jump down page to teisco quotes

It’s known as The Holy Grail of the Music World…the most sought-after piece of musical gear since Queenie’s Rheem organ. What is it?…the original Teisco bass guitar played by none other than Frederick P. Teisco while performing in the incomparable “Victuals” rock ensemble of seventies yore.

(this is the model that Fred played)

The search is on. The HMS2000 has officially decided to pursue this quest as of Dec 1, 2005. As a fact, HMS society members have always been interested in artifacts relating to politico-rocker Hot Mont. So, what is the historical connection of Fred’s Teisco bass guitar to Hot Mont’s career? This excerpt from the book "Memoirs of an Extremely Boring Life" will help to demonstrate the illustrious connection:

"..As the band “Victuals” (aka “Victory at Sea”) was winding down it’s dismal career run with irascible Illustrious manager Jack P. Best, Hot Mont’s popularity was just taking off under the same management... "

(quoted from Bill Del Rumple’s “Memoirs of an Extremely Boring Life” book, 2005)

By now, you are surely asking yourself: How did a mediocre local rock combo’s bass player become elevated to the status of legend? A brief synopsis of this phenomenon should help to explain:

"     …Although none of the band members from Victuals (aka “Victory at Sea”) made much of a "splash" after the band broke up in the mid seventies, Fred and his Teisco quickly become somewhat of a legend among music enthusiasts.
        As Fred Teisco continued on to a career of public & military service, he was never forgotten by a core of self- titled ‘teiscologists’. This group was so rabid in their cult-like devotion that new members were easy to recruit…and recruit them they did.
       By the late 1970’s, teiscing had become a way of life for many all over the USA as well as in several other parts of the world. As second generation followers came of age in the 1990s, the original facts & history had been lost to folklore & exaggeration. Armed with this new revisionist history, the new teiscologists began to popularize several questionable activities such as ‘informal teiscing’, & ‘role teiscing’. This behavior is now a fully integrated part of American hip-hop culture..." (
* see original definition of teiscing below)

(quoted from the bathroom reader  “ Hmmm-Farm-Out-Facts” by H.P. Waters, 2004)

 (*Original Funk & Wagner dictionary definition:  teiscing: the act of purposely behaving in a timid or fearful manner when confronted with any challenge. example: "Bashful Bob did not want to order for himself at the restaurant, so he teisced, forcing his friends to speak for him.")

(Above is the only known photo of Fred and his beloved Teisco. Some teiscologists dispute that this is the actual Teisco bass.)


So, what happened to the actual Teisco bass guitar?

As the HMS2000 researches, they find only two post-Victuals sightings. The first & most reliable sighting was around 1978 in a storage closet somewhere near Brownwood, Texas. At this viewing, ‘The Bass’ had it’s headstock completely broken off & then poorly bolted back together like some sort of a “Franken-Teisco” monster! The second sighting of the Teisco is less reliable: It was reportedly being played onstage in a bowling alley band in DuQuoin, Illinois by devoted teiscologist Kevin Austin (circa 1994). Any other known sightings can be reported to hotmont@jgmmusic.com.

 It’s entirely possible that ‘The Teisco’ may not even exist anymore. But the cult-like mania over this icon of rock & roll pushes the quest ever onward.

 The HMS 2000 has sent their crack teams to Brownwood & DuQuion to interview anyone who may know something. These trips were partially funded by a recent rummage sale / rock concert in Findley Lake, NY which was attended by several people! Maybe these trips will provide more info. Any sighting info would be appreciated!

Our first Teisco sighting reported ...not exactly "The Bass", but interesting anyway. This PA column was photographed at a nightclub in Helen ,Ga. by Bill Frenchy

update 8-10-06: Noted music historian Dr. Chas P. Rothchile was kind enough to share some of his exhaustive Teisco research with us. Here are several great quotes & euphemisms he's discovered on his fact-finding journey: (We've included the original author of the quotation when available)

Walk softly and carry a big teisco ( Harry S. Hoopshank)
Ask not what your Teisco can do for you, ask what you can do for your Teisco
A teisco in the hand is better than two at Elletson's (
disgruntled Elletson customer)
Give me a Teisco or give me death
( Boob Dalty)
Ich bin eine Teisco
We have nothing to teisc except teiscing itself. (
F.T.D. Roosevelt- a local florist & fan in the 70's)
A Teisco a day keeps Doc Rothchile away 
(Roy Ridondelli)
Two teiscos are better than one 
(Herb Elletson)
The best things in life are Teisco  (
P. McTeiscney ...of the original Barkles)
Don't give up the Teisco
- (Fred Teisco)
Teiscos make the heart grow fonder-
(Fred Teisco)
Don't change Teiscos in mid set-
(Tony Calarco  / clubowner Anthony's in Wastefield, NY)
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him teisc
Look before you Teisc
(Fred's mom)
The Teisco is mightier than the sword
(Victual's fan inadvertently clobbered by Fred's Teisco)
Sticks and stone may break my bones but Teiscos will never hurt me
(another Victual's fan inadvertently clobbered by Fred's Teisco)
and one of my favorites.....
That's one small Teisco for a man, one giant Teisco for mankind (attributed to Mel Maas...philanthropist, religious founder of Melvinism and bandleader of Mel Maas's Psychedelic Combo)

-12-1-05 HMS2000


link back to Hot Mont Home Page


here is a site that specializes in teisco info: