Do you realize… that Wayne Coyne is a very unusual man? The Flaming Lips frontman is legendary for his crazed antics on stage, emerging from huge projections of glowing vaginas and crowd-surfing in a giant plastic bubble, and off stage, marrying longtime partner Katy Weaver last weekend inside that same bubble. You can’t help but marvel at Wayne’s other-worldly eccentricity, and hope he never returns to his home planet.
Here are 11 of his all-time weirdest moments.
1. Making $2,500 records made with real blood from himself, Ke$ha, and Nick Cave
In 2012, Coyne released the collaboration album ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’, featuring guest performances from Nick Cave, Ke$ha, Neon Indian, Erykah Badu and others. Coyne told MTV Hive that he was collecting his collaborators’ blood in his fridge, small samples of which were eventually pressed into ten limited edition vinyl, available for purchase for $2,500. How vial.
2.The ‘Silver Trembling Fetus’ Christmas tree ornament
The three-inch ornament Silver Trembling Fetus was originally made in 2009 alongside the release of The Flaming Lips’ album Embryonic, but was re-released for $30 in 2011. According to Wayne Coyne’s special introductory video, the Christmas tree decoration “is rumoured to give off vibrations that help all humans progress toward an intelligence explosion”. Yes, you read that right.
3. Wayne is a “blob in the bath” on Google Streetview
In 2010, intense cyber-stalking revealed that if you zoomed into Coyne’s Oklahoma City home on Google Streetview, you could find a very blurry image of the singer taking a bath in his garden, next to a banner that reads “Blob in the bath”. Coyne and his then-wife Michelle set up the outdoor bath for a Halloween party in 2007.
4. Matching tattoo of a dead dog, with Miley Cyrus
Eyebrows were raised over Coyne and Miley Cyrus’ unlikely friendship when the two stars got matching tattoos of Cyrus’ dearly departed dog, Floyd, in 2014. In the wake of ‘Bangerz’ and Miley Cyrus’ chart domination, the former child-star surprised pretty much everyone with the announcement that her 2015 album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was co-written with The Flaming Lips, who had previously joined her on stage during her Bangerz tour.
Coyne also said in an interview with NME that he had considered pressing the the vinyl record with “a good amount of Miley’s pee and mix it with some glitter”.
5. 24-hour song ‘7 Skies H3’ encased in a real human skull for $5000
On Halloween 2011, The Flaming Lips released a song with a 24-hour runtime called “7 Skies H3”. The song was made available to stream at flaminglipstwentyfourhoursong.com. As if that weren’t strange enough already, The Flaming Lips then went ahead and announced a limited edition purchase option for the song, available to buy as a USB drive encased in a real human skull with chrome drips. Only 13 were made, at a price of $5,000 each.
6. Deactivated golden grenade in hand luggage
In 2012, Coyne was stopped at Will Rogers airport in Oklahoma City, after a dead grenade in his hand luggage set off alarms at a TSA checkpoint, reported TMZ. The bomb scare resulted in several delays and missed flights, and Coyne told the police that the deactivated grenade had been given to him as a joke at a party. He tweeted after the incident: “Sorry Sorry Sorry!! Everyone that was inconvenienced because of my grenade at OKC airport!!”
7. Glitterballs, spaceships, skull mosaics: inside Wayne Coyne’s house
In 2010, Fitzsimmons Architects released interior photographs by Coyne showing the stranger features of his Oklahoma City home. Coyne’s psychedelic palace includes a bathroom that looks like a spaceship control panel, a spherical fireplace suspended from the ceiling over a giant skull mosaic in his living room, and a freestanding glitterball in the garden. Just to make sure the architects didn’t get the wrong idea, Coyne’s hand-drawn house-plans include sketches annotated with labels such as “bath pod,” “fountain egg”, and “dragon mosaic body fabric wings”. Wow.
8. Music encased in giant gummy skulls
By now, you might be realising that wacky packaging is a mainstay of The Flaming Lips’ prolific music career. Their 2011 EP ‘Gummy Song Skull’ was released on USB drives encased inside gummy brains, further encased in a giant gummy skull, weighing seven pounds and costing $150 a pop. As if this wasn’t enough, they then upped the ante with the release of another gummy skull, this time gummy marijuana-flavoured brain encasing a live version of their 1999 classic album ‘The Soft Bulletin’.
9. Zaireeka and the The Parking Lot Experiments
The Flaming Lips’ eighth album ‘Zaireeka’ was released on four discs, that are intended to be played simultaneously for the correct mix. The name is a portmanteau of Zaire, the 90s Congolese rebel nation, and ‘Eureka’. The concept album was inspired ‘The Parking Lot Experiments’, a series of events the band put on between 1996 and 1997, where people were invited to bring their cars to carparks, and at the same time they would play one of 40 cassette tapes created by Coyne in sync.
10. Anatomically correct hearts made out of chocolate for Valentine’s Day
How better to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with an anatomically correct chocolate heart, encasing a selection of romantic music? A statement from the band said that the hearts are made of “72% South American dark chocolate studded with hazelnut mini whoppers and waffle cone crunch”. The Flaming Lips’ 2013 compilation ‘Songs Of Love’, includes a cover of The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’.
11. Sex, drugs & rock’n’roll: Wayne’s controversial, twice-banned Instagram
As you might expect, Coyne’s personal social media accounts are a smorgasbord of weirdness. In 2013, Coyne managed to get himself kicked off Instagram twice for posting “inappropriate content”. The content in question was most likely images from The Womb Gallery, a birth-themed psychedelic art gallery which he owns in Oklahoma. He briefly set up a third account called “waynewontpostpicsofnakedwomen” in reference to the bans. And how much does he respect the Instagram authorities? When The Flaming Lips hit 1 million followers, Coyne celebrated by posting an all-but nude selfie to his Instagram.
Over the years, Coyne’s also been in trouble for posting an image of lines of white powder and a rolled-up dollar bill, captioned “Yep… recording with Ke$$$$$$$$$ha!!!”, which he later revealed was a joke, and that the powder was actually crushed-up TUMS. Speaking to MTV about the incident, he also said that during their collaboration, he allowed Ke$ha to give him a foot tattoo.