Meet The Residents Wiki

The Residents unmasked, 1979

As The Residents have always operated under a veil of obscurity, much attention has been focused upon the true identities of the individual members of the group.

Many rumors have come and gone over the years, some of which have been proliferated by The Residents themselves, with the assistance of their management company The Cryptic Corporation.

Early rumors

Perhaps the most well known of the early rumors about the true identities of The Residents was that they were in fact The Beatles, recording experimental music following their break-up and using an assumed identity. This rumor was popular in Australia in the mid-1970s after it was published there by music magazine Ram; it was denied by Jay Clem of The Cryptic Corporation in The Residents Radio Special in 1977.[1]

Another early rumor suggested that The Residents shared members with the 1960s New York experimental rock band Cromagnon; this is again untrue.

The Cryptic Corporation

Since 1976, much of the speculation about the members' identities has been focused upon the four founding owners of their management company The Cryptic Corporation; Homer Flynn, Hardy Fox, Jay Clem and John Kennedy. All four founding Cryptics are listed as collaborators with the early Residents on the 2013 compilation album The Delta Nudes' Greatest Hiss.

The Cryptic Corporation has always been open about the fact that Flynn produces the bulk of the band's artwork, and that Fox, until his retirement from the company in 2016, was their producer and arranger, primarily responsible for engineering and editing the group's recordings for release. Despite this, the members of The Cryptic Corporation have consistently denied being part of the core line-up of The Residents, instead acting as their management and spokespeople (first Clem, and later Fox and Flynn), as The Residents themselves do not grant interviews.

Since 2016, The Cryptic Corporation has consisted of Homer Flynn, sole remaining founder and current "Captain Doc" of the Corporation, alongside its co-owners Cherry Red Records (often represented by product manager Richard Anderson) and MVD Audio.

Promotional appearances and live shows

It was admitted in the 2015 documentary film Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents that during photo shoots and promotional appearances, the people in the eyeball costumes were not necessarily the members of The Residents themselves.

Some tours have also featured dancers in costume as Residents, in addition to the members of the band. Between 1985 and 1991 Mr. Blue and Mr. Green were portrayed by dancers Sarah McLennan and Carol LeMaitre.

The Big Bubble

When The Big Bubble was released in 1985 with its album cover unusually featuring a photograph of four unmasked men, some fans questioned whether in fact these men (or some of them, or any of them) were The Residents.

The Cryptic Corporation promptly denied that the men were members of The Residents, explaining that they were in fact models hired to portray The Big Bubble, the fictional band represented on the album.

"Randy, Chuck, Bob, Carlos and Rico"

"Randy, Chuck and Bob", 2015

Between 2010 and 2016, The Residents undertook The Randy, Chuck and Bob Trilogy, a meta-fictional mutlimedia project centered on three world tours, Talking Light, The Wonder of Weird, and Shadowland.

For the project the core members of The Residents (now numbering three) each adopted personae; fictionalized versions of their real selves, forming the world's "best Residents cover band". The Singing Resident was Randy Rose, the lead composer/arranger and keyboardist was Charles "Chuck" Bobuck, the guitarist was Lionel Bob, and a fourth, absent Resident, the percussionist Carlos, was said to have recently departed the group to look after his ailing mother in Texas.

Beginning in 2011, the members known as Rose and Bobuck took the opportunity to use the personae to pursue solo projects, beginning with Rose's one-man show Sam's Enchanted Evening between October 2011 and March 2012. In 2012, Bobuck began a prolific series of solo studio recordings he referred to as "contraptions" with the release of the album Codgers on the Moon; the liner notes which accompanied the album were noted for their uncharacteristically personal approach, which presaged the release of a pseudo-autobiography, THIS Is For READERS, in 2015. Rose also released solo recordings, including a single titled "Bigfoot Beware" in 2016, and a series of demos leaked by Rose to a Tumblr fan blog in 2011.

