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The British neurologist who uses William S. Burroughs’ ideas to treat Parkinson’s disease


 
Though he never met William S. Burroughs, the British neurologist A.J. Lees credits the author as an important teacher in his recent book, Mentored by a Madman: The William S. Burroughs Experiment.

The expert in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases first encountered Burroughs on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. During the 1970s, after reading Naked Lunch, Lees began experimenting with apomorphine, the substance Burroughs advocated to cure junk addiction, as a treatment for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

In 2013, again following Burroughs’ example, Lees traveled to the Amazon rainforest to take yagé, or ayahuasca. He told the Guardian that taking the drug “broke down certain rigid structures that were blocking innovations in Parkinson’s disease research.”

Lees has also used apomorphine and Brion Gysin and Burroughs’ Dreamachine to investigate visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s patients.

Below, in an interview at the Beat Hotel, Lees talks with Andrew Hussey about Mentored by a Madman. He’s also spoken about the book on Erik Davis’ Expanding Mind podcast and in a video for ACNR Journal
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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06.14.2018
07:08 am
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‘Europe after the Rain,’ classic documentary on Dada and Surrealism
05.03.2018
10:14 am
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‘Portrait of Andre Breton’ by Man Ray, c. 1930
 
Europe after the Rain, the Arts Council of Great Britain’s 1978 documentary on Dada and Surrealism, looks at the careers of André Breton, Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dalí, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Kurt Schwitters, Yves Tanguy, John Heartfield, Giorgio de Chirico, Francis Picabia and René Magritte, among others. Sure, there are better ways to see these artists’ work than on YouTube, but this film is worth watching, because it makes both movements’ commitment to revolutionary left-wing politics explicit as few other surveys do.

Take this list from 1919, drawn up by Richard Huelsenbeck and Raoul Hausmann on behalf of the Dadaist Revolutionary Central Council:

Dadaism demands:

1) The international revolutionary union of all creative and intellectual men and women on the basis of radical Communism;
2) The introduction of progressive unemployment through comprehensive mechanization of every field of activity. Only by unemployment does it become possible for the individual to achieve certainty as to the truth of life and finally become accustomed to experience;
3) The immediate expropriation of property (socialization) and the communal feeding of all; further, the erection of cities of light, and gardens which will belong to society as a whole and prepare man for a state of freedom.

(The full manifesto goes on to demand free meals on Potsdamer Platz for “all creative and intellectual men and women,” the requisition of churches, “immediate organization of a Dadaist propaganda campaign with 150 circuses for the enlightenment of the proletariat,” and “immediate regulation of all sexual relations according to the views of international Dadaism through establishment of a Dadaist sexual center.”)
 

‘Europe after the Rain II’ by Max Ernst, 1940-1942
 
The movie is full of treasures: BBC interviews with Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp from the Sixties, a reading of Artaud’s “Address to the Dalai Lama,” an account of Freud’s meeting with Dalí. As usual in a film of this type, the attempts to dramatically recreate speeches by historical figures are embarrassing. I am not extra fond of the portrayal of Tzara as a supercilious toff. But the re-enactment of Breton’s dialogue with an official of the Parti communiste français is illuminating, and complements the other valuable material on the “Pope of Surrealism”: his work with shell-shocked soldiers in World War I, trials and expulsions of other Surrealists, collaboration with Leon Trotsky in Mexico, less-than-heroic contributions to the French Resistance, and study of the occult.

A VHS rip of the movie has been up on YouTube for some time, but this sharpened upload only recently appeared through the good offices of Manufacturing Intellect. It’s worth noting that the original VHS rip is nearly six minutes longer.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.03.2018
10:14 am
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William Blake Doc Martens are a thing
04.05.2018
09:09 am
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The William Blake 1460 (via Dr. Martens)
 

Mantles of despair girdles of bitter compunction shoes of indolence
Veils of ignorance covering from head to feet with a cold web

—William Blake, Vala, or the Four Zoas

Aw, nuts. I put on my brand-new mantle of despair, my vintage girdle of bitter compunction, and my $139 veil of ignorance with the Swarovski crystals in it, and here I am without any shoes of indolence to complete my ensemble. Like a schmuck! Like a sad, sorry schmuck.

That’s the kind of thing I used to find myself saying before Dr. Martens partnered with the Tate to print William Blake illustrations on their footwear. Now I have my choice of gnostic kicks for a night out.
 

