Monday, 17 October 2011

Magnificent pagan beast

Julian Cope that is. Until a few months ago I'd got along with just the compilation Floored Genius Vol 1. Throughout the eighties I loved all of his singles that I heard and, I think, came close to buying Peggy Suicide. The only other homage I paid was in my student days when, on trips to the jukebox, Reward featured in my unbeatable 50p triumvirate (the other two being Geno and, slightly edgier, Love is the Drug).

As the years rolled by I'd sometimes give the neighbours a blast of Safe Surfer (still probably my favourite) but he was a relative stranger to my turntable and I never thought to fill the gaps between the Floored Genius tracks. And that might have been it had my interest not been reawakened by his autobiographies Head On and Repossessed, the best pop autobiographies ever written I think. At least the best pop autobiographies written by someone whose music I respected. (As I've said before George Melly's Owning Up is probably the ultimate music autobiography, but I just can't get excited by Bessie Smith). Oh, and that big book about megalithic monuments he wrote. He's an interesting guy.

So yes, I've been catching up with his eighties solo output, concentrating most recently on Fried. That's the cover up there. The record company hated it (Repossessed pg 74). My own position: what's not to like? It's one of those "two kinds of people in the world" thingies maybe, but I just don't get how a picture of a man wearing a giant turtle shell can be deemed inappropriate for an album sleeve.

Anyway, a snippet - this sounds very influential, or is it just so simple that other people were bound to come up with something similar?

Julian Cope Mic Mak Mok


  1. I could never shake the image of him walking on the Ridgeway every morning to 'take a w*nk.'

  2. I don't remember that bit - is it in one of the books, or does he sing a song about it? Looked up the Ridgeway out of curiosity. I have, for the last few drives up the M40, been most tempted to investigate Stokenchurch.