So the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne brought a gold-painted, disarmed grenade to the airport in Oklahoma City earlier this week, pretty much ruining the day for a lot of fellow travelers. Apparently it was a mistake: Coyne tells Pitchfork he got the thing at a druggy party the night before, and threw it in his bag without thinking. But of course the equation of grenade plus airport equals massive security freakout, somewhat understandably, so non-famous travelers got to spend unanticipated dollars and hours rearranging their travel plans.
Initially this struck us as funny -- just wacky ol' Wayne again, being silly and breaking the rules! Especially when he began retweeting all of the awful things people were saying about him. But thinking about it a little more, this seems like one more indication that Coyne may have traveled out of the club of cool-weird rock dudes and arrived at the swamp of narcissistic assholes.
Think about the Coyne-related headlines of 2012: Dude pissed off Erykah Badu by releasing an unapproved video featuring her and her sister stark naked. (In which the unapproved-ness, not the nudity, was the big deal.) The Lost Ogle, an OKC blog that first broke the grenade story, also reports that he separated from his wife of 25 years -- yes, the one he tweeted all those naked pictures of -- after falling for a younger woman. He worked with Ke$ha earlier this year, which would've been cool, except for the awkward cocaine pics. Then there's his ongoing obsession with nudity, sometimes his own but mostly others', which, when it's at the point Coyne's is, comes off a bit creepy.
We're longtime fans of Coyne and the Lips, and had a fun, thoughtful conversation with the man earlier this year around the Lips' Noise Pop show. It sort of pains us to say mean things about him. But Coyne's behavior this year has been more baffling than enlightening. Bringing a grenade to an airport is just one more sign that the famously wacky Coyne might starting to crack in some key places.