Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

June 2000CE

June 2000ce

Droogs & Drudes,

Sweet Mother of God, it’s flaming June already and I'm flaming mad at Dean Merewether for that dumb ass hole he dug in Silbury 150 years ago. The no-let-up rain on these here Marlborough Downs has so quagmired the ground that it’s no surprise to hear that a trepanning re-entry wound has almost lobotomised our beloved Mother Hill. The timing is such a drag, being so close to Summer Solstice when people need to make that climb. I was even close to making the climb myself – in May 1990, I stood on the Ridgeway with my friend Charlotte Villiers and told her I’d do my first climb to the summit in exactly ten years time, as I wanted it to be deeply significant. Then the ten years passed and it came to making the move and somehow I still didn’t feel ready. Everyday I see Silbury and scream that name as loud as I can – I’m the Silbury Virgin and I'm happy to stay that way. But that hole is driving me crazy. We need that hill – We neeeeeed!

I’ve been working hard on a TV version of The Modern Antiquarian. I had 23 meetings with various TV producers and even got a BBC series commissioned, but it wasn’t the right approach. Now, at last, I think I’ve finally got it right. This is gonna be a one-off road movie to be aired on BBC2 on Saturday June 24th, and directed by an old friend of mine, the former NME editor Ian Pye. I figured no patriarchal “Here I am at Stonehenge dissing the last guy who was here”, in fact no Stonehenge at all. These beloved temples have been like a home to me for the past decade, and I wanted to show them in context with their incredible landscapes – complete with attendant Mother hills and sacred river valleys. So we took a BBC crew around Britain for 12 days of real time and filmed what these islands are really like. We didn’t make a film of the book. We made a film about the making of the book: Travelodges and Little Chefs and ferries and endless shots of the road. Because any Soho caffiend can sit indoors and say “Oh, I really wanna drive across the US in a big old Caddy”, but really these islands are huge and need to be re-mythologised. We went to Land’s End and the Outer Hebrides and Orkney and Aberdeenshire and Cumbria. 2800 miles in search of Prehistoric Britain. Right On. I got to film Dunnideer and all its major circles. I got to film Callanish and all its attendant monuments, I even got to film the horribly napalmed Men-an-Tol and Lanyon Quoit AND Silbury before the hole. I hate TV but I knew a film had to be made to alert people whose lives could be changed the way my life has been changed. And if it saves one more person from the Ibiza scene, then Right On.

Love on y’all,

Mr. DRUDE