Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

July Drudion

July 2003ce

Droogies and Drudes,

Halfway through the year that never ends already! Dammit, it’s a full on journey of neuroses and anticipation getting good shots of all the sites I’ve visited for THE MEGALITHIC EUROPEAN. Nowadays, I’m getting scared of turning down the wrong road in case there’s something ancient, amazing and unsung lurking in the bushes. I mean, it’s fairly common knowledge that the Vikings who attacked Lindisfarne used their massive Zealand fortress at Trelleborg as a springboard, but I didn’t realise that fortress’s Neolithic roots would have included such exquisite carved ritual axes, as there’s precious little written about such stuff in British archaeology books. As I passed into Jutland from the isle of Fyn over the old road/rail bridge between Middelfart and Snoghoj, I kind of expected the trolls to drag me out of the car and berate me for missing some legendary lost mound.

Now, I’m sitting indoors listening to ‘Armenia City in the Sky’ by The Who and preparing for my Armenia trip next Sunday (even the passport visa is a thing of mysterious beauty!). This particular journey is mainly for research for LET ME SPEAK TO THE DRIVER, as the monuments themselves lie just outside my self-imposed physical boundaries of this edition of THE MEGALITHIC EUROPEAN. However, the past four years of travel has increasingly led me to believe that links between the north of Europe and the Ararat area are far older than previously thought. As a westerner, I think that waking up with Mt. Ararat to my west will generate an even greater feeling of mystery within me than seeing Mt. Fuji on those Japanese tours.

Okay, I’m now listening to the wonderful forthcoming album by Plastic Crimewave Sound – a kind of melange of Detroit 1969, Cleveland 75 and Temple of Bon Matin’s more garage rock moments (ENDURO and THUNDER FEEDBACK CONFUSION as opposed to CABIN IN THE SKY or BULLET INTO MESMER’S BRAIN) all melded into the second Comets of Fire album. It’s out soon and it’s very very good. Plastic Crimewave is this FutuRetro rock’n’roll writer/cartoonist with a poet’s grasp of the importance of rock’n’roll. Also, I finally gotta hold of the weird ‘70s Japanese music concrete of AMALGAMATION. Man, again we got an arranged marriage of bizarre ingredients: Stockhausen meets Group Ongaku over political speeches, funk wa-guitar, free rock drumming and Cornish street ritual. I’ve never heard such a combination except for maybe moments of the 1971 album CEREMONY – BUDDHA MEETS ROCK by Japanese underground band People. But even this description barely scratches the surface of what they were doing here.

Hey, as a participant, I was really glad to see this year’s Glastonbury touted as the most successful ever. Entering into Somerset was truly amazing as we passed South Cadbury Castle down the A303, and this area so local to me took on a glow of mystery in its ur-perfection. From the A37, descending into the site was like a dream as smiling fluorescent yellow-jacketed security people waved us through and told me how big my kids were getting, and how I was hardly recognisable with the beard. It’s good to feel remembered when you only play the rock’n’roll occasionally (and many times this year my long hair and appearance has caused me grief from unashamedly belligerent European males!). We got to the Acoustic Stage and I told the stage manager – a lovely man called Chris Runciman – what a chilled scene he administered. With a huge warm grin, he just pointed to a large red, gold and green flag hanging over the portable office, a single word ‘PEACE’ printed in white across its face. Doubly excited from a couple of hours’ hanging with old friends, I walked up on to the stage and launched into the opening song, a new one called “That’s the way love is”, as I didn’t wanna rely on old stuff despite this not being a purely Cope audience. The song is a drone that builds and builds and really went down well. Man, I was hanging! There’s an audience! I spend so much time in the field on my own with the megaliths nowadays, I wanted to kiss everyone of those people. I put my guitar down and went out to crouch down and greet them. Yes! Yes! As I talked into my Madonna contraption microphone, I looked at the green shirted security man just 18" to my right and smiled. He did not smile back.

“You’re fucking shite!” he muttered to me, and with a look of very strange anger. “What?” says I, almost not realising what he’d said. “You’re guitar is shite and you’re pack!”

He looked at his wall-eyed cohort to the left and the two laughed. Almost ruined the gig, proto-druids. If I hadn’t long ago moved into a situation of simultaneous light and shadow, I’d have floored the guy with my rapier wit and ejected him from the tent with Concorde up his ass. Eh whatever! But thanks for the many emails of approval, babbies. Glasto may get a bit too corporate here and there but at least the meatheads were hassling me and not the audience, which makes a change.

By the way, in late October/early Nov., I’m gonna be presenting a three day festival called ROME WASN’T BURNED IN A DAY, at Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre. There’s gonna be underground rock’n’roll films, coupla lectures, some deadly current rock bands, a Brain Donor show and my first performance with my electric band since 1996CE. The latter will include obvious monolithic barbarian classics such as ‘Reynard the Fox’, ‘Shot Down’, ‘Spacehopper’ and that Shut Your Mouth song, as I’ve been recently yearning to hang from a large mikestand without a guitar round my neck. I’ll keep y’all posted as to the movements and the line-up of other groups, as they are individually confirmed.

Okay, I’m off to learn Armenian. For this trip only, I shall be renamed and that name which I shall be known as transliterates into Armenian from the English ‘planet fanatic’.

Later, Drudion,

All love on ya,

MOLERAND MOLERACK (M’Lud Yatesbury)