a conversation
with David Greenberger and William "Fergie" Ferguson

FERGIE: You know, when those children get hold of a firecracker, they hold onto it. And they don't say a word. And later on, you're ready to have a big banquet. And the musicians are there, playing some of the best music we've ever heard in the world. Rachmoninoff's Prelude. And My Bonnie, Bonnie Lassie, she's the fairest, the fairest in the dell. The children are the bonnie lassies. And just when the conductor is in the middle of one of the most beautiful pieces in the world - away my lassie, my bonnie, bonnie lassie - and off goes the firecracker! And mother of Jesus, when those children light off a firecracker, it's no little firecracker - it's a big bastard. As big as from your wrist to your elbow. And they throw it right in the middle of the soup. And there's the conductor and he nearly dropped dead. There he was, coming down with his baton - and this was no little firecracker, it was a giant one. And did he get sprayed? He nearly died! Everyone got sprayed with the soup. And you know who the conductor was? Phil Sphiconi, one of the greatest conductors the Boston Symphony ever had. And you know what happened? You know how he died? He got shot. Phil Sphiconi - one of the greatest conductors we ever had - he got shot. And you know who shot him? His own daughter.

DBG: Why?

FERGIE: Oh, isn't that a cute question: why? We all wondered why did she do that. Well, it wasn't a he, it was a she.

DBG: Why did she shoot him?

FERGIE: She didn't shoot him.

DBG: Who did?

FERGIE: That's what we were all wondering.

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Pub. March 2000