Today is the 36th birthday of Flaming Lips' lead vocalist and guitarist Wayne Coyne. The Flaming Lips are probably best known for their fluke hit, "She Don't Use Jelly," a catchy, noise-filled song from their 1993 release, Transmissions From the Satellite Heart. Drawing influence from the Beatles and the Plastic Ono Band that Coyne listened to as a child, the Flaming Lips have managed to escape classification during their 14-year career with their ever-inventive, acid-tinged song structures and lyrics, all while consistently gaining new fans. The band started as a joke in 1983 in Oklahoma City, Okla., when Coyne's older brother Mark crashed a party and roped the party-thrower’s brother into playing bass for the Coynes, with Mark as vocalist and Wayne on guitar. The trio recorded a cassette single in 1984 known as Blow Job, which they sold at their shows, and in 1985 they recorded a self-titled EP with their new drummer, Richard English. Mark Coyne quit the band that year to get married, so Wayne Coyne took over vocal duties, and the band released its first full-length album Hear It Is on Restless Records in 1986. 1987 brought the release of the Flaming Lips' second album, Oh My Gawd!!!. In 1989, they replaced their drummer and added a second guitarist after their third release, Telepathic Surgery. The following year they released their last -- and most psychedelic -- album on Restless, In A Priest-Driven Ambulance, an album still hailed as one of their best.
Moving on to Warner Brothers Records, the Flaming Lips put out Hit To Death In The Future Head in 1992. In 1993, they changed their lineup yet again, an adjustment that resulted in Transmissions From The Satellite Heart, their most accessible and straight-forward pop-laden album to date. The album spawned the hit "She Don’t Use Jelly," much to the surprise of the band and its fans. The Flaming Lips put out an EP of self-recorded material from radio shows and in-store appearances called Providing Needles For Your Balloons in 1994. They followed with Clouds Taste Metallic in 1995, which contained the tripping anthem "Put the Waterbug in the Policemen’s Ear," a song about going grocery-shopping on acid. In 1997, the band released a limited-edition, 4-CD album called Zaireeka!, a result of Coyne’s "parking lot experiments": a series of experiments he conducted in Oklahoma City parking lots involving between 30 and 50 car stereos playing cassettes of music that he created or sampled -- all at the same time. The four discs that comprise Zaireeka! are meant to be played simultaneously on four different players.
Other birthdays: Trevor Rabin (Yes), 44, and Suggs (Madness), 37.