Published Apr 24, 2009To some, the Flaming Lips are an Oklahoma institution, having put the state and city - Oklahoma City, that is - on the musical map (okay, maybe Rodgers and Hammerstein were there first). It's safe to say Color Me Badd, Hanson and the All-American Rejects sure didn't. Knowing this, Wayne Coyne and his merry crew had their 2002 hit "Do You Realize??" nominated by state citizens for the "Official Oklahoma Rock Song" in a public vote. That seems appropriate, considering the song's rather uplifting message, but according to Pitchfork, the song's nomination has caused quite the stir.
Yesterday it was reported that the House of Representatives rejected the song's candidacy in a vote of 48 to 39 against Senate Joint Resolution 24. Not only were the band mistaken for communists by one member of the House but Republican representative Mike Reynolds told The Oklahoman that "the band have a reputation for using obscene language, recalling band members used offensive language several years ago when the city of Oklahoma City named an alley after the band." Reynolds then added quite the zinger, stating, "Their lips ought to be on fire." Ouch.
Thankfully, this disheartening decision lasted only a mere 24 hours, as Pitchfork has now reported that the brief waiting brought the band a champion, in the form of Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, who has overruled the vote and intends to sign an executive order on April 28 that will put the Lips song back into contention. Says Henry, "For more than 20 years, Oklahoma's own Flaming Lips have produced creative, fun and provocative rock music. The music of the Flaming Lips has earned Grammys, glowing critical acclaim and fans all over the world. A truly iconic rock'n'roll band, they are proud ambassadors of their home state. They were clearly the people's choice, and I intend to honor that vote."
The Lips responded to the turn of events via a bulletin on their MySpace page:
As many people around the world know, the Flaming Lips are proud to be from Oklahoma. We want everyone to understand that only a minority of the representatives voted against this law. The facts are that "Do You Realize" won over 50% of the popular vote in the original poll, passed unanimously in the Senate, and won over a majority of the Representatives in the House (48 were for the law passing, 39 against, 14 were absent from the vote and you need 51 to pass the law). Regardless of what the minority in the House of Representatives wish, the Flaming Lips remain proud ambassadors of the state. We are honored that the majority of the people who voted hoped to have "Do You Realize" be the Oklahoma State Rock Song. Perhaps there is still a way it can be.
Flaming Lips - Do You Realize??