Stop The Presses!

Oklahoma Governor Realizes Flaming Lips’ Greatness

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Last fall, 10 finalists--including pop-rockers the All-American Rejects, bluesman J.J. Cale, new-wavers the Call, surf heroes the Ventures, and '50s rockabilly goddess Wanda Jackson--competed in a public poll have one of their recordings be the Official Oklahoma Rock Song. The poll was part of the Oklahoma History Center's celebration of the state's rock 'n' roll history, to be featured in an exhibit entitled "Another Hot Oklahoma Night" starting May 2, 2009.

Well, surprisingly--or perhaps not surprisingly, given the passion of the Flaming Lips' fanbase--psychedelic eccentrics the Lips won the poll by a landslide with their 2002 dreamy indie hit, "Do You Realize." (Out of 21,000 total votes, the Lips received more than 10,000.)

This outcome made Flaming Lips fans happy, but it made certain Oklahoma state officials flaming mad.

The Oklahoma House actually rejected the resolution to make "Do You Realize" Oklahoma's official rock song. because Lips bassist Michael Ivins wore a red T-shirt emblazoned with a yellow sickle-&-hammer Communist Party symbol when visiting the state Capitol in March 2009. "I was really offended by that," said Rep. Corey Holland.

Rep. Mike Reynolds was also less than thrilled with the Lips' poll victory, mainly because the band used profanity at the 2007 ceremony for the Oklahoma City alley (yes, alley) named in the band's honor. "Their lips ought to be on fire," Reynolds remarked.

As a result, the House voted down the measure.

However, today Oklahoma governor Brad Henry--who praised the Lips for their "creative, fun, and provocative rock music"--announced that he will override the House's decision and sign an executive order to name "Do You Realize" as the state's official rock song after all. He will in fact sign the resolution at a ceremony next Tuesday attended by the Lips, who will hopefully refrain from wearing controversial T-shirts or spewing profanity that day.

"The music of the Flaming Lips has earned Grammys, glowing critical acclaim, and fans all over the world," Governor Henry said. "A truly iconic rock 'n' roll band, they are proud ambassadors of their home state. They were clearly the people's choice, and I intend to honor that vote."

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