follow us in feedly
Hear the 1978 sampling record championed by John Peel, Throbbing Gristle and Julian Cope


 
The second release on the tiny English label Waldo’s Records was a 45 credited to one “Nigel Simpkins.” The three songs on X. ENC. (1978), Simpkins’ only record, organized alien found-sound collages around a single, insistent drum loop. In the single’s fold-out liner notes, beneath numerous shots of the pseudonymous musician with his face obscured, a note from Waldo himself alluded darkly to the mystery man’s recent troubles in the music biz: “Nigel,” whoever he was, was forced to record incognito “to avoid 3 years of lawyer trouble he’d just left behind him, after leaving his previous band.”

Waldo was goofing. As it turned out, the man behind the shades was Martin “Cally” Callomon, a member of The Bears (see Waldo’s first release) and the Tea Set (see Waldo’s third release), who would soon manage the mighty Julian Cope and, later, the estate of Nick Drake. Cope remembers the impact of the Nigel Simpkins 45 in his second memoir, Repossessed:

[...] Cally Callomon had a punk pedigree, an experimental pedigree, a Krautrock pedigree, the lot. He knew his music because he had lived it. For fuck’s sake—this man was Nigel Simpkins.

Nigel Simpkins had released the first ever sampling record in 1978, to tremendous applause from the underground scene. ‘Time’s Encounter’ [the A-side of X. ENC.] had taken a drum demonstration record and added snippets of every hip record in the world to its Krautrock stew. Neu! Can, Stockhausen, SAHB, Amon Duul 2, Meryl Fankauser [sic], Dr. Z, Soeur Sourire, Metal Urbain, Doctors of Madness, Runaways, Residents, George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music, Pierre Henry, Charles Ives, Dashiell Hedayat’s Obsolete, Hymie Kangaroo Downstein’s classic Australian glam album Forgotten Starboy, it was all on that record, even Godley & Cream’s [sic] Consequences and the T. Dream freakout from Sci-Finance, where Lulu finds the guy’s head on the hot beach. The sleeve featured “Nigel” as a guy with Madcap Laughs-period Syd Barrett hair, wearing seven pairs of shades at the same time—it was an image that Robyn Hitchcock would copy a year or so later.

‘Time’s Encounter’ had sold truckloads and never been off the John Peel show, though Cally treated it as an inspired joke at best. What? Throbbing Gristle had cited it as one of the most forward-looking 45s of its time and everybody had run to cop some of its trip. Planks all, said Cally.

Admittedly, even after narrowing Cope’s list of sources down to those that actually existed, I can’t identify note one when I listen to X. ENC. However, I don’t listen to this 36-year-old disc to hear familiar samples—I listen to it because it resembles a crude field recording from a society that does not yet exist, and so sounds more futuristic to my ears than any EDM.
 

X. ENC. side A: “Times Encounter”
 

X. ENC. side B: “Scattered Strategies” and “Oblique References”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Saint Julian: Julian Cope live in NYC, 1987
01.29.2014
12:53 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope


 
From the very first time I heard The Teardrop Explodes in 1981, I’ve been a massive Julian Cope fan. I’d go so far as to say that he’s one of my only living heros, up there with Jello Biafra and the surviving members of the Firesign Theatre. The Arch Drude is revered in this household as a dharma warrior of the first order. He’s a super rad guy. I have mad respect, as the kids say, for what he stands for.

I’ve seen Julian Cope live “in concert” three times.

The first was in London, in 1984, at the infamous Hammersmith Palais gig where Cope snapped a mic-stand over his knee during “Reynard the Fox” and scraped the jagged metal across his chest, back and stomach, drawing er, copious amounts of blood. The incident was widely reported on in the British music press at the time and was one of the things—although certainly not the only thing—that led him to have a Syd Barrett or Roky Erickson-esque mantle of acid casualty placed around his neck.

