The Flaming Lips

Wayne CoyneLead vocals, guitar, keyboards, theremin, bass1983-
Michael IvinsBass, keyboards, vocals1983-
Steven DrozdDrums, guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass1991-
Kliph ScurlockDrums, percussion2002-2014
Derek BrownGuitar, keyboards, percussion2009-
Mark CoyneVocals1983-1985
Dave KostkaDrums1983-1984
Richard EnglishDrums, vocals, piano1984-1989
Jonathan DonahueGuitar1989-1991
Nathan RobertsDrums1988-1991
Ronald JonesGuitar, vocals1991-1996
Jake IngallsGuitar, keyboards2013-

The Flaming Lips Artistfacts

  • In 1989, The Flaming Lips recorded their first studio album with Dave Fridmann, who went on to work with several notable bands including Weezer, Mogwai, and Sleater-Kinney. The band recorded the disc at the State University of New York and was only able to pay Fridmann $5 an hour as their budget was capped at $10,000 for the whole process.
  • The Flaming Lips caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records in 1990 after an A&R executive from the company witnessed a show where the band almost burned down the venue. The gig happened at the American Legion Hall in Norman, Oklahoma and The Flaming Lips' pyrotechnics almost caught the building on fire. Warner Bros. signed the band shortly after the show.
  • In 1997, The Flaming Lips released a groundbreaking album called Zaireeka. The record consisted of four compact discs that were designed to be played simultaneously at the same time on four different CD players. In the two years prior to the album's release, The Flaming Lips conducted several experiments to ensure that the concept worked. One experiment involved handing out cassette copies to people in cars in one large parking lot and getting them all to play the tapes at the exact same time.
  • In the late '90s, The Flaming Lips' drummer Steven Drozd's arm was almost amputated due to what he claimed was a spider bite at the time. It was later discovered that Drozd's arm had become infected due to his heroin addiction. The band wrote about the experience in the 1999 tune "The Spiderbite Song."
  • The Flaming Lips were forced to give up some of their royalties for 2002's "Fight Song" after it was discovered that the track was too similar to Cat Stevens' "Father And Son." Stevens, now known by his given name Yusuf Islam, opened a bitter legal battle that The Flaming Lips eventually ended out losing.
  • In 2008, The Flaming Lips released their own movie. Christmas on Mars was a science fiction flick influenced psychedelic film that starred all of the band members in various roles. Actors Steve Burns, Fred Armisen, and Adam Goldberg also appeared in the film. The movie premiered at the Sasquatch! Music Festival outside of Seattle in 2008.
  • The Flaming Lips' frontman Wayne Coyne used to work as a cook at Long John Silver's. Coyne was barely in his twenties when the fast food restaurant was robbed one night he was working. The singer was forced onto the ground by three men with shotguns, then led to the safe and told to hand over the cash unless he wanted to die. Luckily, Coyne escaped without any physical injuries and he ended up working at the eatery for 11 years.
  • Even after The Flaming Lips hit it big, frontman Wayne Coyne decided to stay in the same Oklahoma neighborhood where he grew up. Coyne says he loves the state and claims there's nowhere else in the world that he'd rather come home to.
  • The Flaming Lips made history in June 2012 by setting a new Guinness World Record for the most concerts performed in multiple cities in a 24-hour time period. The shows were required to be at least 15 minutes long, as per Guinness rules.

    The attempt started in Memphis, Tennessee, on the afternoon of June 27 when the rock band boarded their bus, aptly named Endeavor, to zigzag across the region. Their marathon ended in New Orleans on the afternoon of June 28, with 20 minutes to spare.
  • Wayne Coyne tied the knot at the age of 57 with 30-year-old Katy Weaver in his hometown of Oklahoma City on January 5, 2019. They exchanged vows inside a giant plastic bubble.
  • When the band chose the name Flaming Lips, they were unaware of its cultural cachet. It shows up in the 1964 Shirley MacLaine film What A Way To Go! as a movie within the movie starring Gene Kelly. The phrase is also used by poet Margaret Walker and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. "I wish I could claim that we knew all that," Wayne told L.A. Record. "There's even a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that says the words 'the flaming lips,' as though when people speak the brave truth, it comes from their flaming lips! He has great colorful language, and people have often said, 'Wayne, I know where your name came from!' I wish it came from that!"

    So how did the band come up with the name? Wayne read about a group called Flaming Hands and simply liked the sound of it.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Flaming Lips performed several "space bubble" concerts in their hometown of Oklahoma City. Fans safely watched the show from 100 see-through pods, each of which could fit up to three people. The band performed on stage entirely encased within their inflatable human-sized inflatable orbs. The "space bubbles" have long been a part of The Flaming Lips gigs, with Wayne Coyne often rolling over the crowd inside his giant orb. Coyne and his bandmates first unveiled the concept during a June 10, 2020 visit to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.


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