Year end wrap up: Wild Man Fischer, the Godfather of Outsider Music Dies

Posted December 18th, 2011 by Anthony

Disabled Hit ParadeThe first outsider artist I remember was Wild Man Fischer. Back in the heyday of Warner Bros records, the late 60s, Frank Zappa recorded Wild Man Fischer. Fischer had been discovered singing on the streets for 10 cents a song. I heard his recording, “Songs for Sale,” on one of the great Warner Bros/Reprise sampler double LPs, “The 1969 Warner/Rerpise Songbook.” The music both repelled and attracted me. He represented the best traditions of outsider art in his perspectives and music that only tangentially referenced standard pop forms.
I found out that the Wild Man, Larry Wayne Fischer, died this past June while reading a year end wrap up in my favorite newspaper, The Independent. I don’t track very many artists with emotional disabilities—I’ve got my hands full with blind, deaf, and physical, but I have Wild Man Fischer. His emotional disability is so apparent on his recordings for Zappa that I recognized a fellow traveler on this strange disability path.

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