The Flaming Lips‘ Wayne Coyne and drummer Kliph Scurlock showed up at Mount Tabor along with a modest crew to greet the 50 or 60 cyclists eager for a naked stroll atop their aluminum stallions. Coyne, of course, was sporting his usual snug-fitting gray suit … and nothing else. The video shoot for “Watching the Planets” (from the forthcoming Embryonic record) had it all: mystery, intrigue, suspense … the latter of which came in the form of a park ranger threatening to shut the whole thing down and seize the equipment if the budding nudists/video stars didn’t keep their bottoms on their bottoms … breasts OK; buns and balls not OK … only in The Prude-nited States of America.
Fortunately by the time the fuzz arrived, the full-nude scenes had already been shot and given the OK by director Coyne, who understandably was more concerned with the bikers’ safety. “We don’t want anyone to crash … we don’t want any scraped-up boobs,” he told the clothes-less posse.
Coyne looked more worried about his own safety once he was inside of his space bubble, which was propped on top of a stack of milk crates inside of a bicycle rig. But the faithful volunteers held Coyne in place through the six or seven runs.
Scurlock, meanwhile, spent most of the morning chatting with onlookers and press, talking to park rangers who threatened to shut them down, and cueing up the music on a beat-up orange amplifier. His guess was as good as anyone’s as to what would come of the day’s shoot: “Like with Christmas On Mars, we had no idea what it was about until it came out.”
Photos by Mark Lore