Exclusive: Wayne Coyne on Teeshirtgate


Coyne, bloodied by
unbowed: “Then, I double-checked and I was like ‘You’ve really gotta be kidding.'”


By Fred Mills


Coming tomorrow at BLURT: an exclusive interview with
Flaming Lips mainman Wayne Coyne in which he discusses the flap that ensued
this week around Lips song “Do You Realize?” being selected, then rejected,
then ultimately reinstated by Oklahoma governor Brad Henry as his state’s official
State Rock Song.


By now everyone has heard about what went down:  The Lips had been selected for the honor
following their topping an online vote last year sponsored by the Oklahoma History Center
and the Oklahoma Film and Music Office. But after the Oklahoma Senate voted
last month 46-0 on a resolution honoring the song, last Thursday the House
voted 48-39, thereby making it fall short by three votes – this in the wake of some
rather silly complaints by a few lawmakers concerning how the Lips’ Michael
Ivins had worn a hammer-and-sickle teeshirt to the House and the way Coyne used
so-called “foul language.”


Right. Nobody should use foul language. Like, what the fuck?


Then the governor, presumably sane and sober, stepped in and
declared he would sign an executive order naming “Do You Realize?” as the
Official State Rock Song (and nicely putting the Lips in the rarified company
of Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills, whose “Oklahoma Hills” and “Faded Love” are,
respectively, the official State Folk Song and State Country & Western
Song. Gov. Henry signed the order on Tuesday, April 28, at the Oklahoma History Center
near the capitol, in a ceremony
attended by about 300 people. (Ivins,
incidentally, wore a “Ghostbusters” teeshirt.)





One fun tidbit: in the middle of all this, a popular
Oklahoma-based liberal blog, The Lost Ogle, published photos taken back in early March of the Lips posing with Oklahoma
senators and representatives – including some who ultimately voted against them
in the House. Note that Ivins is wearing the hammer and sickle tee in the photo, but apparently nobody had any problems
with him at the time, when they were getting a free photo-op out of the deal; the assumption is that some hard-ass top Republican later
spotted it and decided to stir up some of the troops.




“Initially,” Coyne tells BLURT, “when I was told that they
wanted to take it away from us, I thought ‘Well, I can kind of see. We are
weirdos and there are a lot of conservative people in the legislature.’ But
when they said it was the T-shirt, I was like ‘You’ve gotta be kidding.’ Then,
I double-checked and I was like ‘You’ve really gotta be kidding.'”


But with the governor coming to the band’s defense,
everything is right in the world now, says Coyne. “The governor signed this
proclamation making it Flaming Lips Day as well, so at about 3:30 in the
afternoon, suddenly, the rest of the day was Flaming Lips Day, which was sort
of absurd. I’ve met the governor a couple other times so it wasn’t that weird
but it was a big deal. People were quite overjoyed, really, and I think the
opposition almost made the comeback that much grander.  Everybody really felt that they were fighting
for a much bigger cause, not just their love of the Flaming Lips but this idea
that hey, who are the State legislators to take this thing away from us.”


You can read the complete Coyne interview tomorrow at BLURT.





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