Enter the name for this tabbed section: CONTACT
CONTACT
 
Big Brother runs the blog and the historical

bigbrother@residents.com

Other Social Networks operated by Mama Ralph

The Cryptic Corporation is the management arm and handles all things involving money and legalities.

info@crypticorp.com

Enter the name for this tabbed section: THE CRYPTIC CORPORATION
The Cryptic Corporation was formed in 1976 by four friends of The Residents: John Kennedy, Jay Clem, Hardy Fox, Homer Flynn. The Cryptics' first action was to reinvent Ralph Records.  A number of people were hired including Tom Timony, Helen Purdum, Graeme Whifler, and Doug Kroll. The company signed several new acts and all was relatively stable through the New Wave music trend.
In 1982, two of the Cryptic officers were interested in exploring careers outside of running a record company (record companies were not doing all that well at the time) and the remaining officers, Homer Flynn and Hardy Fox, purchased all the stock and continued with the operation.
The owners reshaped the business away from being a record company and Cryptic became the full time personal and business management for The Residents. Cryptic Corp continues to handle the career demands of record contracts, touring, accounting, legal needs, as well as career guidance and direction.
 
The Cryptic Corporation
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Matt Groening s TRUE STORY
The True Story ofThe Residents

by Matt Groening
from Uncle Willie's Highly Opinionated Guide to The Residents (1993)
note: time period covered is from the "beginning" to about 1979

In 1979, Philip Culp and Mimi King were hard at work on a fan club labor of love called W.E.I.R.D: “We Endorse Immediate Residents Deification.” They called upon their friend, Matt Groening, to write the “story" of The Residents for the fan publication, not only because he appreciated the music of the band, but also because he had shown through his writings and drawings that he had the imagination to fill in the enormous blank spots in The Residents’ history.The decision to reprint Matt’s writing as it originally appeared in the The Official WEIRD Book of the Residents is not based on its accuracy, but on its charm of mythical story-telling. In truth, we may never know the “real” story. Here is one person’s entertaining idea of how it might have been.


A Brief Summary of Known Facts, Top Secrets, Hazy Details, Veiled Hints, and Blatant Lies. There is no true story of The Residents. You should know that right off. The secrets of The Residents will never be revealed by anyone but The Residents themselves, and so far they aren’t saying much. This report offers some insight into The Residents and their work, but their favorite breakfast cereals will remain a mystery. Part of what The Residents are about is their camouflage, and any understanding of them must take into account both their organized sounds and their organized silence. The best this report can do is note the various statements and point out the gaps. Our knowledge is still incomplete. Anything is possible.

 
The Parasitic Grip of the White Bloodsucker


Let your mind drift back to simpler, more pathetic times... to an age when American teenagers jitterbugged in plastic hula hoops to the savage jungle rhythm of payola’d rock ‘n’ roll, and spent their parents’ hard-earned pay on Kookie combs and Jughead comics... when Ozzie choked in the basement rumpus room on a piece of Harriet’s fudge, and Rick and Dave kicked at each other on the patio, pausing only for a healthful grape drink break... after which they would retreat to their rooms to masturbate with Tales From the Crypt while wearing cardboard 3-D glasses. The Residents themselves grew up in all this, but their early memories are clouded by small-town Louisiana swamp gas, where they spent their formative years like normal average white American southern children on a diet of Jello, peanut butter, and Kool-Aid. They recall their youth only vaguely. One remembers listening to his parents’ ancient records, such as “Mississippi Mud”, a 1927 recording by the Rhythm Boys (with Bing Crosby). The rest just mumble unenthusiastically about nameless arteriosclerotic country and western. The various crew didn't even discover each other until high school, where they giggled nervously about each other’s warped points of view. They told naughty jokes and made surreptitious fart noises to show their budding alienation, but somehow it wasn’t enough. They mostly managed to pull down barely respectable grades, and they shunned joining the few high school organizations which would accept them. They listened to the radio a lot, and said things like “Pass the drool cup” when attractive members of the opposite sex strolled by. They watched I Was A Teenage Werewolf as a true story and warning to us all, and after too many hours of Uncle `Miltie' on a circular black-and-white TV screen, they retreated to their secret clubhouse out on the bayou and played their crappy little 45’s over and over until they had memorized the scratches on all of them, They listened to the wheezes of the alligators floating languidly by the reeds, and read and re-read their “bible”: J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye. “Houlden Caulfield is a Resident,” one of them says. And Salinger, interestingly enough, leads a reclusive, partially demented existence much like The Residents. It has even been rumored that J.D. Salinger performs on one of The Residents’ early records, but this cannot be verified.

