Keep an eye out for one of The Residents’s missing eyeballs: It’s the blue one

By on June 26, 2015

A little over a month ago, one of the four original eyeball masks, worn by members of the Residents — as well as an original Residents at the Golden Gate Bridge photo — went missing, and is now thought to have been stolen, after FedEx delivered a package to Homer Flynn, longtime collaborator and co-manager of The Residents; they were signed for by an unknown person in Flynn’s building, but the package was never delivered to him. Keep an eye out for Mr. Blue Original.


According to this article, dated May 27, 2015, Flynn reached out to the SFPD … to report that an attempted delivery to his Haight Ashbury home resulted in a missing irreplaceable artifact.

“Mr. Blue Original has been traveling in a museum show for the past three years,” Flynn said.  “The eyeball is valued at $100,000. The photo is $20,000. Totally irreplaceable.”


The eyeball masks were made in 1978, and The Residents filmed some of the first ever music videos with them, eventually ending up in rotation during MTV’s incarnation in the early 1980s.

A new documentary called Theory Of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents — which we told you about here — chronicles their more than 40-year career, and includes a scene where the Museum of Modern Art in NYC added one of the eyeballs to its permanent collection.



Here’s what it says on the SFPD’s website:

In this incident the victim loaned the mask, which was valued at $100,000.00, to a museum in Seattle for a predetermined period of time. On May 5th, at the conclusion of the loan, the curator sent the mask back to the victim using a major delivery courier service. Unfortunately, the victim was traveling and was not present to receive the shipment.

The package was delivered and signed for by an unknown person using an illegible signature. The mask has been used on a record album cover and is periodically displayed throughout the country. The pictured top hat is now black instead of white and was contained in a shipping crate (photo attached). Stolen along with the mask was the original album cover photo which the victim values at $20,000.00.

Anyone who recalls seeing the mask, photo, or crate or has information on this case is asked to contact the Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or Text A Tip to TIP411 and include “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.