During the ‘80’s, there was a brilliant late night program called Night Flight. As a youngster, Night Flight introduced me to many of the bands, films, and icons I still admire today. It was through the program, hosted off-screen by Pat Prescott, that I discovered the likes of J.R. Bob Dobbs, Firesign Theatre, Dynaman, The Kentucky Fried Movie, and many short films such as the masterpiece “Dot” written and directed by Dan Carbone. Of all the discoveries I made watching the show, none stand out more than when, late one night, long after everyone else had gone to sleep, the following image appeared on our living room television screen:
In a few short moments, my young mind became mesmerized by the video and music of a band unlike any I’d ever seen or heard. The song, a fantastic cover of “This is a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown, was my introduction to the unique and commercially transcendent world of The Residents and I would never be the same. A few years later, when I had a steady allowance, I bought everything I could by the band. From Freak Show to Eskimo to The Mole Show with narration by master of illusion Penn Jillette, The Residents taught me that songs don’t have to sound like the songs you hear on the radio nor do they have to conform to a conventional way of making music.
Several years later, never expecting to hear back, I emailed The Residents to ask for permission to use a quote from one of their songs, “The Man in the Dark Sedan” for my debut novel. To my surprise and elation, Homer Flynn of the Cryptic Corporation replied personally. Not only did he give me permission but said he’d like a copy of the book! To add even further to the excitement, The Residents came to Dallas for their Shadowland tour and I was able to give it to him in person!
Meeting Mr. Flynn was a great moment for me and I hope to cross paths with him again someday. Thank you to The Residents for continuing to push the boundaries of music, showmanship, and art!