I have dozens of answering-machine messages from Larry "Wildman" Fischer, onetime Frank Zappa protégé and Doctor Demento perennial. We became friends while he lived at various downtown flophouses in the late '80s and early '90s. Fischer made occasional public appearances, including a 1988 performance at the San Diego Comic-Con with Bill "Lost in Space" Mumy's band. I helped the filmmakers behind DeRailroaded, a new documentary about Fischer, track down film footage of the concert. I was thanked for my efforts with a (collect) call from Fischer, whom I hadn't heard from in several years.
"They made a comic book about me," Fischer announced. (The Legend of Wildman Fischer, released last year, immortalized tales such as the time Fischer supposedly took a dump in a fan's closet.) We chatted about mutual friends, and then Fischer asked if I've played any of his records for anyone lately. I reassured him that, yes, I spin his stuff a lot and, yes, my guests are always amazed. Okay, sometimes horrified, but always amazed.
DeRailroaded made its Southern California debut in West Hollywood last week.