The Flaming Lips will release a new limited edition Gummy Song Skull at their two shows at the Hollywood Forever cemetery in Los Angeles.
Three hundred candy skulls with a USB in the center that includes a live version of "The Soft Bulletin" and two videos will be sold at the shows being held June 14 and 15. The Flaming Lips will perform their 1999 album, "The Soft Bulletin," on the 14th and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" on the 15th.
Earlier this year, the Lips released a skull made of Gummy Bear candy with four new songs. (Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne says there is not a plan currently to use those songs as the starts of a new album.) At $150 apiece, 500 copies quickly sold out and more are being made. The "Soft Bulletin" Gummy Skull and a ticket to each of the two cemetery concerts is going for $160.
Coyne says he "can't really say where" the version of "The Soft Bulletin" was recorded. "The mystery is part of the appeal."
Coyne came up with the skull idea after buying a few skulls for party decorations, which he then covered in pink fluorescent coating and his wife's perfume that smelled like bubble gum. Initially, he thought they should be made out of bubble gum.
"We pursued gum companies but they could get their heads around it," Coyne tells Billboard.com. "Then we found this guy who makes Gummy Bear candy and we asked him if would want to make an 8-pound skull. Turns out he was a Flaming Lips fan and the next night he had one made. I think the Gummy Bear candy is a far superior and even weirder idea than bubble gum."
On the Flaming Lips tour, which starts May 13 in Detroit and ends Aug. 5 in Kansas City, Kan., they will perform "Soft Bulletin" in full in Atlanta on May 19, Gulf Shores, Ala. May 21, George, Wash., on May 29, London on July 1, Chicago on July 7 and 8 and Montreal on July 31. Having played the album in full a few times in concert, Coyne says he has enjoyed returning to it because of its "overriding optimism."
"When you're making music, you have no idea what will happen and you don't think that you're carrying a theme from song to song," he explains. "We started recording it in 1997, so it's music that has been around for a long time. There's a quagmire for sensitive people at the core of 'The Soft Bulletin.' People think the world is full joy and wonder and that giving more joy to the world will result in more wonder and more love. There's a lot of pain and torture, too... 'Soft Bulletin' asks, 'Is the world more beautiful than horrible and what can we do?' I couldn't have said that while making the album -- that would have been a brutal thing to do."