Never Known Questions – Ian Shirley explores ‘Five Decades Of The Residents’ in our latest Cherry Red Book release
Since their inception in the early 1970s, The Residents have confused, confounded and delighted fans and critics for over forty years. Shrouded in anonymity, the band has charted a course with no beginning and no end that has taken them to the outer limits of entertainment and audience expectations. From their debut Santa Dog single, through warped sonic tributes ranging from the Beatles to Hank Williams, mysterious recordings made among the Inuit, iconic eyeball imagery and collections of one minute songs to jaw dropping live shows, innovations in audio visual technologies and social media, conceptual albums and tours, abandoned film projects and eventual semi de-masking to reveal the slightly unsettling Randy Rose, the band is unquestionably one of pop’s most innovative acts.
Never Known Questions delves deep into The Residents’ psyche, charting their rise from cottage industry imagineers to art pop figureheads and exploring forty plus years of chameleonic musical adventures, along with the lore and legend that has built up around the group.
Were they really Talking Heads and Brian Eno, or even The Beatles, in disguise?
What is a Cryptic Corporation? Who was Nigel Senada?
Did they really forget about recording an album?
How’s Randy doing now?
And what kind of a band sells a fridge full of records for $100,000 anyway?
Packed with interviews and imagery, Never Known Questions tells a unique and original tale that music historians will thank the author for preserving.
Late 2015 will also see the public release of the crowdfunded ‘Theory Of Obscurity’ film about the group, which premiered at SXSW to critical acclaim and will roll around the international film festival circuit for the rest of the year, taking interest in the band to new levels.
Ian Shirley is a music journalist whose features and reviews have appeared in a wide range of publications, from the Times to Record Collector magazine. He has also published three novels, as well as several biographies of bands, including Bauhaus, Pink Floyd and Green Day. Ian is currently the editor of Record Collector’s Rare Record Price Guide and also runs the magazine’s vinyl reissue label. He is also, obviously, a Residents fan.