Despite a recording career spanning four decades, the Residents have successfully - and deliberately - achieved an air of wilful obscurity. Mindful of the cult of personality, they studiously retain an anonymity and refuse to name personnel, thus ensuring total artistic freedom. The most common disguise worn by the members for their multi-media stage show is a giant eyeball mask.
The Residents origins are shrouded in mystery and mischief, although common currency agrees the outfit was founded in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA. They later moved to San Mateo, California, where a series of home-recorded tapes was undertaken. In 1971, they collated several of these performances and sent the results to Hal Haverstadt of Warner Brothers Records, who had signed Captain Beefheart. No name had been included and thus the rejected package was returned marked for the attention of the residents, which the collective accepted as a sign of...
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