Wild Man Fischer
|Wild Man Fischer|
|Birth name||Larry Wayne Fischer|
|Born||November 6, 1944|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California|
|Died||June 16, 2011(aged 66)|
|Associated acts||Frank Zappa, Barnes & Barnes, Mark Mothersbaugh, Rosemary Clooney, Dr. Demento|
Larry Wayne Fischer (November 6, 1944 – June 16, 2011), better known as Wild Man Fischer, was an American songwriter in the outsider genre. He was notable for being responsible for Rhino Records' first release, Go To Rhino Records (1975). Fischer's highly unusual style had developed a cult following.
Early life and career
Born Larry Wayne Fischer in Los Angeles, California, United States, Fischer was institutionalized at age 16 for attacking his mother with a knife. He was later diagnosed with two mental disorders — severe paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression). Following his escape from the hospital, (he said no one ever bothered to take him back to the hospital), Fischer wandered Los Angeles singing his unique brand of songs for 10¢ to passers-by. Discovered by Frank Zappa, with whom he recorded his first album, Fischer became an underground concert favorite, earning him the title "godfather of outsider music." Zappa was responsible for Fischer's initial foray into the business of music, an album called An Evening with Wild Man Fischer, contains 36 tracks of "something not exactly musical." Zappa and Fischer remained close, until Fischer threw a jar at Zappa's daughter Moon Unit Zappa, barely missing her. Due to this falling out, Zappa's widow Gail Zappa has not yet released An Evening with Wild Man Fischer on CD.
In the 1980s, Fischer worked with Art and Artie Barnes (actually Bill Mumy, of Lost in Space/Babylon 5 fame, and Robert Haimer), to produce two albums, Pronounced Normal (1981) and Nothing Scary (1984).
In 1986, Barnes and Barnes also wrote and produced "It's A Hard Business", a duet featuring Fischer and Rosemary Clooney. The song was the result of a telephone friendship that began after Clooney heard Fischer's song "Oh God, Please Send Me A Kid To Love." In 1987, Fisher performed his only East Coast performances at the Mass College of Art and Design.
In 1999, Rhino released The Fischer King, a two-CD package comprising 100 tracks and a 20-page booklet, which sold out within weeks. The limited-edition album comprises his entire Rhino catalogue, including the albums with Barnes and Barnes and Wildmania (1977), along with his duet with Clooney. Fischer also appears as guest vocalist with the noise band Smegma on their album Sings Popular Songs.
In 1998 Robert Williams (drummer) (former Captain Beefheart) "Date with the Devils Daughter" album includes Hello Robert, which consists of messages that Larry "Wild Man" Fischer left on Robert Williams phone.
In October 2004, Fischer appeared on ABC-TV's late-night talk/comedy show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He sang "Monkeys vs. Donkeys" while tapping on a backwards acoustic guitar, and also sat for a chat with the host, wherein he explained what it means to have "the pep" (i.e., when the spirit is in him and he's singing happily).
In 2005, Josh Rubin and Jeremy Lubin, collectively known as The Ubin Twinz premiered their documentary about Wild Man Fischer, entitled Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Wild Man Fischer, at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. An Evening With Wild Man Fischer remains unreleased on CD. The awareness brought to Fischer by Derailroaded did, however, bring all three Rhino albums back in print on CD through Collectors' Choice Music.
Fischer made his final appearance on August 16, 2006, at the Trunk Space in Phoenix, Arizona.
Fischer died in Los Angeles, on June 16, 2011 after heart problems.
- May 1968 - Laminas (rare 7" 33rpm project of UCLA art students, 3 tracks by Larry, miscredited as "Fisher")
- 1969 - An Evening with Wild Man Fischer, Bizarre Records
- 1975 - "Go To Rhino Records" (single), Rhino Records
- 1977 - Wildmania, Rhino Records
- 1981 - Pronounced Normal, Rhino Records
- 1981 - "Don't Be A Singer"/"I Got A Camera"/"Do The Salvo" (single), Rhino Records
- 1981 The First One ...(First -1), Special Limited Edition,
- 1983 - Nothing Scary, Rhino Records
- 1999 - The Fischer King, Rhino Records (compilation of all Rhino recordings)
- California Births, 1905 - 1995, Larry Wayne Fischer
- Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Wild Man Fischer a documentary
- Eichhorn, Dennis P., J.R. Williams (w). The Legend of Wild Man Fischer (2004), Top Shelf Productions, ISBN 1-891830-61-9
- New York Times
- The First One ... (FIRST-1) A.T.C. Records, Royal Oak, Mich. 1981
- Wild Man Fischer, Outsider Musician, Dies at 66 Los Angeles Times obituary
- Wild Man Fischer, Outsider Musician, Dies at 66 New York Times obituary
- A discography page.
- Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Wild Man Fischer a documentary.