Bill Bissett & The Mandan Massacre Biography


Bill Bissett was born in Halifax N.S. but moved to B.C. in the early 60’s. He became a poet, exploring the medium of concrete poetry, a painter and performance artist in Vancouver during the 1960’s.

Bill Bissett together with an ensemble of ten musicians committed the “Awake In Th Desert”, a recorded book, to tape. In all 14 tracks were laid down and originally the project was commissioned as a companion release to the Talon Books title of the same name. That book is an even more rare collectors item than the album . It was released however, in 1968 along with a companion book in a limited edition of 500 copies by See/Hear Productions.

See Hear was a recorded magazine and AWAKE IN TH RED DESSERT was Volume 1 Number 2. Musically Awake In Th Desert is a freaky psychedelic romp that is at times, barely accessible, yet none the less intriguing.

Consisting mainly of wild rambling vocalizations set to a background of electronics, percussion and musical mayhem, this album is definitely not for everyone. Very avant garde and spontaneous, Awake In Th Red Desert is as bizarre and off the wall as music comes.

This CD release by Gear Fab contains three bonus tracks that were taken from sessions Bissett did with jazz artist Bill Roberts sometime in 1990’s along with detailed liner notes and a comment by Bissett himself. Bill Bissett is still popular today and has had numerous collections of poetry published and he currently paints and runs studios in Toronto and Vancouver. ( thanks to Jim Brown producer of the project, and partner in See Hear Records)



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