At least in my memory of the event, I swear to you that until the self-mutilation incident near the end of the show, it was one of the most memorably professional rock shows I’d ever seen. The band was tight, Cope was in great voice and looked cool as fuck, there was a real momentum to the set list (he was promoting the recently released World Shut Your Mouth album, which I was nuts over) and there was a fantastic psychedelic oil lamp light show with these cool slides of American Indian faces projected behind him (And yes, in case you are wondering, I was on acid, it seemed like a “must” for my first Julian Cope show. When I returned home after the gig, the second biggest riot I’ve ever seen was taking place on my block, but that’s a tale for another time).

But like I was saying, it was an extremely slick rock show right up until the very moment he decided to slice his stomach open during a spoken word monologue about a rockstar slicing his stomach open onstage...

[When Peggy Suicide was released in 1991, I interviewed Cope at the Island Records offices in New York. As I was leaving, I mentioned that I was at this particular show. He laughed sheepishly and produced his wallet. “Well, you’ll appreciate this: Whenever I’m feeling like I’m fucked in the head, I pull out this picture”—it was of a shirtless, blood-covered Cope from the concert I’d seen—“and I remind myself that however fucked up I think I am I am still not THAT fucked!”]

The second time I saw Cope live, it was at The Ritz (now Webster Hall) in NYC in 1987. The bloody madman of the previous concert was nowhere to be seen. Instead we got the black leather-clad “rock god” version of his act, which included his infamous custom-built mic-stand and a set largely comprised of songs from Saint Julian and his first two solo albums (just one Teardrop Explodes number).

Now here’s the thing, MTV had a short-lived series of live shows, Live at The Ritz, shot obviously, at The Ritz. This was one of them. It didn’t ruin the show or anything, but it didn’t help it, either (I was also in attendance at a show by The Cult around the same time that MTV shot and the mood at that gig was irreparably harmed). I was right up in the front for this show, so I was always curious to see the MTV broadcast. Finally last month, someone put it up on YouTube and it conforms largely to my memory of the event.
 

 
The third time I saw Julian Cope live, it was on the Peggy Suicide tour (the last time he played America?) and he’d dropped the slick rockstar persona and the show was stupendous and brought the house down.

And now on to the video of The Ritz show from January 28, 1987

1. Trampolene
2. Pulsar
3. Eve’s Volcano
4. Strasbourg
5. St. Julian
6. Sunspots
7. Non Alignment Pact
8. Bouncing Babies
9. The Greatness And Perfection Of Love
10. Bandy’s First Jump
11. Shot Down
12. Spacehopper
13. Zabriskie Point
14. World Shut Your Mouth
15. Levitation

Julian Cope - vocals, guitar; Donald Ross Skinner - electric & slide guitar; James Eller - bass; Keith Richard Frost - keyboards; Chris Whitten - drums.
 

 
Via Stupefaction

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Christ versus Warhol: Teardrop Explodes b-side a post-punk gem
12.13.2012
05:41 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Andy Warhol
Julian Cope
The Teardrop Explodes


The Last Supper (detail) Andy Warhol, 1986

It may be an obscure Teardrop Explodes b-side, but I think you’ll agree that “Christ versus Warhol” should be in the running for the “Greatest Song Title of All Time Award.”

The brooding flip of 1981’s “Passionate Friend” single. In my eyes Julian Cope can do no wrong, but this song is a stunner. Long live the Arch-Drude!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Copendium cometh! Julian Cope’s megalithic hidden history of rock
07.24.2012
10:13 am

Topics:
Books
Heroes
History
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope
Ash Ra Tempel


 
If you haven’t heard, there’s a new Julian Cope book coming out and even compared to his other incredibly worthwhile publications (The Modern Antiquarian and The Megalithic European, extensive studies of Britain’s and Europe’s ancient stone circles megalithic sites, the classics Japrocksampler and Krautrocksampler and his hilariously honest autobiographical accounts of the Liverpool punk scene and his own rock stardom in Head On and the follow-up, Repossessed) this one looks like a complete motherfucker.

It’s 768 pages to lose yourself in and discover new things. A signed, deluxe edition of 250 will come with three CDs. Here’s the description from the publisher, Faber & Faber’s website:

Julian Cope’s Copendium is his re-imagining of a useful canon of popular music, which is set to become required reading. It’s available initially in a limited and highly collectable edition (see below) - with a standard edition due in November 2012.

Copendium comprises a collection of album reviews and themed track samplers that lay out an alternative history of the last six decades of popular music, written by the visionary musician, antiquarian and musicologist. The result is a feast of obscure and neglected masterworks; Krautrock, motorik and post-punk, stoner and doom metal, occasionally even jazz, spoken word and hair metal.

Julian Cope is the perfect guide to this novel terrain: impeccably informed, passionate, insightful and deeply funny.

The fact is, for many people—and I am very definitely in this camp, myself—a musical recommendation from Julian Cope is practically a decree to get your hands on something, the same way it was when Lester Bangs wrote about The Stooges, Lou Reed or The Clash. Cope’s wild-eyed passion for convincing you, his reader, that you need, nay MUST have this deep rock and roll epiphany that he has had and that some obscure or overlooked album is a very real and necessary shamanic rite of passage, is, for me, frankly irresistible. The quality of his prose is second to none (I detect the influence of Bangs, yes, but also John Sinclair or Mick Farren in his more polemic essays) and he’s just got fucking phenomenal taste.

Truly, there is no better guide, none, to the hidden history of the last six decades of music, both popular and otherwise, than Julian Cope. Over the years, I have been turned on to so much amazing, life-enhancing, life-changing music that I feel like I owe him a heartfelt public thank you. Has anyone written as passionately about music since the death of Lester Bangs, than Julian Cope? Not one writer comes to mind.

It was via Cope’s Fire Escape in the Sky: The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker compilation that I first heard of Scott Walker, for instance, inspiring at least a ten-year long Scott Walker obsession for me. And it was Cope’s brilliantly written assessment of Miles Davis’s “difficult” electric phase of the early to mid-70s that saw me dive deeply into those funky waters (and a year-long period where I listened to practically nothing else—my neighbors must have hated my fucking guts!).

Hell, I first picked up on Faust due to Julian Cope (this alone calls for more than a public thank you—perhaps naming a child after him?). The Taj Mahal Travellers? Never heard of ‘em before Japrocksampler, now I am obsessed with their music. I could go on and on.

In fact, here’s something that I was turned onto just this very morning via Cope’s writing on his Head Heritage website. My introduction to Ash Ra Tempel came via their Seven Up collaboration with Timothy Leary. It’s not an easy thing to listen to (the band and Leary were tripping on LSD when they recorded it) and is something that I filed away with my collection of Timothy Leary memorabilia (not my CDs), probably never to listen to again, frankly. I was not interested in hearing more. However, this morning I came across this essay, from 2000:

Ash Ra Tempel’s first two LPs had taken the metal of Detroit to heights not even considered by the MC5 or the Stooges or even Funkadelic. Sure those groups had got close on stage. But Ash Ra Tempel got it on record. While the collective Detroit obsession with the Outer-spacings of Sun Ra and the free-jazz innervisions of John Coltrane had been tamed beyond recognition by the American record industry, Ash Ra Tempel suffered no such disappointment. And those searching for the fulfilment of the Detroit promise need have looked no further than Ash Ra Tempel in 1971. There’s a part of Iggy Pop’s autobiographical I Need More in which he writes (p.17) about the early Stooges sound thus:

“...I’d play this sort of wild Hawaiian guitar with a pick-up that I invented, which meant that I made two sounds at one time, like an airplane…using 55-gallon oil cans which I got from a junkyard and rigged up as bass drums, I home-made a drumset. For drumsticks I designed these semi-plastic moulded hammers. Scotty beat the shit out of these cans; it sounded like an earthquake – thunderous… It was entirely instrumental at this time, like jazz gone wild. It was very North African, a very tribal sound: very electronic. We would play like that for about 10 minutes. Then everybody would have to get really stoned again…But what we had put into 10 minutes was so total and so very savage – the earth shook, then cracked, and SWALLOWED ALL MISERY WHOLE.” (my capitals)

Music that Swallowed All Misery Whole…

In the first two Ash Ra Tempel LPs, Ash Ra Tempel and Schwingungen, they had captured on record All that Iggy Pop had promised Could Be but, because of Record Industry Hang-ups, had been unable to deliver. And this music which could Swallow All Misery Whole reached into the core of each musician who played in Ash Ra Tempel and pulled out, still wriggling, the cosmic conger eel of white light which so few artists ever capture in the Moment of Recording.

