This photo, reproduced in Ian Shirley’s Meet The Residents: America’s Most Eccentric Band!, first piqued my curiosity about the 1976 show the Residents had played in mummy costumes. (Or did I first see it in Twenty Twisted Questions?) I read Meet The Residents in 1993, and a few years passed before I learned this had technically been The Residents’ first show, that the show had taken place at a celebration of the Berkeley store Rather Ripped Records’ fifth anniversary, and that the performance had been titled “Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy! Can’t You See That It’s True? What The Beatles Did to Me, I Love Lucy Did to You!” There was not even a rumor of any recording of this show, and it seemed so mysterious and significant to me that, at one point in my life, I would have parted with vital organs just to hear a tape.
Now, of course, thanks to the miracle of science, anyone can hear the whole show for free on YouTube. There is even a snippet of footage a mouse-click away. No surgery required. (If memory serves, the minute-and-a-half clip was first released in 2006 as an “easter egg” on the DVD that came with the Kettles of Fish on the Outskirts of Town box set.)
The untight performance (cut them some slack—they are playing their instruments while totally swathed in bandages) includes a bit of “Six Things to a Cycle” from Fingerprince, but the performance as a whole is closer in spirit to The Third Reich ‘n’ Roll. The Eye Guys demolish “Satisfaction,” “It’s My Party,” “Wooly Bully,” and “Wipe Out” before treating the audience to an extended version of their own “Kick A Cat” from Meet the Residents.
A description of the show from residents.com:
Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy! was a special show put on for the fifth anniversary of Rather Ripped Records on June 7th, 1976. The Residents were joined by Snakefinger and Zeibak in performances of short versions of Satisfaction and Six Things to a Cycle from Fingerprince. For this show The Residents wrapped themselves up in bandages like mummies and Snakefinger dressed as a giant artichoke. These costumes proved to be a problem, though, as the foursome had rehearsed without them and when they took to the stage they found that it was rather difficult to play their instruments in such restrictive outfits.
Aside from that small oversight, the concert was planned out very thoroughly. Amazingly enough all the music was performed live, except for some pre-recorded backing vocals from the Pointless Sisters who couldn’t attend the performance in person. In addition to Snakefinger’s guitar and The Residents on an assortment of marimbas and xylophones, the band included Don Jackovich on drums and Adrian Deckbar on violin. Vileness Fats’s Arf & Omega put in an appearance performing Kick a Cat.
Bay Area readers, the Exploratorium is presenting the Residents’ Eskimo tonight!
A short video clip of “Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy!”:
Audio of the complete performance: