence, International Guild of Satirists, Humourists, Comedians and Pranksters, Ltd.|
|'So sad" to hear about Peter Bergman passing on . None can replace him.. Peter Bergman and the Firesign Theater is the world's|
Greatest form of anti- depressant there is on this Planet .
Now I am thinking about waiting for the next bus full of bozos. I hope it comes soon. We all will miss one of the greatest original comics of the comedy world .
|I have so many wonderful memories of so many great laughs shared with so many great friends and Peter helped provide the sound track for the movies we watched in our minds. Thank you for a real good time Peter, thank you Firesign. Take off your shoes, for Industry!|
|I was just having dinner at a friends house last night (4/13) and we were discussing comedy from the 70's. Of course, Firesign Theatre was at the top of our list. We decided to plan another evening together just to light up some smoke and revisit the times. So, today, I got on line to see if I could find some FST albums, and noticed the obituary for Peter. I wish I could come to his life celebration next week. If my friend, Ed Kashin from Eugene, OR, is still around,and reads this, thank you Ed, for introducing me to FST so many years ago. Thank you Peter and the rest of FST for the belly laughs. Happy Trails, Bonita Schweighart|
|Dispair doesn't become us all.With SAINT Bergman a reality in (Pardon moi "A FUCKED PLACE WITHOUT HIM")this nasty time that we are without him anymore,I don't believe he's missing a trick.Every time I look at a pundit, I think PuntIt the mayors head, twist his nose to take aim.I would like to have another opportunity to refill the mental gowugez that are left behind at the recieptance of this poor news.I challenge the cast (Proctor,Austin,Ossman)to find where he put what even HE couldn't tell you he did with it. email@example.com -form letters will be printed for my dogs to laugh at before using appropriatly- in living love and memory ALL HAIL SAINT BERGMAN.|
|THIS IS the one thing that floored me and maade me cry like a beaten baby (O yes I AM still crying as I try to see my keyboard).To check up on old friends who were able to install a third lobe in a place where I I I and ONLY I managed to mess up the first two,it Hurts bigtime.Without the help that HE and the support of the others that helped HIM in a big way,probably the Biggest Manhunt of the Country, never happened.I WILL MISS HIM as anybody with a third lobe that has a dangeress nick in it should.The rest of you should stock up on anti oxidents the electron tube don't.|
|I became aware of the FT in high school nearly 40 years ago, and have remained an avid fan through the years. Thank you, Peter, for making me work for the laughs. While we disagree politically, I wish you all the best in the next life, which is already in progress...|
|I just saw that Peter Bergman passed away. I paid tribute by calling in a friend that knew nothing of Firesign Theater and having him listen to Nick Danger. Sure it was the late 60s, sure it was a great time to be going to college... not necessarily productive, but a great time! I am hope that all who loved him, can make it without him. I am certain for them, his passing created a great void. For those of us who loved his work, we know there will never be anyone quite like Peter, and that is a great loss to anyone who were touched by him.|
|I met Peter through my late husband, Scott Kelman, director of three theaters in downtown LA in the 1980s, who directed Peter in his one man show "Help, Get Me Out of My Head" (may not be exact title--sorry). I was always struck by Peter's brilliant mind (his knowledge of history/philosophy/science/the arts was amazing--and he put it all together in a mischievous delightful way), his compassion and support for other artists, and his endless curiosity. He was also always the ultimate gentleman! He turned me on to the movie Dangerous Beauty--check it out! He will be missed, and I wish him wondrous continuing adventures.|
|So, high school 1970's DC and 4 or 5 of us in Chuck's basement listening to Firesign over and over and over again. We could do most of the albums by heart by the time we graduated in '73. Then, lo and behold, connections with new people in college in Florida - could tell the bozos from afar. Most obnoxious - doing Bozos or Don't Crush at 7am in the dining hall for breakfast! Inspiring, cathartic, made me feel un-alone. Thank you, Peter.|
|It is interesting to read the reminiscences of all Peter's fans and realize how much like me they were...kids in high school or college who discovered a new way of seeing the world, a new language to describe it, and a weird kind of cynicism and intellectualism that changed forever our sense of humor. |
It was a litmus test to me, as a teenager, if someone had heard of Firesign Theatre. I listened to "Don't Crush That Dwarf..." and "Bozos" through the headphones for hours on end, and would quote from them, at the drop of a hat and in all circumstances, with the hippest of my friends.
Years later, I was in college and got the chance to be roadie-for-a-day for a visiting band. It got me free tickets to the concert, anyway. Along with several other students, I had to be at the auditorium bright and early to help offload the equipment from a big, rented truck, hump it inside and get it set up. After the concert that night, we tore down the equipment and reloaded the truck. The two professional roadies who were in charge were very rude and condescending to us--they yelled at us and insulted us and basically acted like we didn't matter; they just wanted us to do it their way, as quickly as possible, and they weren't there to make friends.
At one point, one of them said something patronizing about the rest of us being nothing but a bunch of bozos. Then his friend said, "Are you a bozo?" And the other guy answered, "I'm a bozo, too," and they laughed. I recognized that same insider connection of a couple of Firesign fans that I had so valued in high school.
I was kind of sick of their guff and saw a chance to break the ice, so I interjected, "I think we're all bozos on this bus." And the two of them stopped cold and just stared at me a second, maybe trying to decide if I'd really known what I was saying. Then they broke into grins and said, "You know Firesign?" We spent the next half hour talking and laughing while we finished loading the truck, and my fellow workers had the added reward of not being hassled anymore by their two taskmasters, who now totally ignored them to focus on talking with me. When we were done the other kids just wandered off home, but me and the two roadies shook hands and wished each other well. Weird story, but true.
Well, I'm not sure sadness is exactly what I feel, at least not for Peter Bergman as a person. I remember being devastated when John Lennon was killed, but then I quickly realized that nothing about my relationship to him had changed. I never knew him, and he never knew me, and the only way we were connected at all was through his work, which was as available to me as it ever was. I'd listen to an album and he was no more or less alive to me than he'd ever been. The only sadness was the thought that there was no more where that came from. That's how I feel now.
So RIP, Peter. There are not many people about whom someone can say, "You changed my life for the better," but I can say it about you, and that's a pretty good marker to leave behind. Have fun on the other side.
|Discovered Waiting for the 'Ectrician in H.S. ('71-'74) in Toledo. Saw the troupe at Barnsdall Art Park (los angeles) auditorium last year, a sure real evening. John Goodman there too! Glad you were here Mr. Bergman. All the best to you and clones everywhere. Please follow the moving rubber line to your left, and remember to inflate your shoes. Shoes for industry, shoes for the dead...|
|Thanks for all the laughs - I know you have them rolling in the aisles in heaven.|
|I am so greatful that I had Four or Five crazy guys to share with my friends. I still recite lines from my favorite stories which are nearly always followed by "who said that". when i quietly sang to myself "how can you be in two places at once..." during my first choir rehearsal as their director in a small rural church and some one I did not even know sang quietly back "when you're not anywhere at all" I knew at that very moment that Abraham Lincoln didn't die in vain... Thank you Peter for making this a more enjoyable ride...|
|Pete...Firesign fan since '68. We had a long conversation in April '74 after a FST show at Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City. We talked about everything from "sophmoric humor" to Austin's dog Packer. |
Pure traveling coincidence I happened to be in Monterey and caught the reunion show in April 2009, 35 years to the day, later! Thanks for everything and teaching us all how to squeeze the wheeze!" To Phil, Dave and Phil....keep 'em flying!!
|Firesign was the apex of comedy, to me and several of my friends. Several others said they made their heads hurt. I listened to the albums over and over. In my wildest of bachelor days, my housemate and I (both musicians) would get up, fumble around for coffee or whatever, and play the Chinchilla Show from "Dear Friends" until we dissolved into idiotic laughter and the day could begin.|
Years later, I took my 12-year-old son to Portland to see the troupe, and he sat there and laughed in that crowd of old hippies.
Peter, I am saddened at your passing. You did more to form and enlighten the worlds of a huge number of people than you probably ever knew. To you and your fellow Firesigners, thank you. And thank you for recording so much material; we have much to listen to, over and over.
We listened whle eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
They were good.
|I first found Peter while I was stationed in Spain. The humor was amazing and carried us through. I just hope he took the old antelope freeway to heaven less traffic.|
|I''m sad to hear that this Bozo got off the bus so soon....|
|& what I meant to say, Doctor...|
I wish we all had more time together
for the beautiful things in this life
that really matter
like laughter & the connection that it brings
Now, that Peter Bergman is gone ~
I wish we all had more time together
|What more can I say...|
I wish we all had more time together
for the beautiful things in this life
that really matter
like laughter & the connection that it brings
Now, that Peter Bergman is gone ~
I can feel a little hole in my life
|It is sad when Legends pass, but i'm sure Peter wouldn't want that so Im so lucky I had the privilege of enoying the Firesign 40yrs+. They were so gifted that they made most comedians look like Neanderthals. Peter will surely be missed!|
|"He's no fun, he fell right over!"|
I lost more friends listening to Firesign Theatre when i was young...and not one of them was worth keeping.
Better that Peter was here, so sad that he's gone.
|Well, that's just a damned shame. Playing the LP's for friends in the early '70's, finally meeting Mr Bergman in London a few years back at a recording for the BBC (he was a gent) - lots of memories... Thanks!|
|Thanks for reminding us all that everything we know IS wrong|
|I sat across from Peter at a Pesach seder at a friend's house few years back and between bites of soup & gefiltefish we discussed cosmology. We were celebrating in the home of a secular agnostic, so there wasn't much Old Testament hoo-ha floating around that evening for anyone to argue with. But seders are often a platform to spout off about the madness of religion. So Peter laid out his personal cosmology - as mad and psychedelic as any Mormon or Scientologist, and I thought, is he doing a bit? I stared into his wonderfully clear, beagle-like eyes and thought...who cares, it's fascinating, and his brain is big enough to contain any and every weird cosmological belief system, all at the same time, and it wouldn't make him any less funny nor any less brilliant or lovable. Wish I felt that way about everyone.|
Great knowing you in this dusty clime, old Pete.
|Thank you Peter for making us laugh, but especially for making us think. Hope you took the ol' Antelope--less traffic.|
|I looked on him as a mentor. He used to tell me stories about Satchel Paige. "never look back' and 'Don't eat fried food'.Also its a 'bad idea to use psychedelics without a guru to take you on your trip'. Peter took me on so many good trips without ingesting anything but his words. The Wizard of Oz he will allways be to me. We will all greatly miss him.|
Jack Poet Jr. Down town L.A.
|How many others sat around together and laughed there asses off to,"Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him"? Changed my life. Thanks Peter, see you on the other side.|
|Years and years of laughter...and now i feel so numb. I can't decide whether to play some Firesign Theatre or not.|
Thank you, Lt. Bradshaw, for the many good times.
|After listening to Firesign for years, I finally met Peter in 1972, when he & Phil Proctor were visiting UCLA, coincidentally the same day my immense Daily Bruin appreciation of Firesign ran, and I brought it over to the university television station where they were.|
What a talent, whether with Firesign, Proctor & Bergman or doing his own "Help Me Out Of This Head" (which I saw at MOCA). I treasure the moments I spent with him & the other guys in the studio, and fondly remember especially his generosity when Firesign warmed up with a stoned improv during the "Not Insane" sessions, and Peter invited me into the circle for what he later dubbed "Bozo's Dream." Bless Peter.
|First time I heard him, I thought: "Here's a nerd with some power. Here's a smart guy who doesn't hide it - no, he laughs at prejudice and inhumanity and brings us back to Earth". God Bless Peter Bergman and the other Firesigners. You've left the Ball of Mud a little better than you found it.|
|Thank you so much Peter for making me laugh more than I thought I could for all of my life.|
|Is there any way to download the Morning Dew broadcast from April 1 on WBAI? I'd like to be able to keep it.|
|Great mind. Great voice. Great loss.|
|I'm broadcasting a special tribute to Peter on my radio show on Pacifica Network WBAI.org in New York City late tonight (officially Sunday morning) at 1AM-3AM. WBAI-FM 99.5: the show is Morning Dew. You can also listen at WBAI.org/archives for 2 weeks, 24/7.|
Firesign Theater is the sound track to my life. I will cherish the memories of seeing them & will miss Peter tremendously.
|I first heard Peter and the FST coming through the KWFM channel in Tucson, Arizona when I was a prisoner of Sabino High School in 1978. It wasn't More Science High, but I immediately cut the soles off my shoes and climbed a nearby cactus (ouch!). Years later, they/he still knocks me out.... Occupy Yourself! RIP, Peter.|
|Firesign Theater and Peter Bergman have been a part of my life since the 1980's. What I get from their comedy is the absurd nature of the reality in which we live. Without this, I would not be sane today. Thank you so much and to Peter I wish you peace.|
|My father was a radio announcer in small town in Western Maryland. One day he brought home a 45 that he thought I might find amusing. It was "Forward Into the Past" b/w "Station Break." My life was changed forever. Firesign was a guiding light through my high school and college years. I doubt if I would have made it without them. God bless you, Peter. Tonight I raise a blue moss in your honor.|
|Thanks for all the wonderful, liberating humor you shared with us.|
|Thank You All For Everything You Know Is Wrong......Peter, It's Good You Won't Be Here When We All Find Out How Wrong.....You Are Missed|
|One night while working the late shift in the fall of 1970 at KFMQ-FM in Lincoln, Nebraska (underground rock), I chanced upon an odd album and decided the listeners should share my first encounter with it. We were welcomed to Side 6. Since then, it has been a wonderful ride up one side of sanity and down the other. Peter, thanks for all you brought to my life. I hope to pass the talking stick to you on the other side of the record. Which is already in progress.|
|He was an important man , in finding my humour as a kid, teen and adult. You will be greatly Missed Mr. Bergman. Rest well.|
|Thank you for showing that comedy could also be deep and thought-provoking, and for opening up the world of radio and spoken-word to this child of the television age.|
|I have fond memories of Firesign that I cherish. Only your brand of humor could touch people's lives through radio parodies that are still some of the funniest out there! Thank you for all your work, RIP.|
|Peter Bergman. With the Firesign Theatre you helped me grow. I learned satire, irony, comedy, pathos,and humanity. Thank you. Thank you for my sense of humor. Thank you for my political tolerance. Thank you for my twisted broken American heart that refuses to give up hope. Peter Bergman - may I grow to be as understanding and intelligent and articulate and humane as you grew to be.|
|A day doesn't go by that I don't mutter, while bent over some prostrate aesthetic pursuit off of which I'm trying to push the eagle, "The Heroic Struggle of the Little Guys To Finish the Mural." My whole way of thinking about what's funny bears the deep impress -- four decades and change deep -- of Peter Bergman and his fellow Firesignatories. I hope he knew before he moved on -- surely he must have done -- just how many like me can add that their children too (in my case my son, 21 come May) have been happily and salubriously neurotorqued by exposure to the regime of Not Insanity. So thank you, Peter, for your signal devotion to polishing up the spotless mirror in which you are now absolutely reflected. Ave atque vale.|
|Just learned about Peter this morning. Strange just yesterday playing "Not Insane". Will do a memorial on my comedy hour for Gallup Public Radio. The Humbolt County routine is the most perceptive comedy sketch about western expansion and American Indians to ever been created by non-Indians. Charlie Hill the Native comic uses and the loves the expression "oh our poor white brothers".|
|My friends at Gonzaga University turned me on to the Firesign Theatre in 1971. I have been a great fan and saw them perform at Meany Hall at the University of Washington.|
I will soon be 64 and I still get laughs on the golf course when I recite: " Nick Danger at your cervix."!
|I first got turned on to FT when a DJ played the whole second side of the second album ("Nick Danger") at 2 in the morning. It was on KWST in LA in the early 70's. I fell right over. I only saw them live once when they toured as a trio without David Ossman at the world famous "Golden Bear" in Huntington Beach. I fell right over. I had been listening to "Radio Free Oz" every day for a while and Peter Bergman missed a couple of days and then he passed away. I fell right over.|
|I've posted an appreciation of Peter on my podcast|
and on You Tube
Please enjoy! But don't go sticking your big nose into police business!
|3/25 - Just found out! Sad, so sad. Another rich talent gone - life moves on, but not as bright for a time as we mourn. Thanks for all the laughs, Peter.|
"Hey Danger, Where's the Fire?"
|I'm still reeling from the loss of my friend Peter Bergman. We met in 1974. I went backstage before the Firesign Theatre Westbury Theatre show. I mentioned the fact that I recorded the Carnegie Hall performance a few days earlier and presented them with an audio cassette. They invited me to stick around and record the Westbury show as well. The next day the Firesign Theatre came to the TV studio where I worked and made an appearance on the David Susskind Show which I video recorded. The rest is history.|
We stayed in touch over the decades and I collected any and all Firesign videos and even produced a few! I got to know Peter most during the 70's when he and Phil Proctor (as Proctor & Bergman) visited NYC on numerous tours. We're trying to make a lot of this material available to fans and Pete was an integral part of this effort. I'm recovering from the shock of this loss and hope we can move forward...into the past.
I posted a personal tribute to Peter Bergman on FaceBook. It was recorded in 1996 and illustrates his style of comedic presentation and material:
|Very sorry to hear Mr. Bergman has left us. The world could use some more of his sharp, funny commentary. In the end we're all just holy-grams...|
|I first heard Firesign Theatre on the Dr. Demento show in the late 1970s. It was "Shoes for Industry" That one threw my head out sideways and I never really got it back on right. I still have this kink on the left side and a slight tilt making me look at the world canted. Naturally, the only solution to this problem was homeopathic, like cures like. Since I saw the world sideways, I had to get more of what makes one see sideways just so I could see straight. So, I gradually collected editions of Firesign albums. My favorite is still "Everything You Know Is Wrong." Boy, did that one get me seeing straight. And there is Peter, as Eddy the Truthseeker - Seek out!, and Benjamin Franklin - I never felt the touch of a warm, naked Indian, and on and on. There he is, on those albums. Tell the world, your brain is not the boss. Bergman lives!|
|Oooooooooh, but it was Really GOOD shit, Mrs. Kreske !|
|In November, I was lucky enough to see Peter Bergman and his fellow purveyors of merriment and commentary perform We're All Bozos in Kirkland WA. |
Many people in the audience knew most of the lines by heart and were prepared to chime in on cue and beep their red clown noses. But what we didn't know until we saw and heard was how generous and youthfully enthusiastic the troupe of actors were. Laced with current references and peppered with unscripted interplay, the performance was joyful and goofy, and the audience hung on every word, responding with laughter and beeping and long familiar Firesign lines.
Peter must have been sick then, but the performance was unflagging--the wordplay and the wordplayers and the community of listeners buoying each other up, as friends do.
It was wonderful.
So, Firesigners, thank you for that gift of an evening. I smile still.
And, Peter, thanks for all the good you did and all the good you've left behind.
|So sad... another cultural icon passes on. My condolences to his family and friends.|
|Unfortunately, the dime was in Mr. Rococo's pocket.|
Along with Mel Blanc, Groucho Marx, Peter Sellers and George Carlin, the Firesign Theater forged my comic sensibility. Like most everyone else in this guest book, I spent the best parts of my high school years reciting chunks of their inspired comic jazz - to peels of laughter from my friends. Is there a funnier thing on the planet than "How can you be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all?"
Years later, I was getting my car washed in Santa Monica. And as I sat in the warm sunshine, I saw one of my comic idols sitting reading the paper... waiting for his car. I sat still for a moment - like spotting a White Rhino in a supermarket.
Im not a star-struck person, but I was torn - do I walk up and gush like I'm sure people do all day, every day... or do I just be LA cool and not say a word.
Happily, i decided to amble over and inquire, "Excuse me, are you Porgy?"
He turned and smiled broadly... the next 25 minutes was my personal comedy hall of fame. Peter was as funny, smart, humble and intelligent as we want all our heroes to be. I told him he and the FS were on my comedy Mt. Rushmore -and he seemed pleased, and not the least bit snooty. I gushed, asked questions about their production process - in stead of payment, they were given unlimited studio time - which explains all the tracks and finesse in their work - and asked comedy geek questions.
He answered them all until his car was spiffy. I thanked him for the time and he walked away... Forward into the Past!
If you are reading this and are not familiar with the Los Angeles Beatles of Comedy, do yourself a favor and go to http://firesigntheatre.com/montage.html and learn you some.
|So Babe decided to take the ol' Gomorrah Expressway West? Have no fear, Great White Brother will there to greet us someday...I've been listening to Bozos for the last 3 weeks, just enjoying what I think I understand about the future. As for Peter, look out God -- Bergman is GREAT, no place to hide!!|
|A true comedic genius was lost. I still listen to the old (and newer) Firesign stuff and continue to hear new things.|
|I thank my older brother for introducing me to many things...Vonnegut, Dylan, The Kinks, etc, etc. But, by far the most influential on my young mind at the time was The Firesign Theatre. So much so that a few years later I and a fellow fan formed a stand-up comedy duo called Radio Radio. Listening to old bits you can clearly hear the strong influence of FST. Thank you all so much for the many years of enjoyment and my best wishes to the family and loved ones of Peter Bergman.|
|More sugar but less Bergman. Only the Schnifter would think that was a great deal in a Christian atmosphere. In an interview I did with Peter several years ago for 88.1 KDHX he observed that radio was a real heartbreaker but I have to say it didn't really seem that way until he left it and boarded the Xist saucers.|
|Firesign changed my life. In the early '70s here in Toronto, my friends and I talked almost exclusively in Firesign-ese. Those who didn't get it were cast out. Who needed to drop acid when Firesign delivered such a natural high? "The Chinchilla Show" ranks up there as one of the most inspired pieces of extemporaneous comedy ever performed. Never again could I watch an ad or TV show or talking head in an irony-free state. A great gift.|
With the death of Peter Bergman, it feels akin to the loss of Lennon or Garcia in the boomer pantheon. I just haven't been the same since Anzio....I don't know whether to "hit that Jew over the head with a bag of sugar or beat out that rhythm on the drums..."
|Thanks, Peter, for making my late teens a place of laughter, imagination, anarchy and strange poetry. I'm so glad I saw FT in 1982 at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA (SRO). The next time I hear thunder, I'll know it's just you making God laugh. |
Rest in Peace, brother.
|Thank you Peter, for making my college years in the early 1970's much more fun, without drugs! And thank you for helping me to know true comedy.|
|Condolences to Peter's family and friends for their sad loss.Wnen in Canada in early 70's heard and bought FT's l.p.s, brought them back to Britain and turned on many to listening and laughing.Thanks Peter for your talent,skill and life, R.I.P.|
|I was a fan since 1969. Babylon Theatre was founded on the love of Firesign. My regards to Dave, Phil, and Phil. Thanks for the all-night images, Pete.|
|The one thing Steve Jobs had wrong - it's not bad to be a Bozo. I wear it proudly. Thanks to Peter and all FT for years of enlightenment and laughter. Can't wait to see what's next.|
|I just read the news in Time Magazine Sunday; Some days things just jump right out at ya & the sadness just digs real deep. |
I, like most, 1st heard Waiting for the Electrician / 2 Places at Once in my formative years, back in 70-71. I bought my ticket on the Bus & never looked back. There were always little tidbit of 'this insider language' that would Identify FELLOW DEVOTEES. The 1st time I heard a young lady spout a 'Fire-Line' at a party,( I shot Beer out my nose & recovered in time for an introduction ). I was aware that there were more twisted people around other than myself, LOTS MORE.
I even Honestly tried describing them to the uninitiated: "First take the Jack Benny Show, then add 1 cup of Warner Brothers Cartoons, 3 cups of George Carlin, a dash of Steve Martin, 6oz of Monty Python, 2 cups of Ernie Kovaks, 6 oz Mad Magazine w/ a Pinch of Soupy Sales ... Add 1 Thesaurus...Mix in a blender & pour it into an old stand-up radio."
And that's as good a description as I could come up with.
It was hystericly funny Theater for the concentrated, attenive listener AND we were SO LUCKY to have been able to enjoy it.
My deepest sympathies go to PB's Family and ALL his Friends, esp. Phil, David & Phil. You guys made MAGIC & Changed Lives. Who could leave a Better Legacy?
Thanx for the Pommegranates.
John (Dr. Memory) Voelker
|Eek Eek! Remember always that Peter was the Ultimate Bozo on the Bus... Reminds us we can always be 30 going on 19.|
|I feel very fortunate to have seen those 4 or 5 guys live in Seattle. I spun "We're All Bozos..." in his memory.|
|While living in New York, I had the privilege of having 'Mudhead' as my licence plate for a few years. Upon moving to California, I immediately ventured into the local DMV office to look into getting the left coast version. Getting this was a 'must' because at the time, the color scheme of CA and NY plates were exactly the same, only opposite (yellow/blue). Imagine my utter dismay when I learned that 'Mudhead' was already assigned to someone else. I thought, how could it be - are there two of me? Then I realized, 'oh yeah, it must be the man himself'. I left DMV that day with a smile on my face thinking that Peter must be the one driving around with the other plate.|
|One of the most incredibly creative comedians and intellects it has been my pleasure to enjoy. Rest in Peace.|
|Peter and The Firesign Theatre have been an enormous joy for me for lo these many years. My heart is broken that Peter is gone. You would think that all the happiness he brought to others would grant him immortality. But in a way it has. Like so many folks, I first heard the boys through my Hippie older brother in '70 or '71 and they have never left my rotations since. One of the greatest short films i ever saw was Peter's "Love is Hard to Get". This film seems to be a lost treasure since I can find no mention of it. I saw it as the warm up to the "Jimi play Berkley" Hendrix concert film in 1973, and never heard of it again. If anyone knows about it, especially in light of Peter's passing, it needs to brought back to the fans. Thank you, Peter, for making so many of us cry with laughter. Those tears are covering our sadness now. Peace.|
|I think Peter is now most likely traveling rapidly back in time, to the Late Devouring Period, when fish became obnoxious ... dancing with the chiggerbites and trailerbikes, colliding aimlessly.|
We'll miss you Peter - who's going to teach us about history and technology?
I'm so glad I saw the fab four, the complete FT, in L.A. last year and in Seattle just months ago. Happy you did a trio of new material/CDs at the close of the century also. Hope Dave and Phil and Phil forge on.
|Thanks for so many great laughs and adventures. Thanks for the companionship and a familiar voice on so many sleepless and lonely nights in so many places as I wandered this planet.|
|I first became turned on to the Firesign Theatre back in the very early 70's - maybe even 1969 - after receiving my first radio with FM. While scanning the FM dial, I came across Pacifica Radio's New york station whose call letters momentarily escape me. I just happenned across the station playing a Firesign Theatre and all I could do was laugh continuosly of the adventure of Nick Danger. I subsequently went out and bought the first record of theirs I could find which happenned to be their "I think We're All Bozos on this Bus." I was in high school in my sophomore year when I learned that one of my closests friends was also a fan of theirs. We would often communicate in passing with such quips as " follow the rubber yellow line" and "Hi ya 'Uh Clem/"Hi 'Barney.'". It's been almost 40 years since I've seen my friend and we have a reunion comming up. I hope he'll be there and we can catch up on what we two bozos have been up to. Thank you Phil for all the laughs and insanity. I never met you or Phil,or Peter, or Dave and it is so difficult to accept you passing. RIP.|
|The first encounter I had with Firesign Theatre was on a visit to my cousins in Seattle in 1971. A friend was at their house and before he even introduced himself he said, "hey, you gotta hear this," and he placed "Nick Danger" on the turntable. From then I've been an avid fan. I saw FST most recently in Tacoma and Eugene a few years ago, and enjoyed meeting with the Groupe afterwards. As a final comment Peter, I have put my money on junior high soccer, and it has reaped huge dividends. Thanks for the great advice, and thanks for the humor and fun over the years. You will be missed.|
|The charge has been passed to all of those who took the time to listen to FST. Your turn, this time around, the mentoring has been given.|
|One of my fondest memories was after seeing you at Houston's Texas Opry House around 1976. After the show I had a fantastic Thai dinner and then a young lady asked if I wanted to smoke one and the rest was all night orgasm. Rest in Peace.|
|So saddened to hear of Peter's passing. I was turned on to FT (literally) in what must have been 1970. I had never heard anything so creatively brilliant and funny in my 19 years life. I anxiously awaited each new album and would spend way too many hours away from my college studies studying them. |
I lost track of FT over the years...partly due to the fact that I got rid of my record players. It's time to by the digital versions and reacquaint myself with the beautiful genius madness.
I am sorry that it took the the tragedy to remind me of how much these guys changed my life.
My very sincere condolences to Peter's family, friends, and fans.
We've lost one of the good ones.
