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Firesign Press Release - 12/3/2013

Marching to Shibboleth Available January 14
(Supercedes the 11/17/13 "Shibboleth" Press Release)
Also - Coming Soon: Eat Or Be Eaten Re-Release

Marching To Shibboleth - book cover




(Please Note: Pre-Release Orders Only)

(Los Angeles, CA - December 3, 2013) - Out of print for more than 30 years, the Firesign Theatre's two classic script collections, The Firesign Theatre's Big Book of Plays and The Firesign Theatre's Big Mystery Joke Book are returning to print in a single volume with never-before-published bonus material, MARCHING TO SHIBBOLETH, available exclusively from Greil Marcus.

MARCHING TO SHIBBOLETH presents all the words to Firesign albums whose titles alone have entered the American language: Everything You Know Is Wrong, How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All and I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus.

This new Big Big Book features Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers, called "the greatest comedy album ever made" by Rolling Stone, described by the New York Times as "a multifaceted work of almost Joycean complexity," and placed in the Library of Congress' Archive of historic recordings.

MARCHING TO SHIBBOLETH also contains Firesign's most popular works, Nick Danger, Third Eye, an occultly noir radio gumshoe who has inspired innumerable copy-cats; Waiting For The Electrician or Someone Like Him with its famous "Beat The Reaper" game show; and The Giant Rat of Sumatra, their definitively druggy Sherlock Holmes parody. Several shorter pieces include "Temporarily Humboldt County," a savage pageant of Native American exploitation. And the book includes, for the first time in print, the complete script to Firesign's 1974 Nude Age opus, Everything You Know Is Wrong.

Called "The Beatles of Comedy" by The Library of Congress, the four-man Firesign Theatre collaboration wrote and performed together for over forty years, but their early studio work (1968-1975) for Columbia Records remains their best known and most influential. Innumerable phrases from their albums have entered the English lexicon: What's all this brouhaha? More Sugar! What you don't mean won't hurt you! Not Insane! Forward Into the Past! Shoes for Industry! Your brain may no longer be the boss! He's no fun, he fell right over!

The iconic comic voices of the counter-culture generation, Firesign chronicled pop, politics, media, and technology in a tense one listener called "the Future Inevitable." Reading the scripts gives clarity to their layered dialogue and presents the group as the original and innovative writers they are.

The Firesign Theatre has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Kesey and Bob Dylan in their original use of language and to the surrealists in their psychedelic story-telling methods, including the time-and-space altering concept of "channel-switching." The original albums, intricately produced in multi-track recording, were designed for multiple listenings and meanings - an audio Theatre of the Absurd.

The Firesign Theatre's Peter Bergman passed away in 2012. Remaining Firesigns Phil Austin, Phil Proctor and David Ossman have worked since then to preserve the long heritage of their partnership. All their major albums are still in print, some eighty hours of their early radio broadcasts have been released in Duke of Madness Motors, and two matching volumes preserve their early radio plays ("Exorcism In Your Daily Life") and stage plays ("Profiles in Barbeque Sauce"). A fourth book, Anythynge You Want To, not only captures the many variations of Firesign's Shakespeare send-up, developed in their stage repertory over thirty years, but offers a scholarly account of the heretofore unknown adventures of Ye Olde Firesygne Theatre, from 1600 to 2000.

Their next scheduled re-release is a deluxe CD reissue of their 1985 album "Eat or Be Eaten", to include 28 minutes of never-released bonus tracks and a bonus video, coming soon from archival comedy label

MARCHING TO SHIBBOLETH will be sold only from the group's official Firesale Store on It is currently available for pre-order. The book's official release date is January 14, 2014. Price postage-paid is $35 ($40 for International orders).

The latest news from Firesign can be found at their Website, and on the Firesign Theatre's Facebook page. The members of Firesign are available for interviews - please direct inquiries to the Firesign Theatre contact form.

To request a review copy, please contact Taylor Jessen at

Publicity images can be downloaded from this page.



Pre-order now through the Firesale Store

Coming Soon - Eat Or Be Eaten Re-Release

One of the last remaining out-of-print Firesign titles, Eat or Be Eaten, is returning to CD very soon exclusively from

The 1985 comedy saga of "Player" (Peter Bergman) and his quest to get in and out of a buggy video game before it eats him alive has been out of print for two decades. The album's world of Kudzu County was built and developed by Firesign over four years in a project that took the form of a computer game, a Cinemax special, a comedy album, and even a never-produced sitcom pilot.'s new CD reissue includes the complete original album, 28 minutes of unreleased bonus tracks, and a bonus Quicktime movie of Eat or Be Eaten with subcode graphics: until now seen only by that rare few that purchased the original 1985 CD release (the world's first CD+G disc!). The package also features never-released game art, plus a new historical essay by yours truly explaining the whole convoluted history of Eat or Be Eaten, starting with the never-produced video game that's now lost to history...or is it?

Check the Firesign home page as well as the Press Release index, Facebook and/or Twitter for more information and updates.

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