This is my grandfather, Gio. He was a high school English teacher for most of his life, and kept journals throughout, mostly as an exercise to keep up his craft, his topic of choice being music. He’s kept all of those journals, and on his 80th birthday he revealed to me he has written about The Residents (my favorite band) ever since they started. He showed me one of his notebooks, and what struck me most was that he was asking the most important question* about them: what does it all mean? I came to realize that The Residents is a far-reaching art project, spanning decades, and the best way to understand their story is to experience it in the order they themselves told it. So this blog is going to post every piece Grandpa Gio wrote about The Residents, in the original order.
I’ll be sifting through his journals, finding the Residents entries, typing them up, and giving them titles I think are clever. They will be published on a schedule that is congruent to the historical timeline, with one month on the blog roughly equal to one year in history. The reader can experience what is was like to live through the release schedule, though at an accelerated pace. The blog’s first entry (from December 1972) is published in late July of 2013. The blog reaches 1980 in February 2014, 1990 in November 2014, and so on. It meets the present in December 2016.
* Some people believe that the most important question concerning The Residents is “who are they?” I contend this is not a question worth pursuing. Yes, The Residents do seem to be playing a game, but it is not “guess who we are.” If that were the case, the game would be over the moment someone guesses correctly, and where’s the fun in that? The Residents’ game is actually “come pretend with us,” which is much more satisfying because it doesn’t have to end. Wouldn’t you rather have a game you can play forever?