Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

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handofdave
handofdave
3515 posts

Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 06:31
I just caught an interview with him on the 'Tavis Smiley' show here on our public broadcast station.

I really haven't seen a thing, though I knew he did an album a while ago, about him in years.

One of his appearances in the mid-seventies, in Germany, was the first big real concert I ever saw, at the age of 13, on the 'Buddha and the Chocolate Box' tour.

A few clips of him performing... he still sounds good.

He said something really great in regards to Islam's insularity... he's come to think that it should advance its culture into being more visible in positive ways, and not be afraid of music... that it can be made and heard in sacred ways. His own journey is written in his lyrics.. he was pretty explicit on a soul level. The big absence was the natural end of a period early on when he was master of his own future, and he chose one, just not the one the fans expected.

But he's back, and embracing his old stuff, and it's nice to see.
Gnomon
Gnomon
1132 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 09:20
handofdave wrote:
he's back, and embracing his old stuff, and it's nice to see.


It's amazing what making no money will do to one's beliefs and convictions.
handofdave
handofdave
3515 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 12:02
Gnomon wrote:
handofdave wrote:
he's back, and embracing his old stuff, and it's nice to see.


It's amazing what making no money will do to one's beliefs and convictions.


Heh heh. Well, to be fair, it didn't come off that way. His music was always about spiritual stuff. He explains his long hiatus as being time to understand his newly adopted religion, raise a family, and get out of the rat race. At the time he bailed out of the music scene he was being given complete creative control, so he figured bowing out at the top of his game was a good time to do it, I guess.

I don't know if any of his new material is any good, but he's no worse for pulling his old catalog out than anyone else.
elegant chaos
elegant chaos
2376 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 12:53
As much as I admire some of his back catalogue - "Catch Bull At Four" is a brilliant album - it still sticks in my craw when he backed the fatwah on Salman Rushdie - and I back 10,000 Maniacs' decision to withdraw "Peace Train" from their album for that reason.

When the news became public he appeared on an ITV discussion programme called "After Dark". The chairman of the debate asked him what he would do if Salman Rushdie knocked on his door.

He replied - "I would invite him in , sit him down, make him a cup of tea, and whilst I was outside I'd ring the Iranian authorities and tell them where he was".
Hunter T Wolfe
Hunter T Wolfe
1591 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 12:55
As I've mentioned on here before in soundtracks to our lives, I really love a lot of early Cat Stevens. I've also always respected his decision to embrace islam and retire from music at his peak. Even though I might disagree with his choice, it does at least show that he was genuine in all the soul searching and philosophising in his music; that he really was on a personal quest and he followed that to some kind of conclusion, rather than just pursuing money and a career and becoming increasingly bland and unfocussed like so many of his contemporaries. There are parallels with Julian in that sense.
handofdave
handofdave
3515 posts

Edited Nov 21, 2008, 14:05
Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 13:42
elegant chaos wrote:
it still sticks in my craw when he backed the fatwah on Salman Rushdie - and I back 10,000 Maniacs' decision to withdraw "Peace Train" from their album for that reason


Oh, that irked the hell out of me... and it was not addressed in the interview. I think that whole fatwah support business of his was due to his somehow having to prove something to Islam.... converts to any religion invest a particulary intense amount of adherance to the orthodoxy, that most who were raised in the faith don't. And even when he was Cat Stevens he most definitely was on some sort of quest towards a devotional life... Islam's got devotion with a capital D.

He seems to have mellowed out... the return to the music is a good sign.. it's more Sufi and less Wahhabi, if you know what I mean. He was earnest and sincere but good humored in the interview, even joking about the time the US Department of Homeland Security forced his plane to land and took him and his daughter into custody... (the agents all asked for his autograph). He seems like a pretty clearheaded family guy, perhaps a bit preoccupied with the life after death question (he admitted that was the impetus to convert).
handofdave
handofdave
3515 posts

Edited Nov 21, 2008, 13:54
Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 13:51
Hunter T Wolfe wrote:

As I've mentioned on here before in soundtracks to our lives, I really love a lot of early Cat Stevens. I've also always respected his decision to embrace islam and retire from music at his peak. Even though I might disagree with his choice, it does at least show that he was genuine in all the soul searching and philosophising in his music; that he really was on a personal quest and he followed that to some kind of conclusion, rather than just pursuing money and a career and becoming increasingly bland and unfocussed like so many of his contemporaries. There are parallels with Julian in that sense.


Well said. Geniuses who know when to leave the stage are rare and merciful!

I think converting to any religion is pretty radical, but I think it's got to be remembered what a spiritually exhausted time the seventies were. A lot of artists, not just 'normals', were jumping into the religion pool out of disgust with the besotted beast that popular culture had become.

(I'm listening to Tea for the Tillerman right now... it's been awhile. Quite beautiful, really!)
Lawrence
9491 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 16:33
Ehh, his comments about Salmon Rushdie still bother me. I can't listen to "Peace Train" anymore without thinking about psychotic ayatollahs...
keith a
keith a
9143 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 16:41
I can't help thinking that when that morning broke, he'd have been better off trying to fix it rather than just singing about it.
elegant chaos
elegant chaos
2376 posts

Re: Yusef
Nov 21, 2008, 18:11
Should have called the police when he was being followed by a moonshadow.

Imagine that - a shadow mooning.

I'll never look at Hank Marvin in the same way again.
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