The William Blake 1461 (via Dr. Martens)
 
There’s the demure three-holed shoe covered in “The House of Death,” which depicts Adam’s vision in Paradise Lost of every postlapsarian condition of suffering and disease. Or, if it’s more of a “Borstal Breakout” kind of evening, I can lace up the eight-holed boot of “Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils,” perfect for stomping poseurs outside the public house. Oooh, they’ll wish for a case of Old Nick’s sore boils when I’m finished!
 

 
I’m just kidding; I would never wear these…

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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04.05.2018
09:09 am
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Penderecki’s ‘The Devils of Loudun’ is the sleaziest, most depraved opera you’ll ever see


 
Obtaining the original cut of Ken Russell’s The Devils is still a royal pain in the ass. But it’s easy to see this gorgeous TV movie of Penderecki’s first opera, Die Teufel von Loudun, a 1969 studio production with the original cast, conductor and orchestra, subtitled in English.

Penderecki’s opera is based on the same stage play as Russell’s film: John Whiting’s adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun. All concern the real-life Satanic panic that gripped the French village of Loudun in 1632, when a whole house of Ursuline nuns was possessed by the devil, or so it was said, and their priest, Urbain Grandier, was burned at the stake for witchcraft.

Frank Zappa named the record of this production of Penderecki’s opera—in particular, the exorcism by enema in Act II—as one of his favorites in a 1975 interview with Let It Rock:

The Devils Of Loudon: Krzysztof Penderecki. Because it’s also an extremely well-produced album and I think it’s an excellent piece of dramatic music. And also because Tatiana Troyanos who plays the main nun sounds absolutely marvellous during the enema scene. The story is about a hunch-backed nun who’s possessed by the Devil and has to have an exorcism. The exorcism involves the nun being given a hot herbal enema. In live performance the exorcism takes place behind a screen and you hear Tatiana singing and screeching whilst an orchestra plays enema music. You also hear the Devil chuckling from inside the nun’s bowel.

Ken Russell’s ending is quite special, of course, but Penderecki’s is no less terrifying. Cardinal Richelieu’s boys pull a reverse Wicker Man. Get ready to feel deeply uneasy!
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.23.2018
08:07 am
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William S. Burroughs on the cut-up technique and meeting Samuel Beckett & Bob Dylan
03.22.2018
09:35 am
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“It’s the stink of death, citizens!” (Photo by Peter Hujar)

This hour-long BBC Radio special opens with “Old Lady Sloan,” the Mortal Micronotz’ interpretation of a Burroughs lyric about a happy pedophage, a record the host, John Walters, borrowed from John Peel for the occasion. If the program starts out sounding like a clip-show tribute to Burroughs’ cultural influence, it’s more than that. Aside from a chat with future WSB biographer Barry Miles (identified only by his surname), a little music, and Burroughs’ performances of the now-classic routines “The Do-Rights” and “The Wild Fruits,” the broadcast is given over to Walters’ lengthy interview with the author, champion of apomorphine, and devotee of the Ancient Ones.

Burroughs tells Walters about his years in England, and meeting Samuel Beckett and Bob Dylan; he observes that certain American politicians boast of their ignorance and stupidity. His (camp, I think) misogyny has softened by ‘82. What really sets the interview apart, though, is Walters’ enthusiasm, his openness, his willingness to risk sounding uncool. Here he is grappling with the implications of the cut-up technique:

Walters: What always attracted me when I first heard about that—I suppose, a lot of students at the time—it seemed to introduce a random effect, a found work, do you know what I mean? I wonder if it was so random as all that.

Burroughs: Well, how random is random? Uh…

Walters: Well, let’s put it like this. I was in a pub in Charlotte Street, of all places, in Soho, and a mate of mine had read Nova Express—this was ‘64, ‘65—was talking about this, “You must buy this book,” and started to try and explain to me his interpretation of cut-up and fold-in techniques, which he probably got wrong. And I couldn’t remember the name of the book when I got outside, and then an Express Dairy van from the Express Dairies came by, and I thought, “Express, Nova Express!” And I thought, “That’s what he’s trying to tell us. Random events can have a hidden meaning. We can get messages.” But I don’t think that’s what you see in it, is it?

