Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

December Drudion

December 2006ce

Drudion,

Merry X-Mass. It’s 4.38 am on December 1st 2006 (Common Era) as I write this, the only sound this wet Yatesbury morning emanating from my computer and the rain outside. Almost two miles from the nearest main road, not even the commuters have begun their long auto-trudges to work. Drudes, it’s been a long year, I know, but I can barely believe we’ve come to the end of yet another one. For myself, hard on the writing schedule and waking so early every day, this has been a year of epic revelation, almost constant seeking and finding. Earlier this month I was badly betrayed by one who called himself a friend, whose muse I’d helped to locate over several years, but who – when I cupped my hands to help his feet up on to the wall, chose instead to reach that high place by stamping on my face. Who this was is of no matter, for my greater truth came through the revelations that followed later as I sunk deeply depressed at the betrayal, tumbling exhausted into my bed, then tumbling down even further into the Underworld night after night after night, re-visiting old friends, ancestors, comrades and those long dead. Each one told me what I must, at this Gateway to the New Year, now tell you:

There are no Gods but those we create. Some have invented protectors like Jehovah and Allah because – like children’s belief in Santa Claus – the cosy blanket of belief cushions them from the extreme unknowns of Raw Life. Our human power is so intensely strong, however, that merely through inventing Gods, so they take on a life of their own. But life is too short and finite to trouble ourselves with troublesome Gods. One day soon we too shall no longer be here, so do me the favour of taking me for granted while I am here. Accept the books, the records, the Albums of the Month as my evidence to you of Constant Revelation, for there is nothing greater than Sonic Revelation. Rock’n’roll. Yes, those avalanches of sound cascading over and through us inform us more clearly than any berserk invented religion, for they are manifestations of the R I G H T      N O W. In order to beat death, Buddhists challenge Time with their day-long rituals. Catholics fill their churches with sumptuous art to separate their God from the everyday drudgery outside. Muslims head bang back’n’forth to approach Otherness as they read their ‘sacred’ Koran. But our Western rock is far greater than all of these things. Greater because it celebrates both our highest and most stratospheric emotions and our low lowest most barbarian senses S I M U L T A N E O U S L Y !!! When I say rock’n’roll celebrates our Inner Moron, it’s because ‘moron’ was once merely an Urban description of a rural type, he who lives upon the moor. Of course, as being a city dweller was the preferred option, a moron soon became a disparaging term. But rock’n’roll is of the moor, and on the moor is where our wildest inner feelings still reside. Take yourselves on to the moor through rock’n’roll and you will have no need to invent Invisible Gods. Dance, shake, pout at your partner, feel them up, point lavishly at the sky and scream ‘Motherfucking yeah!’ Make a God out of your rock’n’roll if you need, but whatever you do remember to let those vital watts of electric sound permeate your body, Babies, we’ve barely begun! Check out the music discussed below and I’m sure you’ll agree that rock’n’roll only gets better and better.

CRASHED LIKE WRETCHED MOTH by Ginnungagap

COURTESY & GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN by Harvey Milk

