I worried about Wayne Coyne once.
It was in 2006. It was when I heard a song called “Mr. Ambulance Driver.”
“Mr. Ambulance Driver” was a new Flaming Lips song and it was the first single from a new Flaming Lips album but it was… it was old.
Old as in elderly. Elderly as in decrepit. Decrepit as in the sound of millionaires trying to create a reasonable facsimile of earlier glories. “Mr. Ambulance Driver” sounded like a Flaming Lips cover band and when I heard it, I worried about Wayne Coyne.
But that was in 2006 and now it is 2014 and it seems like everybody’s worrying about Wayne Coyne these days.
Everybody knows about Wayne, right? Do you know about Wayne? I suppose you do. Wayne is, um… Well, Wayne is this guy, he is the chief thaumaturge, the lead singer, and the master of ceremonies for a rock band called the Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips had one hit – a giant MTV moment – a long, long time ago, back in the Nineties, and then they strobed into this impossible major label lava lamp thing that is full of bubbles and brightly-colored vulvas and enough glitter for you to drown in.
Wayne is the only reason the words “psychedelic” and “Oklahoma” have ever been used in the same sentence.[i] He is the picture of the perfect, happy middle-aged pothead. He is the guy at the party who talks you into one more toke so he can let you in on his latest stoned theory about the meaning of life.[ii] And you get this image of Wayne and you kind of have to love this image you get, but then he’s also a recent divorcee and he gets into stupid twitter wars with other famous people and he hangs out with Miley Cyrus and it seems like everybody’s worrying about Wayne Coyne these days.
Most everybody will mention the Miley Cyrus part first.
Googling wayne coyne midlife crisis will land you 294,000 results.
It seems like everybody’s worrying about Wayne Coyne these days, but I am not worrying about Wayne Coyne.
I have my reasons.
I mean, I did not worry about him when Steve Sanders lauded “She Don’t Use Jelly” on Beverly Hills 90210. I did not worry about him when he dressed up like a giant cheese for a song from the Sponge Bob Squarepants Movie. I did not worry about Wayne Coyne when he started whoring himself and his band and his band’s songs out in television ads for computers and for cell phones and for Hyundais.
It was just that one time with “Mr. Ambulance Driver.”
I can remember listening to the Flaming Lips back when I was a kid. I mean a little kid, not more than seven, not more than eight. I never thought I could get my head around the Flaming Lips. They were too slippery and too jittery and too perplexing to understand. Their discography was too broad, went back too far, they’d changed gears too many times.
And “Mr. Ambulance Driver” was none of those things, but Wayne Coyne has never done anything like “Mr. Ambulance Driver” again, and that is why I am not worrying about Wayne Coyne.
Since 2006, instead of “Mr. Ambulance Driver,” he has filmed a ridiculous movie called Christmas on Mars with his friends as the actors and with props and sets he built himself in his back yard. He has recorded crazy and frustrating things like a 24-hour-long track that you buy on a jump drive that’s been sunk down inside of a giant gummy skull. And he’s done heaps of festival shows where he is birthed from a giant vagina up on stage and shoots laser lights out of huge paper mache hands which he wears over his real hands and he rolls around on top of the audience inside a bubble. And he’s sang songs that do not sound like him and he’s filmed videos for the songs that are spontaneous and goofy and seem like a lot of fun.
Wayne Coyne told a story about when the Flaming Lips recorded a song with Nick Cave. I read it once. I cannot find the story anymore, but it went like this:
Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips and Nick Cave recorded a song together called “You, Man? Human???” As soon as they finished recording the song, Nick Cave said, “Okay. Now what? Who decides if it’s any good? Who decides if it gets released?”
Wayne Coyne said to Nick Cave, “We do. We decide. You and me. Right here. Right now.”
And Nick Cave said, “Fuck that.”[iii]
At an age when other people record albums like The Division Bell or Death Magnetic or How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips still surprise me. I never know what he is going to do next but I want to see it and I want to hear it and that is why I am not worrying about Wayne Coyne.
I am not even worrying about the Miley Cyrus thing.
I mean, don’t we all have other things to be worrying about?
[i] Sorry. Under 21 U.S.C. 841(a), every article about the Flaming Lips must note how crazy it is that a psychedelic band started in Oklahoma.
[ii] A typical Wayne Coyne stoner insight goes like this:
Outer space end?
It’s sort of
Hard to imagine
Is it real?”
(from “Placebo Headwound,” 1995)
[iii] Okay, it turns out that “What, Man? Human???” is terrible. I am saying this in a footnote because I need to say it but it does not fit my narrative.
I think Wayne and Miley make a cute couple. They ARE a couple, right? Or is he just openly stalking her? Either way, he seems perfectly normal to me.ReplyDelete
It sort of looks like they might both be stalking each other.Delete
The same thing happened to me when I used to smoke pot, except in my case it was Rick Wakeman, the keyboardist from Yes.
All I've ever known about the Flaming Lips is the "giant paper mache hands, rolling around on the audience in a giant ball" Wayne. I've known a lot of 50+ year-old crusty-hippie potheads who might as well be named Wayne. Coyne seems just like every one of those, but instead of crashing on a friend's couch professionally, he has the cash to indulge every ridiculous stoner thought that dribbles into his unkempt head.ReplyDelete
He also does all that crap on Warner Brothers Records' dime. It's sort of hard to believe that a major record label agreed to "Zaireeka," which is a Flaming Lips album on 4 CD's that you are supposed to play at the same time on different players in order to hear.Delete
I mean, when I get drunk or stoned, I just end up doing something like binge watching "Fringe."
LOL - Wayne is the only reason the words “psychedelic” and “Oklahoma” have ever been used in the same sentenceReplyDelete
You never fail to tease and please me!
I read this bog to Pinko, the commie dog. His reply was a quote from Joe Cocker - "With a little help from my fwends!" - http://i.imgur.com/3SQQEfT.jpg
Your blogs are a great source of wayward tangents - thanks very big!Delete
I am so going to promote this trippy blog and one liners - prefect for the new age bloggers.
Step 1 : "A little help from my fwends" http://i.imgur.com/g8iKard.jpg
I try to vary things up a little. I'm looking back at he last three I've written, and they are nothing alike at all. I'm kind of proud of that!
"Kathy, the fascist dyke motorest, explains this insanely trippy Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne thing" - have linkedDelete
I thought I was noticing heavier traffic than normal from your side.Delete
Theme for this week - "the wall" - if you want to playDelete
mean while, barbecue party with the crazy dogs. LOL, the wife is very far away
Also, more Jane Mansfield than you can shake a stick at, if you had a stick and wished to shake it at Jane Mansfield.Delete
So if you were to have your own rock group what would you call it? And what stage gimmicks would you use?ReplyDelete
My band would be called The No Blind Jamies, because everything else I come up with sounds pretentious.Delete
For my stage show, I used to think I'd like to go with the costumes of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis or the light shows of Pink Floyd, but I've been to some big shows, and those things look great on video but not so great in person.
The approach of the Flaming Lips, where they bring the audience into the party, or a guy named Michael Franti - who does a good deal of his show IN the audience - brings people in more.
I'd also do a lot of shit no one has heard before so they don't feel they could have just stayed home, listened to the record and saved a few bucks.
Ugh, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is one of my least favourite albums. I know it's cool to hate U2 nowadays, but that hate is rather justified if you used to work in a shop that played Vertigo on an hourly basis. Bono didn't even realise that he is saying 1,2,3,14 at the start of the song.ReplyDelete
I didn't know anything about The Flaming Lips, but now I do. Thank you.
I gave that album a fair shake. I listened to it a lot, and there are a couple decent songs on it.Delete
My problem with it is that if you sent me into the studio to try to fake a U2 album, that is exactly the album I would record. Note for note - except my Spanish would be better.
It's just not the sort of album that I'd ever think of grabbing to listen to when I'm standing in front of my CD rack.
All these gimmicks that he uses will all fall into place once his master plan is unveiled. It'll be like the heist portion of an Ocean's Eleven movie. No one will see it coming.ReplyDelete
Christmas on Mars looks terrifying, kind of like Stanley Kubrick meets Tommy Wiseau.
Hi, Chiz! Every time I start to believe that there is a master plan or at least a master vision in my entertainment of choice, I discover that i'm watching the last season of LOST.Delete
Well, upon reading an article about the Miley video, I was concerned for about a minute and forty four seconds. But then I stopped, because like you said, I have other things to worry about.ReplyDelete
Apparently, it's something people get worried about. I found some articles that were surprisingly-strongly worded!Delete
I mean, the titles alone are pretty over-the-top:
"What is Wrong with Wayne Coyne?" (http://www.thelostogle.com/2014/05/13/what-exactly-is-wrong-with-wayne-coyne/ )
"Wayne Coyne Has Gone Mad: Time for the Flaming Lips Singer to Stop Being a Monstrous Jerk" (http://www.salon.com/2014/05/13/wayne_coyne_has_gone_mad_time_for_the_flaming_lips_singer_to_stop_being_a_monstrous_jerk/ )
"WTF is Going on with Wayne Coyne?" (http://flavorwire.com/455088/wtf-is-going-on-with-wayne-coyne )
"17 Signs That Wayne Coyne is having a Sad Midlife Crisis" (http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/news/39914/17-signs-that-Wayne-Coyne-is-having-a-sad-midlife-crisis )
Wow. People sure do have an awful lot of time on their hands. Or is it a slow news week? Due to a ridiculous migraine (and binge watching Masters of Sex...turns out, sex can actually get rid of a headache ) I haven't been paying attention.Delete
Music fans are crazy when it comes to the people who make music in a way that even other fandoms can't touch, I think.Delete
I should know: I've had little crises when bands I like get popular or change band members or let their stuff be used for advertisements.
I had no idea who he is, but I had heard of the Flaming Lips. I have never, that I know of, heard any of his/their music, though I might have and not known it. But I live under a rock out in the woods... wait for it... down by the river.ReplyDelete
You probably heard "She Don't Use Jelly" at some point in the past.Delete
I'm not sure there's much music that is culturally important anymore like there was a few decades back. It's just sort of a niche thing now, I guess.
