Firesign Theatre for KCRW

How to Be in Two Places at Once: The Firesign Theatre in the US and Vietnam

Audio excerpt (2:23)

First released on KCRW’s The Organist, 14 December 2017

Role: Producer, Script editor, Audio editor, Sound designer, Engineer/Mixer

Between 1967 and 1975, the Firesign Theatre put out nine albums that carved out a new space somewhere between comedy, sound art, literature, and rock and roll. Music critic Robert Christgau called them “a comedy group that uses the recording studio at least as brilliantly as any rock group.”

In this episode of KCRW’s The Organist, we focus not on how those albums were made, but how they were heard. From teenage house parties to soldiers’ barracks in Vietnam, the Firesign Theatre infiltrated thousands of American headphones and hi-fis. Jeremy Braddock, a scholar and critic who wrote a book on the group, brings us the story of how the group’s psychedelic psyops tactics created a new kind of collective listening in America.

Writer: Jeremy Braddock