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UYD Obituaries

Larry ‘Wild Man’ Fischer, 66

Despite his unconventional approach and a lifelong struggle with severe mental illness, Fischer, who died Thursday of heart failure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at age 66, went on to release several albums and became a cult figure — admired by some as an untamed practitioner of "outsider" art, but regarded less kindly by those who encountered the mercurial musician's sudden bursts of aggression.

"When you're working with somebody like Wild Man Fischer, or people who are 'out there,' the problems that arise after the album is completed sometimes become too much to bear," Frank Zappa, Fischer's most prominent patron, said in a 1970 interview.

Zappa had found something compelling in Fischer's musical outbursts. He produced a documentary-like double-album, "An Evening with Wild Man Fischer," and released it in 1968 on his Bizarre Records label.

"One thing that you must remember about Wild Man Fischer is that he actually is a wild person. And Larry is dangerous."

The relationship between Zappa and Fischer ended one day at Zappa's home, where Fischer — who suffered from manic depression and paranoid schizophrenia — became enraged and threw a bottle, barely missing Zappa's baby daughter, Moon Unit.