The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” No Longer the Official State Rock Song of Oklahoma
New Governor Let Executive Order Expire
For the past several years The Flaming Lips' track "Do You Realize??" has served as the official rock song for the band's home state of Oklahoma. Turns out this is no longer the case as Governor Mary Fallin decided not to renew former Governor Brad Henry's executive order granting the song its unique title.
The song, which became one of the band's most beloved works when it appeared on Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots in 2002, was originally chosen for the distinct honor when the Oklahoma Historical Society opened it up to a citizen vote back in 2009. Beating out songs by Elvis Presley, The All-American Rejects, and others the song was unanimously approved by the state Senate but fell just three votes short of the 51 votes necessary to ratify the resolution in the House of Representatives. Governor Henry inevitably issued his executive order despite the rejection.
According to a report by eCapitol, a new governor has 90 days after taking office to approve the executive orders of his or her predecessors. While Governor Fallin Media Director Alex Weintz says that the order was not renewed because she was inundated with other priorities, Representative Joe Dorman, one of the sponsors of the original resolution, speculates a more political reason, as several House Republicans have expressed their disapproval of the band, particularly when bassist Michael Ivins wore a t-shirt with a hammer and sickle during a photo-op at the Capitol.
"I'm disappointed but not surprised the Governor didn't renew the executive order," Dorman said. "It's sad to hear that all of that hard work was done away with by Gov. Fallin."
Longtime Lips manager and current president of the Academy for Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma Scott Booker shared his own disappointment, explaining he and the rest of The Flaming Lips have always taken great pride in their home state, and that the title, official or not will always stand with the band and their fans.
"I believe that most people think the Flaming Lips are great representatives for the state, and we believe we are," Booker said. "I mean, we love Oklahoma. We live here. We do a lot for Oklahoma. It would be disappointing if this honor went away, but it's always going to be in people's heads, I think, the state rock song, whether it's officially mandated or not."
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