Peter, you put me through too many changes...
|Native Clevelander and long-time Firesign fan. Got hooked on them in college (Baldwin-Wallace) in the early 70's. Was working at now-closed St. Luke's Hospital in the early 80's, taking the Shaker Rapid to the place. Heading home one evening, I spotted 2 gentlemen on the opposite side of the tracks, heading east to Shaker Heights. Suddenly realized it was Peter Bergman and Phil Proctor (they were in town performing one of their shows and were apparently going to Bergman's parents home).|
Was ready to jump the tracks to get their autographs when my train headed down from Shaker Square and stopped me. I've always regretted missing that chance. God bless ya, Peter. Keep them laughing up there!
|Thanks for the smiles.|
|May Peter's spirit live forever in the rumble seat so we can all take a snort from time to time!|
|just last week listening to Bozos on the car cd I was sure I had heard something I hadn't before. What a comfort FT has been over the decades. What a gift Peter had and was.|
|I have so many memories of FT. Just want to add my thanks for the decades of joy from your work. - Don|
|I went up to visit a friend and see Jethro Tull perform Thick As a Brick at Cornell on a Saturday night and came back from that totally wasted in 72. The next morning"the dorm" went out to the record store to get the just released "We are all Bozos on this bus". Having no clue as to who or what I was ablout to enter I sat and was BLOWN AWAY. 30 listens later I then went out to purchase all the previous albums and that started me down the freeway which was already in progress!!!I saw the group and Peter with Phil several times and each was a memory to cherish. Last year they did Nick Danger and there was a meet and greet afterwards and Peter was a easy and friendly to chat with as anyone I have ever met "in the business". What a loss but he lives on and so do the rest and we all say "eat it raw...raw raw raw.....with MORE SUGAR!! RIP Peter and to his family and all his friends and Bozos let's have a glass of Bear Wiz Beer!|
|I'll be waiting for him or someone like him on the other side. God speed Peter. You made my life so far much brighter than had I never have known about you.|
|One of my favorite performers. Been listening to him for 40 years. Introduced my daughter to Firesign My condolences to Peter's family. |
|I was stunned and speechless when I found out Peter had died a week ago. It is|
only now beginning to sink in and I am very sad. Condolences to his family and
|Aw gee Mutthead. You've gone and infused the universe with the distilled essence of Peter Bergman. The world is far better for you having been.|
Thank you for years and years of unparalleled humor and joy.
|In a highly adverse upbringing, Peter and the boys were a pacifier in the chattering teeth of babes. The ability to think outside the planet, let alone the box, was both stimulating and reassuring.|
|Dear Friends and Family of Peter,|
I am very sorry to hear of his leaving this life. In the Seventies, I was privileged to see both Peter and Phillip Proctor perform at Northern Illinois University. It began with "public announcements" over the loudspeakers that became increasingly sillier until Peter and Phillip made their entrances in tee shirt tuxedos, posing as speakers at a convention. It was one of the most hilarious shows I've ever been a part of, and I remember it clearly to this day---Despite the fact that myself and my entourage arrived stoned out of our gourds! :) I once owned every single album The Firesign Theater had made. Alas, moving and theft and borrowing-without-returning occurred and my albums are all gone now. Peter was such a versatile and talented voice and performer. Of all the deaths of people in the entertainment world lately, Peter's loss hit me hard because I've so loved all of The Firesign Theater guys, and because I was able to actually watch Peter perform live and see his brilliance in action. I give you all hugs and love from my end of the universe. He is missed.
|The Art of Firesign Theatre lies in its exceptional ability to surrealize our daily white noise. I have been in the past few years been very much alienated by Peter's view of himself as a political satirist. I am very grateful that Peter invented his wonderful slogan, "Occupy Yourself", as I love Peter very much and can recite hours of Peter by heart. I hope he is having a wonderful time, where ever he is.|
|Peter's reincarnation: "I'm going back in as soon as my seat is dry!"|
|will miss the "bear baiting at the rooster-rama"... |
fuck the reaper
- Betty Jo Bealowski (nancy)
|The one time I met Peter in person was when I was running the Lodestone Catalog, and handling merchandise for the 2005 tour (a comedy of errors on my part), and traveled to Portland for the opening show. I was badly overweight, and he pulled me aside, and was genuinely concerned about my weight and health. It would have been easy to take that as meddling from anyone else, but from Peter, you knew it was from the heart. |
Thanks, Peter. I never got around to telling you I'd lost 80 lbs since then.
|Peter made me laugh and think. And he left an amazing legacy behind. Thank You Mr. Bergman|
|How many smiles were generated by this guy? Giant in the business.|
|I just wanted to say the hours of enjoyment Peter gave all of us.. R.I.P.|
|Beyond his world-changing comic brilliance, Peter loved children and he loved inspiring them creatively. He was a hippie in the best sense of the word.|
|Don't touch that Wharf, hand me the Pyre|
OMG eye always thought Peter was an Aries...So the FST is 2 saggs and 2 leos. huh!
OK, In his memory....What Aries person will step up and lead the FST to a new theater? I suggest a woman -aries -to bring a new FST to the 2012's of the Whirled
we need you guys to mock it to us.
Peter was a genius...pass it on.
Dave -- Not a Firesign but respectful. born July 16. early 1950's
|Don't touch that Wharf, hand me the Pire|
OMG always thought Peter was an Aries...So the FST is 2 saggs and 2 leos. huh
What Aries person will step up and lead the FST to a new theater? I suggest a woman -aries -to bring a new FST to the 2012's of the Whirled/ we need you guys to mock it to us.
Peter was a genius...pass it on.
Dave -- Not a Firesign but respectful. born July 16. early 1950's
|I first encountered The Firesign Theater back in 1972. Always loved their surreal humor. Their influence on my world was profound. To this day, I find myself saying something that I first heard from Phil Phil Peter and David, much to the puzzlement of the younger people around me. |
I am so sad to hear that Peter has left us.
Thanks for everything Peter.
|There are no words.|
|I wish that comedy these days was half as good ... RIP ... you and your group have left behind so many memories ... that I have to turn the channel now ... before ...|
|I first heard Nick Danger in 1971. I've listened to it at least 300 times over the years and still pick up new phrases that I never understood previously. I had my own FST t-shirt made with High School Madness on the front and Mudhead on the back. It is great when someone notices my Bozos bumper sticker on my truck and yells out "MORE SUGAR"! I am really bummed and feel like I've lost one of my best friends. Still love you, man!|
|I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I was told March 9th by my housemate Tegwedd Shadowdancer that Peter Bergman had died. I have been a fan of the Firesign Theater since the very beginning. All the way back to "Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him". My old Pagan Druid Bud Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits was a very big fan. Isaac died August 12th 2009 from colon cancer I miss him a great deal. Many people in the Pagan community are fans of the Firesign Theater. Peter you will be missed by our community. Isaac and I had many Firesign Theater nights where we would all just listen to your albums for hours on end many times with headphones. For a lark we would integrate some excerpts from your many albums into some of our Druid Rituals. Isaac met Peter many years ago in a coffee house in Cleveland Ohio. Isaac was quite jazzed by the encounter. Isaac was amazed that Peter knew who he was. Maybe Peter read some of Isaac's books. Most of us Pagans are die hard intellectuals. I would have loved to have been to that meeting when Isaac met Peter. The meeting went something like this: Isaac strolls up to Peter's table and ask Peter if he is indeed Peter Bergman. Peter responds "I am indeed or words to that affect. Peter then says: "Are you Isaac Bonewits"? Isaac said he was. That is all I remember from the encounter. I look forward to hearing from some of you in the future. All Hail the Mighty Firesign" This is all for now. Take Care All and Blessed Be. AD(arch-druid) Stephen W. Abbott Peace! Peace! Peace!|
|Once again (am I in the right place now?), thank you Peter, Phil, Phillip and David! Condolences to all of Peter's family and friends and please don't let his passing diminish the remaining FT. You all were, and are fantastic!|
|I was introduced to The Firesign Theatre around the late 70s, early 80s and was enthralled by them instantly. I bought and listened to every album I could get my hands on. R.I.P., Peter. Your influence was welcomed and served as an inspiration.|
|Safe Journey, Peter.|
Firesign has been, and always will be a part of the soundtrack of my life, and I am richer for it.
|My parents and uncles turned me on to FT. Now, I often have audio playing in the background that sometimes my kids listen to. New stuff just as funny as the original. |
Peter, don't forget to inflate your shoes, cuz we're all bozos on this bus. I'll be waiting for you under the big blue "B".
|Best of wishes to the family - blood, friends, and community. I was raised on FT and no matter how many times I listen it seems I pick up a new meaning I somehow missed before.|
|Dear Peter, I already miss you so much. You could be an innocent like Mudhead or Babe, or a crazed villain like Prince Acturus or John Fresno -- those and all your other characters were all wonderful and funny; but in what we laughingly like to call real life you were someone who I looked up to because you were so clear about what was really important and knowing what the right side of things was.|
Looking forward to meeting up with you again in the "Beat the Reaper" green room. "Maybe ... someday."
|Antelope Freeway ends.|
|Very sad news, but the man made an indelible mark.|
First memory: Peter hosted an episode of "Radio Free Oz" which had as guests David Crosby and one Charles Keating, who was on the program as factotum for "Citizens for Decent Literature." The same Charles Keating who went on to defraud his Lincoln Savings & Loan customers of millions of dollars. Certain that Peter appreciated that predictable irony.
The Firesign records are still brilliant.
Thank you Peter, and my condolences to the Bergman family and friends.
|I attended a live Firesign performance in Portland on April 27, 1999. After the show, I spoke to Pete and he asked me "Well, did you like the show?" I replied "It's all new to me. It's the first time I heard it without being stoned." More sugar!|
|Don't you hate spell checkers? BLACK. LIGHT.|
|One evening in early 1970 I found myself in a backlight-filled room with several friends where I was just coming on to LSD for the first time in my life. They all looked at me mischievously and in unison said, "I KNOW! LET'S STAND HIM ON HIS HEAD!" We were all living the bit as if the record was alive. "You see, now it's morning!" I played my part and let them turn me upside down, and whoa, whoa, WHAM! They exclaimed - but I swear in my head I heard Peter say - "Oh, he's no fun, he fell right over!" Being so in the routine kept me from losing my sanity Sometimes still does. Thanks to Peter and all the Four or Five Crazy Guys.|
|I first heard Friedsigners on WABX the hippie station in Detroit in the late 60s. Or was it WRIF? Anyway, on "For What It's Worth" a show hosted by I think Michael Benner, out of my radio came the side with "Temporarily Humboldt County." I had no idea anyplace like this could exist! Ten years later I was at KSAN, "the Jive 95" in San Francisco, where the Gnus Dept and deejays made use of Firesign lps ALL THE TIME on the air and to this day I remain, forever chiming in: "Civilization HO!" and on the sly chance I get, "Get the senator back in the bus!"|
|American radio can clearly thank Peter for a vital refresh on humor and his efforts at sound effects were a wonder to see on stage at the live performances. Thanks Peter, many a young fellow dabbled in non-profit radio with you and your crew as inspiration.|
|So long seeker !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!|
|Yes, a couple rounds at the Trail of Tears Golf Course seems very appropriate.|
Isn't that just a classic Firesign line?....Brilliant!
|Like many, I can still recite huge swaths of FT brilliance from memory, forty years later. Who knew that Dr. Beddoes Pneumatic Institute was real? Not to mention the far flung Isles of Langerhans. Don't worry about the flies, Peter, we won't weigh 'em!|
|FT are in my top three comedy acts of all time ( who cares? )1st) FT ( best material ever written ) 2nd) Monty Python ( funniest ) 3rd) Marx Brothers ( combination of best material and funniest ).|
|Please see my homage on my blogsite: http://www.wildblueyondernovel.com/?p=362|
|So long Peter,|
No doubt you left an impression in this souls life - Thank You for RFO. Blessed are the Bozos for they will get the last laugh, always.
Horseshoes For Industry .... Pete.
Wylhorse .... still at large
|I have been a fan of the Firesign Theatre since the 1960's. I|
first bought all the available albums including a bootleg LP.
Then started replacing those on Cassette. I joined the Fanclub
and got a tee shirt and belt buckle. I moved or something because
I only was a member for a year and then lost contact. Ditto for
the Dr. Demento Fanclub. I feel the world has suffered a great loss
in losing Peter. This world needs some humor or it is doomed.
They say that is the case in 2012 for Planet Earth. Maybe in the next world I hope to find Peter cracking jokes with God.
Three Fingered Mickey
|I was a friend of Peter's as early as junior high school in Cleveland. Even at 16 he was terrifyingly brilliant and quicker than anyone else around. He tried to convince me to become a communist and no one could ever argue with Peter. I remember visiting him at Yale for a weekend and staying in a house with hundreds of puppets hanging from the ceiling. I saw him a few times in LA but never kept up with him as I wish I had.|
I will always have the most wonderful memories of him.
|Aw, shoot, just heard the bad news today....|
The FST provided the soundtrack of high school and college, and their best lines were absorbed by my friends and myself until they became bound with our DNA. "Ten-four Eleanor!" indeed.
I just listened to Nick Danger for the first time in some years and it's just as dazzling and funny and awesome as ever. This stuff will endure long after us bozos exit the bus. All I can say is, "Well played, sir." And like everybody else here, thanks for so many laughs.
It's been surreal.
|I am off to play a few rounds on the trail of tears golf course.|
Peter will score a hole in none.
|I met Peter and his colleagues vicariously while in graduate school. THANK YOU for helping me (and others) through that ordeal. Throughout, while learning, thinking and doing, I humbly recall for all that we are all bozos on this bus.|
|Dear Peter, When I was young you bent my mind in directions I would have never traveled. For that I am truly thankful. Shoes for Industry, Shoes for the Dead. Tonight I go barefoot. Happy Trails Dear Friend!!|
|Ironically, over the decades, when I find out a person is a Firesign fan, I find I take that person more seriously. I last saw Peter on his 70th birthday in the show at Barnsdall Park. A cherished memory. Farewell, seeker|
|I was introduced to firesign in 1970 while stationed in Spain. We would act out the alblums and to this day I have lines memorized it was the most amazing comedy I ever heard. May Peter rest in peace. He helped a lot of people see the other side of things.Look this is my flashback to return us to the future all I have to do is fade my voice like this and cue the organist there you see.Oh no.|
|"Don't forget to tell them about the candles." I was just listening to Dear Friends last night. So sorry to hear this news. The Four Horsemen now Three. You literally changed my life, so thank you thank you thank you. Peter Bergman will never be forgotten, not by my offspring, nor theirs. I will blast Balliol Bros. in the highest tonight! My condolences to all.|
|Thanks for all the laughs, the beautiful thoughts, the expansion of my mind & soul.|
|I met Pete in Cleveland 30 years ago. He was the most caring man I have ever met. Because of him, I went into radio in the early 80's and today I have a national podcast on iTunes. It was all because of you Pete! RIP.|
|Requiescat in Pace (which is Latin for "the check is in the mail")|
Am spending the day off listening to "Live at the Basilica of the Blessed Gaffe" from Duke of Madness Motors:
"... and he wonders how it will end"
"'"The name of Death is 'Name'"'"
Does anyone here know if and/or where the text of "The Secret of Identities" might be available?
signed, One Whose Name Means "Name"
|Reading these notes is just so touching. What a huge influence the Firesign Theater were on a select group of Bozos. I know I'm not the only one who feels that the world is a little different now.|
Condolences to Ossman, Austin, Proctor. How difficult to lose a friend as great as this.
|Those of us that were keenly aware, would sit in the very back of the bleachers during the high school assembly, and snort out eat it!, eat it raw! The seniors didnt get. They could only feel the Draft.|
|Truly the end of an era. I spent many hours listening to the records in the 70's. Nick Danger will never die! Thanks, Peter.|
|My first experience with Firesign theatre was of course a night filled with great drink and smoke. The laughter and the replays went on all night long. He lives on in all of us who listened in any form and that is his perfect contribution to us all.|
No one beats " Symptom 8 " . . . dammitt
You guys have giving me miles of smiles on my walk through life, thank you.
|We spent countless hours dissecting the dialogue to uncover all the double entendre, arcane references and nuances in Peter's humor. To me though, Firesign Theater without marijuana was like Peanutbutter without jelly, totally indigestible. Sweet dreams to a truely unique comic stylist.|
|Now you can join George Carlin in a place I can only pray I get to pass over to someday. Thanks for the many hours of escape you provided a whole generation at a time when it didn't seem there was a lot to be happy for. "Slipperberg here won't go up pork chop hill Sargent!".|
|What a wonderful way to go through life knowing Peter and all of you were there to make me laugh so much. I always have that inner smile that often comes out when I think of so many bits and the sharp wit that made me think about what I was laughing about. Good night Peter. See you down the road!|
|I worked at Tower Records for more than 20 years. Firesign was not only played in the store all the time but their stories became intertwined with our own, became part of our daily language sometimes even today. I saw them in Monterey a while back, it was wonderful to see them together again.|
Thank you Peter, and the rest of the troupe. Prophets of the airwaves, voices from the OZ underground.
Deepest Gratitude for everything.
Well worth a dollar.
|Back at the beginning of my career, I worked at a pizza parlor at the corner of Centinela and La Tijera in LA. The whole place was crazy for Firesign Theater. Half of the conversations that went on among the crew were recitations of bits from their albums. It was the cornerstone of the morale. All except for the week that we showed the film The Wizard of Oz, where the crew turned into munchkins.|
Aside from that, were all the hours and hours I spent listening to the Firesign Theater's albums, tapes and CD's. I could listen to them time and time again and still be hearing new bits and phrases. FT perfected audio theater.
Distopic, funny and oddly prophetic. I don't think that the Firesign will ever be equalled.
I still remember getting to meet the FT at a Westwood bookstore, many years back.
Thank you for adding so much to my life.
|You and the guys helped me avoid joining the Bozos for all these years. Thank you for hours and hours of joy, smiles and outrageous belly-laughs. Thank you for your insight; it has been a comfort in the later years of my life to know you were still out there to highlight our national insanity. You were the most "not insane" of us all. We're richer for having had you and poorer for loosing you.|
| Maybe this will light a fire under someone to track down and re-release the wonderful film "Love is Hard to Get", Peter Bergman's finest hour as just one crazee guy. Death's a great career move; even if it took 70+ years to make it, it's still smart.|
all the best to all, everywhere, and thanks always FS---gam
|Dear Nabbi, Darling Nabbi, Thanks For the pomegranates, Spunky loves them and we'll be staying up soon I hope. As for the excellent.....memories, the love and the laughter, we shall certainly miss you the most. Thank-you Peter and to all the Firesign clan..........................I wish I could... but I can't.|
|Sorry to see you go Pete.Some of my fondness memories as a child spring from hearing you and the guys deliver some of the zaniest most intelligent comedy i've ever heard. I honestly believe that some of the work that you and the gang produced has been indelibly etched into my brain.And I am so thankful for it.|
|It was the summer of 70 when my oldest brother came home from his 1st year of college and introduced the rest of us to 'Waiting for the Electrician' and this fun stuff called marijuana. I had always felt apart from the norm, but when we smoked and listened for endless hours to that hyterical poke at America, I felt part of the team at last. The hardest part was trying to hear the actual lines over the belly laughs of my brothers and friends. Somehow we imbibed that album till reciting lines from it became second nature - like a handshake to identify other bozos flying on the same cosmic plane.|
We soon picked up 'Don't Crush That Dwarf' (a reference that I only decoded many decades later) and it just solidified our love for these 4 or 5 crazy guys. It was the best summer of my life and gave me the courage to finally say Fuck Off to any hope of being normal (it is so overrated).
Many other albums had to be purchased as I was getting to have a serious FST habit. Then when CDs became available, I had to duplicate my library in that new format. I couldn't help myself - you guys filled my head with wit and wisdom that made life finally make sense to me.
I saw you guys perform live in Eugene and you were even more amazing - riffing on local or topical material without missing a beat. I don't know how you stayed in character without cracking up at each other's improvs. I was too starstruck when I got to meet you to do more than blather like an idiot, but I wanted to tell you so desperately how big an influence your humor and attitudes made in my perspectives.
Recently I saw you again in Portland and you still had that incredible spark of genius, firing your mental engines. I kick myself for not being faster when you offered the actual script from the show for sale afterward. I was too slow and some other guy made the purchase of a lifetime!
Peter, you played so many roles that touched our lives, but much more than a comedic philosopher, you were a guide to so many of us that needed to focus on that blinding light so we could see how wonderful we all are. I cannot see, look out for me.
|My oldest brother came home from Cornell with 'Waiting for the Electrician' and this wonderful stuff called marijuana. We spent so many hours that summer listening to these hysterically funny guys trying desperately to hear over each other's laughter so we wouldn't miss a pun. And it wasn't the dope making us silly. It was Peter and the guys with there uncanny wit and timing. Like so many others, we used the quotes to identify like hearted souls, going on and on, correcting each other so we got it right. 'Don't Touch That Dwarf' was our next encounter and it only solidified just how inspired these crazy assholes were. It was the best summer of my life. |
Over the years I aquired nearly every FST album I could find then rebought the CDs when they became available. I had to have all of this intensely creative humor available to my fevered brain. It was all too good to miss and so meticulously layered that I always found another level or joke that I had missed.
I saw them perform live in Eugene and were amazed at the talent that could adapt local and topical references so quickly into their show without missing a beat (or losing their character in a fit of laughter). What an amazing show they performed
|Peter--Radio is too safe now without you. Except when I listen I will think of you.|
|Reverend Rod Flash is leading the congregation in praise with Organ LeeRoy on the organ playing the More Science High school song as we let our brother pass. Holy Fudd!! Thanks for it all, love to the other firesigns still throwing shoes for the revolution.|
|I once knew nearly the entire Nick Danger by heart. We would quote Firesign Theater at each other. I still think about the applicability of some of the lines from time to time. A wonderful, surreal comic gift. RIP.|
|In 1971, we were frosh at Caltech, in Dabney Hovse. So many of us would recite Firesign licks, it was like a secret handshake. |
It was a scary time (not that now isn't), and mainstream culture told us we were wrong and crazy. That's a lot of why Firesign Theatre was so important to us, they said, amongst all the jokes, no, you're not crazy, this culture is crazy, and you can be different than the culture tells you you must be.
Just the other week I was in a friend's car, and was saying "Antelope freeway one quarter mile.....Antelope freeway one eighth mile...."
Blessed be, Peter, you made the world a better place for so many of us, we love you.
|Growing up in the windswept wastes of Kansas as a 13-year-old teenybopper, I somehow acquired a portable AM-FM radio. I had to shoplift the 9-volt batteries that fired it, but a life of crime was well worth it for what I got out of that cheap little thing with its retractable silver aerial. Wichita had a progressive rock station whose call letters escape me--it was tragically changed to "K-BRA, Beautiful Music, All the Time" not long after I found it, beginning a hatred of elevator music that took two decades to subside--but in the brief window of a significant summer, drifting through the tinny speakers of a little plastic box, I heard the Firesign Theatre for the very first time. |
I had no idea what the hell I was listening to. I was unfamiliar with radio serials, so the format was entirely new to me. The first FT thing I remember hearing was I THINK WE'RE ALL BOZOS ON THIS BUS. In my rough-hewn cornpone naïvete, I was totally confused--the apparently chaotic insanity seemed to have a theme, but I was too dazzled to see it. But then I heard NICK DANGER, THIRD EYE. It thrilled me! It killed me! It DRILLED ME A NEW ONE, right in the middle of my forehead! That was the entry key my tiny mind needed. I heard BOZOS again and *got* it this time. And one starlit Kansas night, I sat on my open second-story windowsill as the entire two sides of DON'T CRUSH THAT DWARF, HAND ME THE PLIERS issued from that tinny little radio, plunging me into a warm brainbath of pleasure. I was in love.
I hitchhiked with a couple young freaks to see MARTIAN SPACE PARTY when it played at a theatre on the northern fringes of Wichita, and I got to see them moving and everything! (I even wigged out in glee when Phil Proctor did a guest turn as a carelessly murderous rich kid on THE ROOKIES, ha!)I started buying the albums--oh, those exquisite, multidimensional ALBUMS!--and wearing them out. I wanted to hear everything they ever recorded. I wanted to have a bell-bottom outfit made out of t-shirts like David Ossman wore on the back cover of EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG. But above all, I wished I had 4 or 5 crazy guys like that in my life, to have a great time cutting up and goofing around and being smart and sly and funny.
And then, in 1981, I found this Church. At that point, I'd say Santa got my letter. "Bob" appeared, working alongside the Theatre to save me from slipping over the edge into Pink world. But I was only there for "Bob" because those other crazy guys had kept my quivering SubGenius brain alive through the early '70s. They were the Other Voices in my head that I needed so badly at that pivotal pubescent time. When I was first becoming lucid, years and years before this Church was there for me, those familiar and ever-changing voices that I heard drifting through my speakers formed an audio lifeline that I clung to like a baby monkey. Even to this day, with what's left of my shredded brain, I can recite whole chunks of their work from memory. Yep--entire scenes, if not whole sides of the Firesign Theatre's masterpieces, and Hamlet's soliloquy. That's all I can unreel off the cuff--but unlike HAMLET, their material never got old.
Yes, material is timeless, but... *sigh*
Genius--true SubGenius genius--is eternal, but the cruel curse is that its meat vessels have a cosmic-eggtimer existence. These are heart-wrenching times... We keep losing our icons, our mentors and friends, the warmly familiar touchstones who've shared our journey.
And now that we have lost Peter Bergman, I feel an aching sting that twists me at the very core of where I came from as a thinking, reasoning, laughing being. I only hope Peter understood what he has provided to the freaks like me in this world, how he delivered that soul-saving, protective balm of gutpunch irony and blow-it-out-your-ass laughter that means survival to Our Kind, and how he kept on beaming that deliriously happy insanity out into the aether all the way to that outgoing meteoric flourish of shared joy. It is by truly miraculous, shimmering, Dobbs-blessed grace that sweet Peter Bergman was HERE, and that he did what he did.
And we are all the richer for it.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have a bit of a cry...
Good night sweet bozo, and may flights of porridge birds sing thee to thy sleep.
"He was a good flatfoot, even if we never saw eye to third eye.." N. Danger
|Well, even Peter could not beat the reaper (he's got: the Yaws) --the black cross nurse has stopped by, to touch this child's head....|
Can't imagine him resting in peace, however! The cosmic plane will take nosedive! He's Coming Down! And he's Hungry!
I'd like to..........but I can't. So long Pete.
|What great fun and a blessing you were. Firesign seem to always lift me up during all the hard times and made the good times even better, and still do...................See you on the other side..|
|As a teenager I stumbled onto your your and your troupe's unique brand of clever, witty banter, and allusion based humor in the early eighties and it has forever left its impression on me (to be sure all of my friends thought my affinity for the FIresign Theater a bit odd to say the least.) Call me daft, but on occasion I will listen to my FS theater CDs and pick up on one more reference, joke or clever quip that I failed to pick up on over the years. Your work is the gift that keeps giving. Thank you for all your work and creativity. You will be missed.|
|I guess it's telling that I don't remember how I first bumped into Lt. Bradshaw, you SOB. All I know is that my life changed for the better after I heard snipets of Firesign on late night Cleveland FM in 1969. I somehow sprang 65 1969 $$ for stereo earphones just to be able to fully appreciate FT. |
Hey, Peter! Hand me the Pliers when you get around to it.
|I still share the humor & insights with friends who laughed with me until out bellies hurt & our eyes were dry. I'd love to quote Firesign meaningfully but will just, thanks Peter.|
|Sorry to hear about Peter's passing. He made me think, and he made me laugh. Good-bye Peter. We'll miss you. And milk.|
|Peter, thanx for making a kid feel right at home.|
|Thank you, Peter for helping me get thru Berkeley, '69-'74...and the rest of my life too. I couldn't have done it without FST...making the absurd, surd for over 40 years!...from a once & always Bozo!|
|I'll never forget you Peter for all those incredible characters you and the others invented and for all of those hysterically inventive lines all of them spouted. |
And I'll never forgive you either for making me wonder why generations will grow up watching "Two and a Half Men" reruns and never knowing lines such as "It's a cross - symbol of the quartering of the universe into active and passive principles." "God have mercy on their heathen souls!" If you catch my meanin', if you get my drift.
|Peter, I have struggled all day with this, and I see I am in good company. It is telling to see how many people use the phrase "they changed my life" to relate to FST and I put myself in that category. And I put you at the helm of the mad bus that gave us this tour of the innersphere of our minds, the outersphere of the world we live in , and the universal language of laughter. I loved your attitude on life, politics and people, and your characters that portrayed them. And your courage to put yourself and Dear Friends out in the open for all to learn from and enjoy. For me, it was a transformation from anger at the "system" to tweaking the true believers with satire, twisting "confidence in the system" to questioning their system. |
I can only thank you for your trail blazing from the shadows, and I speak for all of my friends in the U.S. Imaginary Force, worry not Bosco, about the American bubble and the pricks that live in it, we are still converting them , one Bozo at a time.
|A true genius among us...God Bless you Peter, Rest in Peace.|
|One of the Great comedian/satirists of the last century,we need more like him in spirit at least,, he will be missed! Everything We Know is Wrong!! Except Love and comedy!|
|I had left an earlier comment regarding our shock, saddness and great gratitude. A couple hours later here I am remembering how fucking funny this guy was. I often described the Firesign Theater as the Beatles of comedy....the four virtuosos changing the landscape. When I think about Bergman today I can't help but feel how powerful his influence was on the overall vision. Brilliant work from the early days through Bozos (their Sargent Pepper). Incredible work on KPFK in later days. Even at 62 years old I am not ashamed to still be a fanboy. I still have heroes. Much respect.|
|My favorite Firesign tale takes me back to late one evening in 1977. A group of us were busy one night working on the layout for the college newspaper. As the Production Editor, I was responsible for determining how many columns the story would run and then calculate what size the pictures would be to help balance out the article. On fateful evening we had a short article about the Club Fair (an annual event held on the Student Quad) and we ended up with approximately 2 inches leftover for the headline. We struggled for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do with all this space. Then my mental light bulb came on and I said I got it how about Club Fair: A Fair for All But No Fair to Anybody. Standing next to me was our Photography Editor who immediately burst out in laughter. At that very instant, we both knew each of us were avid fans and soon discovered we were able to converse in the language of Firesign. With great pride and now closing in on 35 years later, I am happy to say we have been solid friends since. |
In closing, I recall the immortal words of our founder who once said Give them a light and theyll follow it anywhere. Thank you Peter for helping create the spark that made the light easier to follow.
|I remember being introducing to the Firesign Theatre by friends my freshman year at UCLA. I couldn't figure out why people were quoting "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers", and "Waiting for the Electrician.." instead of Shakespearean sonnets or some obscure Groucho Marx reference in "Ulysses". But then it hit me; eVeRyThiNG YoU kNow Is Wr0ng! That it was more important to remember Pop culture than Classic Lit. So I stopped studying calculus because it stopped making sense, and that has all the difference made...|
Thank you, Peter Bergman.
|SADLY MISSED! Thanks for all the years of memories and laughter|
|About a week after 9/11, we had folks over for the 1st gathering since the tragedy. Over dinner I described my dream of an ideal radio show to an acquaintance. He said: "Like the Firesign Theatre!" So, my journey into F.T. started at a time I could really use the laughs. And I was thrilled to discover someone already made my dream radio show, and he called it "Radio Oz."|
Rest well, Peter Bergman. Thanks for the laughs, the thoughts, and all the good good radio.
|A sad day indeed.|
Thank you for all the laughs.
And the joy, and the fun, and the bright light on cloudy days.
Thanks Peter !
|I was a sociology graduate student in Kansas City Missouri in 1975 and saw "The Boys" at a concert. A few months later I moved to Los Angeles and they were doing a radio interview and I called in. To my surprise they put me on the air, and I talked to both Peter and Phil Proctor, telling them how much I enjoyed the KC show. That night they were playing at the Roxy I think and they invited me to the show and told me to come back stage. I did, I met them all, it was a brilliant evening I will never forget. Thank you Peter and the whole Firesign Theater.|
|I was a sociology graduate student in Kansas City Missouri in 1975 and saw "The Boy" at a concert. A few months later I moved to Los Angeles and they were doing a radio interview and I called in. To my surprise they put me on the air, and I talked to both Peter and Phil Proctor, telling them how much I enjoyed the KC show. That night they were playing at the Roxy I think and they invited me to the show and told me to come back stage. I did, I met them all, it was a brilliant evening I will never forget. Thank you Peter and the whole Firesign Theater.|
|Like many people I grew up listening to "Radio Free Oz". It didn't so much change the way I thought about the world, rather it reinforced my perception that reality was fundamentally flawed, and there was some joy and amusement to be found in this realization.|
You made my world a better place, Mr. Bergman, and you will be missed.
|My thoughts to Peter's family and friends. This past weekend I walked around with occasional outbursts of tears along with the laughter.|
I have listened since the late 1960s. The humor and values are always with me.
Thank you for posting comments of our community and audio file.
|What a tragic loss. One of my best friends ever an I (mis)spent many a night listening to Bozos, Electrician and Nick Danger parked in remote areas while ingesting strange chemicals...|
...lighting candles in the car and posting a placard for the police: "DO NOT DISTURB (we already are)"
You will be sorely missed, Peter. Don't forget to inflate your shoes, OK?
|This is just such sad news. Peter and all the Firesign Theater have been a huge influence on me for 40+ years. What a brilliant man. Saw them in concert many times over the years and am very glad to have seen them one last time in October 2010. My wife had passed away only two weeks earlier. I had tickets but wasn't going to go (the show was the night before my wife's memorial service). Made a last minute decision to make a run down to Hollywood and the non stop laughter was hugely healing for me. Much respect and love.|
|Although I did not know Peter, I loved Firesign and listened to their funny, intelligrent albums in college and after. I'm sure they influenced the likes of They Might Be Giants and countless others. Hope Shaker Heights does something in Peter's|
|Sad news for the world has lost a great person (who will live on, of course, in stereo hi-fi..).I spent a wonderful evening in Toronto with Peter B. and Phil Proctor after their brilliant live performance at the old El Mocambo club. One could not ask to have met two more engaging, kind, funny and generous human beings. That night was truly memorable. RIP Peter.|
|Peter, you and the other 3 or 4 Crazy Guys help make sense of a crazy time. So long, and thanks for all the laughs.|
|Thanks for all the laughs Peter. I started listening in High School. I have all the albums to this day and have bonded with friends while busting a gut laughing. I have heard nothing like it since. |
|The Yolks of Oxnard ('Mom and Dad')say goodbye to their son. I can see Peter looking back and smiling at us with his hobo stick on his shoulder.|
|U.S. culture overall has little idea of the deep swathe Firesign has cut through it since the '60s. |
And speaking of deep swathes . . .
Everyone posting here has had the experience of listening to a FT recording followed by a random sampling of commercial radio during which the radio seems like a continuation of the Firesign bit you'd just been listening to.
There isn't anything like Firesign around ready to follow on their heels.
RIP, Senor Bergman.
"Pass the syrup, general?"
|Peter, you will be sorely missed. Thanks for showing me everything I knew WAS wrong.|
|i had a chance to interview peter back in the 70s after bergman and him performed in ypsilanti michigan...they entered my name into their "funny names club" since my name is danny stanley stann...he will be sadly missed|
|I saw Firesign Theatre live twice, two of the best shows I ever saw in my life. They are such a great memory from my high school years. Shortly after I discovered them on Doctor Demento, I learned that my fellow drama club friends ("dramaramas")were also big fans. We'd listen to the albums and years later I ran to see them when they appeared in New York. Amazing, Peter Bergman was one of a kind and will be terribly missed by many.|
|First heard them in High School when a friend brought over Waiting For The Electrician. My life was never the same afterward. Thank, God.|
|I fell in love with these guys after I heard their first album. The showed all of us you could be funny and intelligent. I will miss Peter Bergman as much as I miss some dear friends who went before him! You will not be forgotten. Thank you for giving so much!|
|I grew up on Firesign, having heard them on a local radio station that played the Dear Friends set on Sunday nights in Portland Oregon in the mid-Seventies. Even as a kid, while I didn't get even half of the references, I loved how they turned radio inside out in the manner that Monty Python did the medium of television. Later on, I heard even more Firesign on Portland's KBOO radio, was exposed the the genius of the studio concept albums. Back in those days, you couldn't bit torrent anything. You got your fixes of surrealism as they came to you. So, I kept my dial tuned to KBOO for more Firesign (and other mutant transmissions).|
Fast forward nearly 30 years and I am working at KBOO, playing Firesign on the air.
I didn't know Peter, but met him on two wonderful occasions. My friend and colleague Ralph Coulson had the pleasure of interviewing Pete and Phil P. on the air. Later on, after their wonderful show at the Winningstadt, we talked about his plans with Radio Free Oz and KBOO.
A year or so later, the gang came to town and we had them on the air, all of them 'talking over each other'. They put on a two hour performance and were unstoppable! I had the pleasure of being their board-op. I felt like I was sitting in on one of the Dear Friends, Let's Eat, Radio Hour Hour sessions. It was a magic night.
Pete and I talked quite a bit about radio, RFO and the possibility of doing more Firesign things with KBOO and Oz. Sadly, none of these plans will come to fruition.
What struck me about Peter was his absolutely sincere appreciation for KBOO and community radio. As a longtime radio volunteer, you at times have these crises of faith where you wonder if your time wouldn't be better spent having a paper route, building models of the Cutty Sark with toothpicks, etc.
But after seeing the four Fireheads love and dedication to community radio and talking with Pete about how vital it is, I find my sense of mission renewed. I also admired Pete's optimism, both evident in our conversations and on his RFO transmissions.
His sign off made me cry like a baby, but it was a bittersweet feeling. I could use a shred of his optimism.
So long, Peter! Thanks for all the laughs and for re-wiring my teenage brain. I sure needed it.
|As a 31-year-old, I may not fit into the demographic pattern of most posters here. I discovered the Firesign Theatre through compilation CDs in the late 1990's after coming to college, and after having listened and re-listened to everything I could get my hands on that Peter & the gang had produced throughout the 60's and 70's, I thought, "Well, that was completely brilliant. I'm sorry I had missed this group as they were producing new material...they were great!"|
Of course, I had actually discovered them just at the start of their renaissance, and so I had my own wonderful wild ride to share. Unfortunately, Peter is not along to share that ride any more, but I know that he altered and expanded so many minds (including my own) for the better, and I can only thank him for his life's work and give my condolences to everyone in the Firesign family. I don't know if it was ever Peter's line, but it's one of many Firesign quotables among my group of friend, it's been used in other comments here, and I think it makes a perfect epitaph:
"He's no fun, he fell right over."
|All the big media obits said "Firesign Theater, who were popular with the hippies and counter culture of the 60's and 70's.....". When Rothko died, I don't remember the obit saying " his work, which appealed to the Jewish Intellectual Upper Classes...." Only ignorant panderers define art by the Consumer. Thank Dog that Peter Never Pandered.|
|My sincerest sympathies to the members of the Firesign Theatre and to Peter Bergman's family. I experienced the guys in my pre-teen years due my brother who was an avid listener. I collected many of their albums as well as taped the last Firesign on our local public station here in the Cleveland area.|
|Discovered Firesign Theatre in the early 70's with the "Bozos" album. I had to hear everything of theirs from that point on. Many a late night was spent in an altered state listening over and over again to catch the secret messages hidden in the comedy. I have to second the comments here about hearing someone say a line and the instant camaraderie it would spark when I could respond. Thank you so much, stay on the yellow rubber line and keep your hands to yourself Peter, and maybe someday all of us Bozos and Beaners will meet at the Future Fair (a fair for all and no fair to anybody)!|
|Farewell to you, Peter, as you follow the yellow rubber line into Whatever Lies Beyond. I hope they have radio there.|
Thanks for all the laughter and, on repeated listenings, for the brilliance. The Beatles of comedy? Maybe the Shakespeare of comedy too.
|I've been a big fan ever since 'Waiting For The Electrician'. I've eagerly purchased every recording as soon as they were released and listened for hours hearing something new every time. I think the group's body of work can best be terms as 'Sgt. Pepper meets the comedy album' with layer upon layer of cerebral humor. 'Give me Immortality or Give Me Death' was a shining jewel of brilliance and creativity.|
I checked the website Friday looking for something else and saw the notice and was just floored, and frankly I have felt about as down as from John Lennon's death.
Over the weekend I was trying to think of some lines from 'Waiting For The Electrician', and I can recall these:
"And now from the paisley house on Capitol Hill, man . . ."
"Now, ah, let me sock it to you again . . ."
"Young man, that is her trip. Send this man in for re-grooving!"
As far as being a Firesign Theatre fan goes, all I can say is it takes one to know one. To the uninitiated the reaction is a blank stare and an instant opinion that I must be nuts. But when you connect with another fan it's great to exchange quips. I recall one guy say "I'm going to cut the soles off my shoes, sit in a tree and learn to play the flute!" I knew instantly and shot back with some of my favorite lines from 'Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers".
I am very saddened by Peter Bergman's passing, his brilliance and creativity will be missed.
|So sad to hear.. I remember , albeit vaguely, many hours between the speakers in my misguided youth trying to decipher all the background nuances of his work...Just head out on the highway in any direction, Peter!|
|The Case of the Missing Shoe.. he was brilliant superb... He got the job... Rat In A Box ... Pickle On A Rope ... and now he's gone. I'll probably never forget "This is Chump Threads comin at yah with Sports In Your Shorts."... and Mayor Bill sayin "William Cutless Phinnisnose...," and .. "Billville's broke! What are we gonna do!?"... and what ever he said. Billiant, er, brilliant. Have a brillo, I'm speechless... noodlin at the piano..."What do I think about...?" His solo song almost... "Nuclear Waaaaraaaaraaaar!"|
|Wow ... such an outpouring ... thought I was the only one ....|
Rest in Peace, Peter.
I was an early convert in the late 60's. You guys shaped my perception and understanding - of culture, politics, history, life, and of course, humor. You don't know how many times my friends and I got lost, and found, in your albums. Literally.
Keep 'em flyin, Dad!
|ahh hes no fun he fell right over. rest in peace mr bergman|
|Thank you Peter. You were the soundtrack of my youth.|
|Dear Peter, I thought we were all going into the Hole together! Thanks for 45 years of wonder and (in)sanity in an (in)sane world, if you see a guy named Art Holflaffer in there................|
|Peter and FS proved that the spoken word could be like music. They perfected the art of sincere insincerity, with simultaneous parody and tribute to the genres they explored. So much has been said so well by fans - multi-layered, inspired, the Beatles of comedy. |
I appreciated Peter's affinity for technology, he was a truly curious guy - this was verified to me when I talked with him back in the 70s (Proctor & Bergman tours). We've lost a maverick, a funny intellect.
|Thank you for the laughter. You will be missed|
Sympathy for his friends and family. Sincerely Neva Elliott
|Alas, there's one less bozo on this bus.|
|They tell us energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just changed into a new form. So somewhere out there in the universe, a huge amount of comic energy must have just appeared. Lucky them...|
Peter and the Firesign Theatre reshaped my consciousness like nothing and no one else. You were amazing, dude. Thank you.
|I'm not even a Star Wars fan, but, hearing that we've lost Peter, who can deny that "There's been a disturbance in the Force..."? It's the end of an epoch-- all four fire-signs balancing each other out and helping keep a little bit of balance in this oft-insane world... Somehow it's fitting that PB would be the first to follow those aliens out of Curio and into space, as he was the one who brought everyone together on "Oz" way back when. Phil, Dave, Phil (and Pete if you're watching), please know that you guys have MADE A DIFFERENCE in this world and expanded more young and old minds than you will ever know! We are forever in your debt, and this page testifies to that. In tribute to our Dear Friend, I'd like to share something from an interview with TFT published in the San Diego Door, Nov. 19, 1970:|
Phil P: The radio show was how we came together after the army. Bergman had a show called Radio Free Oz. As a matter of fact, I met him on the Sunset Strip, during the sit-down strikes.
Peter: Phil sat on me!
Phil P: Back in the '60s after the great blackout in NYC. I was standing there in a green uniform, the old 82! And he was wearing a helmet.
Peter: A steel hat!
Phil P: A steel hat and he had a baton in his hand.
Peter: A battery!
Phil P: Yes, a battery. I said, "You bastard, you've gone on the side of the Flinks*"-- that's what we call the coppers. And he said, "No, this is a microphone," and he hit me over the head with it!
Peter: With the idea, nothing violent-- microphone-- media-- BONK!
Phil P: And then he said, "Now that you're bleeding, you can talk about police brutality and I'll record it for the radio." Which indeed he was doing...
There will never be another one like him. Thank you, Peter.
(*I THINK that's how it was spelled. Hard to be sure, as the entire interview was written out in calligraphy... gotta love those underground newspapers, man!)
|My favorite Bergman line of all time: "Speak, O' ketchup bottle, for me!"|
Pete, we will miss you much. Speed on.
Funny! Smart! Funny! Smart! Funny! You fulfilled your existence well.
|I'll always treasure the afternoon I got to spend on Phil Proctor's roof, facing down Peter squinting at me and bantering politics, Clinton, Obama, Nixon, before building up into an epic ramble about film & teevee, The Odyssey, the spirit of LA vs NYC, his drive to endlessly wave the Firesign flag... It was an incredible outpouring of energy and willpower that made me realize how much mental coal Mr. Bergman shoved in the Firesign furnace over the decades to help drive that crazy machine through the fabric of America... |
I'll miss that voice and that endless energy, now bouncing through space and many multiplying media formats for eternity.
Hope you guys liked the YouTube tribute video and I'm sorry for crying all over it.
|The first time I heard Firesign Thearte was at North Eugene H.S. in Mr. James Aday's social studies class. He turned down the lights and I heard "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers" for the first time. For the next 3 or 4 days we talked about USA-USSR relations. He talked about how Russian teen-agers are more than likely just like we were but our governments were trying to paint another picture. Communist Martyrs H.S. indeed. Mr. Bergman along with the rest of Firesign Theatre helped me to listen beyond the main layer of a conversation. Taking a test drive in a car with talking billboards & talking roadsigns is an example of this. Thanks for all you guys have done.|
|First of all my deepest sympathies go out to Lily and the rest of Peter's family and loved ones. You don't know me, I was just one of I'm sure many voices on your dad's home phone at various points in 2002 that he spoke with. My excuse for calling from the NY studio I worked in was usually some minutae regarding copy points in the on-air promos we ran on XM Satellite radio's comedy channels and other places, to promote the Firesign Theatre's "Fools In Space" show. I was in charge of writing and producing the promos, and I knew that the FT cared very much what they sounded like, so I wound up talking to both Proctor and Bergman, mostly, and also David Ossman (Austin was up in Tibet or something when most of this happened, as I recall). |
There was something acid about Peter, he didn't suffer fools particularly gladly, so I always worried that I'd missed some detail or would be called on the carpet by him for something sloppy or out of place in the mixes he reviewed. Yet that was only my paranoid expectation, for the most part. He was actually very nice whenever I talked to him, only showing his critical fangs as something potential, off to the side, ready to call into play only if necessary. I did my best to provide him with a product he would be pleased with, and he never actually used them.
I was happy just with the idea of him being happy, 'cause I worshipped him, and always will.
I can't believe all the POSTS on this page. Hope I get 1/20th as many when I croak.
Like so many here, I was warped at a critical stage simply by listening to one of their Columbia albums early on. "How Can You Be..." was my first. It was one of many dazzling things on my big brother Mike's turntable in the early fall of 1969, when I was 11. Mike's longhaired friends often had detailed, long form meetings with him that I wasn't allowed to attend, where strange music, low tones, much laughter, occasional coughing and mysterious incense would come wafting through the door.
By the time "Don't Crush That Dwarf" came out in 1970, I was frantically trying to grow my own George Harrison mustache, and the parts of THAT album which I "got" absolutely blew my young mind, and, like so many here have reported, I was never the same since.
Without prattling on into infinity, I will add my voice to the voices here who essentially say that their voices wouldn't give voice as they do without the voice, and the incredible MIND, of Peter Bergman, being one of the principal voices in their heads when they speak. Or something like that. Whatever it is, it's indelible, and though I've eaten that cookie before, I only want to wipe it off and eat it again. I don't care. As long as I can eat it, 'cause inside, its delicious. And there is absolutely no way I could thank you for it enough, Peter. But I'll say it just this once more: thank you for the blessing. Its a flower, and it keeps on flowering, forever.
You can hear and download a few of the (I guess kinda rare) pieces the Firesign boys so graciously and wondrously gave voice to, currently at the top of my soundcloud page here: http://soundcloud.com/bill-kates
|The Beatles and The Firesign Theatre are in the same Class. Thanks Peter Bergman.We will miss you.Loved your podcast.|
|The Beatles and The Firesign Theatre our in the same Class. Thanks Peter Bergman.We will miss you.Loved your podcast.|
|Love you and will miss you Peter. Enjoy the Swiss Picnic.|
|Giving people the gift of laughter for over forty years is an admirable thing. Rest in peace-|
| Peter Bergman is one of the few comedians ever who could just lay me out on the floor, screaming laughing. He was brilliant, a little evil, and loads of fun. I have many, many fond memories of Peter and Firesign. He was loved and will be missed by millions. R.I.P., Peter. You were awesome!|
Gary L. Stone
|Well I am happy to have ridden on the Bozo Bus with you dude, even though I never knew ye; it was a punch in the stomach to see your name today on Wikipedia...one great memory: I am a professional guitarist, I was in a studio and behind the mic, all rigged up to record and in response to something the engineer said over the cans (headphones for you non-studio Bozos)I quoted s Firesign-ism and brought the session to s screaming standstill when the engineer almost doubled over in laughter, yelling to his partner out front "Oh my God, we got a guy who knows Firesign Theater here!!" You will always be loved, as will Ossman, Proctor and Austin...thanks for shaping my life!!|
In a time of too many tears, you made smiles.
You gave us the kind of laughter that lights a path through this shadowed land.
You were a holy fool, a daring jester in a world where far too many believe themselves to be king of all.
It mattered, the life you lived, the work you did, the truth you told wrapped in seeming nonsense. It mattered even to people like me you never met.
Without you and your subversive clown squad, we would have had a much darker time here.
"In God's name, cheerly on, dear friends.
To reap the harvest of perpetual peace
By this one bloody trial of sharp war."
That's how you treated us.
That's what you made of us.
Perpetual peace, Peter.
Well done, sir.
Thank you so much.
|My very dear brother introduced me to Firesign Theatre in high school, and to drugs, and music, and politics, and everything else important. The anniversary of his death from complications of melanoma is March 13. I have saved your album covers, the vinyl is trashed. One of our favorite stories is of one of his lighter weight friends who, after smoking a tiny bit of marijuana, ran screaming from the house while listening to We're all Bozos on this Bus saying"IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!" And my brother's dog Bill who I adopted lives in his pen Billville. Thank you for your undescribable wit and your spot on end of life statement. You will be sorely missed.|
|Rest in peace Peter, you gave us many laughs and funny characters and you will be missed. Heaven just received another great and funny talent for their main stage. Thanks for making us smile!|
|Thank you for that quote, it's something to continue on with (check for the typo!). My mom gave me my love of comedy very early in my life and she also made her exit from complications of leukemia. It softens the grief to feel something connects us in that way and I think Peter would have gotten a kick out of her. |
One of my fondest memories in life is of getting to one of your live performances here and getting a brief chat and photo sign with the four of you after the show. You had commented on how great the New York audiences were/are. That signed group photo is where I can always see it and is still one of my most treasured possessions. See you anon, much beloved Peter B., hope you had a blast while you were here, you gave so many of them! Comedy rules and you are the royalty!
|it's bizarre: i look exactly like peter. i used to get comments waiting in line at shows, "why are you waiting in line, why aren't you back stage?" at one show i was in the front row & peter came out & did a double take, i could see what he was thinking. dec. 31, 2011 i had the pleasure of bumping into peter on the street in front of my house here in sf (and boy are my bumpers tired!) i thanked him for all the good works etc and mentioned how i've always been told i look like him. he looked at me, squinted, smiled and said, "...but you're much more handsome..."|
|Somehow, I've managed to find work and keep a roof over my head despite spending way too many hours listening to Firesign Theater during college. Or maybe Firesign is precisely why I've managed to do well. |
Thanks for the many, many laughs, the many pleasant hours, and for Regnad Kcin.
|I think of a man standing on a hamburger. Thank you, Mr. Relishfoot.|
|I came to Firesign Theatre late, in the mid-1970's. Better late than never! I got hold of everything Firesign I could find. Firesign was one of the smart comedy sources that shaped my psyche. I can't say I have favored one member over another, but since Peter Bergman started in with Radio Free Oz again, I had come to truly need to hear every comment he had to make on this crazy world. I am still stunned and can see it will take a long time to get over Peter not beating the Reaper. Many condolences to all Peter's family and friends.|
|Glad I discovered Firesign Theatre when I was a teenager in the 1960's. Life always needs humour. Thank you Peter for being part of my laughter for many, many, many years. XOXO|
Go for that big radio show in the sky.
|Thank you peter for the joy you brought the world. I was just a kid when I first got into your work ... my friends and I are sad to hear of your passing. Hope you see many Bozos on the other side... Thank you|
|"Alaska bear, but he might not know the answer."|
My deepest sympathies on the loss of one of God's great Clowns.
|When I joined the members of Radio Free Oz, I was inspired that at the age of 70, Peter was a forward thinking cat when it came to technology. He had already seen success in the traditional media platforms (radio, print, TV, albums, etc) and couldn't wait to make the transition to new media and social media. He understood and became a passionate student of the game. I have never met anyone more positive and who treated his team like friends and family. |
I am grateful for the gifts he gave us in his long and storied career.
Happy travels on the Big Bozo Bus in the Sky, Dear Friend!
| I was looking for a great line to quote here, and got lost. I've spent the last two hours listening through my dozen or so Firesign albums and tearing up. I never met the dude, but this breaks my heart. |
Thanks for all the years of great performances inside my head.
|....Like so many others here have mentioned,my consciousness was indelibly influenced by the Firesign Theatre...Peter Bergman's passing really brings home how much these guys have meant to me over the years....RIP Dear Friend Peter...|
|Though he has completed his travel and has moved beyond this realm, his spirit will remain immortal in our hearts. His beautiful voice and brilliant mind has created immeasurable joy for millions and will continue to do so for many more.|
|This is Devastating tragic news. It has been hard for me to find the words to express my deep loss.|
Peter was like a beloved uncle to me, who loved to talk about himself. I could listen endlessly to his stories and weigh thoroughly his options. How I looked forward to his insights on the year to come and beyond, to laugh with him, to cry with him, to have grown up under his tutelage has been an honor.
It is with shame I look at my selfishness believing his insights would always be there for me to find and listen to. Now I am left to manifest those judgments myself, a daunting task at best, if not down right impossible. I feel the sadness deep down inside, a wrenching empty pain, something torn out and a void remains. How much laughter I will be missing.
Much as I may not like the idea of lists, I have lost one of the top ten influences in my life, such as it is. And though there still are three other names in that list, I fear as if the loss has doubled, for much of the heart and soul of the fifth crazy guy goes with him. Such energy such passion, the likes of which I may never see again. Irreplaceable, implacable, irritating, irreverent, ignoble and thats only a fraction of the Is.
Peace and love to you Peter.
Peace and love to us all.
|Nothing was better than throwing a line out from one of the albums, and have a total stranger provide the next one!! What a bond that was!! My college friends and I listened and listened, and laughed and laughed!! ( Nick: Is this your boudior, baby? Nancy: Oh, no, Nick. These are the kennels!) Classic!!! Thanks!!!|
|My favorite memories of Peter (and the rest of the Firesigns) is turning other people on to the records. In the early 1970s there was a lot of great music coming out, but most of it was "heavy" and not particularly conducive to laughter, which really is the best medicine, especially if you are experiencing an altered state that needs a bit of comedic levity to fully illuminate the state, as it were. Bergman and the FT brought that levity to perfection, and brought genuine laughter to bear against all of the oppressive nonsense that was [and still is] being passed off as the "human condition." So thanks, Peter. If we push something hard enough, it's going to fall over." So I'm going to push against despair and close-mindedness. Long live Porgie Tirebiter!|
|Brilliant comic and writer who helped get me through high school, and beyond. What a loss. Rest in Peace, Peter.|
|When I heard the Firesign Theater were playing in Seattle (Kirkland)recently I couldn't believe my luck to hear them do all of the zany comedy I remembered from long ago. What a night! Amazing how many lines I remembered. Many, many, many people will miss you! Me included.|
|As sad as it is, the man was lucky enough to do what he loved during his life. Large amounts of time were spent with good friends listening to album after album time after time. Eventually memorizing album after album! Humor that got a lot of us through tough times. And still does. My brother and I were lucky enough to see FT in Kirkland, Wa. five months ago, Still brilliant! Thank you Peter, RIP|
|Thank You Peter and Firesign Theater for those amazing albums.|
|I was trying to come up with a clever FST reference to post. There are so many of them, and so many good ones, that I realized the best thing to say here is thank you, Peter Bergman. You made my life more bearable for me for a while. |
That's the best thing one human can do for another.
|For all the thoughts, for all the laughter, for all the joy you have brought to me and ALL my friends, you will always be remembered as a LEGENDARY artist and performer. THANK YOU!|
|I've heard a lot of record albums with Peter Bergman in them, but it was seeing him perform with Phil Proctor in the 1970s that gave me my deepest impression of him as an individual performer. Peter was more likely to be the clown/trickster/instigator, while Phil was the normal guy caught unawares. Lots of exceptions, of course. But I remember Peter's big, goofy/knowing grin as a sign that his character usually knew what was really going on. This was especially true when I saw P & B perform material from their "What This Country Needs" album. |
When I saw the duo again a year or two later(shortly after "Just Folks" was released), they were performing a new piece, "Hello My Name Is Clark Wintergreen", which hasn't made it to record --- to my knowledge --- and an opening piece that was a mashup of Firesign Theatre material. In this piece, it was Peter Bergman who took the role of Phil Austin's Nick Danger. I've often wondered if that was the only time someone other than Austin played the role, or if that have been other substitutions.