Grunt Evasion, Early Strategies, and How The Residents Got Their Name


After high school, the gang (which numbered five) split up and went their various ways - college, grunt jobs, draft evasion. They kept in touch with each other’s progress, however, and soon found themselves hopping like rabid Rhesus monkeys to rhythm and blues–particularly James Brown and Bo Diddley. James Brown’s Live at the Apollo is an album which makes them quiver to this day. But they soon found that they needed each other, and re-grouped to plot strategy. They didn’t know what the hell they were doing, but they knew James Brown made their butts twitch, and some how it would all work out. In 1966 or so, after a couple of them had made it almost all the way through college, they decided to escape the slimy Southern scourge of George Wallace. So they loaded up their truck and headed straight for San Francisco, where they had heard all the go-go mod action was goin’ down. As fate would have it, their truck broke down in a quiet suburban town called San Mateo, some 25 miles south of the big city. Behind them they left a few loyal, more balanced acquaintances who would later follow to start The Cryptic Corporation. In California they saw the minds around them already beginning to break down . Youngsters everywhere were growing their hair out and joining the “bushhead” movement. Beach boys frolicked with trained wild seals on the sand, and local cretins began electrocuting themselves with guitars on-stage while thousands chanted, “You endorse our mindless lives,” in unified spontaneity. Charles Manson pierced his nipple with a Love button while on acid, and the Psychedelic Revolution was born. The Residents began licking their lips. • At this point the story breaks down. While living in sleepy San Mateo, some “trick of fate”–as they put it–gave them access to musical instruments and an impressive array of tape recording equipment at the same time, and they were on their way. “The tape recorders were more important than the instruments,” says a Resident. They did a lot of jamming, mainly to amuse themselves, and rumors began leaking to a small coterie of outsiders that something of possible interest was going on here. In 1970 they began editing the tapes and playing them for skeptical friends at parties and fiestas. They sent one of these tapes to a dwindling group of pals in Louisiana, and got back four bubbling, enthusiastic replies, barely legible in their cacographic scrawls, but with enough exclamation points to let The Residents know that they had struck a nerve. “Let us manage you,” one of the letters said–the first overture of the impending Cryptic Corporation had begun. At this time, our boys still had no name for themselves. They considered calling themselves the New Beatles for a while, but prudence told them this was not a wise choice. In the meantime, they shrugged their shoulders a lot and plotted how to break into the biz. They finally got their name, as the legend goes, from Hal Haverstadt, an exec at Warner Brothers Records. Haverstadt worked with Captain Beefheart, and the nameless quintet figured that anyone who could relate to Beefheart might possibly understand what they were up to. So off they mailed an album’s worth of material, replete with title–The Warner Bros. Album–cover art, and wacko liner notes. They signed no name, just a return address. Haverstadt mailed the tape back weeks later, addressed to “Residents” and thus began the most significant pop music ensemble of the 20th century. Legend has it that around this time, a then unknown British musician by the name of Philip Lithman showed up at The Residents' door with the Mysterious N. Senada, an acquaintance whom he had met in Bavaria, while on an expedition there from Britain. What has since come to light, however, is just as remarkable. It seems that Lithman had come from his home in England to California in search of the thriving musical renaissance that was supposedly taking place in and around San Francisco, when he bumped into N. Senada, who told him about these chaps who were involved in some interesting musical experimentation. Intrigued, Philip accompanied Senada on his quest to seek out these fellow Adventists, and the rest is history. For The Residents, the result of this untimely meeting has been a close and prosperous relationship with Snakefinger, and a deep respect for Senada, who has since kicked The Residents in the right direction on numerous occasions. It was at this point, when The Residents had firmed up their musical relationships with these two influential individuals, that the infamous, shocking Baby Sex was recorded, whose astounding sounds live up to its unsettling cover. The Residents–perhaps wisely–did not unleash it upon the public. In 1971 Ralph Records was formed by The Residents to give themselves an outlet for their creative endeavors. “Ralph” was an in-house slang term for “dog”, as well as a verb from high school drinking days: “call ralph” meant “to vomit.” The significance of this is dubious, but sorta interesting to the smut-minded linguistic scholar.

Cryptic Tears and Conceptual Lockjaw


The Residents first actual living proof release was an Xmas card called Santa Dog, a brilliant four song, double 45 record set, of which several were mailed to such dignitaries as Frank Zappa and President Nixon. The Residents clapped their hands excitedly and raced each other to the mail box every day for the expected onslaught of postal bravos. But there was no response. Not one. Even Zappa’s copy was returned in the mail–the victim of a wrong address. A solitary tear fell from one of their cheeks, and on New Year’s Eve they trudged back to their makeshift studio, sadder but wiser. Santa Dog, the first Ralph Record to be pressed, remains the rarest of the once-available Residents recordings. They had fallen into their stance of anonymity with a vengeance by this time, which gave them the confidence to continue offering their masterpieces to a hostile world. Their next project, Meet The Residents, was recorded in 1973 and released in early 1974, but they found it hard to unload any copies. The record was so good that none of the San Francisco record stores would touch it. It was “too weird,” “nutty,” “negative,” and the commercial outlets were afraid something might rub off and contaminate them. The Residents got a lot of encouragement from their artistic friends, however, and prodding by the art collective Ant Farm. They put a sampler flexi-disc into an issue of File, the Canadian “art” magazine, offering copies of their first album for little more than the cost of a Big Mac and fries. But the reaction was open-mouthed gaping and tiny invisible question marks forming above readers’ heads, so they cheered themselves on to their next project–the musical/video extravaganza, Vileness Fats. In a windowless, box-like studio on Sycamore Street in San Francisco, The Residents built incredibly complex hand-painted sets. Their work space was so small that each set had to be dismantled before the next could be constructed. With cumbersome, bulky costumes they recorded the pixillated movements of themselves and chosen outside performers on 1/2 inch black and white video tape; the results suggested a dreamlike wonderworld not unlike the view of a squealing Boston terrier on acid flung into a barrel of live albino sand eels. Vileness Fats was sadly abandoned around Xmas, 1975 after three hard futile years of work. Luckily some of the footage is being edited into a 30-minute featurette (parental guidance suggested), which The Residents have hopes of exhibiting in the year 1980.

The Great Dim Sum Riot of 1974


The 1,000 Meet The Residents albums which were initially pressed slowly began to wake up several isolated weirdos across the country, and soon The Residents had gained a sought-after “sub-cult” status. But back in San Francisco tensions were mounting among these creative oddballs and in the summer of 1976 the group almost split up. The easily-irked Residents finally resolved their conflicts after a horribly embarrassing food fight in Chinatown by closeting themselves in the studio and recording Not Available. For the recording they came up with their famous Theory of Obscurity, which allowed them to be completely uninhibited about their problems and thus work them out. The Theory posited an obscure directive which said that Not Available could not be released until they had forgotten its very existence. Towards the end of the Not Available sessions, when tensions had eased and their creative juices had once again started to boil, The Residents began work on The Third Reich 'N' Roll, a project which became a landmark in American pop music. Then, in September of ’76, The Residents condensed all that they had mustered for Third Reich 'N' Roll to make one pulsating, mind-throbbing 45: a cover version of the Rolling Stones’ classic, “Satisfaction.” The result was one of the most powerful records ever made. It featured the stunning twirl action guitar of Snakefinger, who had become a Residents associate ever since those early days in San Mateo. At this time Ralph Records also released a little-known single by a fellow called Schwump, a mad percussionist from Portland, Oregon. Schwump had impressed The Residents and the Cryptics with his full-length frog opera, and his demented autoharp styling, so they backed him up on the quirky “Aphids in the Hall.” But Schwump proved a difficult guy to work with, and he eventually jettisoned himself from sight in a murky cloud of squid ink and hasn’t been heard from since. But he left behind his immortal portrayal of a midget Al Jolson in blackface singing “Mammy” in Vileness Fats.

