Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nudity! Bikes! Music!

A few months back, the Flaming Lips put out a call for naked bicyclists in Portland for a video shoot. I hemmed and hawed about it-- it was meeting on Mt Tabor, and that's only a few miles from our place, but a lot of climbing for a pregnant lady. And there would probably be big crowds, which I don't love. But I do quite like the Flaming Lips. And it was such a delightfully silly proposition. And then, the clincher: what if, when it came down to it, nobody came? Was I willing to let my adopted city fail in its ability to turn out dozens, nay, hundreds, of naked cyclists on demand? No! I had to go. It was a moral imperative.

So, with the power of Facebook I found a friend who was willing to bike up with me, and we slowly trekked up the mountain. That first day, there was some trouble with the police about exactly how much nudity was permitted, and some delightful sneaking around following that, but overall it became clear that although Mt. Tabor was gorgeous, Wayne Coyne (the Flaming Lips' frontman and mastermind of this video) wasn't going to be able to get the shots he wanted. So, he declared that they would get a bus, we'd all meet back there the next day, and schlep out to Sauvie Island to shoot either on private property or on the nude beaches there.

With me being largely at loose ends, and my friend being currently unemployed, it was easy to decide to go back again. The next morning, our bikes went under the bus, we went inside of it, and a long, LONG day of shooting followed. We ended up on director Gus Van Sant's beautiful property on the island, running around naked, riding bikes excruciatingly slowly for the sake of the camera crew, and getting 'birthed' out of a giant furry space-bubble vagina. It was strange, and fun, and relaxed, and beautiful, and never creepy, which was surprising and awesome.

And then we were back on the bus, and it was late, and they dropped us off on Mount Tabor and I had a beautiful ride home in the dark, and it was done. And I somehow never thought beyond this as a chance to do something utterly unique, something strange and delightful that I wouldn't get to do again. I laughed about the notion of having my pregnant belly forever immortalized, but I didn't do a whole lot of thinking about what it would be like to actually be in the video.

And now, the video is here! And I am in it-- quite a lot, actually! The best shot of me on the bike, however, comes at about 4:20, on the right side of the frame. It should go without saying that, because of sound and vast quantities of nudity, this is NSFW.

Embedding isn't working, so find the video here!


Julian said...

Who needs plaster pregnancy casts and the like when your pregnancy can be immortalized in a Flaming Lips video? Congrats!! Sounds like a fun day.

Sox said...

That's pretty cool. I've never 'known' a real person who has been in a music video before.

sara said...

You look like you are having a blast. A day to remember clearly and now it's immortalized on film.

Rachel said...

This is awesome, Katie! I hope I look half as good as you look when I am pregnant. I'm glad that you decided to do this!