Here's a line from Bergman in that 2nd performance that sticks with me. At the time, around 1977, Southern Illinois University had just embarrassed itself with a bizarre example of racial profiling at the check-cashing office in the student center. The office was noting whether the students coming to cash their checks were white or black, by marking their checks with their private code, "ABC" for one race and "XYZ" for the other. Proctor and Bergman got wind of this, and in the opening sketch, Nick Danger (Bergman) emerges from a car wreck and tells the audience he was so dazed that "I didn't know if I was ABC or XYZ!" This got a huge laugh from the audience.
When I saw Proctor and Bergman perform the 2nd time, I was also able to meet them. At the time, I was a student working at SIU's public radio station. I took part in an interview with Peter and Phil, and spent some time with them after the interview, plus a group discussion after the performance. I remember Peter (and Phil) as being non-stop funny, but also serious (in a cheerful way) about their work. I remember Peter being especially interested in working with young people interest in doing the sort of audio drama/comedy that he loved to do. He really saw it as a step to bigger and better things for them and for the medium.
Peter Bergman was in his 30s when I met him, and left such a strong impression, that I'm still adjusting to the fact that he was in his 70s when he died. I've just listened to a couple of his recent Radio Oz podcasts, and it's clear he was still as engaged as ever, with a sardonic take on politics that certainly connects to the comedy he was making when I had the pleasure of meeting 35 years ago.
|Sad to hear you have passed. Can I see your passport please? Much of my sarcastic sense of humor was developed while I was "Waiting for the Electrican, or someone like him" Looking forward to meeting you one day soon. JH|
|Thank you, thank you, thank you.|
You will be missed.
|Oh Blinding Light |
Oh light that blinds
I cannot see
Look out for me
You're there, now Dear Friend. Welcome to the future.
|Ah, Peter, as you go to the other side of the TV or Not TV Tube, i will recall two more words in Turkish: Farewell.|
|I am very sad to hear of Peter's passing. I was one of those in high school and beyond that memorized long passages of the records and learned a wonderful, hilarious and surreal way of seeing the world. Thank you for everything you did. It is a sad, slightly less funny day.|
|Peter was a wonderful friend who I will miss very much. Will there be a memorial service? Sylvan Feldstein, New York City|
|I'm so sleepy. I've been shooting reds and yellows all day! Gonna' switch to a 'blue moth'. Always liked your wonderful head of hair! Now, I'm really confused. TV or Not TV? For Dave, Phil and Phil, and your respective families, and Pete's family as well, you are so well loved. The National Surrealistic Lights People Party lowers it's flag to half mast in your memory. And, The Nairobi Night Gnus, glows dark for the day. God Bless the President!|
|FST got me through college!! We would repeat the routines over and over and laugh until we cried. Thanks for the gift of laughter that you had to have a brain to understand!|
|Amazingly clever. There were times in college when I listed to the albums all day long. Every listen was a discovery. Firesign Theater was truly The Beatles of comedy. RIP Peter.|
|What can I say? There has never been humor like that of the FST. And we have Peter to thank for it. Hardly a day goes by when some time bomb of a hidden long ago-memorized joke goes off in a new way triggered by some stimulus and I laugh out loud, amazed at the power of laughter to make sense of the world. Peter was as sharp as they come and we will miss him terribly.|
From Temporarily Humboldt County to Mother's Truckers we will always have Peter's unique and powerful wit to accompany us, Nasi Goreng, never boring!
|The Firesign's were such a big influence on my teenage and young adult life. Thank you for everything you guys taught me.|
|My hasty but heartfelt tribute, as posted on opensalon.com. My condolences to his friends, family and co-conspirators. |
MARCH 10, 2012 7:21PM
Comedy takes a hit: Firesign's Peter Bergman dies
One of the four funniest, smartest and most under-rated satirists of the 20th and possibly 23rd centuries has died.
Peter Bergman, one of four friends who joined forces to create Firesign Theater in the late 1960s died at the age of 72.
Firesign was an astonishing, cutting-edge comedy troupe. They devised a comedy form based on old-time radio tropes that they then bent to their own wickedly comed desugns in recordings that satirized the hip and the straight, the stoned and the sober and everything in-between. They found and skillfully mined gold in everything from quiz shows to TV evangelists to high school principals to b-movies starlets. You'll find everyione from James Joyce to Allen Ginsburg to Raymond Chandler lurking somewhere in the shadows of their multi-layered audio scenarios. They brought the art of the nonsequitur to new heights; the cry Shoes for Industry! still reverberates in the brain pans of their adoring fans.
Firesign epitomized hip humor before anyone knew hip humor was even possible - before Monty Python, SNL or Second City. You didnt have to be stoned to appreciate their surrealistic sojourns, but it helped enormously if you were. And even if you werent toked up or tripping your brain cells into jelly, a five-minute exposure to any of their dizzy, dazzling first five albums could convince you that you actually were stoned. Everything they said in albums like "Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him" or "Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand me the Pliers," made perfect sense. Then it made perfect sense the 17th time you heard it, but in a different way.
I discovered Firesign in 69, accidently and soberly, on WBAI-FM, New Yorks once and future freeform radio station. It was the opening cut from "Waiting for the Electrician, the group's debut album. I thought Id stumbled onto some weird foreign-language lesson when a sonorous voice informed me I was about to learn my next three words in Turkish. This is how I remember those words, intoned so carefully and slowly:
At that last word, a different, vaguely threatening voice demanded to see my passport. My trip with Firesign began at that moment. It would span multiple album, countless characters Like a great drug experience, the psyche-satira-delic journey Firesign plotted out over those albums was never predictable, always brimming with new discoveries, and always hilarious.
I mean, this was a group that satirized the future in I Think Were All Bozos on This Bus. And they did a better job of it than anyone before or since. Here we are in the future already, and the bus I'm riding is certainly full of bozos, me included.
The New York Times said in Bergman's obit that The Los Angeles Times had once described Firesign Theater as the Beatles of comedy. Thats not an understatement. Except that these four friends (Bergman, Phil Proctor, Phil Austin and David Ossman) wrote and performed as an ensemble. Their individual contributions to their work are impossible to assign to a single person. So in that sense, I cant eulogize Bergman for exactly what he brought to the trip. I can only be thankful that he and his pals issued my passport and always, whenever I needed it, renewed it for me.
|Thank you Peter (and all the boys) for the enlightenment. I never understood Nasi Goreng until I visited Indonesia! Layers of understanding peel away like an onion, or worms from a Hot Cheese Log with every repeated listening. You have changed more than one life forever, and for that I thank you. Good reception.|
Oh! Blinding light!
Oh! Light that blinds!
I cannot see!
Lookout for me!
Peter, thank you and the other krazy guys for illuminating my mind. What old song did that phrase come from? I forget. I thank you all for the many hours of entertainment and inspiration your work has given to me. I shall keep Peter's departing words in my heart and occupy myself.
|I am sorry that I will have to write about Peter for my blog of Jewish obituaries, The Eulogizer (plug, plug), but it will give me a chance to tell many of my readers about him and FST. I will also have once again an opportunity to bore my children - growing up Israeli - with lines from and stories about the GOD (Good Old Days) in the Old Country (the USA, that is). Two personal points:|
1) I saw FST live at SUNY Albany in 73 or 74. They were absolutely brilliant, and I remember the show, even if I don't remember exactly when it occurred.
2) My all-time favorite line, "How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all?" - expresses with Talmudic clarity my dual, surreal life - an Anglo-Saxon (American) Israeli with a life here and a previous life in the US of A that is still vivid, even after a decade + of intifada, "occupation," and now, live from Tehran, WW3.2 (3.0 and 3.1 already having been taken by Al-Qaida and then Uncle Sugar.
Baruch Dayan Ha'emet.
A question - what is the connection, if any, of FST to Ken Nordine's Word Jazz? Please write to let me know...firstname.lastname@example.org
|In 1974, I was treated for severe depression. The only thing that made me laugh was FST. I bought the album "TV Or Not TV" with Peter Bergman and Phil Proctor. A bolt of lightning hit me when I heard Tommy Payne, the JD turned DJ say "Hey holsters, let me speak for livin'. Stick around another year and see if it don't get better... No jive, stay alive in 85." That line did me more good than all the doctors combined. Thanks guys. God bless you Peter. If you make some more albums up there, I'll get them when I get there.|
|UNHAPPY MACNAM, UNHAPPY MACNAM|
The kid from Shaker Heights parks and locks it for the last time.
Peter you and your 3 or 4 crazee comrades were a big part of our lives. You will be sorely missed. Thank Grid you left us so much material to keep us laughing until we all join you.
In the next world you won't be on your own.
|Now I'll never get that free mule I've been dreaming of - we'll miss you, Peter. Thanks for all the laughs - I'll set my climate control on "Land of the Pharaohs" in memory of you.|
|In 1998 my wife and I were vacationing in Aruba to view the solar eclipse. One evening around 1 in the morning we found ourselves cruising in a rental car to the far end of the island to do some late night star gazing with a perfect stranger we had met only earlier in the day. I started thinking this might not be such a good idea--4,000 miles from home, middle of the night, and no clue as to whether this person really was an astronomy buff or had something more nefarious in mind. Then in the middle of the conversation as we headed down the road he innocuously slipped in a Firesign phrase, to which I replied, "They're in everybody's eggs." At that point I suddenly felt comfortable around this person. We spent the rest of the night observing the sky and trading lines from the vast FST repertoire. I've had numerous other encounters in life where there is a connection made through the Firesign Theatre. It makes this surreal existence just that much richer. Thanks guys.|
|J-Men Forever. There's nothing more that I can say|
|My Breakfast with Peter Bergman (sort of)|
Peter Bergman passed away this week. I "met" him once along with the rest of The Firesign Theater at WBAI, the Pacifica Radio Station in New York. It was sometime shortly after the eagerly awaited release of their second album "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All."
The were making an appearance on either Steve Post's Midnight program- or it might have been Bob Fass' "Radio Unnameable"- you know how memory is.
I was a 16-year-old teenage kid, one of the "regulars" at the time who had managed, over the years, to finagle my way into hanging out all night with the "air check" kids in "the back" by the AP and AFP wire machines. Supposedly I was officially there doing my "Community Bulletin Board" program... or so I said if challenged which was ridiculous since it was "on," usually live, at 6 p.m. But no one ever seemed to care except sometimes Post who, due to my bout with psoriasis, used to call me "head cheese"... on the air. Great for 16-year old's self-image
Anyway, I remember the four of them filing in, apparently high as proverbial kites (as were we all- of course everyone was careful to "do that crap outside").
So they do their on-air bits- funnier than hell. And it was seemingly "new material" because, like many kids in those pre-Python days, I had committed the first two albums to memory and this stuff wasnt that stuff.
Where that air check is is anyone's guess- I've never heard it, not that I'd remember it, missing half from laughing too hard and the other half due to the aforementioned kite flying material.
The thing was that when they took a break and came out of the studio it seemed like they were still "on." Well, I thought, maybe they're rehearsing. But when they went back into the studio they didn't seem to repeat anything they'd done during the break.
Well the show was finally over around 5 a.m. and, as everyone was wont to do, we all adjourned to the "Greasy Spoon"- a Greek Restaurant on 53rd and 3rd that I have often though must have been the model for the "Cheezbugger, Cheezbugger, Pepsi, Pepsi" place from John Belushi's SNL sketch.
And guess what- during the whole walk over and the whole time we stuffed eggs and pancakes down our pie holes they just continued as if they were still on the air.
I finally realized that when these four guys hung out they were just "like that"... all the time. As a kid I just envisioned them being so talented that, when it was time to do a record they just kind of waltzed into the studio and recorded their normal conversation.
And maybe I wasn't too far off.
All throughout breakfast they kept it up, non-stop. I've always thought that if I'd have brought a portable tape machine I would have had my own private Firesign Theater Album.
At 16 you think "magic." Now at 60 I can't think of any word but "genius."
|Many words, and more eloquent, will be written of Peter. Finding myself in sudden unexpected reflection on his meaning for forming some of the ways I relate to the world, I am left in awe and longing; I miss him already.|
Thank you Peter, thank you.
|Genius. Joy. Los Angeles. Essential. Spirit. I'm searching for the right words, but I'll start with these. And also THANK YOU.|
|Thanks to a man who changed my life.|
|Genius among geniuses! You made my college days so much fun. RIP,|
|thank you SO much, peter!|
condolences and love to all...
|After so many years of hearing "those voices" on record I finally got to see them perform in about 1998 in Seattle. I remember the absolute thrill of seeing these actual people, with faces, bodies, hair, etc., with "those voices" coming from them! And while I love every one of them & every voice, it was Peter I was most taken with. Porgy, Lutenant Bradshaw, and all the other characters he did. WOW! I was just blown away that they were all the same person! I've been lucky enough to have seen them 5 or 6 times now & met them each time. What a great group of folks they are & how fortunate we are to be in their world. I feel for the remaining guys & the fans all over. A great loss, but a great run..........|
|Has it really been 40 years since I first heard the Firesign Theatre? From day one I felt connected to their weirdness (at the wrist and ankles, of course). From Bangor all the way to Mighty Maine, we mourn the loss of our Head Bozo. The old same place won't be the same without him. Here's to the memory of Peter Bergman --- Clink!|
|I loved your work. Safe journey Peter|
|Goodnight Pat . . .Unhappy Hour News indeed . . .see you near the hole in Curio, AZ . . .Nino|
|As many of my generation, I know all the albums of my time by heart.|
Peter, you were an astonishing inspiration to me and have had the most profound influence on my life.
Peace in your passing.
|GROATCAKES!!! To say the least Bergman&FST influenced the way myself and many many others look not only at humor, but life itself. You guyz did it up rite and still do...R.I.P.,Mister Bergman|
|Back to the shadows again!|
|In the loneliest nights of the late departed 60s, my comrades and I found friends who understood us, recognized the surreal world we navigated (or avoided), and helped us rationalize a place in it. Peter and his comrades in joy and cosmic silliness gave us pleasure during the hard times. They turned out to be as necessary as Lenny Bruce and George Carlin, as culturally relevant as Gil Scott, Marvin Gaye, Malcolm X and the Kennedys. They made my objection more conscientious. They helped to frame our time. I am forever grateful - Thank you Peter, bless you in your passing, and may you rest in peace.|
|When the only time I was ever "too" high waitng for the electrician saw to it that I landed safely. I was hooked on Firesign from then on. God Bless You Peter!|
|Oh dear. We've lost our big Kabloona. Say hello to W.C.|
|Funnier than Berman, more radical than Hoffman, stronger than a zillion ergs; that's Bergman.|
A true superhero.
|Peter Bergman is dead. A part of me has died. |
Firesign was sort of America's answer to Monty Python, but where the Python's did bizarre sketches for television, Firesign did, well, surreal radio. And ended up proving that this medium can mess up your head far more than visual media can ever hope to.
Ah, but it is nice to know that he had a long and productive life. Yes, that's right. He spent his whole being birthing tomatoes, And the occasional qumquat. But it is nice to know that this guy with the pie on his tie still had the time to wash my car. The details are a wee iffy, but, ya know. I'd like to think he stood on my head to thank other giants, but that could have been somewhat painful. Yet, hear we are at these hollowed grounds, looking, looking! For a way out. And, Beloved. Peter has found it.
The truth is that all men having power should be mistrusted
Guns don't kill people. Physics kills people!
John Lithgow as Dick Solomon on Third Rock From The Sun
|When I was in high school, I loved listening to Radio Free Oz. When the show was broadcast live from the Magic Mushroom, I'd get in with the driver's permit (a paper form) that a friend had modified with his typewriter to make me 18 (I think I was 17 at the time). My parents had a dumb rule that I had to be home by midnight (it was Sunday night), so as soon as the raga started at the end of the show, I'd rush home, and make it just in time. The show turned me on to Ramblin' Jack Elliot and Jorge Luis Borges. Oz was wonderful. RIP, Peter.|
|Sad news indeed. Unless if course it's not so bad in the other side. Then I am inclined to sat "Well done, Peter".|
But that doesn't mean we can't miss him. What a mind.
|My wife and I were able to catch "the show" at the Kirkland Performing Arts Center this past November. You all blew us away.........again!!! Yhank you for all of it.|
Rest in Peace Peter. When you see the Big Guy let him squeeze the weeze!!
|I first was introduced to Peter and the in FST in 1971 when my sister brought their second album home to prepare a theatre monologue. Believe it or not, I don't believe I've ever listened to them in an altered state. |
I would have loved to meet Peter; he struck me as the most accessible one of the group. Alas, he, like Pat Hat, has jumped into the hole and climbed the golden staircase to the sun at the center of the earth. Or wherever. Gridspeed, Peter.
|Hell of a talent; hell of an equally smart and funny guy; hell of a loss.|
|I got to know you guys in the '60s. Now I'm in my own 60s, and you're still my comedy heroes. I'm so sorry to hear that Peter has been toad away. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.|
|My license plate reads "UHCLEM", which is also the 1st part of my email address. The license plate frame is from Ralph Spoilsport Motors, and my bumper sticker says "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus". At parties, or around strangers, I will throw out a line from one of their albums, just to see if I get a response. When I do, it was like two long-lost siblings meeting. Coo Coo Cachoo, Peter, we'll miss you.|
|I've only been lucky enough to have known Peter over the last year and a half. I work at Joni's Coffee Roaster in Marina Del Rey. Peter was a "regular", we saw him daily. His enthusiasm and love of sharing his knowledge both intrigued me and made each day a little better. When I worried about the scary thought of the GOP coming back into power in the executive branch he reassured me not to worry. I looked forward to seeing and hearing from him in this next election cycle. He will be missed he was a part of the "Roaster" family.|
|A very special and irreplaceable light has gone out.|
|God speed, dear Peter. Just follow the yellow rubber line. In the next world you won't be alone.|
You all have brought profound humor to many over the years. Best wishes to the rest of your crazy guys. Heartfelt condolences to you and family.
|How did 4 or 5 crazy guys keep the rest of us sane in the early 70s and beyond? Sgt. Bradshaw, that's who. Around 1974 I attended a 'comedy seminar', a series of seminars, with one being an up close and personal class with Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman. Our 'class' of 25 or so bozos rolled listening to Rococo and BlutWurst and the rest banter for 2 1/2 hours. Peter graciously posed with Phil, holding up a TV Picture Frame, so I could take a picture. Mainly, as others are saying, these guys, led by Peter, changed my life. I thank Peter, Phil, Phil and Dave for saving us all. It's back to the shadows, Peter. See you soon enough.|
|I worked with Peter in the 90's at a Place called Aspect Ratio. He was the Salt of the Earth.|
Rest In PEace my Friend
|Words alone cannot fully express my sadness this day...But I know the influence of Peter will be felt for the rest of this young sprout's life. I am lucky to have been able to spend just a little time with Mr Bergman at KBOO radio in Portland...See ya' on the fun-way... Yippie-Tie-One-On!|
|Clark Cable has left the building. Channel 85 is off the air.|
From Radio City Musical Hall, to Yale University and all the way to Berkeley and San Francisco. It was was pure joy to watch you and
FST perform. A true American treasure. You will be truly be missed.
Good reception everybody!
|So sad to hear this, time in the Air Force and college would not have been the same! |
Yes, dear friends, a mighty Hot Dog is our Lord......
|It was just under 42 years ago. Someone played Waiting for the Electrician or Someone just like him; a few months later, someone else played Dear Friends; later, Don't Crush that Dwarf, then the others; We bought them all, LPs played on the turntable. I recorded them on cassettes as I did with all my favorite music so as to preserve the vinyl. Every release seemed to leave conventional comedy and even other satire further and further behind. Their work shaped the way I listened to our social and political newsmakers and noisemakers, I think much for the better. And it made me laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh, album after album. It was a goddamn joy, time after time. This is quite a shock, didn't even know the man was ill. Thanks to Peter, and the other Firesign troupers.|
|RIP Peter, you have given us a lot joy over the years.|
|Rest in peace, Peter, and condolences to friends and family.|
|I got nothing. I'm not sure Peter kept me sane, but I'm positive he kept me not insane. I can't imagine ...|
|I can't tell you how saddened I am at Peter Bergman's passing. Alas, the Giant Toad Supermarket has closed.|
|No one beats the reaper every time. A true genius has been lost. RIP, Peter. Thanks for teaching me the value of really listening.|
|I have been a fan since 70.Caught one show in about 72 and have most of the recordings as well as The Big Book of Plays.I believe the experience of being a fan has enriched my life in ways only true FST folks will ever know.We will all miss you Peter,and it sure will be sp-p-p..pp-pooky without you here to take us through the blinding light.Phil,Phillip,and Dave,keep em flying.There is now laughing in heaven.|
|I'm No Fun - I fell right over.|
|My musical group No Fun, based in Vancouver since the 1970's, is known locally as "The Beatles Of Surrey", but Firesign Theatre was every bit the inspiration/motivation with us to try to do something/be something COOL. Thanks, Mr. Bergman, and continued appreciation Mr. Austin, Mr. Ossman, and Mr. Proctor - Best Comedy Group Ever.|
|I had the honor of interviewing Peter on the air during his "Seeing 2020" tour over my radio station KZRO-FM in Mount Shasta, CA. The interview covered many topics, and is available on our website at www.zchannelradio.com. R.I.P. bro, it was a pleasure, as we will continue to air Firesign Theater LP's for the masses to appreciate.|
|Gracias, Peter. You are a hero who has brightened my life, and always reminded me never to take it too seriously.|
|Since first being turned on to 'Dwarf' (on a Navy boat, no less!) in '71, I feel I've had a much more comfortably-furnished head featuring additional windows looking over things in new and different ways, all I can do now is as I've done at a backstage signing with the 4 or 5 in Marin, and thank Peter and the rest for keeping me well-adjustedly krazy. "Good bless you and god night and please don't touch that dial." |
|I would love to try and be funny right now but this news has broken my heart. I'll think of you every day because every day I recite TFT|
|The Firesign Boys are my all-time cultural heroes. From them, I learned that there was a thing called enlightenment. As soon as I heard them I was gone forever, and that's longer than anyone's ever been gone before. |
"I didn't hear him enter, my nostrils flared at the smell of his perfume. 'Pyramid patchouli.' There was only one joker in L.A. sensitive enough to wear that scent, and I had to find out who he was."
|Crap and a half !|
I won't forget you, neither.
|I just thought I'd bring my flat feet sniffing around here to say goodbye, from one dear friend to another.|
|"Wait for me mister, I've got a nickel!" As I can't yet follow Peter down the yellow rubber line, I shall just have to complain:|
"He's no fun, he fell right over!" And offer great blastings from above. Thank you Peter....
|Peter Bergman (and his dear friends) changed my life from the first time I heard my first Firesign Theater record over 20 years ago. To this day, I hear one or more of his stock voice/characters in my head at least once a week, if not more frequently. I have turned hundreds of people on to the Firesign recordings, and I know that all of us are very different people today for having had the privilege of laughing at his genius. You are missed, dear friend...|
|To one of the ones who helped us realize we were not insane.|
|So long, Sergeant Bradshaw.|
Now it's only Three Crazy Guys. Carry on, gentles, as best you can and...
"Take off your shoes...FOR INDUSTRY!!!"
|He's no fun,He fell right over. RIP Mr. Bergman. I'm sure there lots of people to welcome you over.|
|Phil, David, Phil - So sorry for your loss. Peter was an amazing talent and spirit. Thank you to him and to you for allowing me to work with you so many years ago. I will always remember Peter zooming away from the set of "Everything You Know is Wrong" in his new, pale blue Carrera Targa (even though he refused to race me!) All the best - Paul|
|THANKS PETER! You changed our lives for the better. EVERYbody who listened to you got stoned in one form or another and always laughed a lot. You could be walking down the street, remember a line or two from any album and just laugh out loud; you couldn't help it...and everyone has thought of that perfect line during a moment in life that it fit PERFECTLY! Thanks, man, big ripples...BIG ripples...|
|You and the other 4 or 5 Crazy Guys were a true inspiration all these years. I played your records till they wore out. Mudhead, Lt Bradshaw, I'll remember them all. Peter, you've so many of us laugh. Godspeed Peter, RIP.|
|I accidentally followed the Phil's around for their MOUNT AFTERGLOW Tour, with Jim Fishead (fi-SHED, supposedly) and roared thru every crowd's enthusiasm. Tremendous stage performance by two guys. I'll still be voting Martian Space Party, unless the League Of Winged Voters decide otherwise.|
|You have made me what I am today....which I've forgotten....however your kind will not be seen or heard of again....well maybe if we play your recordings or watch some of your videos....let me start this again....where's my damn script?|
|By way of my 'Chromium Switch' newsletter I met Peter in the early 1970's at a screening for "Martian Space Party." A few years later when The Firesign Theatre were recording Next World my wife Deborah and I, along with Edgar Bullington, were invited to the Warner Burbank Studios for a few hours. They were working on the P.J. Proby wine display skit, among others. Some 35 years later I reconnected with Peter as webmaster for his Radio Free Oz podcasts. He kindly dedicated one of his shows to the memory of Deborah, who passed away in 2010.|
I had not seen Peter in person for decades, but I vividly remember his enthusiasm and energy, especially the way it came across on Skype or emails. His relentless pursuit of his passions was inspiring.
To a life well lived, Peter, and watch for that yellow rubber line...
|Thanks for everything, Peter. And I do mean everything. Were it not for you and your friends, there would probably be no Church of the SubGenius, and possibly no me at all. We only met once, but you were there when I needed you, long, long before that. I owe you big time. The Firesign Theatre KEPT ME ALIVE and gave me a career to boot. Catch you on the flip-flop...|
I am planning a Bergman/TFT tribute for Hour of Slack this weekend. As I've been saying since yesterday everywhere I post, speaking for the old-timey SubGeniuses, we probably owe The Firesign Theatre more than we do RAWilson, the ZAP comix artists, Ray Harryhausen or the Mothers of Invention. Maybe even as much as the old Warner Brothers animation studio, and that's saying something. PRAISE "PETER."
Below are comments I compiled from some of the SubGenius Facebook pages after the news was announced:
Rev Louie Louie: Sometimes you beat the reaper. Sometimes the reaper beats you. Let's all ritually let the air out of our shoes in tribute one of the originals that made it all possible.
Joe Provo: As long as we inflate his so he can cross the river Styx.
Rev Felix Automaton: I shall fly my fly at half-mast.
Unknown: I ' v e g o t a c a s e o f B e a r W h i z B e e r a n d e v e r y o n e I p o p w i l l b e r a i s e d t o t h e m e m o r y o f M r . B e r g m a n . G o o d n i g h t , C l o w n P r i n c e !
Jay Lee: There's one less bozo on this bus...
Bill Trujillo: Back from The Shadows again!
Rick L Bell: Waiting for the Electrician, No More. Goodbye My Friend.
Al Bryant: Peter is gone, but Kenny G still lives to blight our lives. 'Taint fair. How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all!
Morgan Lewington: Shoes for the dead!
Blake Michener: Pretty much everything I heard of Firesign on the HoS was exceptionally good. "Bob" is smoking him now, as it must eventually be for us all.
Arthur Ratnik: He is certainly embarking on a journey that may well change his life forever!
Cathy D Thomas: Been sad, ever since I heard -- he's already Beatified, so his St. title's settled.
Mixahel DeLeon: I'm wearing my inflatable shoes in memoriam.
Mark Morey: In a just universe this would be as "newsworthy" as the passing of Bob Dylan will be.
