"... It sounds, what’s the word, like nepotism gone wild. But I must say in their defense ... everything that’s come their way, they deserve every bit of it, even though it may look like Dennis’ uncle is getting him everything in the world. Everything they’ve got they’ve earned on their own.” Besides, Wayne wants the New Year’s event to be an "Oklahoma thing,” with future shows featuring other homegrown artists as opening acts. And while he waxes lighthearted about transforming his hometown into a place of cosmic wonder for one magical night, he’s always had a serious interest in seeing some real transformations take place in the state’s cultural image and quality of life, with one priority being the development of a viable music industry here. One giant step in that direction was the recent announcement that the University of Central Oklahoma will open the first authorized U.S. version of England’s prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music here, with Flaming Lips manager Scott Booker as its executive director. "This is something that me and Scott really have talked about for years,” Coyne said. "And at some point trying to get involved in the workings of trying to make Oklahoma City embrace these ideas, and Scott is really the genius behind that ... having this real building that people can go to where you can come in the doors and people say, you know, we can teach you things about the music industry that you’re not gonna be able to learn out there on your own.” Coyne wants aspiring local artists to realize they don’t have to leave Oklahoma to succeed in their chosen creative endeavor, especially music. Best example: Oklahoma City’s own contribution to the world of brilliant musical insanity, the Flaming Lips. "Here we are in what a lot of people think is like the heart — maybe not the heart, maybe it’s the lung — of like the Bible Belt. ... You could walk around (Bricktown) and Toby Keith has a restaurant down there. You could think it’s all sports and country music and the Bible. And, oh my God, look at this. The Flaming Lips have an alley right here in the heart of all this as well. "So, I’m not trying to change Oklahoma City. ... I’m just trying to say that there can be another little pimple on the face of Oklahoma City, and that could be something like the Flaming Lips. Because I know for myself that there are a lot of young artists that are here as well.” As for Wednesday’s show, Coyne has but one reservation. "I’m especially scared with all the talk of the economy, you know, for people to go out and spend money on shows. I feel bad in a way.” But at $20 a ticket, he shouldn’t feel bad at all. As concert prices go, it’s the best deal of the year. And fans can donate the money they save to the Salvation Army, which will be collecting at the show for OG&E’s Lend-a-Hand program, benefiting those having trouble paying their utility bills. "I hope maybe eventually we can just even do it for free or something,” Coyne said.
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The Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve Freak-OutWith: Stardeath and White Dwarfs. When: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Where: Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens. Tickets: $20 at Ford Center box office, all Tickemaster locations including Macy’s, Suncoast Movie and FYE stores, by phone at 235-8288, online at okfordcenter.com.
OnlineWatch a video of Wayne Coyne’s interview at NewsOK.com.