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Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Larry Wild Man Fischer (DVD)

Wild Man Fischer    DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a story March 10 2013
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Until seeing this movie, about all I knew of Larry "Wild Man" Fischer was his "My Name Is Larry" song, which I heard a few times on the Dr. Demento Show in the early '80s, plus a few tidbits found on the Internet.

Had heard that while he was a strange musical genius, he was also a man with problems, so I eagerly awaited the release of Derailroaded. Have now watched it four times because it is such an incredible look at an amazing, and troubled, man.

It's easy to laugh at the Wild Man's music and the stories you hear about him, but after seeing this documentary you will truly be touched by his life.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Rebel' Rod's Reviews - "Derailroaded - Inside the Mind of Larry "Wildman" Fischer" - DVD (Ubin Twinz Productions) March 26 2011
By 'Rebel' Rod Ames - Published on Amazon.com
By `Rebel' Rod Ames

"Derailroded - Inside the Mind of Larry "Wildman" Fischer" is an incredible documentary taking the viewer on an extremely candid excursion into the mind of a manic-depressive-paranoid-schizophrenic, and his 15 minutes plus nearly 20 years of fame.

Discovered by Frank Zappa in 1965, performing his "Outsider" brand of music, Larry Fischer"An Evening with Larry "Wildman" Fischer". After seeing this documentary, I immediately started surfing the web in search of something from that record to listen too. What I found only helped to confirm Mr. Fischer's notoriously enjoyable brand of music. was lured into the studio to record the Zappa produced

According to Mr. Fischer, simply put, he was promised that Mr. Zappa was going to make him a rock star. However, the record only sold about 12,000 copies. Hardly rock star numbers.

Mr. Zappa maintained through out the years that he only told him they would make a record and that he would be happy if it sold a moderate amount, which it did.

Fischer is bitterly angry at the entire ordeal and actually shuts down at the mere mention of Mr. Zappas's name. Mr. Zappa is long gone, so everything is open to speculation. Had it not been for an incident where Fischer, in one of his unpredictable moments, apparently threw a bottle, narrowly missing Zappa's toddler, Moon Unit. If not for this incident, Fischer may have gone much further, but no one will ever know.

Barnes & Barnes (Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy) of "Fish Heads" fame later noticed "Wildman's" unique brand of song and spent the next 21 years trying to help someone who was completely unwilling, or perhaps a more objective way to put it, unable to help himself with his mental instabilities.

As the documentary explains, Mr. Fischer could only create when he was in his "pep"; In other words, when he was on one of his highs he was unstoppable at his creativity. The words to his songs came in floods, but when the "pep" was gone, everything stopped. He literally shut down.

In addition, he refused medication, so his highs would be short lived at best, and his lows frighteningly dark and dismal, resulting in extreme unpredictability.

No one other than his elderly Aunt Josephine would take him in. He made nearly everyone else in his family extremely uncomfortable. As his older Brother David puts it, "He would rapidly get on your nerves". It would often get to the point of tempers flaring, creating the potential for danger. After all, he had come at some of them with a butcher knife on more than one occasion, and at least once at his own mother. Mr. Fischer was utterly convinced that she hated him.

In the documentary, there is an abundance of archival footage consisting of home movies from when he was a child to footage of him on the streets of LA performing his music for a dime. There is footage of his last performance in 2001 with him and his acoustic guitar (which he merely strums-no chords, or uses it as a percussion instrument) performing all the "Wildman" classics.

It also paints a frighteningly stark picture of his descent into his untreated mental illness. This man never chose to live on the streets. The streets of LA were the only location that was willing to accept him. The viewer literally witnesses Mr. Fischer decompensating right before your eyes.

The documentary was directed by Josh Rubin and has appearances from Robert Haimer , Bill Mumy (AKA Banes & Barnes), Solomon Burke, Mark Mothersbaug (Devo's front man), Barry "Dr. Demento" Hansen, Weird Al Yankovic, Mr. Fischer's older brother David Fischer, and several experts on Mr. Fischer's mental illnesses.

This film is a must see for any audiophile or music historian or, anyone who would like to learn more or who is remotely curious, about debilitating mental illnesses.

It will certainly haunt this reviewer for quite some time.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIP Larry June 23 2011
By Robert Carlberg - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Can't add anything of substance to Rod Ames's excellent review, so I'll just say I finally ordered "Derailroaded" (a portmanteau of "derailed" and "railroaded," both of which are pretty accurate when applied to WMF) on the day I heard that he'd passed away. It's an excellent look at the Life of Larry, including snapshots and home movies of his childhood (never thought I'd see those), outtakes from the cover shoot for AEWWMF (most of which are too gruesome), interviews with Gail Zappa about Larry (surprising, considering she is supposedly the one refusing to reissue AEWWMF), interviews with his aunt Josephine who took LSD and hung around with Timothy Leary (who knew?), interviews with his brother David who figures so prominently in his oeuvre, and of course the interviews with Weird Al, Mark Mothersbaugh, Dr. Demento, Harold Bronson & Richard Foos (the founders of Rhino Records), and Robert Haimer and Billy Mumy (aka Barnes and Barnes).

All-in-all, an excellent portrait of a troubled soul, balancing both the praise for his creativity with the hard facts of his mental illness. The final shot of the film, saying he lost his "pep" in 2004 when the assisted living home started medicating him to control his bipolar manic depression, pretty much matches his obituary in 2011. Nothing happened in the last seven years of his life -- which is both good for Larry and sad for the rest of us.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Man Fischer- Derairoaded May 16 2011
By Marshall Scott Baer - Published on Amazon.com
Larry "Wildman" Fischer is the king of outsider music. This documentary is a well done testimonial to this fact. It is a must have for any serious collector of Frank Zappa music.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's About Time We Get to Get Derailroaded April 12 2011
By Reader 2010 - Published on Amazon.com
I've been waiting for this a long time. Saw the film on Sundance and loved it. Have tried to track it down ever since. Finally, here it is on DVD. As a Zappa fan, it's a must have, but it is also an incredible look into the insanity of pop culture. Great interviews with Weird Al, Dr Demento, Mothersbaugh, etc, and truly unforgettable -- and wierd -- music. A great doc. Trust me, get Derailroaded.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good view for fans of the wild man July 21 2011
By Robert Schaffer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If your idea of rock n roll art includes viewing 3 seconds of video of captain beefheart in his trout mask replica costume, then this documentary is for you.

Larry was part of the troupe of independent rock artists that comprised Frank Zappa's independent label Bizarre/Reprise. Thus the documentary gives you some views into the late 1960's Los Angeles scene.

Larry's infectious sing-songs about his personal miseries have a childish charm, and you get to see many performances spanning over 3 decades, from street-side to a bit on "Laugh In". Larry's mental illness was tragic, and its debilitating effects on him are amply demonstrated in this video.

If you have a warm spot in your heart for the wild man, this video is for you.
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