The Airtight Alibis of Men With Plastic Bag Over Their Heads


The Residents rarely perform live. In fact, only three actual performances can be confirmed. The first took place on October 18, 1971, on Audition Night at the Boarding House in San Francisco when The Residents, accompanied by the Mysterious Nigel Senada and Snakefinger, stormed the stage in a blitzkrieg invasion and stunned the helplessly drunken audience with a half-hour performance. First Senada warmed up the audience with poetry and a wild saxophone solo, then on came The Residents, with Margaret Smik as Peggy Honeydew wailing away on inflamed vocals. It was all captured on videotape while the dumbfounded audience grew alarmed and sweaty. On Halloween the same year they staged another mysterious impromptu performance at a celebration held in the small town of Arcata in northern California. Interestingly enough, some portions of this event were recorded and included on the Baby Sex album. The final performance was in 1976 at an anniversary party for Rather Ripped Records, a record store in Berkeley which also happened to be the first store with the foresight to support The Residents and was for a long time the only outlet to stock their albums. Snakefinger, dressed as a giant artichoke, played an unrecognizable “Satisfaction,” while a couple of characters portraying Arf and Omega, the Siamese twin tag-team wrestlers from Vileness Fats, performed “Kick a Cat,” a selection featured on the original Santa Dog. The camera operator never showed up, but a security guard got part of the show on videotape, and perhaps someday it will be unveiled to the rest of us. By 1976 The Residents were getting the international recognition that their four biggest fans had been confidently predicting for years. So after an invited visit, they gave into these chums from the homeland who had clamored to mold them from the beginning - Jay Clem, Homer Flynn, Hardy Fox, and John Kennedy. These four decided to call themselves The Cryptic Corporation, and their goal was to support and ultimately thrive on the music of The Residents after a moderate investment to get the business flowing. The Cryptics are uneasy about divulging facts about themselves–what The Residents have is apparently contagious–but they admit ominously to funding The Residents’ projects and themselves over the years with shrewd real estate deals and they will say no more.

Rubber Baby Bug-Eyed Bouncers: or, How to Throw and Catch a Tantrum


The first Cryptic-supervised album was Fingerprince, yet another brilliant record. It featured a shortened version of “Six Things To a Cycle,” a lengthy ballet originally planned for a performance at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The event was canceled when The Residents were rumored to be selling experimental monkey depressants to grade school children (the culprits turned out to be another musical group altogether, and The Residents got off scot-free). By February 1, 1978, when Duck Stab was released, The Residents were getting mail from all over the world daily. Big-boy record companies began to sniff tentatively in their directions, and the Cryptics started salivating in return. Maybe maybe maybe this is our Big Chance, they said to themselves, and The Cryptic Corporation hastily re-released “Satisfaction” to cash in on the sudden attention. But The Residents in their naïve and humble ways were horrified and affronted, and failed to show up on the day that Eskimo (which had been two years in the making) was to be mastered. They dropped all projects and refused to cooperate with the Cryptics further. Then suddenly, due to a particularly undiplomatic comment from The Cryptic Corporation, The Residents fled en masse with the Eskimo tapes. The Cryptic Corporation was in an uproar, especially when they finally figured out that The Residents had fled to England. Once again the story bogs down in conflicting testimony, but it was reported in the music press that The Residents sought counsel with Chris Cutler, who had sat in with them on the Eskimo sessions. “Stay calm,” he told them. What a nut. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., The Cryptic Corporation was frantic. Their empire was crumbling before their eyes, and it was the fault of four moody, ungrateful, arrogant, paranoid artists who had been nurtured along for years like premature infants who puked on mother’s milk. In desperation the Cryptics released Not Available in order to remain solvent. They eventually contacted Cutler, who served as a go-between for the warring bodies, and slowly the Cryptics somehow managed to regain The Residents’ trust. A few transatlantic phone calls later all was patched up. How and why and what are unknown, but in the end Jay Clem and John Kennedy, who had gone to England to find the missing persons, retrieved the tapes of Eskimo from Chris Cutler, and when The Residents returned, the Cryptics surprised them with a brand new recording studio. In celebration, The Residents went on a composing rampage, producing Buster and Glen. “Santa Dog ’78”, and further tinkering with Eskimo. The Residents were back, Not Available was available, the ball was rolling. It was a symbolic break with the past, Anything is possible, and now, anything could happen. . .

