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New Julian Cope books coming
05.10.2010
09:16 pm
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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
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05.10.2010
09:16 pm
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Jay Babcock on Julian Cope
04.28.2010
06:12 pm
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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
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04.28.2010
06:12 pm
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Julian Cope: Someone Spiked His LSD
12.09.2009
12:51 am
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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
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12.09.2009
12:51 am
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Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany
11.05.2009
06:22 pm
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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
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11.05.2009
06:22 pm
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Dorian Cope: August 11, 1958, The Dockum Sit-In
08.12.2009
01:57 am
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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
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08.12.2009
01:57 am
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Julian Cope: Black Sheep
07.21.2009
06:41 pm
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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
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07.21.2009
06:41 pm
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