Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

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August Album of the Month
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Re: August Album of the Month
Aug 13, 2003, 18:05
i'm a bit late here I know and maybe it's all a bit stale but i saw cope doing a brilliant talk about five years ago when reposessed had just come out and one of the most interesting things he said was about Van Halen - indeed it kind of one of the crux points of what he was talking about.

he had a news clipping of a recent discovery of a really old hat that had been found near some standing stones or something - a few thousands of years old (apologies for my archaeological sketchiness) - it was a tall multi-coloured hat like a witches or something but Cope used it to illustrate the point that these folks had leisure time - and that their leisure time was used to dress up and be flamboyant and that these people were imaginative and spiritual in a way that he envied and in a way that our society has forgotten about. I think he must have just read 'Crazy from the Heat' at this point but he had got the same kind of thing from DLR's idiosyncratic and humorous memories of Van Halen - ie the product of leisure time spent indulging in fantasy play and ridiculousness but also for the sake of the audience and with a commitment towards their wellbeing (illustrated in the floor polishing story Cope mentions in the AOTM feature) unlike most of the metal genre.

I can see how Dave Lee Roth represents someone who is a showman in an age of featureless and joyless culture and I think Cope is right to champion these kinds of inspirations because they're valuable and also because they are rare.

I think the main point about this though is that Cope has justified his appreciation of VH eloquently and the accusations of irony or intellectual dishonesty represented by the 'Cope can go to hell' and 'He is taking the piss' comments are unfair and insulting.

I have just read 'Our Band Could be Your Life' by Michael Azzerad which is a chronicle of Underground American Indie in the 80s and Van Halen were cited as inspiration by Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye and The Minutemen so Cope is not their only credible fan.
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