FREE DocFest screening at The Independent Monday night!

Posted by sfindie June 5, 2015 2903 views

Equal parts punk and psychedelia, the Flaming Lips emerged from Oklahoma City as one of the most bracing bands of the late 1980’s. The Fearless Freaks documents their rise from Butthole Surfers-imitating noisemakers to grand poobahs of orchestral pop masterpieces. Filmmaker Bradley Beesely had the good fortune of being the neighbor of lead Lip Wayne Coyne, who quickly enlisted his buddy to document his band’s many concerts and assorted exploits. The early footage is a riot, with tragic hair styles on proud display as the boys attempt to cover up their lack of natural talent with sheer volume. During one show, they even have a friend bring a motorcycle on stage, which is then miked for sound and revved throughout the performance, clearing the club with toxic levels of carbon monoxide. Great punk rock stuff.

Through new and old footage and interviews, Beesley portrays Coyne as a mostly average, hard-working guy who still lives in his home state of Oklahoma, but also shows some of the tragic circumstances of their childhoods and early career; band member Steven Drozd even shoots up heroin onscreen. The film also features live performances and appearances by famous fans.


In 1967, Brute Force released his first album on Columbia Records and was on the brink of becoming a star. The Beatles championed his next single, “King of Fuh,” to be released on Apple Records. But dreams of fame and fortune quickly turned into nightmares when the record was censored and permanently shelved. In 2010, Sony and Apple reissued Brute Force’s controversial music from the sixties, giving him another chance to re-capture his dreams of rock stardom.

At THE INDEPENDENT, 628 Divisadero St at Hayes. 8p
Post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers.