By Erik Myers
If there was any doubting the state’s taste before, Oklahoma’s new governor sent a clear message Friday morning when choosing not to renew “Do You Realize” by The Flaming Lips as the Official State Rock Song: Oklahoma doesn’t have time for psychedelic rock and even less so for transcendence.
An eCaptiol report broke the news this morning that the song lost its status after governor Mary Fallin chose not to renew it 90 days after she took office in 2011 – meaning it hasn’t been the state’s “Official Rock Song” for over a year. The governor’s media director Alex Weintz told eCapitol that the song was not a priority focus in the first three months of her administration. The Flaming Lips, originally of Oklahoma City, Okla., have yet to comment.
Considering the song’s controversial ascent to state recognition, the governor’s critics in the Oklahoma Congress believe the decision not to act was politically motivated. “Do You Realize” was the top pick in a poll of possible state rock songs, voted on by state citizens and conducted by the Oklahoma Historical Society in 2009. The group even embraced the honor by visiting the state house shortly thereafter. But during their visit, bassist Michael Ivins set off Republican lawmakers by wearing a shirt with a hammer-and-sickle logo reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s flag.
The state rock song resolution passed through Oklahoma’s Senate but failed to make it through a vote in the House. Then-governor Brad Henry came to the band’s rescue by issuing an executive order to make “Do You Realize” the official state rock song of Oklahoma. It was this executive order that Fallin failed to renew, and Heintz says there are currently no plans for a replacement rock song.
eCapitol reported that when asked about the song’s status in 2010, Fallin noted she was “more of a country gal.”
Electronic blogger Erik Myers is a Denver-based writer and new contributor to Reverb. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.