Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

X-Mass Drudion

December 2001ce

Hey babies,

I’m sitting here blasting the first Blue Cheer LP ‘cause I need a little end-of-the-year comfort listening. What with the Taliban ‘on the run’ and the US convinced that the war has entered its ‘endgame’ (nice convenient media term, can we get a logo up for that one, boys?), I’ll try and make this whole Address Drudion less political than the past coupla rants. America Under Attack, Ground Zero, Endgame – is there some unsung media Logo Laureate who comes up with this kack? Personally, I reckon we’ll still be reading about dead CIA operatives this time next year – surely the Afghanistanis have proven themselves enough for even the most deluded American politician to know that the the US military ain’t nowhere at all. Me, I’m gonna be the great reconciler between the two opposing factions. I’ve even invented the ultimate garment to be worn by both American women AND Muslim women. Get this, the Sleeveless Burka!!! Why? Because it’s acceptable to the men of Islam because it still conceals the face of the woman, but it still accommodates the Americans’ Right to Bare Arms! A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-hha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Actually, the situation in the US was really brought home the other day when we all trooped down the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square to get Albany a new US passport. The whole area is set up with free-standing seven foot tall wire fences and plain-clothed FBI operatives on all corners. Police milled around and the be-shaded grey guys, who checked our collective ID, all stared at Dorian, Albany and Avalon like: “Whaddya doing with that longhaired commie cat?” We’d just seen an Evening Standard billboard proclaiming “Beatle George Dead”, which blew our minds and made Dora and me feel really old. Shit, with all the joy and spiritual healing he’d done in his life, Beatle George deserved to at least live till he was over 90. And we deserved to have him around as well. Same thing with Michael Karoli of Can, who died last month and left the Krautrock arena one superstar less bright. Look in Unsung for the obituary which I wrote him for this month’s Mojo magazine. The last month’s death count has really taken its toll on the world. We all complain about western press perspectives regarding the unreported deaths of thousands of Afghani civilians, whilst the killing of one CIA guy gets labelled ‘murder of a hero’. But the loss of Beatle George really does sum up the inconsistencies which we all manage to come to terms with – could we ever really mourn enough for someone as important as that Rock God? And while we slam the leaders of our own culture for placing too much importance on those who died in the twin towers, isn’t it better that we are still possibly overly moved by such events rather than being so accepting and callous, as the Chinese or Iraqi authorities are, even to the point of creating disaster for their own people. I am a creedist because experience tells me to be wary of others who act because of some unproven belief. But I am neither a tribalist nor a racist, and I’m with Stephen Mithen, who wrote in his book The Prehistory of the Mind: “Believing that differences exist between human groups is very different from believing that some groups are inherently inferior to others.”

Now, I’m getting some light relief listening to “2000 Rock Chicks B.C.” by my mate Alice Harvey and his excellent pock-marked glam band The Whores. What a fucking image, what a fucking sound. Alice Harvey refuses to release records as a protest against the state of the music industry. He reckons being number one in this climate would be a pointless and Pyrrhic victory. Right On. By the way, Holy McGrail came down to hang for the weekend and discuss our Ambient Movie L.A.M.F. project. He mentioned seeing some new Cope compilation in the shops with a sticker declaring “Compiled by Julian Cope”. Well I gotta tell ya, that’s fucking untrue. ‘Cause if I really compiled the thing, there would be NO compilation. Who buys this shit anyway? Not only do I get no money from this stuff, I rarely even get more than one stinking (and belatedly sent) copy. All those umpteen compilations have a life of their own. This happens – I get sent a prospective list of the corporation’s wishes by my ex-manager Cally Callomon (a nice guy who unfortunately makes his living out of this destructive metal-detecting-posing-as-archaeological-excavation). Then I ask him if the fucking thing really has to come out at all, sigh another big one and complain that it’s just more rotating of the same 16 or so songs over and over (Imagine excavating the same stone circle over and over rather than investigating a coupla new ones down the road). If challenging the validity of these money-making schemes makes me the compiler, then I’m guilty as stickered. If anyone is wondering why creaming off the most corporately palatable bits of Jehovahkill to mix with inappropriate ‘rare’ tracks from St. Julian is acceptable to these people, please write to them and ask. They long ago asked for a boxed set and I told them Box Sets of old stuff were for dead people. They said Scott Walker was quite happy to have one – there’s my argument in one sentence, dead people and Pulp producers are the same fucking thing. I’m obviously being punished for not jumping at the chance to suck their corporate softies. So if you need to hear fucking “Reward” next to “Sleeping Gas” because yooz bored with hearing it next to “Treason”, better leg out and splash out. But understand that sleeves with bitty bits of Cope ephemera, hand-written lyrics, back-stage passes and the like are NOWT TO DO WITH ME.

Anyway, you don’t need to read my complaints anymore. You all need a break and a winter festival and a facsimile of the world tree in your living room, festooned with baubles and overhanging with mistletoe. We’ve been anticipating these last two years all our lives, and very soon they’ll be gone forever. 2000 and 2001 were always icons of the west, so allow yourselves to be depressed when they’ve gone. A little symbolism never did nobody no harm. So dig in, kiddies, and hibernate as long as you can and I’ll see you all in the un-legendary year of 2002 (Common Era).

Love Fucking Peace,

JULIAN

M’Lud Yatesbury