For years, I had drooled over that description in I Need More. I’d shown many friends that passage – I had bored them with it. And all the time Ash Ra Tempel had already done it in 1971… But it was not without a price. The first LP was by a Kosmische power-rock trio of gargantuan size. The 20-minute opening track “Amboss (Anvil)” was all of Iggy Pop’s above description and more. Sure it was a fucking cosmic freakout. But it was played by Renaissance Man and Cosmic Man at the same time.

Fuck Jim Morrison’s ridiculous “Renaissance Man of the Mind” description.
That was just an excuse to be a fat slob.
That was just an existentialist knee-jerk.
No. No. No.

These freaks were fit. Superhuman. Superman.

They were here to go. But all in good time. And they had staying power over 20-minute tracks. On “Amboss”, Klaus Schultze plays drums like a hundred drummers. He’s not twice as powerful, he’s a hundred times as powerful. Hartmut Enke, the spiritual leader of the band, hits his Gibson bass the way only a giant could: the huge extra-longnecked she-bass was courted, cajoled and ultimately goosed into action by this huge handsome freak they all called The Hawk. And Manuel Gottsching plays blues like Clapton, but right alongside pre-emptive Keith Levene white noise and egoless as Lou Reed’s Live 1969 rhythm guitar freakouts. The interplay is so intuitive that frequently it’s impossible to hear the instruments — you just hear the Music. And the LP was housed in yet another of Ohr Records’ extravagant packages — a centrally opening gatefold with an Ancient Egyptian exterior, a freaky occult gematriac interior, and a tragically beautiful Head poem that began: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness staring hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the Negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix.”

After the jump, hear “Amboss” by Ash Ra Tempel…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Julian Cope’s ‘Krautrocksampler’ in PDF form


 
You have to love someone who scans every single page of their favourite book just so they can spread the wordy magic with their friends on the internet. So, big thanks then to Evan Levine at the Swan Fungus blog for doing just that with the rare-as-hens-teeth Krautrocksampler by Julian Cope. A history and compendium of German rock from the 60s and 70s, Levine says of the book:

Back in the great, distant era of erm…the mid-’90s, there was a chap by the name of Julian Cope (ex-Teardrop Explodes/music-writer geek), who decided he wanted to chronicle the history of the Krautorck genre. So, he wrote an excellent book, called Krautrocksampler, in which he not only tells readers exactly when and wear he bought all these much-sought-after-now-sadly out-of-print LPs, but paints a great picture of West Germany in the ’60s and ’70s. When he’s not waxing (his bikini) poetic, he recounts crazy stories, and draws very cool connections between projects and personalities. Cope even proclaims that Klaus Dinger “directly influenced David Bowie to take his Low direction” and “had a direct effect on the Sex Pistols, via Johnny Rotten”. Thassalotta influence!

Having wanted this for a while, now I can read it while I try to track down a copy. In case of imminent yankage I recommend anyone else who wants it gets it now too.

Thanks to Pee Six.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Japan’s Yodo-go Hijack: The most revolutionary act in rock history

image
 
Via Dorian Cope’s essential On This Deity blog:

Forty-one years ago today occurred the all-time single-most revolutionary political act in rock’n’roll, when Moriaki Wakabayashi – bass player of Tokyo’s underground legends Les Rallizes Denudés – accompanied several other members of the Japanese Red Army Faction in the armed hijack of Japan Airlines Fight 351. Here is a full account of this extraordinary event from Julian Cope’s 2007 Japrocksampler:

“In the early morning of March 31st, nine members of the Japanese Red Army Faction, all aged between nineteen and twenty-one years old, boarded a Japan Airways Boeing 727 at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, on an internal flight bound for Fukuoka. At 7.33 a.m., soon after the aircraft had reached its cruising height, the nine terrorists stormed the cockpit armed with pipe bombs and samurai swords, screaming the fearful words: ‘We are Ashitano Jeo!’ From this first moment of the hijacking, many of the 129 passengers aboard, still bleary-eyed and expecting a forty-five minute flight, had become hysterical with fear because their assailants were screaming longhairs who were aligning themselves with a famous Manga outsider TV hero who’d striven to win a boxing championship in a cartoon series of the same name. Like the Manson Family’s daubing of phrases such as ‘Political Piggy’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ around their crime scenes, the Yodo-go hijackers decision to invoke the ‘divine’ power of cartoon hero Ashitano Jeo was way too far outside all frames of reference for the stricken passengers.

Demanding that the pilot take them all to Cuba, the hijackers were furious to discover that the Yodo-go had only enough fuel for its original destination, and they reluctantly agreed to land at Fukuoka’s Itatsuki Airport. For three long days, the Yodo-go sat on the tarmac as negotiations took place. Eventually, a compromise was reached. The authorities agreed that the airliner should be allowed to fly instead to Pyongyang, in Communist North Korea, if twenty-three women and children were allowed to leave the airline in return for a total refuelling and the substitution of the Japanese transport minister Shinjuru Yamamura as hostage. The aeroplane set off westwards, but the Yodo-go’s pilot Shinki Iashida hoodwinked the hijackers into landing at South Korea’s Gimpo Airport, at 3pm. Believing that the runway was a part of North Korea’s Pyongyang Airport, the hijackers sought to confirm this by asking a member of the ground crew for a photo of dictator Kim Il Sung as proof of their northerly position. Denied this proof, the nervous hijackers then panicked and refused all food and drink. However, they eventually accepted that all the passengers – including many US nationals – should be allowed to leave the aircraft, in return for permission to fly to North Korea. The plane left Gimpo airport and headed north, landing in the disused Minimu Airport, where the North Korean authorities hailed the nine as cultural heroes, granted them political asylum, and insisted that they remain in North Korea, where they received military medals and were given ‘luxury accommodation’ at the Village of the Revolution.

In Japan, the ramifications were massive, for the hijacking was both humiliating for the Japanese authorities, and disturbing to the wider world, who were then still reeling from the bombing of Milan’s Piazza Fontana by right wing extremists the previous December. Furthermore, the presence of so many US nationals aboard the Yodo-go had brought the CIA to Japan and the names of the nine hijackers only emerged via the media in dribs and drabs. Slowly, the Japanese underground realised that this hijack had indeed been the work of their own people, many having been students from Osaka University or Kyoto’s forward-thinking Doshishi University. But for Japan’s burgeoning underground rock’n’roll scene, the strangest presence of all among the hijackers was that of Moriaki Wakabayashi, bass player with ‘The Radical Music Black Gypsy Band’ Les Rallizes Denudés.”

[ Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler pps. 123-124]
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
DETROITROCKSAMPLER: Arch-Drude Julian Cope drops some knowledge on you
12.22.2010
09:34 am

Topics:
Heroes
History
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope
Detroit

image
 
Arch-Drude Julian Cope, dropped an appropriately pagan seasonal gift for the world’s music fans when he posted his insanely great DETROITROCKSAMPLER online last month. If you haven’t listened to any of Cope’s various erudite ROCKSAMPLERs, you’re really missing out, because they’re ALL great. What’s not to love about a mixed tape put together by one of the world’s greatest music heads? There is EVERYTHING to love with this new one, I can assure you.

DETROITROCKSAMPLER consists of thirty-eight of the finest slabs of guitar-drenched music to come out of Detroit Rock City from the mid-60s to the late 70s, with all the bands you’d expect to see represented and plenty that you’ll probably be hearing for the first time. The tracklisting features the original 45 version of the MC5’s “Looking at You,” some Alice Cooper, The Amboy Dukes, The Bob Seger System (pictured above), a demo from Mynah Birds (Motown’s integrated rock act with Rick James and Neil Young! (James was incarcerated for deserting the army, breaking the band up), the under-rated Grand Funk Railroad, SRC, Frigid Pink, Iggy and the Stooges, Funkadelic’s “Cosmic Slop,” a Brother Wayne Kramer solo single from 1975, Stooge Ron Asheton’s decidedly un-PC band The New Order, Destroy All Monsters, and a rarity from the sessions for the first Stooges album called “Asthma Attack.” The “liner notes” are, as you might expect, classic Cope. He’s the best and most passionate rock writer since Lester Bangs (there is no close second in the rock prose department, none).