Bark Dust: The Dust Dogs Ask by Name


In an industrial market dominated by a musical product sold to human pets like dog food, The Residents have fulfilled the promise of the best popular music. Ambitious projects are announced in almost-weekly press releases by The Cryptic Corporation. Other groups, influenced by the work of The Residents, are emerging at a rapid rate. A few enlightened people are becoming aware of the absurdity and corruption of creative expression in our culture. And the ranks of the W.E.I.R.D. grow daily.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Uncle Willie s TRUE STORY
YET ANOTHER TRUE STORY

by Uncle Willie

from Uncle Willie's Highly Opinionated Guide to The Residents (1993)
note: time period covered is from the "beginning" to about 1990
 
According to mythology, The Residents hail from Louisiana’s largest northern city, Shreveport. However, information so clearly handed out is almost certainly inaccurate, knowing how they create myths within myths. I can’t say that it matters to me where they are from, though it is certainly the South; one can’t fake an accent that accurately. But who cares anyway?

Their musical history actually does start somewhere: San Mateo, found some twenty miles south of San Francisco. The myth claims they ran out of gas on the way to San Francisco and took it as a sign to settle there. Further, the myth says that they never put more gas into the car and it was eventually towed away by the city. Maybe. After all, they would have been no more than kids at the time.

The mythological claim is also that they recorded either 2 or 4 albums in San Mateo. My personal research in their tape storage (which is poorly marked and disorganized) turns up two unreleased albums, The Warner Bros. Album and Baby Sex, and two "not-quite" albums, hence the confusion about what really exists.

Santa Dog is the official start of The Residents’ career. This is so because it was released to the public and therefore became a matter of record rather than superstition. They left San Mateo for San Francisco's sunny Mission District. The year was 1972. Santa Dog became an official Christmas card announcement of the groups’ plan to invade the music world. Not that the music world was to care, having become overblown with its own ability to feed insensitive youth with tedious musical pabulum while collecting sinfully large sums of money. Santa Dog stands against everything that the music industry felt was important. It was free.

The Residents were never a band, and were easy to irritate by just the implication that they were musicians, especially of the rock genre.  For three or four years their time was spent constructiong an elaborate reality under the belief that they were creating the ultimate underground movie named Vileness Fats. Even though never finished, perhaps they were successful. We have yet to see the footage brought together into some version of the original plan. Even in its fractured form, which was released in 1984 on video as Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?, the footage we have is startling in its beauty and originality.

As Vileness Fats lumbered along on its cumbersome shooting schedule, The Residents continued to record music. Meet The Residents, Not Available, and The Third Reich ‘N’ Roll all came from this period. Friends of The Residents–Jay Clem, Homer Flynn, Hardy Fox, and John Kennedy–had moved into business positions to help launch this new entertainment concept and a new record label, Ralph Records.

The Theory of Obscurity was in full bloom. The Residents, always ones to convert their reality, good or bad, into a purposeful intent, figured out that being obscure gave them the added advantage of not having to please anyone but themselves with their music. Not Available was the big obscure album, so obscure, in fact, they never intended to release it at all. It did get released by The Cryptic Corporation some five years after it was finished out of economic necessity–a move that caused some tension around the studio.

Actually, The Residents dumped the theory once the media started to notice them. The final lines of Vileness Fats ask, “Is obscurity itself the test tube of tomorrow, or is the testing done to pave the way of sorrow?” Obviously, the group was considering that the Theory of Obscurity was not in their best interest. The Warner Bros. Album and Baby Sex remain the last vestiges of this theory.