Ktaden Legume: RIP, Stan Lee. Thanks for Batman.
|For all the joy, inspired thought, and silliness over the last 40 years or so,|
You will be missed.
|I had to pull out my copy of the "Big Book of Plays" today and read it cover to cover. While others kids were hung up with jokes that ended with OH WOW, man.., the FT made us think, and gave me lines I used that helped me to not be so much the nerd that I was. Later, when TV or not TV was out, a friend who ran a strip joint/etc in the combat zone of Boston wanted to do a concert for "..da kids.." and I gave him my book, and a copy of the LP. It was far above his head, and I had to break into his office/building to get them back. Mr. Ossman's PH# was then listed and he answered my call, and directed me to Mr. Bergman, yet alas, nothing happened to make the show work. I guess that Jesus needed more humor in Heaven, so he called a pro..|
|I called him "Comrade Bergie". He called me "Comrade Susie". We were definitely political pals and I had been thinking of him a lot as I participated in Occupy LA events. Coincidentally, I was just about to call him to see if he wanted to work on a short satirical piece for Occupy Foreclosure events. I bet I was thinking about hin when he was making his final speech.|
I was delighted to get to know Peter when my dear friend Jon Erland introduced me to the boys way back in the late 1970's. I'm not ashamed to say that they were my secret heros, along with Bertolt Brecht and Shakespeare..OK..along with a few others as well. I worked with Bergie and the boys as their production coordinator, dresser, casting associate and later as an actor as the First Witch in Anythange. What a ride! Bergie and I seemed to be destined to meet again and again as I ran into him in early 2000 at Marlborough Summer School where he was teaching his Radio Club class and I was teaching a theatre program. Then again, a few years ago, I lured him into working on a comic 2 person mini-show that we performed for a fair housing convention in downtown LA.
When Bergie said he was moving up north, I knew I'd miss running into him but as it happened, I got a final chance when I went to see the boys perform few years ago at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in LA. After the show I got and gave a big hug to my old comrade. I'm glad I had one last chance to see im onstage and off.
I'll think of you when I Occupy old buddy. So glad to have known and worked with your smart and politically incorrect self!
|condolences to his family & friends. we're lucky to have recordings to keep his spirit alive... Gary in Boise|
|"Raw, raw, raw, that's the spirits we have here".|
"Give them a light and they'll follow it anywhere". I followed. Thank You, Peter. The things you have done to my brain are inestimable.
|We're all moving in the same direction. We will all be together again. We're all going to a world party. Be seeing you soon, Peter! Thank you for your wit, your love and your sharing.|
|Peter,I want you to know that you and your friends were the shining light in the darkest places some of us have had to experience.If not for you and the comic genius of your extended Firesign family alot of us would have been crying from sorrow instead of from laughing so hard.Nancy,we shall miss yer,but you will be forever in our hearts,and don't think for one moment that WE ARE notALL BOZO'S ON THIS BUS.See you in that wonderful circus in the sky.GONE but never FORGOTTEN...jchalls|
|Peter Bergman's closing remarks on what transpired to be his final "Radio Free Oz" show, 2 days before passing, were beyond beautiful and eloquent.|
Like many enlightened souls before him, John Lennon in his last few interviews especially, he seems to sense the big wave coming to carry him to the shore beyond.
No one can declare it as "before I go" because it's not fully recognized of course.
It would be like a baby still in the womb drawing out a map of the next neighboring town !
As Peter begins this last glorious schpiel, he's talking about the darkness into light we're passing through.
As he sums up, he becomes timely and speaks of occupying this and that, then "whatever it means, I will occupy myself"
But he's now downloaded his accumulated essence into the fabric around us . . . and he occupies us all.
|You came in, and now you must go out.|
Thank you, Peter, for being so damn smart and funny and sharing it with all of us.
|This is terrible news. While listening to the FT albums, Peter Bergman's voice was the one that I could always identify as him, so in a way, he was a path to navigate those wonderful works of art. The world is so much poorer now. RIP Mudhead, Lt. Bradshaw, Artie Chock, Mr & Mrs John Smith, and especially Peter Bergman.|
|From my Facebook page: "Listening to the Firesign Theater was often better than going to the movies. Really smart, eerily prescient of whats going on today, funny and true revolutionaries of the art of recorded sound. Like Lenny Bruce, they opened the door for countless to follow."|
|I'll miss you, Artie Choke|
|I was working at KPFK during the OZ days. Bergman, Austin, Ossman and Procter were gods. Thanks to them the letter E will always stand for Excellent, and I will never run out of gas. Congratulations, Peter, on making your escape to the Pleasure Saucers. We will miss you!|
|Thanks, Peter, for our wonderful conversation in the reception line after your December gig in Portland. Thanks for Radio Free Oz. Thanks for being Rocky Rocamoto and all of those other people who you were in Firesign. But mostly thanks for being yourself. I would have liked to have known you even better.|
|So long, old friend...|
|Thank you Peter (and Firesign) for changing, or helping form, my view of the world. Peter was able to criticize the crazy world in a trenchant but kindly way and am sure that his work will continue to help me. Peter, you were and are Radio Free Albemuth for me!|
|So sad for Peter's passing! The Firesign Theater was such an important, creative, riotous part of growing up for me and my Dear Friends back in More Science High, colleges and at work - really helped keep us all Not Insane and fairly positive during the social turmoil and wars in the late 60s - mid 70s. Appreciated following the Signs as they went on to other paths and projects, never losing that bemused, wry sensibility. Peter is a part of the Spirit of a multitude of us, and he will be missed, at least until the electrician gets here. All the best to his family & friends.|
|I will NEVER forget that night, back around 1979 or 1980, when I was a student at West Virginia University, and a friend of mine told me to come over to his place because there was something I just HAD to listen to. So I went over, we did some bong hits, then he slapped a big pair of headphones on me and played "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus." My life was forever changed.|
Today there are very few people in my immediate circle of friends who have ever HEARD of The Firesign Theatre. I guess I'm going to have to buy a big pair of headphones and invite them over, one by one ...
GOODBYE, Peter, and happy motoring back on the Freeway, which is already in progress!
|Everyone knew you as Nancy....|
|What a glorious life you shared with us. Were that mine was half as much. I got to see you and the three or four other crazy guys live and will remember you always. My thoughts and sympathies are with your family and dear friends. You are so missed.|
|Peter was one of a kind with a wit and a way of seeing the world all his own. Since the early 70's he was a cultural influence defining the way I looked at the madness around us. He touched me. His unique perspective was a combination of wit, satire, and pure humor that will be missed by all of us! Drop your load on the Giant Toad! See ya Peter!|
|I think it was 1974 when I made the acquaintance of the Firesign Theatre. I was an instant fangirl, and that has never changed in all these years. I'll miss you, Peter. Thanks for everything you gave us! |
|Memorable from my college years..some of the funniest stuff I've ever heard...just listing to it today -- the day after Peter Bergman's death -- reminds me of those times.... sorry I never got to see him or the group in performance.|
Happy he - -and the group -- gave us a gift of laughter that will outlive his passing.
We're All Bozos on the bus...but we've lost one of key drivers..
|The smartest guy in the room just stepped out for a bit...Rest In Peace, Peter.|
|Thank you, Mr. Bergman, for all of the wonderful and lunatic humor you and your Dear Friends brought to me over these many years--for Glutimoto, jaundice, peach pits, Bradshaw, Ralph Spoilsport, Blutie, et al. I think the amount of time I devoted to Firesign Theatre must add up to a few years by now.|
I first crossed the Turkish Border with these Madmen in Philadelphia, summer of 1969, and have stayed on the Bus until the present time. I was fortunate to have seen Firesign perform twice, at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, CA. Peter gave us a glimpse of his deeply humanistic outrage at the state of current affiars, with his recitation of the alphabet with the Theatre, and his very intense condemnation of the CA Governor's Recall Election.
My sympathy goes to Peter's family, to Firesign Theatre, and to all who will miss him as I do.
|Peter- I will always treasure the last few hours we had together. May your journey continue. Love, Glen|
|You're alone now Peter. Well, except for the elevator boy. He is in your family?|
|Two roads diverged in the woods, and I, I cut the soles off my shoes, sat in a tree and learned to play the flute! Thankx Mr. Pete for for all the memories I can't remember.|
|Thank you, Peter, for opening my ears to the thinking man's humor.|
|Oh, Mudhead, I *did* want a snort. That was all the school spirits I needed.|
|Peter Bergman and his mates are in my damn DNA. I learned so much from the Firesign Theatre's records, loved them so much. Just last last month I introduced a young colleague to the FT's work by gifting him a copy of "How Can You Be..." on iTunes and urging him to listen to all of 'em |
One of the says I knew my wife was the one for me was that she knew the answer to the question, "What's all this brouhaha?"
You are immortal, Peter, but you are going to be missed down here.
|In a backyard bonfire tonight along with a great northern Aurora...."I raise a tall cool edible bottle of good ol Bear Wiz beer to Peters (Dr Memory)"....Channel 85 will never be the same without you !! Peace and Love Geo.|
|Thank you Peter...Happy trails to you xxx|
|You always made me smile...b|
|Let's play spin the pickle!!|
|Let's play spin the pickle!!|
|Let's play spin the pickle!!|
|Let's play spin the pickle!!|
|The Firesign Theatre has been a very important part of my life. The last time I saw them perform at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey in April of 2009, Peter Bergman absolutely shimmered on stage. It was one of the bestif not the bestFiresign performance Ive ever seen. Peter was as inspired as ever. His performance in the ad-libbed Dear Friends portion of the show was particularly outstanding. All the Firesign members looked great. May I age as beautifully as they.|
Perpetual Ethereal Theorist
|Met Lobster and the HIgh Wire Radio Choir at KSJO. |
They introduced me to the Firesign and a funny "B-Side" of life.
I was never the same.
I am now General Manager of a theater in New Orleans simply because, at every crucial moment, I just put my two-tones through the floorboard...
Mine is a history much like many, here, who it up late and warm themselves by the Firesign.
So many thanks to all and blessings to Peter's family,
Sugarfield - Voice on the Phone and
Helga - Rock Receptionist at KSJO, aka
Su at Mid City Theatre, New Orleans
|See you on the funway, Lt. Bradshaw. Thanks for the laughs.|
|Firesign Theatre opened my ears, my eyes, and my consciousness at about age 12. Life's never been the same for this Seeker ever since. Thanks Pete for turning us on to the absurdity of it all.|
|Dammit, yesterday I turned sixty and was crushed like a dwarf.|
I am one of the lucky ones molded and deranged by the Firesign humor.
Where would we be without these Crazy Guys . . . Goshen?
|The only thing sadder than losing Mr. Bergman would have been his never having been shared with us at all.|
|My deepest condolences to all who were touched by this generous and friendly soul.|
I'll miss that bald pate.
|He is the opposite of gravity. RIP Peter.|
|He broke the President! What more can a Bozo say? So so sorry he has got of the bus.|
|Very saddened to hear of this. My older brother gave me "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once..." as a Christmas gift when I was in high school and I quickly became a huge fan. Peter and the FT were a huge influence on me and my sense of humor, and gave me a new way of looking at the foibles of the world. |
I always felt the 4 or 5 never got the attention they deserved as cultural and comedic pioneers - sharing FT albums with others was always a bit like dragging out records of old Blues masters to play for a hard rock stoner who thought the world began with Led Zeppelin. But for modern comedy, they were, and are, giants of the same scale. Shoes for Industry, Peter - rest in peace.
|I don't recognize anybody, but in the 80's I recognized Peter (you would have to be blind not to recognize him) playing racquetball at a gym we both belonged to. I introduced myself and not too long afterward, we had a racquetball competition going we called the "Sensimilla Tournament" because, consisting of just the two of us, it was unseeded. Peter was as ferocious a competitor as he was a comedian.|
|The only albums I still have all these years later are yours. I'm one of those that can recite scripts for hours amusing mostly myself.|
|R.I.P. the sainted Peter Bergman. Firesign Theater changed my life forever when I first heard them in 1970. My condolences to his family and friends, he will be sorely missed.|
|It always seemed like it would never end. Time gave us a very funny man and friend to grow old with. We can't live forever. RIP YOU FUNNY GUY. I bet you are driving that Bozo bus right now. Say hey to The Three Stooges while you are up there.|
|My deepest sympathies to the family of Peter, the remaining members of FST, and the countless fans out there. It's both sad and shocking to learn of Peter's passing. Mr. Bergman has been a source of inspiration and pleasure for my friends and I since I first heard Firesign Theater back in the early seventies. I can't begin to relay how much we will miss him. I am so glad I went to the December '12 show in Portland and even more so that I took a friend along as a Christmas present--he had never seen them. Here's to Peter; His memory lives on in our hearts, minds==and on vinyl!|
|I was awakened to humor by Mad Magazine, signficantly warped by early exposure to Python, then irretrievably twisted in my mid-teens by endless listening to Firesign Theatre albums. I believe I am a better, funnier, more thoughtful person for FT's inspired lunacy, and perhaps survived my teens because of it (yes, another one of those disaffected youth stories). As an adult, I've found that I can reliably test the potential for a new friendship to deepen based on whether the candidate knows the entire intro to Nick Danger, Third Eye. FT fans are always weird in the best of ways. |
Peter, and all of you guys, have made an outsized contribution to who I am, what I value and how much/often I laugh. My heart is sore at the news of Pete's passing, but reading the comments here makes me realize that his brilliance will never die. My deepest condolences to Pete's extended family.
|I grieve for there is one less bozo on this bus to enjoy the ride with.|
|Well, we all knew it couldn't last forever, for everybody... but knowing that doesn't make the news any easier to take. Peter's gone... that magnificent misfit, that wonderful weirdo. I'm only grateful I've lived in a time where his wit and wisdom were there to make me laugh and buck me up in the face of the stiff and often ill winds of change. So long Peter... you were and always will be... amazing. May you live on at the touch of that little chromium switch, forever.|
|Peter was one of the Greats. What Captain Beefheart was to rock, the Firesign Theater was to comedy. R.I.P.|
|Amazing inspiration and influence.|
|Very sad news. I will always treasure the inspiration, pleasure and laughs that he gave me. Truly gone but never forgotten.|
|I'm so sorry to hear that Peter is gone. He was one of my great culture heroes. What he created with TFT remains in my heart, usually as a quiet bit of background, but always there. My sympathy goes out to Phil, David, Phil and all his friends and family.|
|"We Are All Bozos On This Bus" We Lost Our Driver But Will Truck On...My Condolences To All Of The Firesign Family. Thanks For The Memories.|
|A great sadness. Thank you Peter, for making my world brighter and my eyes and ears more discerning of it. You and your brethren are a permanent part of who I am.|
|One endeavor of Peter's that I have not seen mentioned much, but which I was enamored with, was his non-profit radio production workshop for kids in Los Angeles. He taught the process as an outlet for creativity, for forging companionship and for working collaboratively. Those currents seem to pass through his own productions, as well... Clearly he spent his life having a great time working with his friends. We should all be so lucky. It was heartening to see him passing the torch, so to speak, to a newer generation -- not just by his example -- but in a very hands-on way. I'm glad that I had a chance to tell him so.|
|What can I say? FT has been part of my life ever since I was tripping on acid in 71 & somebody put a headphone on me with ITWABOTB playing. Have a great trip Bozo & thanks for all the great times I've experienced being a Firehead!|
|I first became aware of the Firesign Theater (and Peter) via the Dr. Demento radio show, which aired where I grew up late on Sunday nights. However, it took over a decade until I went head-first into FT when I started buying tracks off of Rhapsody (and later iTunes). Peter will be greatly missed, and I'm all but certain that the Firesign Theater won't be the same without him. So long, and thanks for the All-Nite Images. Sic transit gloria mundi...|
|Stunned. I'm sitting outside, tears are freezing in the corners of my eyes. Snow beginning and my cigar is the only thing keeping me warm. |
I recall much enjoyment from FT, from the albums early on, to working with them on Yolks of Oxnard, and the PBS special in LA. Always gregarious, always kind, these are my thoughts of Peter. Always with a huge smile and myriad voices.
I ache today. My friend has died. I ache for the rest of FT, and Oona, and the strays that end up on Fox Island, drawn by the magnetic nature of the Boys.
I will not forget. I won't forget being the Hunter in Yolks, or one of the walking wounded in Lawyer's Hospital. Of sitting in the sound stage while they did voice overs and sound effects - amazing, just amazing.
Peter - thanks man. thanks.
|Thanks to Peter and the rest of Firesign Theatre, my head permanently twisted away from the ordinary world. I dove deep into the radio pool at an early age, in no small part due to my discovery of Firesign Theatre records. In 1996 I was honored to work with Firesign Theatre when they did a show for WNYC at the Knitting Factory. It was one of the earliest internet broadcasts, if I am remembering correctly. Peter, Dave and Phillip Proctor, along with the other "Icons" were a joy to work with! Listen here: http://culture.wnyc.org/articles/features/2012/mar/09/firesign-theaters-peter-bergman-dies/|
Peter has proved it's possible to be in two places at once when you're not anywhere at all. So long, dear comedic friend!
|FT helped me survive freshman year in college. Peter was a genius like no other. He will be missed but FT will continue to bring a smile to my mind for as long as I last on the planet.|
|I was so lucky to meet Peter with Phil Proctor in 1973 when they performed "TV Or Not TV" in San Diego. He showed me the label on his used tuxedo that read "Made Especially For Danny Kaye." Both were comedic heroes of mine but only Peter had a lasting effect on my life and friends. Your everlasting fan, Jim "Principle Poop" McGuinn|
|I first heard Peter on Radio Free Oz on KRLA in Southern California, when it was just his show. Soon he was joined by the rest of Firesign Theatre. I was entranced by his voice, and inspired by his approach to life.|
Thank you, Peter, for helping me to become who I am.
|I'm sitting here, listening to myself on the radio- 'The Liberal Bias Media Hour' while re-reading The Firesign Theatre's Big Book Of Plays.|
"Park and lock it! Not Responsible!" Thank you, Peter.
|Pete was one of the wierdest ducks I ever swam with and I could never really figure him out. He was at times vey indifferent and secretive and others very open and communiative. When we were in Seattle in '99, he made sure that we had complete access. Earlier in NYC at his book signing party he invited me out to record and video tape all the shows. Out there, Westley and I paid for one of his meals and he was very humbled by that. He later bought us all dinner and on the way back to the motel he told us that he wanted Firezine to put out all of the recordings we made and had archived over the years. "Nobody's gonna make any money off this shit. I want it out, I want it all out. I want it all available. Think DVD boys." Well, we did and of course I later caught hell from Austin and especially Ossman about it. But I was always told that whichever Firesigner was talking, they spoke for the entire group. |
One of my biggest regrets is that we never got to do a final interview about Zachariah for The Chromium Switch and Filmfax Magazine with a poosible book project on the making of the film. I had a lot of other interviews lined up as well and had started on the project with some of the best writing I'd ever done. Unfortunately my son-in-law deleated all of it before he stabbed me and I can no longer write due to PTSD.
Pete was one of the best off the top of his bald head story teller with a built in editing program that wasted not a word. He really gave it his all in performance and as an amazing actor who loved to be on stage. He could be very intimidating but after I got to know him better he warmed up to me and was accomidating, especially when it had to do with promoting Firesign. He did stick to the 'myth' he created over the years and one couldn't derail his agenda. While interviewing him the many times over the years, I always thought that it didn't go very well but when listening back to the tapes I was astounded how good they really turned out and had how very little 'fixing' I had to do.
Bergman was a one-of-a kind person and will never be replaced. I can't imagine The Firesign Theatre 'going on' without his voice and mind.
|Some people touch and change the lives of people they never knew existed. They unify and inspire and sometimes even soothe those who need it by giving a voice to that otherwise lost soul within us yearning to laugh. Such was the case for me the first moment I heard Waiting for the Electrician as a teen age runaway in the late 1960's. Thanks, Peter, for bringing me back from the edge, for teaching me how to laugh, and for helping me continually find kindred spirits for all these many years. Peace be with you.|
|He could open windows with his mind. Thanks, Peter.|
|Heaven just got a whole lot hipper|
Thank you for explaining this crazy world to us...
|I woke up this morning to find out that one of my Heroes has passed on to the "Future". Peter and the boys have been a source of inspiration for me for over 40 years! He was a touchstone for me and my friends and we will miss him.|
|One less Bozo on this bus, meet you at Bob's Bezerko Lounge!|
|Wow, I can't believe it, I had no idea he was sick. Like many of the other Bozos on this bus, I first encountered Firesign Theatre in the early 70's while in high school--in the LA suburb of West Covina, a town that the lads once characterized on the Rose Parade commentary they used to do on the radio as having sponsored "600 feet of nothing." I've often been accused of having 80% of my brain space filled with Firesign dialogue.|
I finally got to see the whole Firesign Theatre perform together in October 2009 in LA. For some reason I was the only Bozo who leapt to my feet at the end of the show, prompting Peter to call me out, asking, "Why is that man standing?" (Maybe because someone told him not to?)
I saw them perform twice again in Portland, in June 2010 and on December 10, 2011--which I guess now turns out to have been their last public performance together. For that last performance, I was on a business trip and ended up flying from Baltimore to Portland on Saturday to see the show, then back to Baltimore on Sunday. Seemed kind of crazy at the time, but now I'm really glad I did it.
I got to meet and talk to the guys after some of those shows, and they are just as warm and congenial as they are brilliant and crazy. Peter, I'm glad I got to know you just a little, and I'll look for you on the Funway when it's my turn to stand on that (yellow) rubber line!
|My friends and I attended a Firesign Show at Stanford in the early 70's and were ecstatic at seeing them perform. When the curtain came down we jumped the stage and managed to get backstage where I corralled David Ossman and overcome with excitement sputtered out as best I could how great I thought they were, etc. I said something about how long I had been a fan when just then Peter walked by carrying a bundle of costumes and, as he passed, he said "he's been with us since before the beginning." David signed my high school "cut-card" with "This is to certify you have an illegal cut! - David Ossman. Still have it somewhere, I think. PB - RIP|
|So much to say but so few words can convey how I feel. Godspeed Peter.|
|Peter changed my life. After FT, I never looked at or listened to media the same way again. In these anti-intellectual times, he showed how important--and how funny--it was to be smart, to think two things or three things or four or five things at once. I am eternally grateful that he made the art he did.|
|A good, generous person has moved on. FST shaped my view of the world when I started listening as a teenager|
|What a wit; humor in its purest sense! *honk honk*|
|Coming back from Vietnam in 1970 only to find these guys in a local record store in San Diego saved my sanity. Undoubtedly some of the funniest and most talented individuals around I have cherished my listening moments for over 40 years. RIP Peter keep um all laughing up there so they will be in a good mood when I arrive I gonna need the help. And remember "everyday do something that won't compute"|
|Although I haven't listened to FT in some time, I will always remember and cherish the joy and good feelings they brought to me years back. |
I will never forget Peter and these guys for what they did for my mind and my heart. God bless you Peter, well done.
|Although I haven't listened to FT in some time, I will always remember and cherish the joy and good feelings they brought to me years back. |
I will never forget Peter and these guys for what they did for my mind and my heart. God bless you Peter, well done.
|Thank you Peter. Your gift of humor has changed my life.|
|MAN! What a bummer today. I read through this memorial page and found myself crying because I'd lost a friend I'd never met and laughing because of all the memories that flooded back to me.|
Thanks for the 40+ years.
I going to spend the day under the headphones ...
|This incredibly serious world was made all the better with the absurd voice of Peter Bergman. From my introduction via Anythynge You Want To in college to my daily dose of Radio Free Oz podcasts, Peter and the Firesign Theatre have been a part of my day for decades. I'm going to miss him more than I know.|
|I met Peter only twice and saw him perform once in Detroit in the 70s.He was always in charge & u can tell he was the driving force behind the 4 crazy guys known as the The Firesign Theatre. He created one of the great comedy groups of all time & will be sorely missed.|
|A huge wing in my library has burned to the ground. Ouch. Thanks, Pete, for being the Big Voice for the Northern Virginia Voters Coalition back in 1981. The disaster was all mine, and the dinner with you and Proctor in Georgetown the night before is a memory of a lifetime.|
"Now will you believe I was sick?"
|Riding across the middle of America, I came to a bump in the road. There I met 4 or 5 Crazy Guys that made life something completely different.|
It's nearly impossible to describe how much effect Firesign Theatre had on our lives then and now. Recently, I've been listening to the original albums and was amazed at how many of the phrases I heard in the material, I use, to this day.
Peter, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the laughter, joy and proving thoughts you are responsible for.
Heaven is in a desperate need of a fix, can you help?
|RIP, Pete Bergman. See you on "the other side."|
I remember being 12 years old and getting "Don't Crush That..." from the public library because the card was filled with names of cool older kids who'd already checked it out. By the time Proctor and Bergman came to the local university two years later, my friends and I had memorized every FT album, despite not getting a good deal of the references. The Firesign Theatre is still possibly the most important touchstone in my rough education in the art of BS detection and remaining uncynical "in these days of modern times."
Due to the release of Duke of Madness Motors, the guys have been in my head more in the last year than at any time since high school. I hope that the other three will continue to work together because they are as needed as ever before.
|I'm only a clone, but Peter had such a wonderful job and did it so well. ... The world is diminished by his passing. My condolences to his family, friends and fans.|
|I first heard "Electrician" as an underage freshman at a state college in NJ in 1968. I played a cut from that record on every radio show I hosted that year. Sandwiched between Hendrix and Beethoven, FT made eminent good sense and radio. I have continued to listen to FT records and podcasts and radio since that time.|
I have no words to describe the sadness I feel since hearing of Peter's passing; the best we can do is remember the great joy and insight he brought. "I'm Chump Threads...and I'm out!!"
|It was the summer 1977 and I was walking in the middle of the night through an unbelievably scary version of Enid, Oklahoma to the house of my friend Bill Bentley, where I knew I would be safe, or something like it. He and the other cats were watching The Illustrated Man on a television with a circular screen, which made me very nervous, but when it was done, they put on Waiting for the Electrician and that record changed my life for good and for the better (though some might disagree).|
I am so grateful for all that Peter Bergman and the other three or four guys did for me. They helped shape me as an artist and as a human being. This is a sad day in a week that was already plenty sad, but their work helped me then and helps me now.
Thank you, Peter Bergman. I love you. My sympathies to everyone hurting from this.
|Thanks for everything, Peter! You can't put a price on all the laughs (just the albums). If there was any justice, the headline of today's paper here in NE Ohio should be: "Local boy gets it & goes home!" You are one of the (4) best ever...|
|Proud to be a member of this community of the mind. While we walk among those who inhabit the physical space around us, we also exist on another plane, all together in our minds. That other plane has two, distinct sides. When side one is finished it is time to turn it over and experience side two. Peter...enjoy side two.|
|Peter, you are loved, cherished and deeply missed, darn sure not forgotten and will be listened to forever. I feel so honored to have talked with you, shaken your hand, listened to you, helped you with the t-shirt caper and the HPPR effort for Oz, and generally been one of the many bozos on our own very special bus. Damn. Just simply, damn, damn, damn. I love and miss you.|
|You skewed my sense of humor at an early age and I am forever thankful. Get the behind me!|
|It's hard to imagine what my life would've been like without FST and Peter Bergman in it. How can you be, I mean, how did you manage to stay so prophetic and so funny all at the same time?|
"We take drugs pretty seriously at our house, too."
Good-nite Red...or Purple...or Bosco. is it Paisley again?
Can I say goodbye?
Thanks for being Berserko! And Not Insane!
|Hearing "How Can You Be in Two Places at Once" for the first time in college was a revelation. Rest in peace. And if there is a heaven, I'm sure you'll have them laughing in no time! (Not there is such a thing as time there...)|
|Thanks for the bus ride. You made this a better place. |
|Ah Gee Whiz, I am going to missed that sap. RIP, Peter.|
|P.S. Please give my regards to Groucho.|
|Peter, R.I.P. thanks for the yucks!|
|Listening to a Firesign album was like a trip to an alternate universe - a universe where you could hear Red Greenback and the Blue Boys, there was a bus for Bozos, but they would never come up into the hills. Best wishes and condolences to Philip, Phil and David. Adios Peter - back in the shadows again.|
|He's no fun, he fell right over. Now I'm just another bozo on this sad bus. Thanks for making my life immeasurably more bearable.|
|In high school in the early 1970s, the Firesign Theater, and Peter Bergman's special kind of humor, literally kept me from the direst thoughts. It was hard being a gay kid a backwater part of the country (Pulaski County, AR) and Firesign made me realize that the world is nuts -- that we are all bozo's on this bus -- and I was not the only person who perceived it. When parents and friends did not understand, somehow, the silly, crazy, but intuitively brilliant narratives of their albums put me in a frame of mind so that I could keep going and not take life too seriously. In some way, I can say I owe my very existence to them. Peter, you are already missed!|
|The world is a little less surreal today. Goodbye, Peter.|
|No. This can't be true. Peter you are one of my 4/5 heroes and you will live forever in my heart. Thank you for the laughter and joy that you brought and still bring to my life. You are The Truth Seeker!|
Damn. Just damn.
|I have always been proud to be a Bozo on your bus. Rest in Peace, Peter.|
|Peter helped me (us) find ourselves, he made us think as we laughed and shaped my outlook on what it means to be human and see the silly side of humans. The odd outlook the "boys" gave me still works in me every day! Outside the box is where I want to be.|
Remember Pete: If you lived here...you'd be home by now.
