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That Flaming-Lips-Fired-Drummer Story Just Got Political

Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Just about a month ago, it was reported that Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock had flown the coop. But at the time, no official reason had been given. It now turns out that he did not leave, but rather was sacked by the band. The reason why is still a bit tangled, but apparently it all has to do with the daughter of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, and her donning of a Native American headdress.

According to Gawker, Christina Fallin posted a photo to Instagram in which she was wearing the aforementioned headdress. The photo, to promote her band Pink Pony, angered many who cited it as unsympathetic to Native American culture.

She, in turn, issued an apology to Oklahoma’s Native American community: “Forgive us if we innocently adorn ourselves in your beautiful things. We do so with the deepest respect … We hold a sincere reverence for and genuine spiritual connection to Native American values.”

Pink Pony

And exactly where do the Flaming Lips fit into all of this? It turns out that Fallin is a close friend of Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, but apparently drummer Scurlock took to social media, calling her out for her actions. His tirade against her got under the skin of Coyne, who, it seems, turned around and fired him from the band. But hold on, there’s still more to the story.

It turns out this wasn’t the first issue between Fallin and the Native American community. According to the Indian Country Today Network, prior to a Pink Pony appearance at the recent Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma, Fallin posted on Facebook, “I heard Pink Pony was wearing full regalia tonight.”

According to Indian Country Today Media Network, Choctaw musician Samantha Crain gathered people to stage a protest at the festival. From the stage, Fallin snubbed their protest, performing a fake war dance and wore a Native American-style fringed shawl with the word “sheep” written on the back. Some of the protest signs read, “Culture Is Not a Costume,” and “I Am Not a Costume.”

Indian Country Today

To make this even more confusing, shortly afterward, in some sort of odd showing of solidarity, Coyne — who apparently flipped off protesters — posted a photo on his Instagram account that featured three people, and one dog, all in headdresses. That account has now been closed.

Next: 10 Best Flaming Lips Songs

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