Burroughs: Oh, exactly. Exactly what I see in it. These juxtapositions between what you’re thinking, if you’re walking down the street, and what you see, that was exactly what I was introducing. You see, life is a cut-up. Every time you walk down the street or look out the window, your consciousness is cut by random factors, and then you begin to realize that they’re not so random, that this is saying something to you.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.22.2018
09:35 am
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Paul Bowles’ recipe for a Moroccan love charm
03.19.2018
09:46 am
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Paul Bowles in Fez, 1947

Paul Bowles’ contribution to The Artists’ & Writers’ Cookbook appeared under “Jams, Jellies and Confections,” opposite Robert Graves’ recipe for Sevillian yellow plum conserve. In it, Bowles explained how the people of Fez make one of his favorite treats: majoun keddane, a kind of jam that requires some dates, figs, walnuts, honey, spices, butter, and wheat, and at least two pounds of cannabis.

Embedded in this recipe was another, for an even more exotic and labor-intensive Moroccan dish called Beid El Beita F’kerr El Hmar. This was a kind of breakfast recipe said to bestow magical powers:

Buy an egg. Find a dead donkey, and the first night lodge the egg in its anus. The second night the egg must be put into a mousehole on top of a Moslem tomb. The third night it must be wrapped in a handkerchief and tied around the chest of the person desiring to perform the magic. The following day it must be given for breakfast, prepared in any fashion, to the other individual, who, immediately upon eating it, discovers that the bestower is necessary for his happiness. (Or her happiness; the sex of the two people seems to have nothing to do with the charm’s efficacy.)

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.19.2018
09:46 am
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Aubrey Beardsley’s ‘obscene’ drawings for Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and ‘Lysistrata’  (NSFW)
03.08.2018
02:22 pm
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‘Salome.’
 
In 1898, when the artist Aubrey Beardsley was on his deathbed, he wrote to his publisher, pornographer Leonard Smithers, and demanded he “destroy all copies of Lysistrata and bad drawings… by all that is holy all obscene drawings.” Smithers took no notice of the recent Catholic convert Beardsley’s crise de conscience and made a very tidy profit publishing the infamous artist’s work after he died.

Beardsley was a phenomenon. It is quite difficult to grasp just how revolutionary and how utterly shocking this slight young man’s deceptively simple ink drawings were to both the critics and the public of Victorian England. His work was described as the product of a sick mind and damned as “grotesque” and “obscene.” Yet, despite this froth and seething outrage, Beardsley became, for a very brief time, famous, or rather infamous, and his work inspired a legion of imitators who made profitable careers from copying his art.

Beardsley was born into a lower-middle-class family in Brighton on August 21st, 1872. His father was a spendthrift who squandered money on drink and pleasure. His mother had pretensions towards a more genteel existence and did her best to encourage her children into the cerebral pleasures of art and culture. As his father was unable or more likely unwilling to hold down a regular job, his mother frequently sought funds from her own father—a former military officer—to pay the bills. From an early age, Beardsley showed a talent for art and music. He gave piano recitals with his older sister Mabel and the pair devised their own theatrical productions which they performed for the amusement of their mother and her friends.

He was a frail child and became severely ill with tuberculosis, which plagued him throughout his life and was eventually the cause of his death at a mere twenty-five years of age. His mother described Beardsley as being as “fragile as a piece of Dresden china.” However, his consumption fired his frenzied periods of intense work where he spent hours drawing before collapsing from exhaustion.

At school, he developed his own “perverse” style of illustration—first in the borders of his exercise books, then in the pages of the school magazine. After his education, he found work at an architect’s office, but Beardsley was far more interested in life as an artist than starting an office career. He was encouraged by the artist Edward Burne-Jones, who told him he never liked to encourage young men to be artists, but in Beardsley’s case, there was never any other option. Burne-Jones told Beardsley to enroll in classes at the Westminster School of Art where he soon discovered he had a style of drawing that was “freakishly” his own. He claimed he had seven styles of drawing and was determined to develop more. Two important influences on Beardsley came during a trip to Paris when he saw work by Toulouse-Lautrec and an exhibition of Japanese prints. These inspired him to finesse his own style into something new and highly original, something he liked to describe as “grotesque.”