Thanks man.....thanks a lot.
|Thanks for so many years of insightful laughter. RIP Betty Jo Bialowski (aka Nancy)!|
|I survived my university days listening to FST late into the nights. |
Thirty years later I still regret not seeing them live.
Thank You Peter for introducing me to my friends Nick, Rocky, Porgy, Mr Hemlock Stones, Sgt. (Lieutenent) Bradshaw, Joe from Chicago, Willard, and Betty-Joe Bialowski. You will be missed but not forgotten.
|Rest in Plano.|
|Unhappy Macnam. Unhappy Macnam. Well Peter, when you clock the human race with the stopwatch of History, it's a new record every time. But the long view doesnât help today. I feel like Paolo who hasnât been inside for a week, complaining about the bees and the spiders again. The first hearing of Firesign Theatre as a junior at Penn State imprinted on my memory like a hot kiss at the end of a wet fist. You were so good with the servants but your loss broke the President. |
In music, a coda looks back on the main body, allowing listeners to take it all in and helps create a sense of balance. I have been so unprepared for your passing that I need my balance restored. Weâve all been subjected to the very public death of celebrities recently. I thought Joe Paternoâs passing in such a cloud of underserved turmoil finally ended my college years. But today, losing one member of the Firesign Theatre is more personal because it is not as widely shared or dramatic as the passing of Joe Pa or Whitney Houston.
Firesign Theater humor has never lost its edge to become nostalgic period pieces, provoking smiles but not laughter. While the LA Times was right to call Firesign Theatre the Beatles of Comedy, that does not describe your unique and continuing place in both comedy and satire. To paraphrase Groucho Marxâs line â I would never join any club that didnât have Firesign Theatre appreciation as a membership requirement. I still test IQ with the ability to recall lines from your albums.
The time I scheduled for your question, alerted and unafraid, was never wasted. Thank you for walking among us for all these years here in Billville. I think I have collected everything the Firesign Theatre has released, including the more recent series of albums. I have the solo projects of David Ossman, Phil Austin and the several projects of Phil Proctor & Peter Bergman so I am prepared for the quartet to continue to entertain as a trio. However, their work will never be the same without your voice and inspiration. Youâve beaten SchrÃΆdingerâs Cat by being in more than two places at once when you are no longer anywhere at all. It looks like you get both death and immortality.
|The tracks are starting to play in reverse. It's ok, they're speaking Chinese. Like the word queue they cued, the 4 or 5 have made sure they all exist in each other and in each of us, no matter how many of us are left of them. What is so impressive about Peter is how he stayed engaged and enraged in the world. He was never complacent about injustice and greed. He was generous with his thoughts and made us all an everlasting gift of his them. He lives on as Mudhead the Kachina, the clown, product of incestuous spirits, warning us warning us.|
|Oy. Well, give my best to your Grandma, who waited on line with the rest of us to catch the show. See you on the other side, then.|
|God took Roy Orbison because he needed someone to teach his angels how to sing. God took Peter because he needed someone to tickle the angel's hearts and make them learn to laugh.|
|Thanks for all the laughs. You were right, we are all bozos on this bus. RIP|
|RIP Mr. Bergman. Next stop, Heaven. Peace.|
|Thanks for all the good times. You were a very talented guy - you will be missed, but luckily never forgotten.|
|an incomparable gift, to make people laugh by being silly and smart at the same time. Peter Bergman, a true one-off.|
|From the very first moment I heard"Waiting For The Electrician" I was hooked. My friends eagerly awaited each new LP and endlessly quoted the Firesign. I knew then that the FST was one of the great things of life.Thank you Peter for making life fun.I love you all.|
|Peter and the Firesigns were a major influence for me. As sad as Mr. Bergman's loss makes us, we will all be there someday. I will celebrate his life, his work and his memory. He has given us so much.|
Westbound and down. Love to all.
|Thank you Peter for sharing your gifts with all of us. You will be missed but never forgotten. My condolences to his family and his fellow masters of humor.|
|He and the other guys tickled my mind at an important time in its development. I will always be grateful.|
Religion comforts, cripples...and makes for fine silly copy.
Forward, ever! ;)
|I am tremendously saddened to hear of the loss of this bright spirit, and my heart goes out to his family, his friends, and his Firesign comrades.|
I regret that I did not discover the Firesigns in the 70s or 80s (oh, how wonderful it would have been to have *them*, along with the Pythons, occupying my witspace) but only in the 90s, when I had the good fortune to be turned on to them by a good friend who played me the magnificent *Don't Crush That Dwarf* album, of which I am still in awe. I have the same tremendous, sublime respect for you guys that I have for the Pythons: your relentless, irrepressible, exuberant creativity; your willingness to explore and exploit the possibilities of your chosen media,; your ability to provoke stunning gales of laughter again and again -- in all honesty, I think that some of your recordings should be on those Voyager discs heading off into interstellar space, testifying to the existence of an intelligent, creative, perhaps even worthwhile species on Earth. (I can hear the aliens asking: "What is an 'entrenching tool'?")
I couldn't thank you enough, Peter, so I'll just say: Goodbye.
|I fondly recall times listening to Firesign Albums in the middle of the night with headphones on. Thanks for helping to format my sense of humor, teaching me that Everything I Knew Was Wrong, and how to think bozotically.|
|There were 4 of us in the same barracks room, all "Alternative", and someone came up with a Firesign Theater album. Like everyone else, we all knew the lines and could recite back and forth at will. None of us would have lasted out our tours except for insanely humorous and fiercely intellectual offerings of Peter and the rest of the Firesign Theater. He will endure as a member of one of the highlights of American literary humor. My special thanks go to all those who write their memories here too. None of us were alone, but we are lonlier now. RIP Peter Bergman, an intelligent and good man.|
|Like many of us, I feel bereft and robbed. But also very, very grateful that I got to meet Peter and correspond with him and, most importantly, partake of his brilliance along with so many other fans. It's odd to realize how, with this first final parting among the 4or5, The Firesign Theatre suddenly turns from an ever-evolving entity to a historical artifact. We will always have the memories to cherish, but never again will we have Peter's cogent commentary and the group's skewed, ahead-of-their-time view on the events of the day. For so many decades they've helped me make sense of, well, so many decades. And now all that's left is the love. And of course, that's everything.|
|So sad to hear of Peter's passing. We'll see you on the other side of the record, comrade!|
|From the first listen of "Don't Crush That Dwarf..." I haven't been the same. Slightly more offbeat, a good deal more insane, definitely more surreal. And for that, I thank you. Thank you for the thought process, the laughs, the long conversations your work inspired among my friends and I. You will be missed greatly.|
|Peter helped shape the sense of humor of a generation. We will miss this genius.|
|I have a pickle in the paper bag for you Peter. Listening to your work again this morning has me laughing through the tears. A great one has passed onto the next stage. I know that you've got God rolling in the aisles right now.|
|He was one of the main influences on my sense of humor in the early 70s. I am forever thankful for the wide swath of satirical wit he left on my psyche when his path crossed mine.|
|I have loved the Firesign Theatre since I first heard Oh how can you Be.... and Nick Danger.. Thoughts prayers and karma to the group and Peters family...He will be Missed|
|He's upstairs helping Porcelin make the bed !|
Rest in peace oh funny man !
|Others have expressed here so many of my thoughts. Let me add that Peter, to me, was a true American Patriot. Peace.|
|Shocked. I did not know Peter had leukemia. Now, like The Beatles, I will never be able to see FT perform live. My (and the world's) great loss. The Funny Four changed my life and I am forever indebted to Mr. Bergman for being a part of it.|
|Words cannot express, dear friend... requiescat in pace.|
|I first heard him and them - The Fiiresigns - sprawled out on the floor of my flat in England in '71, and I got about a half of it. Then In '76 I moved to NYC, where I got another quarter of it. In '93 I moved to L.A and I got the final quarter. He and they were a huge part of my life...it's really quite impossible to write down what it all meant to me and us listening out here but without it my life really wouldn't be as good. I have a music website now and their are bits of Pete pinioned to intro's and outro's...on Monday I'll send his voice out there again and hope that someone else will get it. 'Insert the disc at your own risk' Pete|
|If not for Firesign, I would not have met the woman who eventually became my wife a year and a half ago. We met in 1973 when I used to throw Firesign listening parties at my father's house in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Two years later, my father and I met Peter and Phil at the Exit Inn during the What This Country Needs Tour attending two nights of the show with many friends. They were gracious and I still have the photo from that night hanging on my "LEFT" in the recording studio at my house. Peter's commercials have inspired many funny commercials my friends and I have made including (the hotel you have been looking for your entire life, "The Venus DeMilo Arms" it's a dumpy classic!...copyright 1981 Ben and Lee) All because of Peter. He has been most gracious by continually thanking me in notes for plugging OZ. He was truly a mensch! In the words of Gary the Seeker..."Seek Out, Speak Out!" Peace and condolences to all of the Firesign family during this difficult time for them from Lee and Lisa Owens formerly of Nashville, now in Hudson Florida and I'm sorry Doodle couldn't help with the label deal in the seventies...guys.|
|There is a special place in the cosmos for Peter as well for of you as your humor and wisdom have made two generations of my family think outside the box and always smile when we recite a verse on the street and someone out of the blue replies (Live on through others is your destiny!) May there be many Bozo's on the buses for Peter on his next journey! God Bless and our prays for all of you and his family during this time of remeberance.|
|This is as significant for me as losing a Beatle. Unhappy macmam.|
|Gads!@!! You weren't supposed to go until you all gigged in Michigan! Now whatta we do? I guess I'll just flip this chromium switch here...|
|I probably would not have survived High School without Firesign. Rest in peace, Peter. You really made a difference to many.|
|Peter and the Firesign guys were a huge part of my early adult life. I can still remember hearing Don't Crush That Dwarf for the first time and wondering who and what I was experiencing. Like many others, I'm now in my early 60's and still find snippets of Peter in my head every single day. Aside from 'those crazy Moptops', I can't think of an artistic group that influenced me more. Although I did not know him personally, Peter's passing leaves me with a deep sadness and feeling of great loss. The Firesign Family has lost something and someone special; my heartfelt condolences go out to Peter's actual family and those who were fortunate enough to know him personally.|
|There's a great, gaping hole in the lives of all Firesign fans. My future husband introduced me to the madness 36 years ago, with Nick Danger. We raised our kids on the albums and CDs and not a day goes by where some bit of classic dialogue gets used in a converstaion.|
Thank you, Peter, and your not insane compatriots, for all the memories.
|Thank you Dear friend,you will be missed.|
|About a dozen or so years ago, I had a question about protecting material from piracy and wrote to an email address I found for rfo.net. The reply I got was from Peter. It was a wise and generous response written his particularly Bergmanesque style. I was touched by the gesture then and am still touched to think of it today. |
Most of America doesn't know what a loss it sustained this week, but we do. He will be remembered.
|I distinctly remember the first time I heard Peter and the Firesign Theatre back in the late '60s. It was like a religious experience, something I HADN'T ever experienced in church, or anywhere else. Something was unlocked in my mind that has remained unlocked and free and open ever since. I can't find the words to adequately explain it, but I'm so happy it happened. Album after album, the Book of Plays, and my mind was filled with the joyful silliness and hilarious wisdom that just can't be found elsewhere. Although I never met Peter personally, it's evident that he was a gentle, happy, and joyful soul. Those qualities rubbed off on me, and every day since I've had all those wonderful, wacky lines and characters running through my head. I'm sad at his passing, but so thankful to have lived here on earth at the same time. We're all going to go some time. I'm grateful that his passing was quick. Thank you so much, Peter! See you later.|
|I loved him the most out of all the Firesigners because it was his idea to form a troupe in the first place...the first picture of him smiling on the back of the "How Can You Be" LP...yeah, Pete in his artful waze...then weird with a beird on Bozo...rest well pete...back on the freeway...|
|Sad to lose such a talent. Over the years I have had the voices of Peter and the boys running through my head and blurting out into my conversations any old time they pleased, frequently at seemingly inopportune moments ... but lately, since I began actually driving a bus for a living, it's been frequent. The kids have no idea how truly funny it is when that odd voice comes out of me saying, "Keep your hands to yourself. THANK you!" Peter, you can ride shotgun on my bus any day.|
|While a freshman in college in October 1968, a watershed event occurred: I first heard "Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him." A year later, as a G.I., I introduced others in my barracks to Firesign, many of whom were from CA and shouldn't have needed some guy from Maine to show them cutting edge cool. I had the first four albums memorized cold, and treated everyone I ran into to sneaky excerpts in the intervening years. In October 2010 I made a pilgrimage to San Rafael, CA to see them in action for the first time. It was my privilege to chat with all four for a time, specifically beefing with PB about NPR. I hope he got to listen to "the humble farmer" CDs I gave him. It's the sort of dry humor he would have appreciated done by another that was wronged by NPR. Safe travels, Peter Bergman!|
|1973. I remember rushing to the school library every lunch hour and listening to Nick and Rocky's fabulous banter to the point of ecstasy. I can still recite them, word for word, these many decades later, even though my old, worn out records aren't worth the cost of a dime store ring from a cracker back jox. I'm pleased to say that I'm still high on the real thing (powerful gasoline, a clean windshield and a shoe shine) and I have Peter and the rest to thank for that. You really did give us all more sugar, Peter. Peace Brother.|
|We will miss you,Peter. A sense of humor is always important - it brightens an otherwise dreary day. You made me laugh during tough times. Shoes for Industry, compadre.|
|Everything we know IS wrong ... but more insightfully informed for knowing, listening, laughing, and extrapolating. Satire, sarcasm, cynicism and optimism all balled up into a sticky jelly roll of absurd humor you could toss up, stick to the ceiling, and wait for some pompous fool to stand beneath it. Rock band fans identify themselves with stickers and buttons. Fireheads drop weird little catch phrases into conversations, look for the eye gleam and grin of recognition, smile, nod and move on to the rest of their remarkably ordinary and surreal existences.|
|Peter Bergman. There are miles of smiles and enlightened thought particles of brilliant work remembered and shared from this remarkable man. Condolences to family, close friends all over the world including broadcast grins still floating above the planet.|
|Yes, I'm getting to be an old fart and all my heroes are getting old an passing on. But the loss of Peter will greatly sadden me for quite some time. His words are an integral part of my programming, how I view the world.|
|Peter !!! In the next world, you will NOT be on your own !!!|
Say "Hello" to Pastor Rod.
You will be sorely missed.
|I am deeply saddened by his passing. A true comedic genius has moved on to the Antelope Freeway far too soon. RIP Peter. You will be missed by fans the worlds over. VERY unhappy macnam.|
|I hope that Peter is lounging in a palace built from all the laughter he created here.|
|I wouldn't be writing, if it was not for the mentoring of Peter. It may be under a dozen pen names, but there they were, inside my head. First it was 'The Bees,' then soon to become the words in rhyme. It's all our turn, to give back, after been given to. Stop looking to be entertained all the time. Get off your backsides and put it out there. That's what it is all about.|
|Going to High School in "Mariposa, Cowboy Heaven" in the early 1970s, and sweating out the draft lottery for a surrealistically horrific war throughout that entire time, I appreciated the "Not Insane" viewpoint that the Firesign Theater brought into our lives. Back then, I wanted to go into radio, and I did for a decade, taking every opportunity to touch listeners with at least a smattering of the sideways, contrarian point of view that I acquired from listening to Firesign Theater productions. Peter Bergman's voice, and the characters he created and brought to life, were a huge influence on me. I'm sad he's gone, humbled at his grace, especially toward the end, and thankful that he was here and so generous in sharing his gifts and insights. My life would have been very different without the Firesign Theater and Peter Bergman, and it seems right to acknowledge and express gratitude for that. RIP.|
|Here's hoping Peter has selected "Tropical Paradise". And remember, Dave, Phil and Phil.....all these encomiums apply to you, too.|
|You can find him down at Pop's Sodium Shop, drinking a frappe. RIP, Babe.|
|Here's where most people will put the stuff about how the Firesign Theater changed their lives. Yeah, they did mine, too. I love those guys! And idolized them. Then about ten years ago I somehow got ahold of Peter's email address and started sending him stuff: things I had noticed or read, observations, links and so forth, just as kind of a way to do some payback. And to my surprise he wrote back, often, asking me to keep 'em coming. This guy, one of the most creative minds of anywhere or anywhen, political smartguy and protean performer, was also friendly, approachable and appreciative of his audience. |
This is a big loss and a hard one. And what I admire is the fact that he was sick with cancer and kept on working, saying nothing to most of us. I've been through cancers twice, and the need for support then is really huge. A brave and brilliant man, he kept on to the end.
|I think the first time I heard the Firesign Theatre was when I was visiting a friend in his co-op in college. We were all in the kitchen, painting murals on the walls, Listening to "Don't Crush That Dwarf". Everyone in the room responded to the question on the record with "It's going to be alright!!" At some point I think a drop of paint got on the LP. I had no idea what was going on, but I was immediately hooked.|
Little did I know that years later, my friend in the co-op would get a chance to interview them on KBOO in Portland, OR.
That time in the kitchen set in motion a change in my life that would generate some of my fondest memories. I still will slip in a line from their album into conversation (and email threads, no less) to see if other's know about them. It's a bit like a shared secret.
So Peter, thank you for being part of the entity known as the Firesign Theatre. You have opened up my eyes to so many things. Yes, you died. But shrug it off, man. You'll live through it. It's going to be alright.
|There was a time when I knew all the albums by heart. They were a part of who I became in the 60s& 70s. And the humour and love kept coming, in the forty years since then. We're all still bozos on the bus, but the bus is less full and less happy with one of the drivers gone.|
Ave atque vale, magister
|This here life size replica of the heavens made entirely out of Oleo margarine houses our guru, tiny Peter Bergman.|
|Not so funny-feeling right now.|
Thanks for giving us love-ins. Thanks for laughs and more laughs. Thanks for laughs at love-ins.
We'll miss you, Bozo.
|None of us "beat the reaper." I'm sad to hear of the passing of Peter Bergman, but I'm glad for the great humor that he and the other Firesign Theater guys have provided us. Whenever I need some "regrooving" I can just pop one of their records on and revisit the special craziness of Porgy and Mudhead, Commie Martyrs High School, Nick Danger Third Eye, Happy Harry Cox, Nino the Mindboggler, Rocky Rococo, Joe from Chicago and his "gang, Willard", etc. Thank you, Peter, RIP.|
|Fare well, Peter. Thanks for being such an integral part of my early awakening and for still being there 40 years later still trying to help make senze (or at least fun) of this wakky world, and for all the years in between. Leave this plane of existence in the gentle wake of all the love you and your komrads generated for a generation of generators... Honk! Honk!|
|The New York Times has chimed in. All respect to Sgt. Bradshaw ("Lieutenant!), and condolences to his family and his loved ones--that's the rest of us, gang!|
March 9, 2012
Peter Bergman, Satirist With Firesign, Dies at 72
By PAUL VITELLO
Peter Bergman, a founding member of the surrealist comedy troupe Firesign Theater, whose albums became cult favorites among college students in the late 1960s and 70s for a brand of sly, multilayered satire so dense it seemed riddled with non sequiturs until the second, third or 30th listening, died on Friday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 72.
The cause was complications of leukemia, said Jeff Abraham, a spokesman for the group.
Mr. Bergman hosted an all-night radio call-in show on KPFK in Los Angeles beginning in 1966, Radio Free Oz, which served as the testing ground for the high-spirited Firesign sensibility. Phil Austin and David Ossman, two other founders of the four-man group, were the producer and director of the show; the fourth founder, Phil Proctor, was a frequent guest.
We started out as four friends, up all night, taking calls from people on bad acid trips and having the time of our lives, Mr. Austin said in a phone interview Friday. And thats what we always were: four friends talking.
Mr. Bergman and his friends recorded their first album, Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him, in 1968, followed the next year by How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When Youre Not Anywhere At All?
By 1970, their mordant humor and their mastery of stereophonic recording techniques had made them to their generation of 20-somethings what Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are to todays (if Mr. Colbert and Mr. Stewart had a weakness for literary wordplay, psychedelic references and jokes about the Counter-Reformation).
Their records employed sound effects in ways considered pioneering in audio comedy at the time. More generally, they were considered important forerunners of comedy shows like Saturday Night Live.
Ed Ward, writing in The New York Times in 1972, described the third Firesign album, Dont Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers, as a mind-boggling sound drama and a work of almost Joycean complexity.
Its almost impossible to summarize any Firesign album, Mr. Ward wrote, because most of their albums were so filled with intricate wordplay, stunning engineering and use of sound effects, breakneck pacing and, of course, a terribly complex story line.
When the Library of Congress placed Dont Crush That Dwarf in its National Recording Registry in 2005, The Los Angeles Times described Firesign Theater as the Beatles of comedy.
Mr. Bergman told people the ensembles albums, unlike most comedy records, were never made to be listened to just once or twice. He said our records were made to be heard about 80 times, Mr. Austin said.
While the ensemble continued making albums for three decades, Mr. Bergman also wrote and produced several one-man shows, including Help Me Out of This Head, a 1986 monologue-memoir that drew on his childhood in Cleveland. He also wrote interactive games, including a CD-ROM parody of the popular adventure video game MIST.
Mr. Bergman was born on Nov. 29, 1939, in Cleveland, one of two children of Oscar and Rita Bergman. His parents hosted a radio show in Cleveland when he was growing up, Breakfast With the Bergmans. His father also worked as a reporter for The Plain Dealer.
Mr. Bergman graduated from Yale and taught economics there as a Carnegie Fellow. He later attended the Yale School of Drama as a Eugene ONeill playwriting fellow. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s to pursue a writing career.
He is survived by a daughter, Lily Oscar Bergman, and his sister, Wendy Kleckner.
Mr. Bergman got a taste of radio work when he was in high school, according to a biography on Firesign Theaters official Web site. But he lost his job as an announcer on the school radio system, it said, after his unauthorized announcement that the Chinese Communists had taken over the school and that a mandatory voluntary assembly was to take place immediately. Russell Rupp, the school principal, promptly relieved Peter of his announcing gig. Rupp was the inspiration for the Principal Poop character on Dont Crush That Dwarf.
|Just saw him in concert. He look marvelous! |
Now there is one less Bozo on THIS bus.
|So many hours have been spent enjoying your albums. Heaven will be a bit more fun now that you're there.|
|Hope to see you again someday Dear Friend on the Funway, which is already in progress.|
|Much respect and endless thanks for your creativity and estimable wit, Peter. You helped open minds with one of the best tools available for the purpose: humor and satire. You will be missed, but to paraphrase Bill Hicks, when laughter is present, your spirit will be present.|
|The world is a little bit less funny today...Peter will be missed..the firesign theatre shapped my comedy and life|
|Firesign Theatre -- Peter and all of them -- were the biggest single influence in my becoming a comedy writer. I don't think I've ever written any piece of humor that was not in some way informed by Firesign's example. I first saw him with the group at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago in 1974, and many times since. Proctor & Bergman came to town the next year and that's when I got to meet him and Phil. I talked to him a number of times over the years in the course of interviewing the group for articles or writing reviews of their work or just hanging out backstage when they gave a show. They are all wonderful performers but I think the other guys would agree that Peter was the most natural. It was second nature to him. Give him a microphone and he could give an impromptu one-man show that would put the prepared material of most other comedians to shame (as he proved time and time again on Radio Free Oz and all of his other contributions to the lost art of radio). That's because as marvelous as being a comedian is, Peter was always much more than that. I never came away from talking to him without my mind being twisted into some unexpected shape like a child's balloon. He was one of those people who improve a room simply by walking into it, and there is no question he left this sad world a better and happier place by bringing it some deep, soulful laughs along with his three comedy brothers. I am not quite ready to deal with the fact of his leaving us. I am going to put off that evil day a little bit longer by listening to some of my favorite bits of his, like the fake commercials on the "Dear Friends" album. Maybe the fine folks at Balliol Brothers Pharmacy will fill my prescription without a prescription.|
|The best of times have been spent with good friends listening to Firesign. Courage and strength to everyone who is hurting tonight. Peace be with you, Peter.|
|You thought you were doing comedy- and you were spreading goodness and light. Thanks you all so much for everything- and so glad I caught your last performance here in Portland, where every other citizen has large, if not entire portions of your albums committed to memory.|
See you later, Peter.
|I will always remember Peter in his Arty Choke outfit with a big grin on his face as he strutted about the Beacon Theater during intermission. Pure joy.|
|Farewell Mudhead. Thanks for the ride. Rest in peace. See you on the funway.|
|My shoes are off to you, my friend...for industry!|
Thank you for everything you shared with us. After years of listening, I still am amazed to find new relevance,new insights, and more laughs from the works of Firesign. Looking forward to hearing your take on what comes next.
|I was at the local head shop in 1970 looking for a new model to replace my original head which had gotten hopelessly congested by an early-winter cold when I spied a pile of the one-sided promo 45 RPM record containing a brief excerpt of the then-new Firesign album, "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers" next to the cash register. I've been following the 4 or 5 Krazy Guys ever since.|
See you on The Funway, Peter. And I hear whatcher saying about cynicism. Truer words were never spoken by any of the current candidates!
Personally, I think it's a shame Pappoon's not running this year.
|As a just-into high school teen back in 1974, I stumbled into The Firesign Theatre - text first. I read "The Big Book Of Plays" not realizing that there were actually AUDIO RECORDINGS of those very plays. Very soon I was immersed in the surreal and silly sonics of Firesign and their side efforts. It was an education of another kind - one that (as others have said elsewhere) "rewired my brain." I was already a musician, but the music of the words and their contexts appealed to me greatly as well.|
Over time I got to make contact via letters with David and the Phils, but Peter remained somewhat of an enigma. Eventually I learned more about all the Krazee Guys, and will forever cherish the fully signed promo picture which David sent to me one year as a birthday gift, including the elusive Mr. Bergman's signature!
I don't claim to have known Peter - but I do know the results of his contributions to my entertainment and perhaps moreso the development of my lateral creative thought processes. His dream of a comedy "rock group" definitely helped set me on my own strange road in music, and I have always loved him and the rest of Firesign for that. I will carry Peter's words with me for the rest of my days, in whatever formats they come.
But for now, let me mop up this kitchen floor...
See ya on the Funway, Peter.
|It was around 1971, I was 13, and my life afterward was never the same. And Peter was my favorite. Not sure why, but he just spoke to me more than the rest.|
One of the highlights of my life was seeing them live in Chicago in 1973 on the 25th Anniversary Tour. After the show, as I was having them sign the group photo I'd bought, I told Proctor that they were my gods of comedy. He wrote "Dogs of Comedy" on the photo as he signed it, and passed it on. That photo is one of my most treasured items.
I just spent the last year systematically listening to the Duke of Madness Motors collection and their entire back catalog. Best year I ever spent.
RIP Pete. And thank you.
|This is some of the saddest news I've had in a long time. Oh, man.|
|My two older brothers indoctrinated me into the brilliant world of FST by the time I was 10 in 1970, and I'll never forgive them for it! Speak, Ketchup Bottle for the Brute and fabulous Archer of Wit who dared to toss a salad on Caeser!!|
I saw P&B at Amazinggrace in Evanston IL twice and the Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicago in the late 1970s. Always hoped to catch them all together on the Left Coast someday. I collected about 20 of their group and solo albums and memorized the best lines. Thanks to Pete and the rest for teaching me to practice all the voices in my head out loud (many are FST's). My favorite practice is arguing with the TV commercials (I know, that's the other Phil, but The Principal Poop is the same).
Back to all seriousness, you will be dearly missed, you crazee screaming pacifist!
|Log out, run on memory.|
Oh yeah, dont forget to pump your shoes!
|Who da thunk philosophy & prophecy could be so funny dear friend? |
Off to the great firesign in the sky!
Save a seat for us!
|Four pigfishes swimming bravely|
In the oceans hollow heart
Coming to the surface to warn of the storm
Floating on the surface to warm in the sun.
I would rather be a laughing fish than the
President of the Universe; but
If I must be both to float,
Then I will hollow out a boat from gentle bamboo
And set it out to sail upon the earth,
Among the stars.
And its banner shall be a Sign of Fire
And its kitchen will open from noon to noon,
And none shall go away unfull,
Even if we have to eat the moon.
I Love You, Peter Bergman!
and Philip Proctor, Phil Austin and David Ossman - my Heroes, my Inspiration, my Solace, My Dear Friends...
I am deeply saddened by this news.
This brilliant and beautiful soul brought so much joy into the world.
I send my condolences to his friends, colleagues, and his family.