There was a time when gourmet fare like this was available only on expensive import CDs. No more. Now everyone with an Internet can be musically enlightened. What are you waiting for, brothers and sisters? Smoke a joint, crank up the speakers and kick out the jams, motherfuckers.

I love Julian Cope. Long may the Arch-Drude thrive.

Below, The MC5 performing an absolutely furious live version of “Looking at You” in 1970:
 

 
Thank you Chris Campion!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Julian Cope explores the geography of the mystic

image
 
In addition to being a smashing songwriter, singer and memoirist, Julian Cope has spent the past 20 years exploring and documenting Britain’s megalithic heritage: monuments, stone circles, hill forts and barrows. In this documentary made for the BBC, we follow Cope on his journey into the geography of the mystic, a place of ceremony and magic.

The documentary is a companion piece to Cope’s splendid, sadly out-of-print, 1998 book ‘The Modern Antiquarian’. Fortunately, for those of us interested in sacred places he curates a website and you can find it here.

Since launching in March 2000ce, the site has grown to be a massive resource for news, information, images, folklore & weblinks on the ancient sites across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

 

 
Watch parts 2-6 after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Julian Cope: All Hail the Arch Drude on his birthday!
10.21.2010
09:44 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope

image
 
Today is the 53rd birthday of the great Mister Julian Cope! As regular readers of this blog know, I think Cope is one of the coolest motherfuckers alive. Here’s an excerpt from an earlier Dangerous Minds post I wrote about him:

My friend Wm. Ferguson and I met the Arch Drude at the Island Records offices near Tower Records in lower Manhattan. During the interview Cope told us about the mystical experience he had that led to his vision of the earth dying that inspired Peggy Suicide’s somewhat bleak environmentalist message. I recall that we discussed a certain book about Helena Blavatsky which he and I had both read and he compared the physical sensation of his mystic moment to the first time a pubescent boy masturbates, not quite pleasurable and very confusing, a sort of mental orgasm felt in the brain. I asked him if he felt conflicted about bringing a child into a world—his wife Dorian was then pregnant with their first daughter—that he so obviously thought was terminal. He paused and said, “Well, yeah the world is fucked, but it’s not THAT fucked that it can’t be saved, certainly. We’ve got to try.” I then voiced my own skepticism about bring new life into the world—I was 25 at the time—and he said something that I will never forget and have repeated to friends expecting children several times: “If people like you and I stop having children, we’ve ceded our world to the idiots. All intelligent people should have as many babies as possible to prevent all the thick, ungroovy Christians from taking over.”

When we were leaving, I mentioned in passing that I’d seen the infamous Hammersmith Palais show of his first UK solo tour in 1984, a concert that saw Cope performing a bloody act of self-mutilation. During the encore of “Reynard the Fox,” Cope snapped his mike-stand in half and proceeded to rake the jagged edge across his chest, back and stomach drawing lots of blood and generally freaking out the entire audience! Up until the very end it had been a slick, professional rock show. A girl standing near me puked when she saw what he had done. It cemented Cope’s reputation as a Syd Barrett-like acid casualty.

Cope laughed sheepishly and pulled out his wallet. “Well, you’ll appreciate this: Whenever I’m feeling like I am fucked in the head, I pull out this picture—” it was of a bloodied Cope from the concert I’d seen “—and I remind myself that however fucked up I think I am I am still not THAT fucked!”

Read more: Julian Cope: Someone spiked his acid
 

 
A great vintage Teardrop Explodes clip after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
New Julian Cope books coming
05.10.2010
06:16 pm

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Julian Cope

image
 
Regular readers of this blog know that we’re all big Julian Cope fans, so this is great news. The idea of a best of collection of writing from Head Heritage, his sprawling website seems especially appealing to me, but the idea of a Cope-penned novel will be Nirvana for fans. His most recent written work, 2007’s Japanrocksampler, was in my top five books for that year. From The Bookseller:

Faber has secured a three-book deal with eccentric British rock star Julian Cope. Lee Brackstone, publishing director, bought world rights in Cope’s books in all languages for an undisclosed sum from Robert Kirby at United Agents.

