Flaming Lips Reveal Their Flaming Past

The Flaming Lips just finished a stint in San Francisco, playing four

shows in four days, including a free concert in the Union Square. They

looked a little worse for the wear at the noon show, having been on

the road virtually non-stop for the past eight months. Happily, they

already have eight songs recorded for their next Warner Bros

album, and won't have to grind out "She Don't Use Jelly," until the

millennium. Lead singer Wayne Coyne is quite a character, proud of the

ten years he spent as a fry cook at a Long John Silver fried fish

franchise in Oklahoma City. He's excruciatingly polite, earnest, witty,

and well-read­­almost the perfect blend of human and rock star­­but he

wasn't always so virtuous. The doe-eyed Coyne unabashedly told ATN

that he didn't exactly have an upbringing out of "Ozzie and Harriet."

Coyne didn't go to his high school prom, in fact he moved out of the

parental home at age fifteen, financing the move by selling drugs. He

also financed guitar lessons, a new guitar and amps, and used his

ill-gotten gain to launch his career. But there's something enduringly

honest about his admission, and when he tells his story, it takes on

the patina of an updated Horatio Alger story. One parting note:

despite Coyne's plaintive voice, he confessed to us that he really

isn't all that crazy about Neil Young.