Musical Discovery: Wild Man Fischer

Unique and eccentric member of the outsider music movement, Wild Man Fischer was the subject of an enlightening documentary, dEailRoaDed by Josh Rubin.

Wild Man Fischer had a long history of of mental illness, going back as far as age 16, when he was institutionalised for attacking his mother with a knife. He suffered from manic depression and severe paranoid schizophrenia which although perhaps the source of his originality and appeal also served as his downfall.

Fischer wandered the L.A. streets offering passers-by a completely new and original song for just 10¢. Eventually he was discovered by Frank Zappa who produced Fischer’s first album: An Evening with Wild Man Fischer. Now this album is really terrific. Fischer has been called the ‘godfather of outsider music’ making this album somewhat of a holy grail. In our day and age it’s not that difficult to find, but in the late ’60s it was a tad harder to get your hands on. Especially considering Zappa’s wife, Gail, decided to not release this on CD. During one of Fischer’s episodes he threw a jar at Zappa’s daughter, Moon Unit, effectively ending the professional and personal relationship between him and the Zappas.

Fischer is a fascinating character and I urge you to check out the documentary if you enjoy this song. I decided to embed a song called ‘The Wild Man Fischer Story’ which while giving you a taste of his unusual style also gives you a sort of auto-biographical overview of his life. If you want to explore further after this, check out the songs ‘Merry-go-round’ and ‘The Taster.’ Both songs appear on An Evening With…

Further Reading: