Unbowed by Badu blowup, Coyne, Lips aim for record
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fun for Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips means collaboration, and a recent dust-up with Erykah Badu after they worked together isn't slowing him down.
Coyne and the Lips will launch an attempt at the Guiness World Records mark for most live shows in 24 hours, playing eight concerts between Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans on Wednesday and Thursday. Trailed by fans along the way, they'll meet up with acts like Jackson Browne, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Gary Clarke Jr. and Hunter Hayes as part of the activities surrounding MTV's O Music Awards.
The Oklahoma rockers have been finalizing details and juggling schedules and logistics as they chase Jay-Z's record of seven shows in a day.
"If you had to really consider all this in the beginning, you just simply wouldn't want to do it," Coyne said in a phone interview last week. "Luckily, it occurs to you when you get closer and closer. I think it's a little bit like having a baby. At the beginning of it is a lot of fun, but by the time it's here, really it's too late to turn back."
That analogy isn't too far off the mark when it comes to describing the row between Badu and Coyne, either. Things seemed to be going great until the Lips released the video for "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face, their "Heady Fwends" record store day collaboration, earlier this month. The Lips eventually retracted the video after Badu accused the group of releasing it without her approval.
In the video Badu sits apparently naked in a tub, then later her sister Nayrok mucks about in a milky white substance and glitter. The disagreement spilled over on Twitter where Badu invited Coyne to kiss her "glittery" posterior and Coyne responded with a picture of himself with lips covered in glitter.
Coyne stopped short of saying Badu's reaction was contrived, but said she and her management certainly knew what was going down as they spent two days filming. He says her opinion changed when "easily riled" members of her audience objected.
"This is not her fault. It's just the nature of the way Twitter works," Coyne said. "Her fans can just sometimes lash out and be as mean as they want to be, which I think is interesting. That's the thing about Twitter — there's no referee, you know."
Coyne doesn't believe anything else will come of the episode.
"Luckily I'm doing so many things I don't have too much time to worry about it," Coyne said. "And a lot of people I run into now loved, loved that video and I think it's true to what Erykah and I, in the beginning at least, thought we were going to show the world."
The Lips will be joined on their record run by a number of musicians and celebrities, some performing along the way, some making appearances. The entire extravaganza will be streamed live online and MTV's family of networks will offer live look-ins.
Recent additions to the lineup include Browne, who will ride the bus from Jackson, Miss., to Hattiesburg, Miss., where he will perform with the band, "Jackass" star Chris Pontius, Karmin and Neon Trees.
"It's a logistics nightmare," Coyne said.