POTHEAD by Yawning Man

BLACK TAR PROPHECIES: VOLUMES 1,2&3 by Grails

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY by Cult of Luna

DIVE INTO THE SUN by Glow

First off, I gots to say a massive ‘Ja, Mein Hairies’ about Stephen O’Malley’s latest Gunnungagap release CRASHED LIKE WRETCHED MOTH (Ideologic Records). This single-sided white vinyl LP is an immense piano drone clothed in a beautiful Seldon Hunt sleeve that looks like Woden’s ultimate oak forest of legend. On the reverse side of the vinyl is a silver Horned God ritual event again by the mighty pen of Seldon ‘Woden’s Wild’ Hunt. Cop its magnificence via www.conspiracy.com and soon! Next essential purchase has to be the sumptuous re-package that Relapse Records has done to Harvey Milk’s incredible 1996 album COURTESY & GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN. Delivered in a quadruple digipack with accompanying ‘in concert’ CD, this is the pig’s business, the absolute, the Must Have post-LYSOL Melvins-o-thon. This has been something of a Harvey Milk month, what with Holy McGrail laying their singles album on me as well. But COURTESY & GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN, available through www.relapse.com, is nothing short of Sonic Revelation. Indispensable. After sinking into heavy rotation playing of Yawning Man’s deeply catchy last album ROCK FORMATIONS, I started searching out more stuff from their desert generator scene. But I reckon Gary Arce’s Yawning Man is deffo the best of the bunch. If you dig Post Punk-styled Stoner instrumentals that conjure up The Ventures gone bad, all delivered on a purple marbled 10” disc, then search out their mini-LP POTHEAD (Alone Records) at www.alonerecs.com. I was tempted to hold back on commenting about the new Grails album BLACK TAR PROPHECIES: VOLUMES 1,2&3 on Important Records, because I’ve been playing this sucker so often, I didn’t wanna nix its chance to be a future Album Of The Month. However, with so much amazing music out there, you just have to hear its mighty yawp sooner rather than later. Grails’ Middle European music exudes a dark occult mystery few are capable of achieving. Like some East German ensemble of the early ‘70s, their heathen Ur-klang combines acoustic guitars, banjos, bouzoukis with drums and samples that summon up the Ancients. Accessed via www.grailsongs.com, this is truly The Shit! Next, try Swedish octet Cult Of Luna, yup, an eight-piece ensemble whose desperate and tragic-sounding 7-track album SOMEWHERE ALONG THE HIGHWAY calls to mind the icey blasts blowing through the open cabin window of a 16-wheeler container truck travelling at a steady 90 kph, its long-dead ghost driver doomed forever to haunt the Bronze Age mound-strewn open highways of the southern Baltic coastline. Three drone guitarists, two electronics operators, and two drummers propel Cult Of Luna’s mighty vehicle, as their mostly 10-minutes-plus tracks struggle to stay on the road crushing all in their way. Available on Earache Records or via www.cultofluna.com, this is one deep, dark metal meditation. For those requiring tradition and hard rock in the style of such bands as The Obsessed, I’d like to conclude with DIVE INTO THE SUN by the Spanish metal band Glow (Alone Records), whose vocalist is a righteous combination of Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich and The Guess Who’s Burton Cummings during his LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT Jimbo Morrison incarnation. This record breaks no boundaries and neither does it attempt to do so, but its breast-beating does everything that most ‘70s bands did, and far better. Accessed at www.alonerecs.com, Glow is surely evidence that tradition can be exultant and essential.

Regarding my own situation, I have to explain that, no, there’s no forthcoming album called DROOLIAN’S MOTHER, as I claimed on the Mark Radcliffe Show the other night. Holy McGrail was driving so I was drunk and garrulous and making shit up. In spring of next year, I shall be releasing a new album entitled YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH ME (no question mark). It’s gonna be one catchy bastard and most of the songs are written already, two even recorded. In the meantime, I have a coupla requests for all you musicologists out there. For months, I’ve been desperately searching for two rare Japanese ‘70s LPs with no success. So, if any of you have copies of, or know the whereabouts of the Polydor album ETERNITY by Epos and/or SUNRISE FROM WEST SEA LIVE by Stomu Yamash’ta & The Horizon, please get in touch with me at Head Heritage. I’d be happy even with a burn if you could offer it. Finally finally, a couple of completist Cope fans have been in touch complaining about buying Fourwinds’ book to get my jacket design and the book being so expensive and ‘my’ book jacket being shit. Well, gentlemen, Fourwinds’ publishers chose to run with a design of their own (does it look like I’d have designed it?) and please remember that Ireland is one of the most expensive places in Europe. Also, the book is a local guide published by a small company who, according to Fourwinds, had no printing facilities to do standard publishing things like footnotes or an index, so please show a little compassion.

Okay, I shall now finally quit it at last.

Have a Heathen X-Mass and an Obliterated New Year,

U-(Fucking) Know!

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)