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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please write one about the next 15 years,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)I went to see Julian Cope, just knowing him as the bloke out of the Teardrop Explodes vaguely remembering something about him being a bid mad. He appeared and had gloriously metamorphised into a rampant rock god, interspersing his songs with gleeful appeals to have great bad pagan fun. I came away wanting to know alot more about him and discovered that he is also a megalith (dont know what this is yet)expert and very passionate about alot of important things. This led me to buying this book and it was just as awe inspiring as the visual experience of him.
The 2 books take you from mid 70s to 1989, and submerge you in his very up and down creative journey through the variously innocent, drug fuelled, egocentric, paranoid, love and friend filled world of the Liverpool and British alternative music scene.
The endlessly fascinating rock and roll stories and characters are set amidst a landscape of what is going on in Cope's head throughout it all, which is what makes this book so riveting. I ended up with a notebook writing down books and people he mentioned that inspired him.
First stop his megalith book, then some George Gurdjieff, Jung......
Inspired me so much to do things I have just written my first review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatness and perfection,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)I'm reading these two volumes for the second time and have to agree with all the previous reviewers. A fantastic read - funny, scary, gobsmacking, mad, very touching and, also, very honest. Cope might be regarded as a bit of an egomaniac, but the book has its fair share of self-doubt and self-depracation. Head-On is the better volume, at least for me. Mainly because, as a previous reviewer has said, I can remember and relate to many of the events, whereas Repossessed is off the scale of most people's experiences, although no less interesting as a result. For anyone whose formative years include the late 70s/early 80s, this should strike many chords. If you were a Bunnymen/Teardrop fan it will do so much more. His account of the rise of the Teardrops and his relationship with Ian ("Duke McCool"!) McCulloch, is particularly fascinating, and the way in which this book is written suggests it is nothing less than a completely honest recollection of events as Cope saw, experienced and recollected them (albeit after 1981 through a drug-induced haze most of the time).
In short, I can't recommend this book highly enough. Buy it, put on Kilimanjaro/Wilder and hold on tight: it's going to be a bumpy ride!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best autobiography I have read.,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)I read this book as a casual fan of the Teardrop Explodes and Julian Cope's solo work, and was genuinely astonished by how good both books were. I would go as far as to say that, with the two books as a sum, this is the best autobiography I have ever read. Funny, honest, exciting, informative...it's not just everything you would want from someone writing an account of their life, it's actually up there with the best fiction novels. The human side he presents of himself - from getting bullied at school to being driven up the wall by his crackhead neighbours - is even more enjoyable than his recollections of the music scene he was such an important part of. I would go as far as to say that you could read and love this book without knowing anything about Cope's music or the post-punk scene in general.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It All Makes Sense Now,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)I've always loved the album "Kilimanjaro". Of all that post-punk era stuff. That album never ages for me. This book will take you the reader on an incredible journey. It's mad, bad and sometimes sad. It even weirded me out at times. Whoa!
5.0 out of 5 stars good book.,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)Good book, good read. especially if you are into his music and know the history of the band. good fun
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)Bought this book for my husband for Christmas. He loves it and is up nearly til dawn reading it every night. He even reads me passages out loud. My turn next....
5.0 out of 5 stars Head-On is full on but nothing prepares you for Repossessed,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)Ok first off, I'll deal with Head-On. It's well above average. It's an interesting rock n'roll memoir about lots of posing 80s bands in Liverpool and copious amounts of drugs. As the other reviewers say it's witty, bitchy and all that good stuff.
Now onto the really interesting half of this two-parter. Repossessed is, I think, something really special. Something rare and beautiful. In it Cope shows he isn't so much an eccentric, as a visionary, with his own internally consistent cosmology. There are very few people who achieve Cope's kind of method in their madness. The closest thing I can think of is "Diary of a Genius" by Salvador Dali.
I think what most impresses me is how Cope is so painfully open. I was very sceptical at first when he started using words like "shamanistic" but later on I began to see what he was getting at. It's that kind of book.
And there's the fact that he never writes a dull sentence. If he wrote about washing up I would read it. Let's hope some day he brings his autobiographies up to date with a few more volumes.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candid to a Fault,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)A thoroughly engaging read. Cope is candid to a fault as he recounts his experience as a punk-rocker teen navigating his way through celebratory anarchic social situations. Awe struck by edgy bands like the Slits and the Clash, Cope describes the emergent punk scene in Liverpool with a deep personal appreciation of its cultural significance.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Shakespeare had been a krautrocker...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)... he couldn't have written better books than these.
