The Time Wayne Coyne and I Called Latvia, Woke Up My Friend, and Gave the Latvian Tabloids Some Copy!
When I heard the Flaming Lips were playing a SXSW show at Auditorium Shores, I couldn’t help think about the last time that the Flaming Lips played a large show in Austin.
Back in 2010, I was working on a column about people with disabilities at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I ran across Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of the Flaming Lips in the festival’s media area. He was waiting for an interview with MTV, I was trying to stay in the shade so I didn’t melt.
After a few people had posed for pictures with him, I asked Coyne for something unusual. My friend Toms Grevins in Latvia is a big fan of the Flaming Lips, and has a radio show where he often interviews musicians. So I asked Coyne if we could call my friend. After a few tries and a little bit of waiting–including taking the photo above to kill time and alerting my friend to answer his phone via Twitter–I was able to put Coyne on the phone with Grevins.
The two of them chatted for a bit, then Coyne was whisked away to film his MTV segment. Hours later, the Flaming Lips played the ACL festival to a packed crowd at twilight.
Later that night after the festival’s music had ended, I ran into Coyne again in the artists area. (I was scribbling away writing this Statesman column in longhand on while sprawled out a comfy patch of grass.) Remembering me from earlier, it was Coyne’s idea to call my friend again–so we did. Even though it was about 6 a.m. in Latvia. Since he was doing an evening radio show at the time, it was no surprise that we woke Grevins up.
I understand that the next day the Latvian tabloids read something along the lines of, ‘We would only be more surprised if Jim Morrison called to wake Grevins up.”
So Wayne, if I run into you again at SXSW, let’s try and cause a little more havoc and wake a few more people up!