Bay Area band The Residents is celebrating four decades of riddles and awesome ridiculousness with their Wonder of Weird 40th Anniversary Tour. But even that fact leaves fans with more questions than answers, since it’s unclear which exact landmark in the band’s history we’re celebrating the 40th Anniversary of. In fact, the members have likely been together for longer than that.
The band is notoriously vague when it comes to biographical specifics, but the intense mystery surrounding their true identities is very much part of their appeal. What’s generally considered to be something close to fact is that The Residents met at high school in Shreveport, Louisiana at some point in the sixties and headed west around 1966. We can therefore conclude it’s more likely to be the 50th or 60th anniversary of the band’s actual meeting, depending on how long the members were at school together.
The band allegedly ended up in San Francisco by chance and happenstance after their van broke down in San Mateo. They made their first unreleased recording in 1969, released their first official single “Santa Dog” in 1972, and their first full-length album Meet The Residents in 1974. If we’re starting the clock with the band’s recording career, this would make 2013 either their 39th, 41st, or 44th anniversary, depending on which milestone you choose.
But nothing is predictable or set in stone with The Residents, who have switched genres as easily as they switch the masks that they hide their identities with on stage. What you can expect on Feb. 24 when The Residents' Wonder of Weird Tour stops at Bimbo's is some out-there tunes and even more out-there and wacky stage antics. Oh, and you might want to congratulate them on their 20-something anniversary, ‘cause they’ve been playing at the elegant SF venue since the nineties — though the exact date, like much in The Residents’ history, may be lost in the mists of time.