John Mellencamp said that he used to think that music would change the world. Now he thinks that in 100 years, history's going to say basically, "There was this writer named Bob Dylan and a band called the Beatles and they called that rock music," and the rest of rock will be a footnote at best.
Wait... what was wrong with The Division Bell?ReplyDelete
Oh, Squat. No, no, no...Delete
Division Bell DOES have "High Hopes" on it, and that is an objectively perfect song.
Well, okay then. Don't let this happen again... The version of High Hopes on the David Gilmour Live in Concert DVD was exquisite. It was mostly done acoustic, with a beautiful woman accompanying on cello... bring a tear to your eye.Delete
Anyway, do carry on. Sorry for the interruption. Miley Cyrus, Molly Montana, whatever...
I have a visceral reaction to Gilmour-era Floyd. Without Waters' bitchy attacks on everything wholesome and good, I just can't swallow it.Delete
I have friends who haven't listened to "The" Pink Floyd since Syd Barrett left the band. And they've missed a ton of great music.Delete
"The Final Cut" is my third favorite album of all time (seriously: http://www.lesbiansinmysoup.com/2012/03/my-top-10-favorite-albums.html )Delete
I love it in a way I don't love any other Floyd album.
In recent years, though, I've been listening to "Animals" a lot more. I think it has something to do with the post-cassette and post-LP versions resolving that whole formatting problem that used to leave "Pigs" split down the middle between the two sides.
But the revelation for me has been "Piper at the Gates of Dawn." My old CD copy was the stereo version, which I HATED: It has lion roars on one song and some other corny shit to flesh out the stereo sound, and it ruined it for me.
The mono version is like a different album, and I love it.
"Meddle" is an incredible album. And for the record, "Animals" was on my CD player yesterday... there's a cut in which a dog begins to bark, and I'll never forget my daughter's cat's reaction to that part of the album. She had left this poor animal in my care while she moved from one apartment to another, and one evening I had a particularly outstanding buzz on, and cranked up my stereo with "Animals" on the turntable. That cat, which had been oblivious to the music, suddenly LOST ITS SHIT. Went up the curtains, back down the wall, under a couch, screeching this low, primal growl... wild eyed, absolutely certain there was a German Shepherd in the house.Delete
One of my favorite cat moments ever. We played that album together a LOT that weekend. I'd introduce the song to my friends with "And now, for your entertainment, the cat will do its impression of kitty chronic! Ta-Da!"
My cats don't care about my music at all. And when we had a dog,. it didn't even react to that part at the end of "Sgt Pepper's" that is supposed to be at a frequency where only dogs can hear it.Delete
I'll try "Animals" on them again, though...
"Pigs on the Wing" was the first song I ever taught myself on the guitar.
I didn't know who Wayne Coyne was prior to this posting, and now that I do... I kinda wish I didn't again.ReplyDelete
And I stopped worrying about Miley ages ago. Currently I'm too busy wondering why a talentless automaton like Iggy Azalea is now somehow popular.
These kids today with their crazy sex and their hippity-hop.Delete
Hell in a hand basket!
The hippity I can handle, but all that hopping? It's bullshit, and I won't tolerate its presence on my lawn.Delete
Seriously, though, when I was high-school-age, we were out stealing cars and doing drugs. I'm a little worried that all of the 16-year olds I see are just playing video games instead.Delete
You know, people blame video games for a lot of violent crimes, but now that you can play a very lifelike game where you can steal cars, beat up hookers, and do drugs all at the same time (God bless you, Grand Theft Auto V) I think it helps kids get that kind of shit out of their systems so they don't need to try it in real life.Delete
Now when I'm driving down the street in my car and I see some saggy prostitute giving me the eye, I don't think "I wonder what would happen if I veered onto the sidewalk and ran her over?" Because I already know. Oh yes, cracked out prostitute, in the world of GTA V I've ran you over more times than you can count.
To be clear, I don't insult gamers because I think video games are encouraging bad behavior. I'm insulting gamers because they don't know how to actually kill the prostitute in real life. You can't actually kill a prostitute by hitting "A-A-B-A-left-arrow."Delete
(A-A-B-A-left-arrow might be impossible on today's video games. I probably just described how to get a mushroom and send a turtle sliding.)
If I got the bad stuff out of my system, there'd be nothing left of me.
A word to the wise; "Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right B, A, Start" doesn't work on prostitutes either.Delete
Have you tried changing your rhythm or speed, Jeff?Delete
You'd be surprised what a little change in rhythm and speed will do, even with the really cynical of sex workers!
How I wish the old proverb "mono is as mono does" didn't ring true for me.Delete
I think my grandmother used to use that proverb.Delete
Or maybe it was "Gonorrhea is as gonorrhea does."
That sounds more like Grandma...
Spoken like a true veteran of the circuit.Delete
I have no idea how this computer manages to do it but I spent half a hour trying to be clever and cool and it gets disappeared. I enjoyed the blog and the comments though. FrankReplyDelete
Haha... I have tried commenting on blogs from my iPad and it always seems to do the same thing. Which is why i don't try commenting from my iPad anymore.Delete
I am glad you came by, though!