Then they go big time. The business structure reformed as The Cryptic Corporation, an "art and entertainment" corporation and moved to the infamous "444 Grove Stree" address in San Francisco. The ill-fated Vileness Fats film was stopped, having over-reached its technology. its budget and time allotments. The English press, NEW MUSIC EXPRESS, SOUNDS, and MELODY MAKER had discovered the group and overnight, had embraced them as the darlings of the "New Wave" (New Wave being what people called the independent music fad of the late 1970's) During this time, Fingerprince, Duck Stab, Eskimo, and The Commercial Album were recorded. The English press, after deciding the first three were masterpieces, finally decided that The Commercial Album was quite dreadful and not what people wanted to listen to at all. The British press had slid so far back in comprehension of The Residents by the time the more severe Mark of the Mole was released a year later that one scathing review actually complained that he "didn't find it the least bit funny." The New Wave fad had ended. Middle-of-the-road was back.

Fortunately, the press announcing your demise does not mean that you are dead. But the year was now 1981. For the sake of this book, this is the end of the first ten years. The Residents were not dead, but they knew life had changed. Some things that used to be important could no longer be thought that way.
The Residents had lost their innocence.


THE TRUE STORY CONTINUES by Uncle Willie

Followers of The Residents often find it difficult to agree on anything about the groups’ artistic output. People stand by some recording as though it were flag and country while trashing a different title with little thought that it represents another listener’s ideal work. It is, in fact, this dichotomy that makes the Ocular-ones so culturally interesting.

However, there is one point about which followers of the group do tend to agree. Something changed in 1982.

The change not only happened for The Residents, but for just about every other musical group that was riding the “New Wave” trend. That “wave” crashed to shore causing independent bands with a commercial edge to scurry to the major labels and the others to mostly dry up. The fad of the “independent” died fast leaving most small specialized record labels, distributos, and shops in a state of confusion.
The Residents had completed their first decade with one of their most exhausting albums to date, The Commercial Album, which they used to burn through as many musical ideas as they could in 40 minutes. The critics in general did not take to it, perhaps because there was no way to really appreciate it without actually listening, and we all know that reviewers do not have enough time in their days to actually listen to all the things that come across their desks. No matter the reason. The Residents were depressed and recorded Mark of the Mole to represent this desperate feeling.

Ralph Records faced the same economic problems as the other independent labels, and as a result of that, two of the Ralph Records officers, Jay Clem, who headed up the business and accounting, and John Kennedy, who did manufacturing and production, decided to leave the company to pursue more economically lucrative endeavors outside the music and art world.

The Residents wanted to perform live to mark the start of their second decade, and were in final rehearsal for The Mole Show when word came down that the two business heads were leaving the company. Ralph was left in the hands of the creative team of art and advertising director, Homer Flynn, and A&R person and producer, Hardy Fox. The two remaining officers were scrambling to stabilize the business but were unable to prevent the loss of five of the seven employees. The economics of Ralph Records, and, therefore, of The Residents and their new project had disintegrated almost overnight. The Mole Show came to a halt.

Friends came to the aid of the band, especially the parents of The Residents who put money into the show and got it on the road. But calamities continued.

The Mole Show itself, though a bold production intended to display the feelings and frustrations of the group, merely perpetuated the sense of being out of control as it careened around Europe.

The Cryptic Corporation remained in steadfast belief and support of the Wide-Eyed Ones, and, upon their return from touring, assisted them in setting up a temporary studio where the band recorded George and James, a study of the music of George Gershwin and James Brown, and Title in Limbo, recorded with Renaldo & The Loaf. George and James was licensed by WEA in England, and economics began to stabilize again.

The Mole saga was far from complete. Writing began on a new album that would be radically different structurally and linguistically. It would be sung in the language of the “Moles”. But to contrast that, The Residents wanted to treat the music as though this Mole band, “The Big Bubble,” had somehow ended up in America during the “rock” era. So the group would arrive with only an electric guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer, and vocalist.

The result was pretty wild. A UWEB poll called The Big Bubble one of the two weirdest Residents albums ever recorded. It tied with Not Available which makes sense in a way. The Big Bubble represented a shaking off of the problems in the same way that Not Available had served ten years earlier. One might say that it is another album recorded under the "Theory of Obscurity."
The release of The Big Bubble didn’t have much impact in the USA, but things were different in Japan, where the album’s strange beauty was not so alienating. Talk began of taking a live show to the Orient.