They not only tell an incredible story. They also contain some of the best writing you can ever read about rock music, dangerous car games, eating acid faster than Elvis got through burgers, love, hate - and courage in the face you extreme weirdness.
Julian Cope is often criticised for arrogance. When you read this, you'll understand. There's nothing inflated about his self-opinion. He's just a genius.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read from start to finish,
This review is from: Head-On/Repossessed (Paperback)Julian Cope (born Julian David Cope, on 21 October 1957) is a British rock musician, author, antiquary, musicologist, and poet who came to prominence in 1978 as the singer and songwriter in Liverpool post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes. There was a little boy who wanted to be famous and when he was good he was very, very good but when he was bad he was CRAP. I first encounter Mr Cope and the Teardrop Explodes way back in 1980 as a Engineering Student. Together with the Bunnymen and or course Joy Division they were a blue print and soundtrack to my awkward college years. A vibrant slice of northern gloom. A pleasing alternative to the pantomime world of the New Romantics. So then The Teardrop Explodes were a brief, bright light in the pop firmament. They managed to put out two contemporary, made a number of appearances on Top of the Pops, and toured quite extensively before imploding. For glam front man Julian Cope The Teardrop Explodes were only a brief, first touch of fame but even he has been hard-pressed to achieve anywhere near the same renown with his later efforts. I WONDER WHY. The Teardrop Explodes remains legendary, one of those iconic groups whose music isn't often heard but whose echoes still reverberate loudly. There was something special about those times,(Perhaps because I was there) and The Teardrop Explodes briefly captured the moment.
Head-On is pop-autobiography: Julian Cope tells his story from his tongue in cheek egocentric perspective. . Cope does a fine job here providing and evoking surreal images forming the background story to his music. The focus is on the years 1976 to 1982 and unfolds with great rapidity. From a timid teen to international reluctant rock star to worn out has been in a matter of a few years. Cope had the luck of geography and the Gods were smiling that day. His exam results didn't rate the hoped for place in a leading university, instead it was off to C.F.Mott College, Prescot, whose only redeeming quality seems to have been its vague proximity to Liverpool and the scene there de wanted to make music, and hang with the freaks
The Zoo record label and started out with two new bands The Teardrop Explodes and McCulloch's Echo and the Bunnymen. success seemed unlikely, but success came like an avalanche and with a vengeance. The Teardrop Explodes were something of an overnight sensation, though success was often less than what was hoped for . At Zoo records there was a constant rivalry and jostling between Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes. Cope never took drugs, but once the first album (was on the way he "moved in two short months from Drug Puritan to Acid King". We are lead to believe that Cope enjoys his drugs and consumes them in way too great quantities and somehow survives. Through the book Cope marvelously creates clarity regarding the Liverpool scene in the late 70s. Probe records, Eric's, his college. He's just as good on his visits to New York, and the American and Australian tours by The Teardrop Explodes. There is an unusual assortment of friends, enemies, and hangers-on -- from the infamous Smelly Elly to Drummond, McCulloch, and Balfe a cast of characters you could hardly invent for a work of fiction.
That what makes this read so endearing you can identify with each and every character perhaps even matching them with people you know. Cope also describes his various loves and lusts and does a good job of it. The stance is obvious from his point of view and to project the innocent he sometimes changes the gender of some of the characters. Never her the less its easy to see the road fate had in store for him. Cope has a breezy style and a sense of humour and he doesn't take any of it too seriously. This is not earnest or vindictive autobiography. Cope doles out blame (and recognition) copiously, and he is as hard on himself as on anyone else. He captures the ambiguities of all the complex relationships, and there is a self-deprecating humour throughout the book. One moment you will be laughing out loud and the next you will have empathy for Cope. Its dirty, loud, and very messy scene is surely not to everyone's taste, but for anyone who wants to see how truly absurd the musical life is, and how easily success can come and go, Cope's book is a must read.
Cope is a clever guy, and he has a lot of fun with this part of his life. There is, remarkably, almost no self-pity, and very little wallowing.
IT IS SO SAD THAT TODAY IN 2010 HE HAS CHOSEN TO BE PYCHEDALLICALY INFORMED OMCE AGAIN BECOMING A CHARTURE OF HIM SELF
Such a waste Julie-Ann
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Head-On/Repossessed by Julian Cope (Paperback - 4 April 2005)