The Flaming Lips
It was a festive evening with these Oklahoma boys and their guests. The
Flaming Lips may have come from down Oklahoma City way, but the show that
night gave the audience a gaudy-but-delightful glimpse of another world. The
entire stage and walls were strewn with tiny Christmas lights, and about
eight randomly placed spirals of polychrome lights that spun around. And then
a bubble machine! (If there were a trailer park on Mars, the Flaming Lips
would be psychedelia kings!) The Lips emitted cosmic hill-billy noise from
their guitars and the crowd just could not stop moving. Between songs, singer
Wayne got down-home and personal, sharing thoughts and stories.
We talked to Wayne backstage after the show, as he shared a bottle of Jack
Daniels with one of the guitarists from Archers of Loaf. (This bottle
apparently had a high value, having been left over from the night before,
since the club forgot to provide a new bottle.) He was gracious to chat with
us between being mobbed by other fans.
- That was an incredible show. How did you come up with the idea for the
- You know, when you get older, and you put them up at Christmas time,
and y Christmas time,
and you get lazy, and end up leaving them until the 4th of July. Then
it's almost Christmas time again, so you don't take them down.
- I heard a rumor that the "King," Elvis Presley, played with you on a
couple of the tracks on "In A Priest-Driven Ambulance."
- You really heard that?!?!?!
- Yeah, but I kind of don't believe that Elvis is still alive.
- No, no, we hate him. (pause) What would he play? He doesn't play
- Maybe he would just swing his hips.
- He could just get high on drugs and look cool, I dunno. I never liked
him anyway, no, no. Why would Elvis be associated with us?
- I don't know; that's what I didn't understand. But who would you like
to have associated with you?
- Santa Claus, Andy Warhol, Jesus... all those nice guys... like those
people (motioning to the others backstage), my brothers, and my mom,
my friends, my family, all of those people... you guys... they don't
have to be famous people. A lot of famous people are pricks. It's
tough to be nice. Once you get to be an adult and stuff, it's not
always easy to be nice. There aren't a lot of people out there who do
that a lot. I'd rather be a good person than try and be a famous
person. You have to be patient, work with people.
- Why do you smoke Marlboro Reds?
- Well, you know, I used to smoke Marlboro Reds, then I decided to cut
back, you know, like some Marlboro Lights or something. And then I
quit for a little while. It's hard to quit. I got sick for about a
month. And you know when you're sick, you don't really want to smoke.
So after I wasn't smoking for a month, I was like, Wow, I don't need
to smoke now. And then, little by little... when you drink, you
smoke... And then we always ask for cigarettes. We used to ask for a
couple different brands, but they would always screw it up, so we like
just got the Marlboro, that's all, no Lights.
At this moment, the Archers guitarist who had been hoarding the Jack Daniels
grabbed the tape recorder to say in a menacing Beavis voice: "Hi, I'm Wayne.
We hate all our fans. Fuck you!" We then all discussed the connection between
bad band names and good bands, and good band names and bands that suck -- a
topic that sprang from asking how the Archers of Loaf got their name (which
has to do with mountain climbing and the disposal of fecal matter) and the
fact that the Flaming Lips just had to think of something at the last minute.
As more fans flocked to Wayne, our official interview fizzled off rather
unceremoniously. But the stories didn't ut the stories didn't end there. One boy, after securing
the coveted bottle of Jack Daniels, inquired about the Lips' stint on
"Beverly Hills 90210." Wayne explained that it was a studio set up where they
would have a line of people next to the band, acting like they really grooved
on the music, but then after the shot was over, the feigned enthusiasm was
gone. Although the styrofoam set-up of "90201" was to be expected, Wayne was
sure that the Lips had won over some new yuppie fans.
The Flaming Lips won over the writers of RAD, as well. They are a band that
really knows how to Turn It On!
Copyright © 1995, Rational Alternative Digital