Sure enough, Halloween of 1985 found The Residents, along with their friend, Snakefinger, celebrating in the streets of Shinjuku, Tokyo as The 13th Anniversary Show began a world tour. A new album had been completed—a study of the music of John Phillip Sousa and Hank Williams, Stars and Hank Forever. It had already attracted attention because of a Hank Williams song, “Kaw-Liga,” which was set to the rhythm of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

The tour spent most of 1986 on the road touring Japan, Australia, Europe, and the USA. Torso Reecords in Holland remixed "Kaw-liga" to give it a dance mix and soon young people all over Europe were getting downn to the pulsating sounds of The Residents. It was yet remixed again into a "house" version and went back into the clubs for a second time.
The 13th Anniversary Show was popular with the public, as well as profitable, and The Residents felt confident that they had put their problems behind once more.

The time was ripe for a major push of creative power. The Residents, having grown emotionally as a result of their struggles, felt that a project was needed that expressed that emotion with a positive statement about what being alive means. The album that resulted was basically an hour-long poem set to music, God in 3 Persons. Many people who had happily shook their tails to “Kaw-Liga” were now faced witd ritualistic religious sadism, the band pried open new areas of drama, revealing more about themselves in one hour than in the previous sixteen years of recording.

Tragically, during the creation of God, Snakefinger, their closest friend and collaborator, died of a heart attack in Austria while on tour with his band.

The story of God in 3 Persons was taken further by treating it as a personification of the Elvis legend. The Residents recorded an album of non-satirical covers of Elvis tunes inserted into a story about a baby king, The King & Eye. The band realized that American music was no longer a viable form. When Elvis lost his popularity to the British (who had incorporated his styling), American music died as an art form, and soon American musicians were busily imitating the British (who of course were busy imitating the Americans.) Rock was stuck in a whirlpool from which it could never escape.

The Residents wrote a stage show, CUBE E, about American music; its rise and its fall. Subtitled, “The History of American Music in 3 E-Z Pieces,” the production literally attempted to show how country and western music had blended with black soul and blues to produce rock and roll. The climax of the show featured a bloated Elvis-imitator begging the world to be his fans while the Beatles kill his essence by singing “...don’t you step on my blue suede shoes.”

The show successfully toured the USA and Europe in 1989 and ’90 sneaking into such places as Israel and Slovania.

When The Residents use their present emotional state to fuel a project, it is guaranteed to give that project a special power. The reality of touring as giant eyeballs had conjured up a strange self-identity, “freaks.” “Everyone comes to the freak show,” they would often say on the way back to the dressing room. With this in mind, they wrote a new album, Freak Show.

Freak Show is a clean, hard-edged series of “stream of consciousness” compositions with surreal lyrics telling stories of different side show “freaks.” That the band is being self-referential is never more than thinly veiled. This album becomes an exorcism of touring; a healing for the return to friends and families. Freak Show is more than just the end of a tour. It is also the end of a second ten-year stretch, except for the year of introspection that has given us the Twenty Twisted Questions retrospective videodisc and the unusual Our Finest Flowers album.
I suppose one might as well say, “They lived happily ever after, The End.” But this isn’t a fairy tale. And it certainly isn’t the end.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: FAN CLUBS
W.E.I.R.D. (1978-81)

W.E.I.R.D. was the first Residents fan club. It was founded in June, 1978, by Phil Culp and Mimi King and quickly grew to 500 members. The club's membership package was very elaborate: in addition to a member's card, you received a copy of The Official W.E.I.R.D. Book Of The Residents with cover art by Gary Panter and containing The True Story of The Residents by music journalist Matt Groening (later famous for his Life in Hell comix and The Simpsons).

Once it was established the club had a contest to figure out just what W.E.I.R.D. stood for. The club eventually settled on "We Endorse Immediate Residents Deification".

While the club was in operation, they made art prints by Panter and Savage Pencil available to members, as well as odd Residential souvenirs such as 6" segments of the original Eskimo master tape. The club's slogan, "Ignorance of your culture is not considered cool," was taken from a Duck Stab promotional poster.

