The World Naked Bike Ride doesn’t roll around again til June, but Portlanders will have a chance next week to ride naked around Mt Tabor as part of an upcoming Flaming Lips music video.
I spoke about the shoot, set for Wednesday, with Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne during a break in preparing for the band’s appearance tonight on the Colbert Report.
Coyne was enthused about his plan. He said he got the idea from the scene at the end of the musical Hair: “You know how it’s a bunch of freaked out naked people climbing some mountain with blood and fire and finding some new civilization there — so I thought of Portland, right?”
Coyne went on, “So I read a couple stories about the naked bicycle riding. I know Jillian [Kelsheimer Sevick, former BikePortland neighbor and currently merchandising manager for the Flaming Lips] from Portland and thought — I wanna do it for a video.”
The plan for the shoot makes Portland’s annual naked bike events sound fairly run of the mill. “I’m having one of my giant space bubbles covered in fake fox fur,” Coyne said. “Its going to look like some giant fur egg, and the people on bicycles are gonna sort of be born and erupt out of this fur, vaginalistic thing.”
(Photo by Flaming Lips)
As with other naked rides, the event is meant to be freespirited rather than lewd, Coyne said. “There’s a difference between pornography and just freaks who are naked. This is about unrestricted freedom and a good lawlessness that’s always sort of implied at our shows.”
The video is being made for the final song, called “Watching the Planets,” on the Flaming Lips’ upcoming album appropriately titled Embryonic. The song is “an epic…march, almost. It goes on this hypnotic groove,” Coyne said. The video’s concept is still emerging: “Maybe I’ll even get naked for the video, too. I don’t even know how it ends — maybe it ends with them all getting clothed and making me get naked and shoving me back into the giant fur egg. I just came up with that right now.”
The shoot is from 10am to 10pm on Wednesday, September 23rd. Participation is on a drop-in basis. The sign-in table will be the basketball courts near the top of Mount Tabor.
Here’s what the crew is looking for (via an email from Sevick Kersheimer):
For the sake of the shoot we would rather no tall bikes or abnormally small bikes, it’s just easier on the camera guy, George. Though if some show up I’m sure they will figure it out. We are looking for things to be as natural as possible so we are discouraging costumes and body paint. Though if people want to make themselves shiny with baby oil or something, that will play off the lights well!
Shooting will go on all day, so participants can join the fun for the entire 12 hours, or just drop by for an hour or two. No RSVP is required, just show up (clothed, please!) with valid ID.
There you’ll be greeted by Coyne and the Flaming Lips crew, who will set you up with a release form, a sign up sheet, and a secure area to stash your clothes.
Coyne says that the video should be available for viewing within about two weeks after the shoot, “so long as i don’t get arrested and nobody gets hurt.” The record is set to be released in the second week of October, and this is one of there or four music videos they’re hoping to release concurrently.
Flaming Lips naked bike video shoot
Wednesday, September 23, 10am – 10pm (drop-in)
The top of Mount Tabor, by the basketball courts
No RSVP needed. Just show up wearing clothes, please.
For more information, contact: bikeforthelips at gmail dot com
Elly Blue has been writing about bicycling and carfree issues for BikePortland.org since 2006. Find her at http://takingthelane.com