Thank you for your gifts of laughter and wisdom, Peter Bergman.
|The world is a sadder place, and will never be the same again. Because you, Peter, made it different through your thought provoking comedy; you made the world a better place to live in, helping us to make sense of it all. Thank you. We now celebrate this, aware that your message and your memory will live in our hearts forever. RIP Peter Bergman|
|Peace, Love and Griffith Park. The man should be remembered as national comedic treasure.|
|My heart is unhappy (Maknam) tonight, but happier over the long run, because of Peter's genius! Thanks for the laughs, wisdom, and insight. When I do go for my ride on the Heavenly Bus, I hope we can meet on the Funway. Peace!|
|Dwarf and Bozos were my intro to the first comedy group I knew of (pre-python) and those recordings are still important in my life. The chair only has three legs now dammit. Once I'm through greiving I'll still listen and I'll try to put the balls on the other side. Bye Peter and thank you.|
|My Mom had 'How can you be...' and she played it A LOT ! I knew the lines and we would banter back and forth not bad for an 11 yr old....we still have that record in our collection. |
Fast forward to 2010 when I met my fiance, who happened to be a Firesign fan too. It was a dream come true....someone as warped and quickwitted who could throw lines back and forth with me and my Mom.
Sadly, my fiance lost his battle to leukemia too just two weeks ago.
But I'll still have that night under the dwarf maples....
|Don't be sad, don't be mad, they-love-you-they-love-you-they-love-you! So long old radio friend, and thanks for all those bozos: Lt. Bradshaw, Nancy, Bowel M. Oyle, Achmed, Joey Yoke, little Joey DeMagraphico and, of course that loveable lug Mudhead! My sister introduced me to them all from the old clothes '70s on. It was hip, like a zip! So unlock you wig, deflate your shoes and enjoy your trip into the FUTURE! Hope we all meet up again someday on the Funway!|
|I was introduced to the Firesign Theatre in 1970, when a classmate brought Don't Crush That Dwarf to our English class in Grade 12, and played the pep rally segment from the album for us. I was immediately transfixed, and became a fan for life. I am deeply saddened by the loss of Peter Bergman. I feel so empty today. The Firesign Theatre have been an integral part of my life for 42 years. I am so grateful that we were blessed with their comedic gifts for so many years. My sincere condolences to Peter's family, to Phil, Philip and David, and their families.|
|Babe....Boomer.... I love you man. Thanks for ALL the great times- you kept a smile on my face, kept me LAUGHING - since I was 12 years old, yep since 1968!! Antelope freeway, one mile|
|Words fail me...my youth was formed by many things--Firesign Theatre was one of them. I have fond memories--ones that I will cherish always--listening to, laughing at, and reciting routines.|
Thanks for the memories and rest well Mr. Bergman.
|In 1971, when I was 19 and newly married, we went to the Santa Barbara swap meet where we bought a 50s era hi-fi/radio in a blonde cabinet. We proudly plugged in our new purchase, fired up a doobie, and the first thing we heard was "We're All Bozos on This Bus". Didn't stop laughing for over an hour. Bought every album you guys put out and listened to your live radio shows for years. Your unique lexicon informed and enlightened our lives. Went to see you at La Raza center in Santa Barbara when you performed Bozos live. Listened to every Fiesta Parade you did the commentary for. To this day, random sayings will pop out: "there's a dead cat in every bar"; "but sir, they're in everybody's eggs"; "Mr. President, where can I get a job?"; "took him to a Swiss picnic, where he choked to death on a piece of cheese. And so Mr. Peter Bergman, I want you to know: we're still all bozos on this bus. RIP.|
|FT changed m'life for the better. Thank you.|
|The world is a better place because of him and so his loss is a loss for us all. I think we are all bozos on this bus...|
|Peter, you'll be missed. Firesign Theatre expanded my mind through sound at a time when vision wasn't cutting it. As an artist trying (and failing) to strike a balance between form and content, the Firesign articulated it effortlessly, an incredible mix of heterogeneous language and non-sequiturs, changes in register, flips and mobius strips, temporal displacements, all taking place within an intricately mixed soundscape. I'll be listening to all their records in the coming days.|
Marc Couroux, Toronto
|I was practically raised by Firesign Theatre. I credit my dad with introducing me to the greats. Pete's voice will always be in my memory, always linked with my childhood and youth.|
|it will be quite an improv party in hip heaven tonight. farewell Peter and I hope you are having a blast now that you;ve been reassigned..you guys gave me a set of giggles as a teen growing up in Los Angeles and at KPFK that will follow me, like goodness, mercy and the bill collectors, all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Firesigns forever. Out of the fog, into the smog, relentlessly and ruthlessly and doggedly.|
|Rest in Oz Peter.|
|On a college campus radio station in Wash DC, I basked in the reflected glory as my listeners heard selections from The Firesign Theater that I played for them. My "Bozo Show" became very popular, in large part because I played extended parts of the earliest Firesign albums on my midnight-to-5 am show. I treasure the many hours I have spent over the years revisiting their phenomenal art. We are all diminished when we lose a spirit like Peter B. Thank you, way too late, for your unique talent and the great happiness it brought to so many. Before it's too late, thank you to all the Firesign players for their wit, their originality, their joy in bringing so many characters and situations to life for the enjoyment of all those lucky enough to discover them. Thank you.|
|This guy and his cohorts-in-audio crime changed my perceptions of just about everything, not to mention my sense of humor. Rest in peace, Peter.|
|I got my first FST experience in the aircew barracks in the Phillipeans, In Subic Bay. An ordinenceman handed me a copy of Not Insane, Or Anything You Want To, saying he thought I'd enjoy it. It was engaing and funny from the first. Mind you it was at least four listens before the sense of it began to develope in my mind. At a point a few years on I could recite about 95% of it. Some folks seemed a bit intimidated by the rhetoric. Some would fall right over. |
I'll always treasure the work from Pete and his equaly talented 3 or 4 friends. The live work I was lucky enought to see and the recorded works as well.
For all else:
Don't figget when I talk to you.
Don't talk with your mouth full.
And stop tracking mud accross my nice clean kitchen floor!
|He made me what I am today. I hope he's satisfied.|
Condolences to his family and his 3 colleagues who, I hope will continue their work.
It is a rare human who can help us understand existence and laugh at the same time. He has legacy enough for a thousand people.
Capt. Beefheart, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny Otis, Sam Rivers, Jerry Leiber and others who shaped our culture died in the past year. So very sad to add Peter to the list.
I had the pleasure of spending most of a day with him and Phil Proctor way back, when I was doing a TV show. In a world of assholes and comedians who aren't funny offstage, they were both wonderfully friendly and screamingly funny.
Thanks for being, Peter.
|So much wise madness. Via con dios, Mudhead.|
|Thank you Pete Bergman, for you have made my life that much better for sharing your wit and wisdom. You will live on within me and I will continue to speak your words just as I have been for more than 40 years.|
My condolences to your immediate family and the family of millions of small
aangry men with hairy faces and burning feet
|My brothers and I used to listen to those records time and time again. I spent too much time this afternoon browsing through some of them, listening to bits and pieces. I can still recite most of the lines from memory. Peter may no longer be here, but he's still with us.|
|An Almighty Bozo has shed his mortal coil. You, me, George Tirebiter and everybody down at Ralph Spoilsport Motors will eventually end up in that Big Hole in the desert with Reebis Kneebis having breakfast....|
But you, Peter, along with those other three Bozos, gave me a profound awareness of comedy that makes the listener THINK. And I will forever remember you for giving me "Funny Awareness" every day of my life.
My older brother Mickey turned me on to the Firesign Theatre. And you guys were still commanding the airwaves somewhere in the L.A. area on the radio during that time I was in High School when I needed your enlightenment the most.
And then a few years later my friend P.J. Galligan of The Angry Samoans, another FireHead like me, used to tell me tales of him doing a live folk music show with his parents on KPFK when P.J. was a kid, and in the other room, waiting to go on the airwaves next, was a group of guys with a table full of all sorts of sound-making things, etc. - yeah, YOU GUYS.
Yes Peter, that was me & P.J. and a few other crazies in the little balcony at The Roxy in L.A. watching the Laughing Clowns Of Hollywood show - those seats were the only ones left!
Fare thee well on your final road trip, Peter. And don't forget to stop off at Bob's Brazerko Lounge for a drink....IT'S WIERD!!!!
Giant Toad Supermarket
|It was in '78 when friend John Maury hipped me to the guys. Electrician was my first experience, & what an experience it was. Ever since, life's been colored differently, & I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for the memories, every last & first one of them.|
|"Everything you know is wrong." I wish this was|
one of those times. Peter Bergman, you were
the John Lennon of comedy. May your memory be
|I was a senior in High School when I first heard Firesign Theater. I immediatly took those albums to my best friends house and we listened to them for hours. Hours turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into...well we've been listening for ovr 40 years now. |
Lou is a successful musician and he often does Firesign influenced material between songs. I became a comedy magician and I also use the kind of stream of consciousness, non sequitur comedy in my shows. My favorite part of the troupe is that even though everything seemed improvisational, they were always working from a script. Genius.
Rest In Peasc Peter...you made us laugh but most of all, you made us think about about things.
|A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to live out every Firesign Theatre fan's fantasy when I was able to meet the group prior to a show in Monterey, California. Posing as a correspondent from a nearly-fictional fanzine called Chromium Switch, the guys let me into the theater to watch their run-through. Turns out they let everybody who wanted to come in to come in, security was decidedly lax. Still, I sat mesmerized watching them do a run-through for that night's performance. I was so enthralled watching these guys "create" - or at least "rehearse" - that I forgot to do the sketches that had been my flimsy excuse for intruding on their space in the first place. After the run-through, the entrouge wandered over to a little Mexican cantina across the street for some lunch. I sat across the table from Peter Bergman. He regaled us with his patter, and as I found out later, he sort of sized me up in order to determine if he might actually make use of the feeble talents I professed to possess. Luckily for me he must have lowered his standards enough that he later added me to his Radio Free Oz team. Now, if there's one thing a top-notch audio show doesn't need, it's a hack cartoonist. This fact didn't deter Peter. I was on his team and that was that. We started to collaborate on cartoons and wild splash pages for the website. He became a regular Skyper as we hatched plans to overrun that vast New Frontier, The Internet. He eventually hung the moniker "Hal O'Dali" on me as the RFOz "house artist" - a name I won't ever give up.|
Like everyone else he came in contact with, Pete shared his great energy and enthusiasm with me. He encouraged and cajoled me and made me a better artist. He would talk about politics, literature, Buddhism, comedy, science and even the Cleveland Indians with me. He suggested books to read and movies to see. He spoke with pride about his daughter and graced my humble living room by resting his mukluks on my footstool. He made me think about, and overcome, my own prejudices and stubborness on subjects like "Intelligent Design" (his interest and thoughts on the subject went far beyond what we normally associate with those words, Intelligent Design). He became far more to me than the brilliant voice of Mudhead and Lt. Bradshaw, he became a mentor, a teacher... my Roshi. He was a wildly animated, baldheaded American Bodhisattva who knew far more than he ever let on. I loved him when I first heard him on my radio back in 1967 - and I love him even more today. I know that for a long time to come, hen I hear the Skype ringing on my computer, my first thought is going to be, "it's Pete!" - then I'll realize it's not and there'll be a catch in my throat. Like there is now.
LONG LIVE THE FIRESIGN THEATRE AND LONG LIVE PETER BERGMAN!!!
|very sad news, but not to worry, Peter will be back in the saddle again. Just not at the old same place...|
so many memories
|I am so horribly sad! This man was SO very important to me.|
ALL MY LIFE Peter was so influential, so inspiring to me for the last 40 years. I'm without words. The *world* is without words now. I will miss the voice!
|My wife wanted to watch TV tonight so I said, alright, I'll read the paper in the sitting room..........which led me to say immediately, of course, "You may sit here in the waiting room, or you may wait here in the sitting room." Who on these pages has not seen someone stumble and thought to himself/herself, "He's no fun, he fell right over". Like others here, the Firesign Theater defined my 60s experience. Rest in peace, Peter.|
|In the 40s college kids memorized Abbott & Costello routines. In the 50s they sang Tom Lehrer songs. In the late 60s and early 70s I (and my college friends) could recite Firesign Theatre bits, usually late at night in someone's dorm room augmented by our favorite, uh, stimulants. :)|
Thank you, Peter, for helping us stay Not Insane (and perhaps Not Responsible). We all will lose "Beat The Reaper" sometime; I wish you'd been able to play a lot longer.
|We're all coming out on the heavenly bus...|
|To Peter: Who didn't really trues me at first, but who felt I was probably harmless;|
To Peter: who taught love and bravery and honesty by living them;
To Peter: who mentored all who would listen (or would not) about the power and strength and nobility in us all;
To Peter: who became a friend who would speak first if I did not see him;
Yes, to you, Peter: Thank you for being here. THe thought of missing you is too painful, so I will keep you with me always. Love, edgar
|Thanks for being, Peter Bergman. That's all. Thanks for being.|
|The first time I heard Firesign Theatre was on a progressive station back in the early 70s. I enjoyed it very much.|
So sad one of the great wizards is gone now...Rest in Peace, Peter Bergman. Know that you and your great witty humor will be greatly missed in the world.
|Like so many people on this page, I've got a Firesign reflex: throw out a Firesign line, and I'll pop back with the punchline or the button or the tag or whatever. My head is stuffed full of all of that crazy, wonderful invention. |
Not today. For a couple of hours after I heard the news, I was unable to conjure any of those magic words. They'd all fled. So I'm going to hit "Add my comments" and cue up some of those old radio shows from DUKE OF MADNESS MOTORS, and then DEAR FRIENDS, and then WAITING FOR THE ELECTRICIAN, and on and on.
Thanks, Peter! You're still here: we just need to hold you close and remember.
|Sad to hear that he's passed on to the other side.|
But it's OK,
they're speaking Chinese.
|The Doctor is UNHAPPY .... Antelope Freeway Was The Next Exit and It's time that all Bozos get back on the bus please. Don't forget .. to step up. This guy was and still is weird with a beard! Peter . we love you|
|Seeing Firesign live in Marin a year or two ago was one of epic highlights I will always treasure. I've kicked myself for not going before and vowed never to miss another chance. Really grateful to have at least had that one brilliant night. Peter and FST lit up and warmed my world unlike anything. We've just lost a national treasure.|
|We're all in the bridge club, thanks to the bridges you built.|
|I am sad from the depth of the countless hours I have spent listening to this hero of the spoken word. From making me laugh to making me think, I regard Mr. Bergman as one of my wisest teachers from whom I have learned invaluable lessons. The silence is deafening.|
|I recall Peter's reciting the alphabet about 2005 or so in Los Altos, California. It was one of the group's last shows in the San Francisco Bay Area, possibly the very last. I sat front row center. Having been a fan since 1967, for me the live show was an apotheosis.|
Thank you for living in my head for 45 years. I treasure the memories. And always will.
Today the world is diminished. But at least it's unfinished. Time to occupy...
|like so many here have said, Peter and the guys collided with my life like running into a great sandstone building (oomph), when I was abou 14. My friends memorized all the early albums. I still think of Nick Danger or Uh Clem often and laugh to myself. This is surely some of the great literature of our time; not just comedy. I'll have to think long and hard about how much Peter touched my life. I hope the rest of the guys and his loved ones are O.K. This is a huge loss.|
|Firesign Theater was a big presence in my life back in the day... Thank you, Peter, for the huge part you played in that! You will be missed! I'm still quoting lines from your audio pieces and probably always will!|
|" Gee whiz mudhead, where's your school spirit?"... " It's in the rumble seat! Do ya wanna snort?"|
|RIP Peter. My best memories of the late 1960s at Wesleyan University are mostly listening to Grateful Dead albums and "All Hail Marx and Lennon", "Waiting for the Electrician" and "Don't Crush That Dwarf" with my best friends, laughing until tears ran down our faces.|
Was quite pleasantly surprised a couple of years ago to see you were still performing and bought the Duke of Madness motors box set!
Good times, good times! Can still recite more riffs from "Ralph Spoilsport" than I can of the Shakespeare soliloquies painfully memorized in High School.
|Peter, I've owed you a phone call for months. I finally called you today, hoping they were talking about a different Peter Bergman on the radio. Sigh. Next Team Ventura ride is for you. |
And, if there is an after-life, say hi to my Dad and my pal Mark Ritts.
|The worst news. One less reason to smile, yet, I am smiling, as the memories flood in.|
Rest well Peter.
|Peter's no longer waiting for the electrician I guess. Thankfully I just had a great flashback. He will be sorely missed. Godspeed Peter.|
|The Firesign Theater mean so much to me. I still hear nuance in their finely wrought, intricate, hilarious and, yes, deep albums even after umpteen listenings. There's never been anyone like them before or since. RIP Peter Bergman, shoes for the dead.|
|Thanks for all the laughs. Anyone that leaves smiles behind, have led a successful life.|
|To me the essence of the 60's was largely exemplified by the Firesign Theater. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of Peter, especially for his loved ones, but happy for the life he lived and for all the enjoyment he contributed to the lives of so many of us for so may years. RIP|
|When I was a teenager, Firesign was a way to separate the genuinely hip and the wannabe clueless. When I heard my first Firesign recording (an FM radio station played "Nick Danger, Third Eye" in the late 60s), I knew I'd found new comedy heroes. And the culmination of my Firesign love was seeing Proctor & Bergman live at The Cellar Door here in Washington, D.C. Goodbye, Peter Bergman, one of the funniest human being to walk the face of the earth.|
|Peter, you had a good long run, and we owe much laughter to Radio Free Oz... and all the subsequent incarnations it spawned. One of these days I'd like to reunite the four of you in a story, and give your consciousness another chance to stream.|
|George Carlin hipped me to the Firesign Theater. I remember the Marx/Lennon album cover from my many hours of searching used record bins, but never bought it. After reading a Carlin recommendation, I got "Dwarf" & "Bozos" & was immediately hooked.|
Then a friend made me cassette copies of then-rare recordings of the Firesign Theater Radio Hour Hour. I made a few trips from my home town of Austin, Texas, to places west & back listening to - well, memorizing - their astonishing free-form, improvised radio, & even tried - unsuccessfully, because I'm not that funny - to do something similar on a community radio station in Texas.
One of the best investments I've ever made was the Duke Of Madness Motors collection.
As for Peter Bergman - I loved his spontaneity, I loved his quick-witted asides in the middle of otherwise serious (or faux serious) discussions, I frankly loved his voice. I am sorry I never got to see the Firesigns live. But that voice, thankfully, lives on, & occupies a place in my head.
& to be honest, it usually sounds an awful lot like Mudhead.
Rest in peace, Dagwood Bumstead. So much of what I think is smart & funny came from you. xoxoxox
|Good night wizards, everywhere.|
|Our old alma mater. It's been taken apart, and stacked up, and labeled. Wise doves 'n' parish bards lazy leg in the Eire.|
|Sgt. Bradshaw (that's lieutenant!!) was the first character I remember of Peter's back in the 60s in Anytown, USA (read small town, WI). My college friends and I DEVOURED each new Firesign Theatre record that came out and we were NOT RESPONSIBLE for the outbursts of dialog the punctuated the atmosphere every time we got together. Rest in Peace Pete.|
|I came from a family in the radio business, and I was 16 or so in the mid-1980s and always been interested in the performing arts. As a teenager I considered myself a student of comedy. I vividly remember scouring the tapes bin at the local record store, and finding a copy of Dont Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers. The name Firesign Theatre appealed to the drama nerd in me, but beyond that it was a mystery. I wasnt even sure it was a comedy album. The cover and title kinda hinted at it, but they were both so weird, man! I couldnt be sure. But I had to buy it. I had no idea that it was already considered to be one of the finest comedy records ever recorded.|
I took it home, listened to it again and again, and soon I was off to other record stores to find as many of their other albums as I could. In the ensuing years I would always check the comedy section of any record store I happened to pass just in case I could find something I didnt have. Going through the bins and finding each record, whether solo albums or group, felt like finding little nuggets of gold. I assembled a nice little collection.
I took great joy in turning my friends on to Firesign Theatre. My oldest friend Jessie and I could do the whole first section of the Porgy and Mudhead routine from memory. I have another vivid memory of the first time I held Give Me Immortality, Or Give Me Death in my hands. I nearly fell right over. A new Firesign Theatre album?! Was I dreaming? I cant overstate the reverence and anticipation with which that CD was placed into the player and that play button was hit. (And the album was awesome!)
One of the great things about the Firesign Theatre is that its funny right away, but also filled with so many layers too. There are times even now that Ill learn a fact and recognize it as something the Firesign Theatre referenced in a joke years before. I love that their work continues to be so rewarding in new and unexpected ways like that. The characters and stories can also be quite affecting at times, too. The Firesign Theater is a rare entity with superb writers as well as top notch performing talent.
I hope Phil Austin, David Ossman, and Philip Proctor know how much their fans and I love them and appreciate their work and their talents. You all have enriched my life immeasurably and given me many hours of high quality entertainment. Youve created some of the finest comedy thats ever been created, in my humble opinion. Thank you!
I was never able to meet Peter Bergman, but he was an amazing talent. Peter was a great writer and an immensely talented performer. He had such range and confidence. He was so controlled, yet could really jump in with pure abandon. He had excellent timing and strength. And he seemed to be a genuinely good person, from what I can tell. I dont think many people thought he was a jerk, and even if they did, I bet he could still make them laugh.
It seems difficult to pick a favorite performance of his, but one that stands out to me especially is the climax of The Three Faces Of Al when Peter is shifting madly from character to character to character and back again. I love it. It still makes me laugh and I really enjoy his manic energy. Al Bradshaw has always been an interesting, complex character, and it was cool to make his madness the center of a story like they did. Its also a truly an inspired performance among a lifetime of inspired performances.
The tears flow now, but the memory of the good humor will endure.
My deepest condolences to Peter's family, friends, my fellow fans, and Peter's fellow Firesigns.
|So many laughs...so much fun|
|"It all came rushing back to me like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist!" I got to work a little bit with Proctor & Bergman when my old pal, engineer/producer Fred Jones did a couple of albums with them in the late 1970s (with me as an occasional 2nd engineer). Really, really nice, fun people -- tremendously talented, extremely witty and clever. Amazing voices, too. The guys were still terrific when they did a show at Barnsdall Park in LA awhile back.|
|I know the Firesign Theatre is a collective, but as with any tight knit group it is very sad when one of it's key members leaves. R.I.P. Peter. As a firesign myself I've enjoyed your work for over 40 years and can honestly say that you helped contribute to my sense of humour. You will be missed.|
|Firesign Theater helped make me what I am, for better or for worse -- I think for the better, but I only have my own feeling that I'm not insane. My thoughts are with Peter, all I can say is, he'll be in my memories and in my heart.|
|It is a difficult thing to make someone think AND laugh... and particularly hard to make someone think and laugh at the same time. He did it. |
More Sugar... it's a freaking battle cry.
|I was assigned a book for college. I didn't want to read the book, but he did the blurb on the back So I read it. It was a good book, of course.|
|As you've probably heard, Peter, you will be missed. I, for one, have been kept healthily insane by you and three other little guys since the early seventies. So long Mudhead...it's been swell.|
|Crap. Now there's only 3 or 4 crazy guys. Good night Peter.|
|"How can you be in two places at once, when you're not anywhere at all." Firesign has been such a touchstone for me over the years, that without it my warped sense of humor would be warped in a much different way. I treasure all of those recording that I first listened to more years ago than I want to remember. Thank you Peter and all of Firesign Theater. Peace be with you.|
|Peter, you helped to keep a generation not insane. For that you and those other three or four crazy guys have made the world a better place. Forward into the past. Amen.|
|It wasn't James Joyce that taught me what Stream-of-Consciousness was, it was Firesign Theater. I had all the early albums memorized, and my friends and I would drop quotes of break into entire routines at the drop of a hat under a variety of chemical inducements. Like minds could often be identified by a common love for Firesign, and I am happy to have performed several routines, even whole albums, with an impromptu tribute group several times at the Starwood Festival. The Firesign Clones members included such notables as occult authors Donald Michael Kraig and Ian Corrigan and SubGeniuses Rev. Ivan Stang, Princess WeiRDoe and Rev. Bleepo Abernathy. |
Your humor shaped our world-view and is burned into our very DNA. I've heard FST quotes from Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, Paul Krassner, Terence McKenna... all joined in on the Funway. Thank you so much for your bent and brilliant vision! You're not long gone, just back to the shadows again.
Jeff Rosenbaum, Exec. Dir., Association for Consciousness Exploration
|Peter, the world was made so much richer having you a part of it. Thank you for all the joy you brought to me. You will be deeply missed.|
|very sad. my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.|
i still have the "how can you be in two places at once" l.p. on my wall, with the pics of marx/lennon. a true classic. i have never forgotten the zany humor and the mindscapes created by this group. the work of the firesign theatre will never go away.....it will live forever.
|God's speed, Peter. You blew my mind in all the ways the music could not. I am grateful beyond words.|
|The work is a part of my DNA and has been for over 40 years. It's still here, it'll always be here. Thanks Peter...|
|Welcome to side six.|
|Wow; this man changed my life. So many hours of laughter and joy; you will be missed.|
|I know Peter was well-loved--just look at this page. I am another person that he and the Firesign touched, changed, and inspired over the years. You 4 0r 5 Crazee Guys have enriched the lives of my children as well and you can be sure the grandchildren will benefit from you humor and wisdom. Thanks for everything. Love and Beets.|
|So very, very sorry to hear this sad news; I feel as bad as when I learned of the death of Graham Chapman of the Pythons. Now the world is a little less funny than it used to be. Rest in peace, Peter Bergman.|
|First heard the Firesign Theatre sometime in the early 70's on the radio,and have never been the same.I'm unable to put to words how I feel....The world will be a bit less funny.I will miss you Peter|
|Thanks for keeping me sane in the 70's.|
|Thank you Peter for giving the gift of humor in this difficult world. And for warping my brain forever ..... I wouldn't have it any other way.|
|RIP Peter. You have no idea how many lives, including mine, you helped figger out the 70's. Many gracias....|
|All the way from Goshen to Shibboleth the flags are at half-staff, and many are upside down, some deliberately. The caisson, the muffled drums, the saddled horse with inverted stirrups, the preacher-man with the unending hiccups, and the little boy saluting by the curb - they're all there. Even Arthur Godfrey weeps unashamedly, and unaware that his fly is open and his shirttail sticks out of it. In the back row, so do I.|
|The man with all the words has left us speechless. RIP, Peter.|
|Peter, we love you too. See you tomorrow. For most of my life you influenced my thinking; influenced my actions; influenced my being. Anywhere I could I made a Firesign Theatre joke just to see who lit up and recognized the reference. As a friend said, The future will miss you, but because of you it still has quite a great future in it.|
|We were all bozos on this bus but we never knew it until Peter and the rest of you lunatics told us so. My life has never been the same since I first put that record on my college dorm record player back in 1970. God bless Peter and long live The Firesign Theatre.|
|I became aware of the FST back in 1971 while stationed in S.Korea. I was floored!! I had never heard anything like this. It was as if what was going on in my mind on a daily basis was being re-enacted by 4 crazy guys and played back on vinyl.|
I quickly became a fan and while awaiting new releases, wore my existing albums out. Now after being a fan of the FST for 41 years and on the cusp of my 60th B-day, I am deeply sadden to hear of Peter's passing. One more of my lifes hero's / influential person's has fallen to the wayside.
My heart goes out to his family and friends.I hope they can find solace in the knowledge that Peter, as a member of the FST and as a solo artist, brought much laughter and happiness to many lives across this great planet. I can assure you that he brought much laughter and happiness into mine. May he rest in peace. And hey Peter, save a Bear Whiz for me!!!
|The world just got a little darker, like when a street light blinks out when you're walking under it. Back in the early 80s at a Midwest Radio Theater Workshop someone was talking about getting a grant from somewhere to do radio theater. And of course it was Peter who said, "Sure, while you're up, get me a grant. I love it." Quick. Smart. Compassionate. David Ossman once said Peter was more genuine on mic than off. A true artist. A visionary humorist. He made me laugh. He will again.|
|Thank you Peter. May you rest in Peace. Thank you for the great ride on the Antelope Freeway.|
|When I was growing up, Firesign taught me that it was OK to be off-the-wall. That humor didn't need to fit into what was "funny" and that if you just let your brain drive it would take you to very cool - and damn odd - places. Thank you, Peter.|
I hope wherever you are, you're on a balcony you can do Shakespeare from.
|Thank you Peter Bergman for sharing your wit, wisdom and humor.|
|Goodnight Little Artie Choke. And that's no joke.|
|Thank you Lt. Bradshaw!|
|Thank you Peter, for years of fun and laughs. The horizon has moved all the way up and there is nothing left to do but raise a glass of CBWB in your honor.|
|I was 15 in 1985 and found a beat up copy of Don't Crush that Dwarf in a pile of records. Let's just say I haven't been the same since . Thank you Peter and Firesign for all the laughs and being my special friend all these years.|
|The Four (or Five) Crazee Guys are now one (or two) fewer. And we are slightly lesser for it. I've been a Firesign fan from the age of ten, and Bergman's love of the mind-expanding properties of the radio medium has inspired me repeatedly over the years, and now I have a non-commercial, freeform radio program of my own. I can do little but honor his memory in all my creative endeavors and seek that same glowing, absurd nugget of truth in the middle of everything that he went after right to the end. My eternal gratitude, Peter. And the same to Phil, Phil and David - let us ensure that those sentiments are extended to those we can be sure can hear it while they can.|
|Throughout my college dorm came the daily smell of mother nature burning and peels of laughter from FST's albums. The albums would be memorized, and lines exchanged, even years later.|
I'm so glad that I finally had a chance to see FST in LA last year.
