Julian Cope

As we are about to enter in what is known as the season of the magic mushroom and as we approach the psychedic autumn l find myself delving into Julian Copes world of Rock n' Roll with the book Head-On/Repossessed and immediately freak myself out by the book's hardware, why? Well first of all the front cover has the title Head-On, ok nothing strange here but you flip it over and the back is upside down and has the title of Repossessed with its own cover so here's the deal you read Head-On and when it ends you turn the book over and start reading Repossed from the back it's like a fashion brochure, anyway its no biggie in fact its a rather nice touch. l still can't believe how quick The Teardrop Explodes came together from forming to their first gig, to putting out their first Single happened over a period of weeks, incredible. Julians Copes Head-On is a trip down to his beginnings in the Liverpool punk scene and its eruption into the mainstream. Firstly with his band The Teardrop Explodes and then followed by Echo And The Bunnymen who were kind of rivals but they started of as allies (to be fair the rivalry was more with Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch). Success came quickly and just as quick it was soon over for the Teardrops and Julian went onto solo work Reading this book reminded me at times of Hunter S Thompsons Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and Ian Hunters Diary of a Rock n Roll Star, especially the on the road tales must have been the acid references that made me think of that. When you finish part one i.e Head-On your brain is edgy so you start thinking maybe part two Repossessed will be more subdued with Julian maybe settling down in his hometown of Tamworth....Wrong it's still Fear And Loathing now relocated to the english countryside. I was always led to believe that Julian Cope was totally bonkers but on reading this isn't the case his writing is very articulate and his style of writing is brilliant, for example he explains an early Clash gig and compares the band to old wind-up eastern european train sets with all their stage moves. The thing with this book is you get the feeling that the people that congregate around Julian are totally bonkers including fans and friends but he cares for them like Ken Kaseys Randle from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Julian Copes solo career is like some large lunatic asylum which he battles through and is unscathed by the whole experience. When he moves from Tamworth to Tulse Hill London the neighbours are just as crazy and the looney bin has now moved next door at least he can seek refuge into his massive toy collection and the love of Dorian his wife. The book ends at the end of the 80s and that's where we leave Julian to deal with the 90's.I have seen recent footage of Julian performing this year and he now looks like he could be fronting a biker band or even a biker gang, Far-out, he is a classic english eccentric you know, keep it up. Chris McDougall

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