Enter the name for this tabbed section: 1997 - THE MISSING YEAR
Over the years, The Residents have been so prolific that it's easy to see that a year could have simply vanished and gone unnoticed. And one did - 1997, THE MISSING YEAR! In the early to mid 90's, The Residents were quite active in the creation of CD-ROMs, releasing Freak Show, The GingerBread Man, and Bad Day on the Midway from 1992-95. With another CD-Rom, I Murdered Mommy, scheduled for 1996, the group expected to continue working in that direction for some time, but the CD-ROM market unexpectedly dried up and support for the project disappeared, leaving Mommy as yet another unfinished, semi-mythical masterpiece. So much time was devoted to writing and designing the CD-Rom that, other than some soundtrack music for the game and a short side project, Pollex Christie, no music was recorded in 1996. Having lost so much time on a dead concept, 1997 finally arrived, but the new year was not so happy. For the first time in decades, The Residents had absolutely nothing in the works. No CD-ROM, no album, no plans. 1997 was born dead. And truthfully, the year never got much better, but the group did begin moving in some interesting new directions. Creatively, The Residents saw Pollex Christie as a successful experiment, consequently they decided to follow it up with another highly experimental, classically styled piece. Moving quickly, in the spring of 1997, the group began work on a new 15 min work, Disfigured Night, and soon roughed out a MIDI arrangement.
•1997: the missing year -The Original Disfigured Night arrangement) instrumental - 15 minutes.
The Original Disfigured Night Arrangement
A few weeks later, The Cryptic Corporation received a call from long time lighting collaborator, Chris McGregor. Chris had accepted a job as technical director for a benefit helping the Tech Museum in San Jose and asked if The Residents were interested in participating in the fund-raiser. While this was not the kind of project the group normally became involved in, The Residents were looking for both stimulation and new directions, so they immediately accepted the invitation. With little time to prepare, they grabbed what they had: the Disfigured Night work, some scattered unfinished music sketches, and an epic version of We Are the World - and took off for San Jose.
•1997: the missing year -Scattered unfinished music sketches and We Are the World) instrumental - 40 minutes.
Scattered Unfinished Music Sketches
Inhabiting a position that normally would have been occupied by a string quartet, The Residents performed for a small, but wealthy crowd in San Jose. As the unsuspecting patrons entered the event, the group was seen perched 30 feet above the entrance to the cavernous lobby of software giant Adobe's world headquarters. Needless to say, The Residents hour long set was not quite what the rich nerds expected. Making sure no one missed it, the group performed the set, made up of a mix of prerecorded and live elements - some planned and some spontaneous - four times, and quickly left town.
•1997: the missing year -Adobe Disfigured Night) music /vocals - 46 minutes.
Adobe Disfigured Night
Also volunteering at the fund raiser was the house manager for the Fillmore in San Francisco. After seeing The Residents' performance, the promoter was so excited, he immediately invited the group to perform five shows at The Fillmore the following Halloween. Having never played this historic venue before, The Residents immediately accepted and began preparations. Soon another request came in, this time from the unlikely source of Marlboro cigarettes - in Germany. Searching for an event on which to focus their advertising at the Popkomm music trade show in Cologne, the tobacco giant suggested a short performance, 20-30 minutes in length, that could be video taped for television; it was to be performed 3 or 4 times with a changing audience. The small crowd was limited to people who won tickets in response to cigarette ads. (Leaving no opportunity for addiction unanswered, Marlboro also showered the audience with free smokes while waiting to take their turn as an audience member.) Aided by MTV producer and friend, John Payson, The Residents adapted a piece from the Adobe performance, transforming it into a 30 minute performance vehicle, Disfigured Night. The Residents performed Disfigured Night four times that evening; several months later, the piece was later broadcast on national television in Germany.
•1997: the missing year -The Marlboro Eyeball Experience [Disfigured Night]). music/vocals - 30 minutes.
Marlboro Eyeball Experience (1997) AKA Disfigured Night
By the time Halloween arrived, The Residents had reworked the Marlboro event into a tighter performance that would become the second act of the Fillmore show. For the first act they assembled a new set comprised of selections primarily made up of music from the CD-Rom era.
•1997: the missing year -The Fillmore dress rehearsal [act one]). music/vocals - 60 minutes.
The Fillmore dress rehearsal [act one]
The Fillmore shows were a great success and The Residents returned again to the Fillmore in 1998. But that is another story.
•1997: the missing year -Live at The Fillmore). music/vocals - 108 minutes.
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