My wife may shake her head at the humor, but those of us who know better, will always be bozos on this bus. We'll always be able to respond to "Who wonna the seconda world war, you so smart?" Somewhere Peter is out on patrol with Pico and Alvarado.
Thanks for a million laughs, Peter, and for fine political insights. You are greatly missed.
|Thank you Peter, for helping me to keep sane against the tidal wave of insanity. You are and will be missed. But remember, wherever you go, you can't get there from here.|
|I would love to be able to say something in the spirit of his work, but even if I had the ability, right now I'm too sad. So just: thank you for everything. In ways that matter to me you made my life better.|
|Every day I use a line I memorized off a vinyl record nearly 40 years ago. You made the world a better place.|
We'll see you on the flip side.
|Train's comin' through...right now!|
Buzzed on bud and Firesign with Dear Friends. Times indelibly etched by Dr. Memory. It's just this little chromium switch...yes the world as we know is a lesser place today.
|Safe travels Peter. Thanks for helping twist me into the person I am Today!|
|I shed a tear or three today. The world has lost a great humorist and intellect. He is one of the Four or Five guys that had a very serious influence on the way I and many others look at things. Rest in peace, Peter.|
|Thanks for all the laffs, Peter, and thanks for Radio Free Oz. I always looked forward to listening every day. At quite a loss for words right now. Thanks again.|
|I am saddened for the loss of a member of a great radio troupe. I first heard you on KRLA in Pasadena, CA in the late 60's, and through vinyl after that. You gave me a connection to my adopted home, though miles away from it. Safe Flight Peter. May God comfort you all.|
|You finally made the Antelope Freeway exit.|
Thanks for the memories.
|I will always remember listening to Firesign Theater and the hours of just laughing.Not a day goes by without a quote.|
|I love you, Peter. Today is very sad for me. I grew up listening to you, Fibber, the Goons, Jack Benny. I hope there is a heaven. I can't wait to hear the jam session with you and Spike and the other giants. |
Rest in peace, my friend.
|Bozo has left the Bus.|
|When I first heard Firesign Theater in college I thought; "Who are these amazing guys???" Forty some years later, I still quote the lines....|
|So many wonderful characters: Bradshaw, Rocky Roccoco, many others I learned to enjoy and imitate. My friends in college remember I could quote long passages of Firesign in all the character voices. Joy--lots of nutty joy. RIP Peter.|
|Thank you for the laughs they will live forever...|
|Peter, I hate to see you go. Yours was one of the quickest, sharpest, funniest minds ever, and your presence in the world will be sorely missed. You made me laugh, and you made me think. What more can anyone as of a Dear Friend?|
Bye, Joe Beets.
|Thanks for hanging out with us for a while, Peter. Enjoy the ride to the next exit. Thanks for everything!|
|I checked with Dr. Memory, who said, "how about that gig at the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver, doing the dead presidents, with Bergman as LBJ." Wow. Keep 'em flying indeed.|
|I feel sort of like Peter was a teacher, teaching not only what to know but how to know. He'll be long missed and celebrated. |
And, oh yeah...funny!
|I often think...how sad to leave this world, this life, without leaving something behind that will live forever.|
While THE GIANT RAT OF SUMATRA may not fit most people's idea of immortality, I can only do a slow clap.
Sleep well. You made a difference. Which is all any of us can ever ask.
|Too soon. |
I was a huge fan in my teens through the 60's and 70's . I used to read my son to sleep at night with The Big Book of Plays when he was small, so you have influenced at least 2 generations of wanna be funnymen. My deepest sympathies to the family.
|Hard to imagine any world in which Peter Bergman does not simultaneously exist.|
|The flags will be flying at half mast at More Science High tomorrow- but then, there's nothing LEFT but the flag pole!|
|The first album, which I stumbled onto in high school in the early 80s, belonged to my parents; the rest in my collection are all mine, bought by me or for me. Kind of hard to believe that the sun will come up again tomorrow, with or without LSD. Thank you for all the laughter.|
|Captain of the ineffable oceans of imagination. Mr. Bergman is a blessed soul, favorite of favorites of God.|
|You made our difficult teen years a bit more tolerable, thank you.|
All Hail Marx and Lennon
This is Merle from Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre. I can't begin to tell you how important your albums were to me, not only as a so-called humorist, but as a so-called writer. I am very sorry for your loss. The world is the less, especially now, when less seems to be the norm.
|I never met you in person. I never saw you preform live, but your voice across the airwaves and through the speakers of my sterio, left a mind opened and expanded. You have made me laugh till I cried. I will cry only as long as it takes for me to hear "Bozos" or "Dont crush that Dwarf" or "All Hail Marx and Lennon". I will chant the "Weastern Mantra" Ohmm, Ohmm, Range.|
My love, my heart and my prayers, go out to your family , friends and fans. You gave me joy. Thank you.
Thanks for the all the shared laughter, memories, and growth.
=) Happy Camper
|I pretty much memorized "How Can You Be in Two Places At Once" and "Waiting for the Electrician" and "We're All Bozos on This Bus" as a kid, but it wasn't until two years ago that I saw Firesign Theater live, once in Tacoma and once in Kirkland just this last November on the 40th anniversary of the group's debut. I was wearing a t-shirt that said "Coffee Delight Border May I See Your Passport Please?" in Turkish, and carrying a photo of me wearing the shirt in Turkey just a week before. All four guys were quite entranced with the story. I'd have a lovely photo of Peter signing the other picture, only it's sort of blurry. My memories, though, are as clear as can be. Four men whose connection to their fans was touchingly genuine. They get us as much as we get them.|
|"What are all these Mexicans doing here?"....I live in Grand Canyon National Park and I love to yell out at the tourists "I's 5,000 feet to the bottom of the Grand Canyon!!!" thanks ese for everything from listening to Radio Free Oz on my transitor radio (had to hide it from Mom you know) to all the fine shows from the Ash Grove to the Roxy...what a ride and peace be with you...|
|May his memory be eternal!|
|I was turned on by my friend George.. He would just recite the albums on the train on the way to work back in the 60's .. I decided to buy 1 myself and from then on I became a big fan.. Its so sad to lose such a great talent.. But i know somewhere he telling jokes and holding a big pickle and asking "Do you know what this is???? Rest well funny man .. My peace be with you..|
|My first Firesign was from a library when I was 13. The four or five educated me unknowingly in the art of language and shaped the writer I was to become and daily inform my speech and interaction with others. I finally got to meet the FST on the night of my 40th birthday in Portland in 2005, where as I sat betwixt Procmer and Breckman, awaiting the photo flash, informed them that I had turned 40 that night to which Osteen replied,"So did we!"The next night I brought my Goon Show companion for them to sign and Pete told me of his time with Spike Milligna ,(the well known typing error). Simply one of the highlights of my weird life. In recent years got to meet all of them and their families personally and had drinks and chat along with others of the FST family, who were so nice and accommodating as to embrace me as part of that family. Also got the chance to be a helpful lad for their shows in L.A. in 2010. For this fan boy, these people mean the world to me and as trite as it may sound as we were not related, I feel as if a beloved Uncle has passed, (you know the one who you got high with and talked about stuff you never could with your Mom and Dad!). My love and condolences to everyone in Petes' immediate family, and his comrades in the FST. I guess Pete has really answered the question of How Can You Be In Two Places At Once, When You're Not Anywhere At All..He is in the infinite and in our hearts at the same time, Nice trick Breckman! Peace and Love Phil,Phil and Dave|
|I listened to *How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All* so many times in my teens that I can still recite long stretches of "Ralph Spoilsport Motors," "Nick Danger, Third Eye," and the rest of it verbatim. What is more, I am sure that I am only one among thousands in this respect.|
|At a time when all we had was vinyl and somebody had to get up to turn the record over.....we got up and up and up and up......and laughed and laughed and laughed...until we cried. And we are sad now but as long as we can remember anything we will remember our favorite lines from all our Firesign records. We are grateful for your creative brilliance....may it shine forever.|
|I'm pretty sure I have one of the No on Yes campaign buttons somewhere. Radio Free Oz long live RFO|
|In 1974, a bunch of my high school friends and i went to see 4 or 5 crazy guys performing at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island. As was our wont, we had to figure out a way to indulge in the vices of the day. What we settled on, for reasons that were both obvious and obscure, was a genuine NYC firefighter's helmet, which served to completely cover up the face of the person holding the flaming object, as well as confining the smoky haze in a fairly well hidden place. The helmet got passed back and forth amongst us for the bulk of the performance, which was everything a bunch of teenage Long Island fireheads (get it now?) could have hoped for. At some point near the end of the show, the helmet ended up on stage, and on someone's head. If you've heard the bootleg of that show, Peter makes a reference to the "head of fire" at the end, which of course became our private little catch phrase til we all scattered to different parts of the continent over the next few years.|
So thanks for that memory.
But i need to ask. If you guys are done with the helmet, can i get it back?
|Peter, I met you in that APL computer class at L.A. Valley College. You befriended this shy young Reaganite and exposed him to the world at large, making me see all sides. The Firesign Theater finished molding what Monty Python started, giving me a healthy cynicism for the Establishment. |
You made me what I am today. I am glad we reconnected over Facebook.
I will miss you, but I will always remember what you did for me, and I will always be one of those bozos on that bus...
|I remember playing my parents' FIRESIGN records back in the mid 70s and still drop the occasional disc on the player Rocky Roccoco anyone? Such hyperreality and good fun. RIP Peter!|
|I first met Peter in the early 1960s, when he and my sister, Liz, who were a couple at the time, came home from Germany, where they'd met. Peter was wearing a huge black cloak and eye makeup, the first man I'd ever seen doing that! I was in junior high school, and thought I was fairly sophisticated, but Peter was something entirely out of my realm. He was sweet, funny, and didn't at all mind hanging out with Liz's younger sisters and brother. |
I remember all of us walking into downtown Nyack, the town we lived just outside of, and going to Woolworth's, where we picked out some goldfish and a goldfish bowl. I don't know whose idea that was or how long the goldfish lasted, but I remember the fun we had with Peter! I don't remember what happened after that; I guess Liz and Peter drifted apart (I'd have to ask her), but of course we all listened to the Firesign Theatre LPs for years.
It seems as though an entire lifetime passed, until I saw Peter on FaceBook about a month or so ago (maybe more), I wrote him a message, and of course he remembered me, and we reminisced. I told him to friend Liz, which he did, and I see on her wall that they have been in touch. He hadn't told me about the leukemia, but maybe he told her. I don't know.
I'm afraid that I'm going to have to be the one to tell her that he is gone. Not looking forward to it. But in any case, he was a wonderful, bright presence in my young life, and I'm so grateful that I had the chance to reconnect with him before he went on his merry way...
|Growing up in So Cal, if I remember this right, on his radio show he would call up random, unsuspecting people, lead them into thinking he was someone else, and engage them in crazy hilarious conversations. I vaguely recall one of his calls rang a little too close to home, and the radio station suspended him or something.|
I had just reacquainted myself with Firesign Theater after all this time. Peter is the one who stood out. I was looking forward to following him in the present. Great memories.
My most sincere condolances to you. Peter et al made me and my family and friends laugh for more than forty years, almost daily. I am most appreciative of the gift of your humor.
|One of my fondest memories is closing up the record store back in 1970, turning out the lights, firing up a J, putting on Don't Crush That Dwarf, giggling in the dark. Even with the lights out, people walking by, coming from getting an ice cream at Thrifty's, would look in and see me grinning like a badger. Long live George Tirebiter. RIP Peter|
|I was turned on to Firesign Theatre by my schoolmates in 1969. They changed my life by changing the humor center of my brain! I saw Pete in performance with the group and with Phil Proctor as well. My kids have been fans as well, from childhood. I will miss the Zen of Pete and will always have fond memories of him & the guys. It hurts like losing a family member - a brother or a weird uncle... RIP, PB.|
Thank you for making my college years hysterical. I still run into people (ouch!) who catch my Firesign Theater references & run with them. That's how I know them to be be kindred spirits. You will be missed, but never forgotten.
|The world just got a little less funny... My best wishes to the Firesign and immediate families!|
|So sorry to hear the sad news of Peter's passing. My condolences to all his friends and family, and to all the fans out there.|
|we were there in the beforetime, got all the albums upon release. met P & B for the first time in '76 while shooting a promo with a friend of mine. |
ran into him several times at K.P.F.K during fund drives, doing his "Baldy" show.
most of us who "Know" know that no encomium can do justice to any of these (4 or 5) guys.
glad i went to last year's L.A. show, but sad that, like The Beatles, there are no more complete reunions.
thanks for the laughs, P.
|Thanks for the laughs man. You guys occupied many a night with myself and my friends siting around the turntable. We always heard something new every time we listened. Fair thee well.|
|I remember this vividly. It was 1977, I was seven years old and I was at the local library going through the spoken word records (I was a weird child) and I found the album Don't Crush That Dwarf; Hand Me the Pliers. In my seven year old mind the cover was cool, and I loved the name of both the group and the album. I don't know how many times I listened to it before I even turned eight. I grew up with the Firesign Theatre, they made me part of who I am, even named my first comedy CD Don't Punch Me in the Face; I Just Bought New Boobs in subtle tribute. I've spent the day listening to the albums (Some I haven't listened to in some time) As sad as today is, I've been smiling and laughing. No matter what, the bus will always be filled with bozos|
|This is essentially what I wrote on peter's wall this afternoon:|
I was turned onto the Firesign Theater by my big brother as an impressionable 10 year old in the early 70's, memorizing Nick Danger and telling my puzzled friends, "it sure is nice out... we oughta keep it out". In the early 80's, I went on to share the joy and brilliance with the new friends I met at SUNY Fredonia, who deconstructed and memorized like I had... Came and went, as, at times, they did as well. In the last 6 months or so, I've hunkered down with Peter's podcasts and reveled in his thinking, his observations, and the topical bits he included in each one. I'm hoping Ubetthe Pharmaceuticals takes my cholesterol medicine generic soon. I found it odd that there was no Wednesday podcast, and Thursday's was a guest hosted 'Best of'. I was hoping he was under the weather. This is so, so much worse.
Safe home, Mr. Bergman, and thanks for so many years of intelligent, thought provoking, and above all, funny art.
|Good-bye and thanks for all the years of finding truth in absurdity. You will be missed.|
|Here is my Huffington Post piece on the 40th anni of Firesign, with a great Peter Bergman remembrance thrown in there...Much love and appreciation, Lt. Bradshaw. I wish you were still here to tell us all to shut up one more time.|
|Thank you, Peter... Hail and Farewell. Peter's creativity and humor live on every time we, or our kids, or friends, spout lines from one of Firesign's brilliant albums. He's one of us, and we're one of him, I think.|
|Rest In Peace Peter, knowing you brought laughter to millions...|
|My fond memories of The Firesign Theatre began in the 1970's being introduced through Nick Danger and then those Fighting Clowns. My first hand experience was witnessed at The Roxy on Sunset Blvd in 1980. In later years, shared a microphone with David Ossman at 90.7 KSER, more witnessing in Seattle and most recently in Kirkland.|
Peter Bergman, you will be missed by many, and I am sure there's a microphone waiting for you beyond. Peace be with you all.
|Peter came to my podcast and we struck up a friendship. He was warm funny and one of my comedy heroes. I shall miss him.|
|The first comedy album I ever listened to extensively was an 8 Track of Dwarf. My friend had a car, a player and Don't Crush That Dwarf. I rode to school, to lunch and around town after school with him in 1970. He was constantly switching tracks to hear different skits. His switching around added a layer of randomness beyond the layers of randomness designed in by FST. Zanny? Crazy? Madcap? Yes, yes and yes. Countless laughs over the decades since then. Oh yes, I'm the only Firehead I know who owns a copy of the DVD of "Zacharia".|
Peter...thanks for the laughs. Maybe you really CAN be in two places at once, after all.
|I remember seeing FST on the Strip in Hollywood back in the 70s and many shows since then, up to the taping of the CBS special and I will miss Peter and his humour. This is a very sad day and I wish his family and the members of FST the best in this difficult time.|
|Born in '68 -- Dad had all the FT albums and TV OR NOT TV -- they were my "children's records," especially DEAR FRIENDS and the Proctor and Bergman. My brain and language has never known a world without The 4 or 5 Crazee Guys, and I can't think or speak in any way without a bit of Firesign in there, and Bergman's Voice (learned from his commercials on DEAR FRIENDS) is what comes out of my mouth. This hurts most because his work seems not finished -- he was still The Wizard of Oz, fighting the good fight on Radio Free Oz has he was at the beginning, and FT still existed and still moved forward. Thanks, Unca Pete -- I'll miss you.|
|A best friend's father owned a record store that Peter worked in in Ohio as a kid ... Years later while working as a professional DC area stage actor with that friend, I went to see 'Proctor and Bergman' (I think it was a 'TV Or Not TV' promotional tour) at the Cellar Door in Georgetown, and was fortunate enough to meet them backstage and enjoy some conversation ... They were (as expected) very accessible, and friendly. |
Years after that ... and after spending time in TV and film, as well as on the stage, I started a comedy group with four like-minded friends in the Norfolk/V.B. area, called 'Open Season' which parodied the media ('live TV' on stage with a haywire remote was the concept)- We played the colleges and comedy clubs throughout the U.S. during the '80's ... and we played the major clubs in NYC often during that time. At 'The Comic Strip, Steven Wright often told me that we reminded him a great deal of an odd combo of the 'FST'; 'Ace Trucking Co.', and 'the Committee' ...
If Peter and the rest hadn't paved the way in the '60's, and '70's, we probably wouldn't have existed at all either ... and even though I later spent time in solo stand-up once we had split up, I'm certain that 'group comedy' wouldn't have been a consideration for me from being simply a Marx Bros. fan ... Peter - your influence with FST and P&B was IMMEASURABLE in my development ... and I love you all for being a part of my upbringing ...
Peter has 'immortality' now, through his art ... and he proved that 'cerebral'; 'artistic', and 'funny' DO go together ... (and are almost a necessity for political commentary, in this day and age) ...
As a bone cancer survivor I am so glad, for Peter's sake, that he was able to keep making people laugh and think (all the way up until it was time to finish up his 'set') by his continuing to do 'RFO' vin recent years... and then to be able to step behind the curtain, and head off the great big universal greenroom, backstage is almost perfect ... For a performer and comedy writer to not have to endure years of sitting around without doing your thing is almost a dream come true - and while his friends and family will miss him, at least there is that to consider ... He metaphorically went with his rubber nose; hand buzzer, and big shoes on - and with a microphone in front of him just shortly before he was called up yonder ... Though the tank said 'E' that's always stood for excellence in my good book ...
Peace and Love, Peter ... and thanks ... Save me a 'Bear Whiz Beer' on the otherside ... Scott
|Rest well, Peter. You were a source of inspiration and sanity in an insane world. We were all better for having known and heard you.|
|I have loved Firesign Theater since I first heard you so many years ago it doesn't seem possible. My parents lived in Westchester, so the LA references were priceless. My best friend and I still use lines from all y'all like "10-4 Eleanor" and so many others I can't list here. Peter was a genius. No other word seems more appropriate for him and for each of you. Peter will live in my heart as long as it beats.|
My deepest sympathy to his family, to the Firesign Theater family, to your friends, fans, and business acquaintances. I thank you and Peter for the gift of laughter that I treasure.
|RIP to a comic legend|
|The first record album I ever bought with my own money was Don't Crush That Dwarf.|
I'll never forget seeing Peter and Phil P. they came to Detroit in '75 and '77.
|We would play those albums and laugh, learn all the words and laugh some more. Thank you Peter.|
|Met Peter and Phil after a show of "TV or not TV" at Ebbets Field (nightclub) in Denver back in 1974 or so. We ( Open Egg Theatre) were doing a stage version of "Anything You Want To" that we transcribed from the record and brought them a poster. They both seemed genuinely excited that we were doing the show. |
Gone to the big LOVE IN in the sky...
|RIP Peter Bergman.|
|A few years ago one of my sons was involved in staging Nick Danger and it brought back such wonderful memories of my high school days helping to translate the tape for a dramatic performance and helping to translate the humor to the next generation. Stone cold sober (perhaps not the way I first experienced it)it was still the most fun I have ever had. May the knowledge of the joy Peter helped to bring to others help ease the pain of those who knew him best and will miss him the most.|
|RIP, AND...in the next world i hope we meet again.|
|I doubt if there's a single computer hacker who doesn't know at least one line of dialogue from "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus". Thanks for all the cerebral humor, Peter. You helped make my adolescence bearable.|
|Foward into the Past. RIP|
|I'll never forget seeing him with Phil Proctor at the Bijou Cafe in Philly and being introduced to Miss Information...|
|Hey Peter, I am lucky to have known you and worked with you. See you soon.|
|At times of insanity, you were a voice for inspired lunacy. In other words, you helped keep us sane. May your memory be for a blessing and many laughs in times to come.|
|I've been a lifelong fan of Peter's work with the Firesign Theater, and last year I came across his excellent podcast. He was a regular part of my day. His strong and youthful voice made me confused at first if I'd found the right Peter Bergman. I wish I'd been fortunate enough to have met the man, but I'm glad to have known him as much as I did through his work. RIP, Peter.|
|I have COUNTLESS hours of listening to FT Saw Peter & Phil at the Roxy Theater in Northampton PA for 1.00 in the mid 70's and it was worth every buck !!|
|You're dead and I'm still waiting for the electrician. Godspeed, sir.|
|I first heard Firesign in college back in 1969 and spent the next few days laughing and buying all the albums I could find. RIP Peter, a true comedic genius!!!|
|peter bergman was my favorite firesign member ever since i discovered that he & i share a nov 29 birthday. that's when it also dawned on me that all four members are fire signs according to astrology. that certainly explains the "don't crush that dwarf" cover.|
firesign helped fine-tune the art of the pun, the art of timing & the art of funny. peter will forever be missed. so glad i saw the portland live show last dec.
|He was a singular talent, fortunate to find three others. I'll miss his voice and the razor sharp mind behind it. Only fools will rest easier tonight.|
|I am totally stunned,what a sad day .But at the same time I am listening to some classic FST bits here at home and grinning as always.I remember listening to that guy on catnip and thinking I was in college !|
|When I was in Nam (1970) and a member of the Group W Bench, there came a night when a guy with a reel-to-reel tape player pulled out his tape of the Firesign albums up through Dwarf. We sat and listened to all of them. After that it was almost a daily ritual to listen to that tape. Within days all of us had large portions committed to memory. You'd be in the shop and someone would go "Killing pigs ain't kosher, sarge" and we'd take off. I got to where I did a real good Ralph Spoilsport. Now the only thing to say is, RIP Peter. Thanks for 40+ years of thoughtful laughter.|
|Condolences to all his friends and family.|
First saw Peter and FireSign in "The Case of the Missing Yolk", then ran out to get all the lp's.
Sad that such a creative guy is gone...
R.I.P. good sir.
|Don't know what else to say except thanks and God speed.|
|Perhaps Jonas Acme will be reunited with his Zeppelin Tube after all. No offense to Little Willard, the Suma-Raton. Perhaps we don't have to wait for the Electrician forever. Thanks for all the deep and passing laughs, Mr. Bergman.|
|May Happy Hamburger recite the book of the dead tonight.|
|my funny bone is broken and we have lost a man with more wit and wisdom than anyone will know...|
We have lost one of our favorites. While are thoughts and prayers are with Peter's dearest, let us all celebrate his memory and cherish the joy Peter brought into our lives forever.
Oh what a voice.
|A fair for all, and no fair for anybody. Godspeed Peter Bergman.|
|Peter Bergman was one of those great talents whose keen wit saved me from becoming a '70s-era vegetable (well, at least from becoming a cooked vegetable). Fondly remember when he came to town with Mr. Proctor in the "TV or Not TV" days. Will miss him greatly. My deepest condolences to the family and "dear friends." Farewell.|
|Farewell Mr. Bergman, and thank you.|
|Damn, been a fan of you guys since the summer of '73 and have turned numerous of my friends and my son (and HIS friends) on to you guys...Proctor and Bergman were always my favorite 2, and lo and behold it was Phil whose posting I saw first Peter had passed. From all the postings crowding FB, I'm sure you guys can see how much you're loved and how much Peter will be|
missed. Godspeed to the remaining 3 (now stand tall Porge...),
his family and hopefully more of you guys in the future. JM
|I had never met Peter personally, but the genuine warmth that came through his performances and interviews made me (and others, I'm sure) feel as if we were friends. And so, I feel that I have lost a dear friend this morning. Thank you Peter, for all the fine work. You will be sorely missed.|
|Thanks for all the laughter; it was true light against the darkness and insanity...|
| I think back to all the days we would skip school and go to my best buddy Chipper's house, get high and listen to the Rolling Stones and Firesign. Our lives would never be the same after that first listen to 'Waiting for the Electrician'. It soon became apparent that we would choose our "real friends" easily by whether or not they knew of the 4 or 5 Krazy Guys.|
I was lucky enough to meet them in Monterey a few years back at their first reunion show in many years. Pete took a liking, as did the others, to my Deputy Dan T-shirt.
Sigh. My eyeball hat is crying many tears tonight.
|The Great Beyond, 1/2 mile. The Great Beyond, 1/4 mile. The Great Beyond, 1/8 mile. The Great Beyond, 1/16 mile. The Great Beyond, 1/32 mile.... Peter, eventually we will all get there. You made the trip fun.|
|I first heard your unique humor when I was in college out in Denver, CO. I have never been the same. Thank you!|
|I particularly appreciated the last few seasons of Radio Free Oz podcasts. I thought it was admirable that he seemed never to stop pushing at the bounds of awareness among his listeners. |
Oxblood! I got some Oxblood! I got some Oxblood Kiwi heeeeere...
|You are one of the progenitors of popular post-modernism, a post-modernism that made so little sense to so many, and made so much nonsense unmasking the sensible, and we will miss you.|
|He made bald beautiful, long before the rage!|
|After one the Firesign shows I was invited to a small get together at a local pub where I hung out with Peter. I found him to be, not only interesting and funny, but insightful, thoughtful and genuinely warm. With sincere admiration for his talents, I will miss his characters and his place in the Firesign Theatre, and I am just happy to have been able to enjoy his (and their) insanity, all these years since I first heard them on the radio in 1968.|
|My sincere condolences. |
Peter is a hero of mine.
|How can this be? We just had lunch a couple of weeks ago - and had great fun at Greg Proops' Vodcast. Damn. Goodbye old friend. Thanks for the great times and your hard work. I can't believe this is... the end.|
|Thanks and Good Travels, Peter! |
You have really been a GREAT influence my personal thinking here presently.
Saw you and FS many times in El Lay back in the olden days... The laughter and passion you brought to us sure helps dealing with you having to move on...
|I was shocked to hear this... i always viewed peter as this unstoppable force of humor. As one of my chief inspirations I would not be the dada artist i am today without Peter Bergman. I will miss him terribly.|
|Years later I can still recite Firesign material. Praise the Hoove!|
|This time I wish everything I knew WAS wrong...|
|Will Peter FINALLY find out how to be in two places at once? We've lost a brother, or someone like him. I was introduced to the FT in 1969 while in the Navy. I've never lost sight of them, and I was fortunate to introduce their humor to lots of other folks - including my own. I even married a girl named Nancy, whose hot kiss is not at then of a wet fist. The writing and humor was, and is, so fresh. I'll miss Peter's presence, but perhaps when I get to the next place, it'll be full of it. So long Porge, keep 'em flying . . .|
|You, my dear friend, helped me 'put the balls on the other side.' So, I'll be looking for you when I get there!|
All hail, The President.
Sending you infinite love, Peter.
|"Everyone knew [him] as Nancy." Farewell, old friend I never met, and thanks for all the laughter and insight you gave us. "Shoes for Industry," and "More sugar," Pete, "More sugar!"|
We'll all miss you, Peter.