The Musical Transportation Spree‘s January 1, 2000 show within a show, UFO Update, rounds up favorite UFO events in a “Millennium of UFOs” by investigators Richard Moss, Craig Lang, Casey Holt, Mike Driscoll, Colorado’s Christopher (Mysterious Valley) O’Brien.
Years before Spike Jones and his City Slickers combined funny music with rude noises and zany, choreographed shows, Freddie Fisher (b. 1904 Lourdes, Iowa) showcased his own brand of Dixieland jazz & hayseed havoc in the mid-1930s. Fisher was expanding upon the sound of then-successful corn-fed cut-ups, The Hoosier Hot Shots. Fisher’s “Schnickelfritz” band antics included punctuating a musical note with the opening outhouse door on stage that revealed a bare-assed occupant; mimicking a locomotive to the tune of “The Wreck of the Old ’97” and peppering their lyrics with double-entendre.
Fisher’s Schnickelfritzers initially gained a devoted following playing at the Sugar Loaf Tavern in Winona, Minnesota, then moved to bigger venues in St. Paul-Minneapolis. The band impressed visiting entertainer Rudy Vallee who brought them to Hollywood. Freddie recorded dozens of sides for Decca Records and opened his own nightclub in L.A. Later he made Aspen, Colorado his home and continued to play until his death in 1967.
From the dusty orange crate of tapes comes this 45 minute aircheck excerpt of the second show of The Musical Transportation Spree (KFAI, Minneapolis-St. Paul, 1991-2006). Independent cassette culture spotlight during the Now That’s Interesting portion features Plastic Eye Miracle, a dream from The Rudy Schwartz Project (from Don Campau‘s Dreamscape compilation), Rev. Billy C. Wirtz (ad), with an extended music set of The Tesla Ensemble from Michigan. Hosts Chris Waterbury, Bernard Olson with Jerry; show intro by Patti Walsh. Listen: https://archive.org/details/MTS_07211991
In honor of the 60th anniversary of science-fiction movie classic Forbidden Planet, here’s Jerry’s interview with Bebe Barron, co-composer of the amazing electronic soundtrack. She and husband Louis Barron (1920-1989) previously worked with John Cage, Edgard Varese. Listen: https://archive.org/details/bebebarroninterview
Special thanks to the late Charles Brin for making possible this interview aired on The Musical Transportation Spree‘s show-within-a-show, the Spinner Sanctum “Electronaganza” in 2000; featuring bonus interview material not part of the original broadcast. Bebe Barron passed away in 2008. Thanks also to Julian West, Chris Waterbury, Incredibly Strange Music Vol. 2 (book).
Tony is considered one of the greatest exponents of the Chapman Stick (pictured). He’s also a sought-after session musician, playing for Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Catie Curtis, Buddy Rich and many others. Tony talks about his work with them, running his own independent record label, and his unique love of barbershop quartet harmonizing.
Also heard: The Clams, Tony’s rare 45 spoofing The Carpenters’ “Close to You” (ala Spike Jones).