Last night "The Flaming Lips - Fearless Freaks" arrived via the good people at Netflix. If you ever feel down, rent this film and you will feel like dancing by the end. I've always liked the band and have been vaguely aware that they were around forever before they broke through in the 90s, but this film made me want to move to Oklahoma City and hang with Wayne Coyne all day long.
Coyne is a type that I think most of us know. He makes things happen and he has a special knack for getting people involved. Watching him, I realize how much people want to be part of something fun and interesting. But I don't think the band would be as interesting if that were it.
The most revealing parts of the film were two segments where Coyne talks about his experiences with death and near-death. In the first segment, he recounts how, as a teenager, he was the victim of a robbery at the Long John Silver's restaurant where he worked to support the nascent Lips. Despite his jolly manner in recounting the tale, it is clear that the event, where he was told to lie down on the floor by the armed robbers, left a lasting impression on him. The second segment involves the death of his father. I won't go into details, but both these segments reveal a plain sense of humanity and love of life that, for me, is at the core of why the Lips music can be so attractive. As one fan says, listening to "Race for the Cure" makes you feel like you can do anything and be anything because it is so uplifting.
It may be a while before I send this one back to Netflix.