I think that the best way to introduce in a few lines Larry "Wild Man" Fischer is to copy the sleeve notes of the Derailroaded
DVD, hoping also to encourage you to try and see this brilliant documentary about the cult-artist:
"de-rail-road-ed (di ral’rod ed) 1. pt.; a neologism; one man’s psycholinguistic and schizo-musical metaphor for derailed, to have caused a train, mind or life to go off the tracks. 2. proper noun; an 86 minute documentary feature.
In this shocking and sensitive musical journey through the thunderstorms of the mind of paranoid-schizophrenic Larry “Wild Man” Fischer, we follow his discordant encounters in the music business. Institutionalized at 16 after attacking his mother with a knife, Fischer wandered the mean streets of L.A. singing his unique brand of songs for 10¢ each to passersby. He was discovered by Frank Zappa, with whom he cut his first record album, including the enduring dada rock classic ‘Merry Go Round’. A precursor to punk, Fischer became an underground club and concert favourite, earning him the title of "godfather of outsider music." Over the course of his 40 year career, Fischer has performed constantly, is the first artist ever recorded on Rhino Records, was featured on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, had a top hit in the UK Pop Charts with ‘Go To Rhino Records’, which featured in John Peel’s Festive Fifty 1976, was the subject of his own comic book, was a mainstay on The Dr Demento Show , and even sang a duet with the late Rosemary Clooney.
Extensive archival footage from Fischer’s early days, including his TV and club performances, trace his life from neglected child to tortured genius. We visit him at home, follow him on the streets, and speak with those who over the years witnessed – and survived – his erratic behavior: his family, his doctor, and industry professionals including Frank and Gail Zappa, Weird Al Yankovic, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Solomon Burke, Dr. Demento, and Barnes and Barnes. You will be moved, amazed, repelled, and ultimately come to know what it is like to be profoundly DERAILROADED."
Fischer recorded four LP's plus a live album with Smegma. The double album An Evening With Wild Man Fischer, produced by Zappa in '68, has never been re-released. All the music he recorded for Rhino Records
, most of it perfectly produced by Barbes & Barnes
, had been gathered on the Fischer King
box set, that is no longer available too. It looks like all you can buy is Wildmania
, the number 1 album in Rhino's catalogue.
The movie, that hopefully will arouse some interest around Fischer's music, is very dramatic. Like Crumb
, the documentary about the famous underground cartoonist and his family, it proves how some of the most sincere and intense artistical expressions can come from a diseased mind. Larry is a manic depressive paranoid-schizophrenic, and this brought a lot of suffering in his life.
One of the most interesting extras featured on the DVD is an amazing animation by the great illustrator Pat Moriarity
, based on the song The Bouillabasse, that exposes effectively Larry's obsessions.
Wild Man Fischer - The Bouillabaisse
Check out this post
on PCL LinkDump
for more infos about Wild Man Fischer, and also to download two of his albums!
(animation by Pat Moriarity)