Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Julian Cope vs Bill Drummond

I recently found myself re-reading Julian Cope's autobiographies, Head-On and Repossessed. I think I bought them when they first came out as a single volume in 2000, but after enjoying them a lot at the time, hadn't picked them up since.

Cope's story of the Liverpool punk scene, the glory days of The Teardrop Explodes, and his on-off solo career in the 80s, is never less than entertaining, not least because you're never sure quite how much to believe. Amid all the tales of feuds, drug-fuelled road trips and transformation from teen idol into shamanistic rock god, though, there's lots of interesting stuff on stardom and the workings of the music business, as well as on the nature of creativity. It's a bit of shame he hasn't written a further volume covering his increasingly eccentric solo career since 1990, including his emergence as a megalithic expert.

It's an understatement to say that Ian McCulloch, Dave Balfe and Bill Drummond don't come out of the books too well, so in the interests of a bit of balance (although I am a long-term Cope fan), I've ordered a copy of Drummond's own book, 45. As the arch-scamster who created The KLF, he ought to have a good story to tell.

While searching for it online, I also came across his late 80s (and pre-KLF) solo album The Man. Most copies on there cost £25-plus, but I managed to snap up a used one for £7. It turns out that he was backed on the record by my old favourites The Triffids (minus David McComb), so it's got curiosity value for me, if nothing else. It also contains a song called Julian Cope Is Dead - I wonder where he's coming from with that one?

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