Ray Suen – aka Ray Ray Agogo, aka the guy that banged the gong all the way through “Watching the Planets” when the Flaming Lips played on Late Night with Conan O’Brien – rejoined The Flaming Lips for their New Year’s Eve 2010-2011 performance of The Soft Bulletin. Ray was brought in to help the Lips recreate in concert their densely overdubbed classic album, playing a variety of instruments including violin, keyboards, timpani and gong.
Ray also played with The Flaming Lips on Yo Gabba Gabba – filmed in October 2009 (though not aired until a year later) – but prior to New Year’s his work with the Lips in concert was limited to the two TV tapings circa the release of Embryonic. Since then he has joined them several times to play Bulletin – most recently February 21, 2012 at Noise Pop.
A very talented musician, Ray has played with numerous groups, most famously Mariachi El Bronx and The Killers (which he’s toured with since 2008 – see him dressed as Brandon Flowers, right). Other artists he worked with include La Jolla Symphony Orchestra, Louis XIV, Jason Mraz, Matt Curreri & the Exfriends, Joanie Mendenhall, Gregory Page and White Sea. He’s also given violin lessons to Tony Hawk… yep, that Tony Hawk.
Here is a recap from his initial preparations to play with the Lips in December 2010… there’s no getting around the gong…