Beardsley sent his latest illustrations off to various magazines. These were rejected. His work was considered too weird and too dangerous for the suburban readers of popular magazines. However, some work he had sent on spec to the publisher J. M. Dent, which brought Beardsley his first commission. He was hired to illustrate Thomas Malory’s tale Le Morte d’Arthur for £200. The work was long and hard and demanded considerable concentration, determined willpower, and strong, confident execution. Beardsley alternated between using pen and brush to create his pictures. Over the course of producing this monumental work, Beardsley changed and developed his style of drawing from the overly elaborate to a clan and austere simplicity. This was the start of his meteoric rise into London’s fashionable art and literary world.

According to his friend, the writer Max Beerbohm, no one ever saw Beardsley work at his pictures which he claimed he produced by candlelight in a darkened room. Beardsley was more likely to seen immaculately dressed hosting tea parties at his mother’s house or socializing with the likes of Oscar Wilde and Beerbohm at the Cafe Royale. He became friends with Wilde and drew the illustrations for his play Salome. These illustrations became more famous than Wilde’s so-so drama, in particular, the image of Salome kissing the freshly decapitated head of John the Baptist with his blood spilling down, giving sustenance to a lily. Beardsley was then hired as art director for the legendary and controversial Yellow Book which provided a home to many great writers and artists and was, unfortunately, to be the unlikely cause of his undoing.

When Wilde was arrested on the charge of sodomy, he was described as carrying a “yellow book.” This quickly became confused with the Yellow Book magazine for which Beardsley has supplied his “grotesque” illustrations. This unfortunate association was too much for the magazine’s publisher who immediately sacked Beardsley. Virtually overnight, the young artist’s celebrated career was snuffed out. Thereafter, he eked out a small living by drawing erotica for privately published books and magazines.

Beardsley’s reputation was as controversial as his art. He was considered effete and a homosexual, but was more likely asexual. He was rumored to have been involved in an incestuous relationship with his sister, which supposedly led to either a miscarriage or a stillborn child. He once wrote to his publisher Dent that he planned to dress up as a woman and have tea in drag at the Savoy. These are all most likely nothing more than rumors and schoolboy pranks. Beardsley relished notoriety and never evolved from a juvenile sense of fun. His drawings were filled with breasts and phallic symbols. The aftermath of Wilde’s arrest and trial led Beardsley to reevaluate his life. He became a Catholic (at the encouragement of his sister) and denounced his most scurrilous and offensive work. This included his comic and highly explicit illustrations for a privately printed edition of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the bawdy Greek drama of one woman’s attempt to end the Peloponnesian War by denying men sex.

Sadly, Beardsley succumbed to tuberculosis and died in France on March 16th, 1898.
 
From Oscar Wilde’s ‘Salome’ (1894).
 
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More ‘obscene’ beauty from Aubrey Beardsley, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.08.2018
02:22 pm
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Boris Karloff & Roddy McDowall go batshit crazy in this wild 50s TV version of ‘Heart of Darkness’

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Mistah Kurtz… he fucking nuts.

Boris Karloff is a bug-eyed Mr. Kurtz in this hip, bongo-fury, sub-beatnik fifties adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s tale Heart of Darkness. Karloff does his best over-the-top batshit crazy thing and is joined in a face-off by a half-naked, scenery-chewing and equally bug-eyed Roddy McDowall as Marlow, who overacts his way through the proceedings with considerable gusto.

This ain’t no run-of-the-mill take on Conrad’s classic story but one written by Stewart Stern the screenwriter of Rebel Without a Cause. And like that famous paean to teenage acne and angst, Stern has introduced a psychological subtext that gives the matter a topically Freudian twist which, to be frank, doesn’t quite work.

But heck, that don’t matter when there’s so much fever onscreen with Karloff and McDowall ably supported in their psycho-drama by Eartha Kitt as the Queen, Oskar Homolka as the Doctor, Inga Swenson as Maria, and Cathleen Nesbitt as the Crone.
 
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Gone Daddio, solid gone…
 
Heart of Darkness was loosely based on Conrad’s own experiences of his time spent in Africa and was intended as a condemnation of the racist imperialism he had witnessed firsthand. This might get a bit lost in Stern’s script where the Africans are mainly presented as little more than enthusiastic child-like bongo players—but it is what it is and you’re all grown-up enough to make up your own mind about this strange and quite daring television drama.

