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I'm A Christmas Tree:Wild Man Fischer

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Artist: Wild Man Fischer

Album: The Fischer King

Appears On (Mixes): Most Folks Call Them Green Onions, But They're Really Scallions

Song Notes: This is a collaboration between Wild Man Fischer, Barnes & Barnes and Dr. Demento on vocals, taken from the Rhino Handmade release The Fischer King. The Wild Man Fischer story is very, very interesting and very, very sad—a documentary was made about him this year, Derailroaded, which I heartily recommend to everyone. The Northwest Film Forum played it earlier this year, but it might play in town again, or be released on DVD. For those who missed that great film, Larry "Wild Man" Fischer's been putting out records since the 1960s, when he was discovered by Frank Zappa (who seemed to see him more as a freak show to promote himself, although there is controversy as to whether or not he actually liked Wild Man Fischer as a musician/singer or not; the promotion of the album, however, makes the "Freak Show" side of things a bit more likely). When he and Frank Zappa had a falling out (Larry's a paranoid schizophrenic, and had a violent episode near Gail Zappa and an infant Moon), he disappeared for a while and came back on Rhino Records, with his first single, "Go To Rhino Records," for the new label (which was THEIR first single too!), and put out their first LP, Wildmania. After that, Barnes & Barnes produced his last two LPs. Most of his output (the album he recorded on Zappa's Bizarre label hasn't been reissued; Gail Zappa is sitting on the rights and is refusing to release it) was compiled, along with a bunch of new and bonus tracks, as The Fischer King, and his most recent work is in the documentary. This isn't one of his best songs, but, like all of Wild Man Fischer's stuff, it's catchy and gets stuck in your head. And it's Christmas, too! Rhino seems to be reissuing the individual albums (at least Wildmania, which is sadly, his weakest) to stores, so you might want to keep an eye out for that (or preferably, if they're re-issued, his two with Barnes & Barnes, Pronounced Normal and Nothing Scary, which are both very, very good.) - Rev. Syung Myung Me

 

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