From Wikipedia: The Residents supposedly hail from Shreveport, Louisiana, where they met in high school in the 1960's and in 1966, members headed west to San Francisco, California. After their truck broke down in San Mateo, they decided to remain there. Like all information pertaining to the early days of the band, this is provided by The Cryptic Corporation and may or may not be invented.
While attempting to make a living, they began to experiment with tape machines, photography, and anything remotely to do with art that they could get their hands on. Word of their experimentation spread and in 1969, a British guitarist and multi-instrumentalist named Phil Lithman and the mysterious N. Senada (whom Lithman had picked up in Bavaria where the aged avant-gardist was recording birds singing) paid them a visit, and decided to remain.
The two Europeans would become great influences on the band. Lithman's guitar playing technique earned him the nickname Snakefinger, after his frantic playing on the violin during the performance with the Residents at The Boarding House in San Francisco 1971, where his fingers' speed made them look like snakes in the eyes of the less-musically proficient, but imaginative Residents.
The group purchased crude recording equipment and instruments and began to make tapes, refusing to let an almost complete lack of musical proficiency stand in the way.
The Residents Origins
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