And if you can’t, well, take a taste of what it’s all about from Gonzo-theorist Erich Kuersten’s long essay “Ride the Snake” over at his blog Acidemic, where he explains just how this “primitive TV broadcast of Heart of Darkness spews forth an admission of evil and in the process exorcises it.” Kuersten is one of those rare original and essential writers who really should have a book of his articles published. ‘Nuff said.

Any-old-how, enjoy the madness of King Boris.

Watch it, after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.05.2018
08:27 am
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H.P. Lovecraft HATED T.S. Eliot
03.02.2018
08:48 am
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H.P. Lovecraft with Felis, the cat of Frank Belknap Long

It’s fitting that I learned of H.P. Lovecraft’s “Waste Paper” by listening to some interview or other Alan Moore did. Of course, as a parody of “The Waste Land,” Lovecraft’s poem begins with a totally obscure epigraph, unsourced, and in the original Greek: Πἀντα γἐλως καἱ πἀντα κὀνις καἱ πἀντα τὁ μηδἐν. This turns out to be part of the sole surviving verse by Glycon—not the snake god whose priest on Earth is Alan Moore, mind you, but the eponymous poet and inventor of “glyconic meter.” Just as Glycon the god was a hoax, “exposed as a glove-puppet in the second century” (Alan Moore), the Oxford Classical Dictionary says Glycon the poet probably didn’t even write the lonely couplet that comprises his entire literary oeuvre.

And, as John Brannon would say, check it out: the second line Lovecraft left out of this two-line poem, presumably because he didn’t know it existed, elegantly summarized his worldview in seven Greek words: πάντα γὰρ ἐξ ἀλόγων ἐστὶ τὰ γινόμενα. It’s enough to make you agree with what Glycon, or whoever, was saying all along in his single, slender entry in the Greek Anthology, to which one translator added the heading “NIHILISM”:

All is laughter, all is dust, all is nothing,
for all that is cometh from unreason.

Or if you prefer Christopher Isherwood’s translation:

All is but laughter, dust and nothingness
All of unreason born. . . .

HPL omitted the line about “unreason,” according to this Lovecraft scholar, because it didn’t appear in the Greek lexicon that was his source. But “all that is cometh from unreason” would have been the perfect title for the horrified reaction to “The Waste Land” Lovecraft published in his journal, The Conservative, if not the perfect title for his entire collected works:

Do our members realise that the progress of science within the last half-century has introduced conceptions of man, the world, and the universe which make hollow and ridiculous an appreciable proportion of all the great literature of the past? Art, to be great, must be founded on human emotions of much strength; such as come from warm instincts and firm beliefs. Science having so greatly altered our view of the universe and the beliefs attendant upon that view, we are now confronted by an important shifting of values in every branch of art where belief is concerned. The old heroics, pieties, and sentimentalities are dead amongst the sophisticated; and even some of our appreciations of natural beauty are threatened. Just how expansive is this threat, we do not know; and The Conservative hopes fervently that the final devastated area will be comparatively narrow; but in any case startling developments are inevitable.

A glance at the serious magazine discussion of Mr. T. S. Eliot’s disjointed and incoherent “poem” called “The Waste Land”, in the November Dial, should be enough to convince the most unimpressionable of the true state of affairs. We here behold a practically meaningless collection of phrases, learned allusions, quotations, slang, and scraps in general; offered to the public (whether or not as a hoax) as something justified by our modern mind with its recent comprehension of its own chaotic triviality and disorganisation. And we behold that public, or a considerable part of it, receiving this hilarious melange as something vital and typical; as “a poem of profound significance”, to quote its sponsors.

To reduce the situation to its baldest terms, man has suddenly discovered that all his high sentiments, values, and aspirations are mere illusions caused by physiological processes within himself, and of no significance whatsoever in an infinite and purposeless cosmos. He has discovered that most of his acts spring from hidden causes remote from the ones hitherto honoured by tradition, and that his so-called “soul” is merely (as one critic puts it) a rag-bag of unrelated odds and ends. And having made these discoveries, he does not know what to do about it; but compromises on a literature of analysis, chaos, and ironic contrast.

TL;DR: one racist reactionary prefers his own flavor of nihilism to another’s. Sounds like the narcissism of small differences to me! The poem, at least, is funny in parts. There are certain lines (“Meet me tonight in dreamland . . . BAH”) I can’t read without hearing the voice of the late Mark E. Smith.

