I remember the first time I saw the Flaming Lips. It was at the Big Day Out festival in Melbourne in 2004. It was the first time I’d seen Wayne Coyne in his gray suit, smearing blood on his face and pulling his balloon-into-the-crowd stunt. The show was… I hesitate to say “spiritual,” but it was a profoundly beautiful and moving experience in a way that very few rock shows are, a demonstration of how music can be a force that’s inspiring and healing and uplifting.
That was 2004. This is 2014. The man who held the crowd in the palm of his hand that night has spent the last five years in a quest to apparently become the worst person in rock ‘n’ roll, culminating in yesterday’s report on Gawker that he fired his drummer of 12 years for objecting to one of Coyne’s friends wearing a Native American headdress on Instagram. Wayne Coyne, what the fuck?