Sign Language

Cult hero Harvey Sid Fisher, creator of Astrology Songs, plays the Mission

Scoff if you must, but it's not easy being a Scorpio. Living under one of the most misrepresented astrological signs, my Scorpion brethren and I live with the burden of having the worst reputation in the zodiac. Vengeful, jealous, controlling, and sexually insatiable -- these are only a few of the traits unduly assigned to us. I like to think that we're just too complex for the average happy-go-lucky Libra, too unwavering for the flighty Gemini. Most folks simply don't understand us -- except, that is, for cult hero Harvey Sid Fisher, the Hollywood crooner who soared to underground fame with Astrology Songs, his 1987 collection of campy ditties dedicated to each of the 12 sun signs.

The struggling model, actor, and screenwriter whipped up the catchy, slightly absurd tunes in an attempt to ride the horoscope craze of the mid-'80s all the way to the bank. Not surprisingly, Fisher's lyrical stylings -- simple rhymes repeated mercilessly, backed by a pre-programmed Casio keyboard and acoustic guitar -- didn't set the music world on fire. But it was the age of MTV, so Fisher followed up with a bizarre music video/ infomercial, which began airing on cable-access TV in 1989, eventually finding its way onto Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Dressed in a snazzy black tuxedo and flanked by a bewildering group of "interpretive" dancers, the suave silver-haired gent looked like a latter-day Neil Diamond or Tony Orlando.

As Fisher flashes his baby blues and his pearly whites, it's easy to see why the lounge lizard inspires such reverence among his legion of devoted fans: The man is a born showman, belting out his less-than-stellar tunes with unabashed sincerity and earnestness. He also knows his astrology. Distilling each sign down to its essential characteristics, Fisher sings, "I'll wipe and dust and empty while the party's in full swing," commiserating with the fastidious Virgo's pursuit of perfection. His ode to the stubborn Taurus is perhaps his most popular, featuring this chorus: "Talkin' 'bout the Taurus, talkin' 'bout the bully bull bull."

Talkin' 'bout Harvey Sid Fisher, creator of Astrology Songs.
Talkin' 'bout Harvey Sid Fisher, creator of Astrology Songs.

Details

Friday through Sunday, Jan. 18-20, at 9 p.m.

www.Harveysidfisher.com

Odeon Bar, 3223 Mission (at Valencia), S.F., 550-6994

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Fisher's appeal can perhaps best be described as the successful product of positive thinking. Singing in a carefree, nasal drone that sounds like a cross between a deranged cheerleader and an older Weird Al Yankovic, he overwhelms the listener with sheer repetition and impossibly perky spirit. Still, the former hairdresser is no one-trick pony; he's got two other concept albums currently available (on cassette only). Whether crooning about love gone wrong on Battle of the Sexes, a series of "duets with couples fighting," or paying tribute to his favorite pastime on Golf Songs and Golf Jokes, Fisher is groovy, baby. Luckily, he shows no signs of slowing down -- but what can you expect of an on-the-go Sagittarius? His most recent jingle is a rant against smoking for the under-18 set, called, appropriately, "Kick That Butt." It contains the unforgettable line: "The front end of the butt is playin' with fire and the back end of the butt is a butthead fool." Amen, Harvey, amen.

 
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