David Lynch’s creative process is the stuff of legends. His affection for transcendental meditation is well known, but individual anecdotes from that process—like the way Blue Velvet began with the germ of an idea about an ear found within a field, or Laura Dern’s retelling of the credits sequence for Inland Empire—get passed around long after the fact, not as keys to understanding his work but almost as creative additions to them. The 20 hours of new work currently unfolding on Twin Peaks’ third season will surely go on to generate plenty such legends, but one is making the rounds again now. It is the story of David Lynch’s tempestuous friendship with five Woody Woodpecker dolls, with whom he is no longer on speaking terms.
The story has been kicking around for years, but it was renewed by Lynch’s comments on the dolls in a new interview with The Telegraph.
As Gizmodo notes, this is not just a surreal fabrication Lynch pulled from an hours-long reverie into the deep recesses of his mind. There is evidence backing it up. First is this old photo of him and “the boys” chilling together in happier times:
And second is this chilling video of the whole crew talking about the very nature of their friendship, shortly after the release of Eraserhead:
As to what the fuck happened between him and them, we all remain curious. Presumably it was that Bob character. He seems untrustworthy.
[Note: Gizmodo, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]