The first book, Lives of the Prophets: A New Perspective, is scheduled for delivery in September 2011 and for publication a year later. The publisher described the book as a biography of “‘sent men’ from The Odin and Zoroaster through St Paul, Christ, Mohammed, John Brown and beyond”.

The book suggests modern equivalents of the prophets, including figures like Malcolm X, and “such derided and despised pariahs as Oliver Cromwell, Chairman Mao and Adolf Hitler”.

The Cope Compendium is a collection of Cope’s writing on music, culture, politics and religion from his Headheritage website during the past decade. A release date is yet to be confirmed. The third book is a novel called 131, which is set during the Italia ‘90 World Cup and describes “the adventures of four lads from the north-west and their descent into the Neolithic Underworld of Sardinia over the course of the tournament”.

Cope, a practising druid, is best known for his work with the post-punk group The Teardrop Explodes but has also written several books, including the critically acclaimed music title Krautrocksampler.

Faber’s Brackstone said: “Part Robert Graves, part Iggy Pop, part Lester Bangs, Julian’s prose and his unconventional way of looking at the world is inspiring, necessary and always surprising.”

Faber signs three from rocker Cope (The Bookseller)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jay Babcock on Julian Cope
04.28.2010
03:12 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope
Jay Babcock

image

Arthur mag’s Jay Babcock takes on Julian Cope, the Archlord of All Pagan Psychedelia and a Dangerous Minds patron saint. (This is a reprint of an LAWeekly article from 2000.)

Because we have our own aural tradition and need for congregation with like minds . . . because we can’t, not all of us, get our knickers in a twist about the muffler-rock of Testosterostock 2000 (Metallica, Korn and Kid Rock at the Coliseum, July 15, mark your calendars!) . . . because the airwaves are clean and there‘s nobody singing to me . . . Because of all that, I find myself here in London, jet-lagged and double-lagered, listening to Julian Cope.

Yes, that Julian Cope. Ex-leader of the Teardrop Explodes, the early-’80s Liverpudlian post-punk group with a sizable cult following. Solo artist with a minor pre-alternative hit (the anthemic “World Shut Your Mouth”). A petulant, paranoid near-rock star freakoid who in true “VH1 Behind the Music” fashion succeeded in alienating his band, his fans, his record label and, finally, himself before a series of revelations in 1989 shifted him in a newly “aware” direction.

Cope went hypernova and deep-historical—from town frier to town crier, from “Saint Julian” to “The Arch-Drood,” from Syd Barrett-esque acid-gobbler to full-throttle goddess-worshippin‘ Mystic Brother No. 1, becoming a self-conscious subscriber to Dadaist artist Hugo Ball’s dictum that “Artists are Gnostics, and practice what the priests think is long forgotten.” Now confident in his role as “Shamanic Rock & Rolling Inner-Space Cadet,” Cope released an extraordinary series of artistically ambitious albums on Island (and, later, American) that, in the music-industry scheme of things, were underperforming commercial failures, and he ended up without a major-label recording contract.

(Arthur: Julian Cope)

(Previously on Dangerous Minds: Julian Cope, Someone Spiked His LSD)

(The Glory of Julian Cope)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Julian Cope: Someone Spiked His LSD
12.08.2009
09:51 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope
Teardrop Explodes

image
 
I think it’s safe to say that all four of us here at Dangerous Minds are big Julian Cope fans. Jason and I are HUGE fans and I have loved The Teardrop Explodes and followed Cope since I was a teen. The guy’s as cool as anyone’s ever been, he doesn’t care what you think about him and he can write the best guitar riffs since Ray Davies. I’ve seen him in concert four times, read all of his books and I interviewed him once around the time Peggy Suicide was released, in 1991. He was a fascinating guy to talk to, full of energy, his mind wandering off in every direction at once. My guess is also that he was probably pretty stoned that day!