Over the course of Shadowland, the final tour of the trilogy, the Resident known as Bobuck retired from live performance, and eventually from the group altogether, to be replaced by a new Resident, Rico. The personae were largely retired with the announcement of the 2017 tour In Between Dreams, which featured a new, four-member line-up, referred to as "The REAL Residents". Randy continued to appear in promotional videos as The Residents' former lead singer until 2019, and is expected to feature prominently in the group's upcoming film Triple Trouble.

Within the narrative presented by the trilogy of tours (and related projects such as blogs, vlogs, newsletters, and album and single releases), Rose, Bobuck, Bob, Carlos and Rico represent the unmasked, individual members of The Residents. Despite these personae having been mostly retired in 2017 following the conclusion of Shadowland, many fans still use these names when referring to the individual members of the group and wishing to maintain their anonymity.

"The REAL Residents"

"The REAL Residents", 2018

With the announcement of their In Between Dreams tour in 2017, The Residents adopted new personas; singer Tyrone, guitarist Eekie, keyboardist Erkie, and percussionist Cha Cha. This new group of pseudonyms were referred to in publicity materials as "The REAL Residents".

Within the Randy, Chuck and Bob mythos, the four members of "The REAL Residents" act as replacements for Randy, Bob and Rico, hired by The Cryptic Corporation without prior warning to the incumbent trio.[2]

The four-person line-up of The Residents known as Tyrone, Eekie, Erkie and Cha Cha have seemingly reverted to a veneer of anonymity following the conclusion of In Between Dreams, with no particular personae being ascribed to the members of the group for their next tour, the much-delayed Dog Stab!.

Hardy Fox

"The Residents just came through here on tour and they are still mysterious. I am not in The Residents. I have no reason to pretend to be mysterious."

Hardy Fox, 2018

Hardy Fox, 2018[3]

In his Hacienda Bridge newsletter in October 2017, at the conclusion of his serialized novella The Stone, Hardy Fox announced that he was the person hitherto known as Charles Bobuck, and thus, that he was the primary composer, arranger and producer of The Residents' music from their inception until his retirement from the group in 2016.

Following this, Fox began to record under his own name, beginning with a self-titled album in early 2018. His prolific recording activity continued with frequent releases until shortly before his death in October 2018.

Philip Perkins

Philip Perkins, 1980s

American musician Philip Perkins has identified himself as having worked closely with The Residents between 1979[4] and 1987.[5] He worked with the group both as part of the live band (for The Mole Show) and in the studio.

The liner notes to the 2020 reissue of his 1983 album King Of The World explain that it was recorded during a period when he part of the Assorted Secrets line-up of The Residents.[6]

Frequent Credited Collaborators

Throughout The Residents' career, the group have understood their own limitations, and have often employed the talents of guest artists to perform where they cannot. Some of these guest musicians like Nolan Cook, Carla Fabrizio and even Snakefinger have been credited on Residents releases so frequently that, on top having performed and toured with the group, are considered members themselves, who's ultimate disguise is that they are credited.

Cook even played the character of The Residents' guitarist 'Bob' in The Residents' 2010-2016 Randy, Chuck & Bob tours.

Live band line-ups

Throughout their history as a live performing band, The Residents have regularly had help from other credited performers.

Oh Mummy! Oh Daddy! (1976)

The 13th Anniversary Show (1985 - 1987)

Cube-E (1989 - 1990)

  • Joshua Raoul Brody
  • Mark Salvatore
  • R.M. Davis
  • Carol LeMaitre: Dancer
  • Sarah McLennan: Dancer

Ty's Freak Show (1991)

  • Carol LeMaitre: Dancer
  • Sarah McLennan: Dancer

Disfigured Night (1997)

Wormwood Live (1998 - 1999)

Icky Flix Live (2001)

Demons Dance Alone (2002 - 2003)

The Way We Were (2005)

The Bunny Boy (2008)

Talking Light (2010 - 2011)

Shadowland (2014 - 2016)

God In 3 Persons - Live! (2020)

God In 3 Persons - Live! (2022)

  • Sivan Lioncub (Vocals)[7]

See also

External links and references