At its peak the club had over a thousand members, but it was plagued by late newsletters and ate up too much of the organisers' time. It shut down in 1981, sending out specially pressed copies of the Babyfingers single with new art by Pore Know Graphics, as a final gift to all members.
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BABYFINGERS


UWEB (1988-1992)

UWEB was "Uncle Willie's Eyeball Buddies," the official fan club for the Eyeballed Ones.

Unlike most band fan clubs, UWEB actively produced and released CDs of music by the band, most of it available only through the club.

Uncle Willie released material to club members that no-one else ever saw. The Residents even recorded tracks specially for UWEB releases. The club released a quarterly newsletter which announced the latest Residential goings-on, explored the technology behind the music, and generally examined the Residential world.

SANTA DOG '88
SNAKEY WAKE
BUCKAROO BLUES
LIVER MUSIC
DAYDREAMB-LIVER
THE 13TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW LIVE IN THE USA
aka SNAKEFINGER
SANTA DOG '92
STRANGER THAN SUPPER
LAND OF MYSTERY*

* NOT RELEASED BY UWEB - RALPH AMERICA UWEB COMPILATION


Fan Clubs became outdated because of the internet. Now days the closest thing is this web site with its CHAT, News, and Video screens.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: WHAT IS
What is...

The Residents
Four people who dabble in the arts. They make music, videos, perform, and generally have a pretty good time.

Enter the name for this tabbed section: FAQ
FAQ


1. Are The Residents a band, or what?

A. I guess I would have to say a "what." The Residents write, record and perform music, so I suppose that kind of makes them a band. However, they think of themselves as a "group" which is not so directly music-orientated.

2. Who is in The Residents?

A. If the question is "what are the names the parents gave to the people making up The Residents," then I would say that those names belong to individuals and not the group. The group doesn't have names within its structure. If the question is the real "who," meaning the philosophy and outlook, then that is all clearly stated in the work. I would find it difficult to summarize.

3. Is it the same people now as the people who started the group?

A. It is exactly the same. However they work with other people all the time and those people may be considered "Residents" for the period of the project or projects. I understand that the number of people who have been in The Residents is probably over a hundred at this point and still growing.

4. How does one get to work with The Residents?

A. It generally is a result of The Residents asking you to participate, or a recommendation to fill a needed role.

5. Why are the people who do The Residents obsessed with being anonymous?

A. They aren't. It is other people who seem to be uncomfortable with their privacy. Say you have a tank of goldfish. Say you have given each goldfish a name. A stranger wanders into your house and sees your tank of goldfish and wants to know who they are. Considering that he is a stranger, you tell him it is a tank of goldfish.

6. Why not just make up fake names, then? Who would know the difference?

A. Most people in show biz have made up names. That is true. The Residents reveal more about who they are by using no name than people who use fake names. But as you can see it is others, like you, who keep asking about names as though that matters somehow.

7. It is common knowledge that The Residents recorded early albums that have never been released. Why don't they release that material?

A. Like any artist, there is early work. But in this particular situation, the first actual release by The Residents was 1974's Meet The Residents. Anything earlier, including Santa Dog, was not by The Residents. But I know what you mean. There are recordings by the people who later became The Residents. Some older recordings were stolen from their studio, mostly unfinished experimental recordings. Also, a demo of material that was sent to Warner Brothers was taken. Most of the recordings were not touched and a lot of the old stuff has been discarded by The Residents at this point. They prefer to not release recordings that they feel do not represent them. This is true for all artists, not just The Residents.


Have a question whose answer would be of general interest? Send it to Big Brother (bigbrother@residents.com) and maybe it will end up here.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: THE LAST WORD
The Last Word

Big Brother gets in his final comments Here.

Nostalgia Time (2007)
Scars
(The Legacy of) Big Brother
The Bottle of Water
What is in a name?
Nostalgia Time (2008)
Favorite Top Ten (2008)
Controversy (2009)
Talking Light (2010)
Enter the name for this tabbed section: SOUNDTRACKS & SCORING
Soundtracks and Scoring
You can find a list Here.