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4.6 out of 5 stars20
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 June 2009
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.
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on 18 August 2009
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.
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on 17 January 2008
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!
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on 14 June 2009
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.
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on 14 February 2016
Two rattling good reads in one. He's a character is our Julian but has a way with the written word as well as music. Well written but in his own style, and brings these wild stories to life with heathy doses of humour and acidity. Book 1 flows seamlessly into book two. Now I want to read what happened next!
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on 11 January 2013
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....
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on 17 January 2016
I bought this as a Christmas gift for my husband. He's since read it and so have I! That Julian Cope, he's a character and no mistake. A great read!
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on 16 October 2005
... 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.
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on 31 January 2013
Good book, good read. especially if you are into his music and know the history of the band. good fun
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on 1 June 2005
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!
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