Read H.P. Lovecraft’s “Waste Paper: A Poem of Profound Insignificance,” after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.02.2018
08:48 am
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‘Bare-ass naked’: The KLF and the live stage production of Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Illuminatus!’


Prunella Gee as Eris in ‘Illuminatus!’ (via Liverpool Confidential)

In 1976, the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool mounted a 12-hour stage production of Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! Trilogy. It was a fateful event in the life of the show’s set designer, Bill Drummond, for reasons he’s detailed in the Guardian: for one thing, it was in connection with Illuminatus! and its director, Ken Campbell, that Drummond first heard about the eternal conflict between the Illuminati, who may secretly control the world, and the Justified Ancients of Mummu, or the JAMs, who may be agents of chaos disrupting the Illuminati’s plans. (Recall that in Illuminatus!, the MC5 record “Kick Out The Jams” at the behest of the Illuminati, as a way of taunting the Justified Ancients—or so John Dillinger says.)

Before they were known as the KLF, Drummond and Jimmy Cauty called themselves the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, appropriating the name for the eschaton-immanentizing hip-hop outfit they started in 1987. Over the next few years, they seized the pop charts and filled the airwaves with disorienting, Discordian hits, until a day came when you could flip on the TV and find Tammy Wynette singing “Stand By The JAMs,” or Martin Sheen narrating the KLF’s reenactment of the end of The Wicker Man.
 

Bill Drummond in Big in Japan, live at Eric’s (via @FromEricsToEvol)
 
After the Liverpool run of Illuminatus!, Drummond rebuilt his sets for the London production, but he suddenly bailed on the show, walking out hours before it was to open. I guess he missed the nude cameo appearance Robert Anton Wilson describes in Cosmic Trigger, Volume I:

On November 23, 1976—a sacred Discordian holy day, both because of the 23 and because it is Harpo Marx’s birthday—a most ingenious young Englishman named Ken Campbell premiered a ten-hour adaptation of Illuminatus at the Science-Fiction Theatre of Liverpool. It was something of a success (the Guardian reviewed it three times, each reviewer being wildly enthusiastic) and Campbell and his partner, actor Chris Langham, were invited to present it as the first production of the new Cottesloe extension of the National Theatre, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen.

This seemed to me the greatest Discordian joke ever, since Illuminatus, as I may not have mentioned before, is the most overtly anarchistic novel of this century. Shea and I quite seriously defined our purpose, when writing it, as trying to do to the State what Voltaire did to the Church—to reduce it to an object of contempt among all educated people. Ken Campbell’s adaptation was totally faithful to this nihilistic spirit and contained long unexpurgated speeches from the novel explaining at sometimes tedious length just why everything government does is always done wrong. The audiences didn’t mind this pedantic lecturing because it was well integrated into a kaleidoscope of humor, suspense, and plenty of sex (more simulated blow jobs than any drama in history, I believe). The thought of having this totally subversive ritual staged under the patronage of H.M. the Queen, Elizabeth II, was nectar and ambrosia to me.

The National Theatre flew Shea and me over to London for the premiere and I fell in love with the whole cast, especially Prunella Gee, who emphatically has my vote for Sexiest Actress since Marilyn Monroe. Some of us did a lot of drinking and hash-smoking together, and the cast told me a lot of synchronicities connected with the production. Five actors were injured during the Liverpool run, to fulfill the Law of Fives. Hitler had lived in Liverpool for five months when he was 23 years old. The section of Liverpool in which the play opened, indeed the very street, is described in a dream of Carl Jung’s recorded on page 23 of Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The theatre in Liverpool opened the day Jung died. There is a yellow submarine in Illuminatus, and the Beatles first sang “Yellow Submarine” in that same Liverpool Theatre. The actor playing Padre Pederastia in the Black Mass scene had met Aleister Crowley on a train once.

The cast dared me to do a walk-on role during the National Theatre run. I agreed and became an extra in the Black Mass, where I was upstaged by the goat, who kept sneezing. Nonetheless, there I was, bare-ass naked, chanting “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” under the patronage of Elizabeth II, Queen of England, and I will never stop wondering how much of that was programmed by Crowley before I was even born.

 

Robert Anton Wilson (via John Higgs)
 
In 2017, 23 years after they split up, Drummond and Cauty reunited as the JAMs. Instead of a new chart-burning house record, they released their first novel…

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.27.2018
10:08 am
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