Flaming Lips’ “Put It On a Show on Cable”

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“I’ve never been a big fan of alternative music, but these guys rocked the house!”

-“Steve Sanders”, Beverly Hills, 90210 “Love Hurts”

Even the description of Beverly Hills, 90210 season 5, episode 23 – “Love Hurts” – is absurd: “Donna is targeted by the rapist; Dylan becomes privy to Andrea’s romance. The Flaming Lips have a cameo.” Classic stuff!

The Flaming Lips’ endlessly cited March 1995 guest spot on Beverly Hills, 90210 was not just a turning point in their evolution, it was – in the words of Spinner – “one of the ’90s most memorable pop culture moments.”  Indeed, numerous bands – Death Cab for Cutie among them – have used this appearance as “permission” of sorts to guest on shows like The O.C.

Wayne spoke to Spinner about the episode last year: “”I run into people all the time who’ve seen that show in reruns.”

“We’d already been a band for 10 years, but I think earlier on we probably would have just scoffed at it and said, ‘We’re not into this silliness. We’re a serious band, we do art and we do music and f— you.’ But I think we were starting to embrace the kind of absurd extras that come with being in a rock band because really that’s where all the fun is, to tell you the truth.”

“I guess you’d have to divide the categories up: there’s the category of just making music and being an artist and then there’s the category of sort of being famous in typical rock ‘n’ roll sort of ways and then there’s the category of just plain absurd… what are we doing here with this sort of mainstream stuff?”

“It was absurd, it was kind of humiliating, it was kind of fun, it was kind of ridiculous.  The episode proved to be all that.”

To watch this touchstone of American pop-culture keep your TV locked on the SOAP channel Thu, Aug 19 for rebroadcasts at 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM.

It repeats every few months, as does the Lips’ other bizarre guest spot: Charmed.

“Sam I Am” (season 5, episode 9, originally aired 11/19/02) is set to repeat on TNT, Tue, Aug 10, 9:00 AM.  Here’s what you can expect:

“The elders give Paige her first assignment as a Whitelighter. Cole gets a proposition from two ethereal beings who are neither good nor evil. The Flaming Lips perform in the episode.”

If that doesn’t excite you, don’t worry, the Lips are only on for the first few minutes of the episode… you don’t have to watch the whole show!

In fact, you can watch it all at the top of this post and forget about TNT.

Though 90210 has been in repeats for a long time, possibly the most seen television appearance by The Flaming Lips is their epic Tommy medley in VH1 Rock Honors: The Who – it’s been aired several times a month consistently for the past two years on VH1 Classic.  The Flaming Lips’ performance from this episode is embedded above but for the full two hour special (including Wayne’s interview and some shots of the band backstage), check out VH1C Fri August 13 at 6PM.

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