My friend Wm. Ferguson and I met the Arch Drude at the Island Records offices near Tower Records in lower Manhattan. During the interview Cope told us about the mystical experience he had that led to his vision of the earth dying that inspired Peggy Suicide’s somewhat bleak environmentalist message. I recall that we discussed a certain book about Helena Blavatsky which he and I had both read and he compared the physical sensation of his mystic moment to the first time a pubescent boy masturbates, not quite pleasurable and very confusing, a sort of mental orgasm felt in the brain. I asked him if he felt conflicted about bringing a child into a world—his wife Dorian was then pregnant with their first daughter—that he so obviously thought was terminal. He paused and said, “Well, yeah the world is fucked, but it’s not THAT fucked that it can’t be saved, certainly. We’ve got to try.” I then voiced my own skepticism about bring new life into the world—I was 25 at the time—and he said something that I will never forget and have repeated to friends expecting children several times: “If people like you and I stop having children, we’ve ceded our world to the idiots. All intelligent people should have as many babies as possible to prevent all the thick, ungroovy Christians from taking over.”

When we were leaving, I mentioned in passing that I’d seen the infamous Hammersmith Palais show of his first UK solo tour in 1984, a concert that saw Cope performing a bloody act of self-mutilation. During the encore of Reynard the Fox, Cope snapped his mike-stand in half and proceeded to rake the jagged edge across his chest, back and stomach drawing lots of blood and generally freaking out the entire audience! Up until the very end it had been a slick, professional rock show. A girl standing near me puked when she saw what he had done. It cemented Cope’s reputation as a Syd Barrett-like acid casualty.

Cope laughed sheepishly and pulled out his wallet. “Well, you’ll appreciate this: Whenever I’m feeling like I am fucked in the head, I pull out this picture—” it was of a bloodied Cope from the concert I’d seen “—and I remind myself that however fucked up I think I am I am still not THAT fucked!”

And with that he was off. It’s often said of Cope that he’s the last of a dying breed or something to that effect. Not true. This implies that there were more like him, but Julian Cope’s a one off. All hail the Arch Drude!


Above, Julian Cope, tripping on LSD during a Top of the Pops performance of Passionate Friend. Read about this experience in Cope’s own words here.

Great, really intelligent extended Julian Cope interview by Jon Savage

Dennis Cooper on Cope

Julian Cope’s Head Heritage website

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany
11.05.2009
03:22 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope
Krautrock

image

Check out this (full-length, linked below) BBC Four documentary about Krautrock. The BBC says:

Documentary which looks at how a radical generation of musicians created a new German musical identity out of the cultural ruins of war. Between 1968 and 1977 bands like Neu!, Can, Faust and Kraftwerk would look beyond western rock and roll to create some of the most original and uncompromising music ever heard. They shared one common goal - a forward-looking desire to transcend Germany’s gruesome past - but that didn’t stop the music press in war-obsessed Britain from calling them Krautrock.

Note the first: You are not into Krautrock unless you have heard Deluxe by Harmonia at least 800 times.

Note the second: You are not into Krautrock unless you have read Krautrocksampler by Julian Cope.

Note the third: You are not into Krautrock unless you ARE Julian Cope.

(Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Dorian Cope: August 11, 1958, The Dockum Sit-In
08.11.2009
10:57 pm

Topics:
History

Tags:
Julian Cope
Dorian Cope
Dockum Sit-In


Radical blogger (and wife of Julian) Dorian Cope on this day in history:

Fifty-one years ago today on 11th August 1958, the owner of the Rexall chain of drugstores throughout Kansas walked into Dockum?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Julian Cope: Black Sheep
07.21.2009
03:41 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Julian Cope


Pagan lord of Britain Julian Cope’s new double album Black Sheep is his best, and most vitriolic, effort since 1992’s Jehovahkill. If shamanic screeds against religious fanatics, the G20 and modern man are your idea of a party, this is the one. Check out this outstanding track from the album, Black Sheep’s Song.

The album demands serious listening. If you throw it on casually in the background, it’ll sound like crap. I was underwhelmed by it the first few times until I sat down with it on headphones and actually listened to every word he was saying. It’s an incendiary classic and a perfect statement of protest?

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment