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Head On/Repossessed Paperback – 14 Apr 2011
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It's a long time since Julian Cope had his 15 minutes of mainstream fame, fronting the Teardrop Explodes with their brassy, extravagant masterpiece Reward. But over the last two decades he has maintained an impressive cult following, largely due to his mesmerising live performances--and more to the point, maintained an undiminished sense of his own importance, which has led to two, bulky volumes of his autobiography. Head-On: Memoires of the Liverpool Punk Scene and the story of the Teardrop Explodes (1976-82) was published, acclaimed and lost to posterity in 1994; now thankfully it's been republished, back-to-back (literally--this is a book you can finish, turn upside down, and start again) with a sequel: Repossessed: Shamanic Depressions in Tamworth & London (1983-89), which leads us through his 1980s solo career.
As the grandiose subtitles indicate, Cope writes on an epic scale, but his terms of reference are unapologetically personal. Much of Repossessed deals, bizarrely, with Pete De Freitas (the Bunnymen's drummer) weaving his way across America, not chemically unaided--a story which is relayed via transatlantic phone to Cope ensconced in Tamworth, like some postmodern, virtual Kerouac. Non-Cope devotees might find some of this rather allusive, not to say elusive, but there's no doubting the man's power with the pen, and soon enough you'll be there in the front row, throwing your knickers onstage. Or the literary equivalent. --Alan Stewart
Praise for Head-On/Reposessed:
‘Visceral, ballsy, bitchy, brutal, beautifully written.’ The Obersver, Book of the Year
‘An enthralling saga of bitchiness, betrayal and unrepentent debauchery’ Sunday Times, Book of the Year
'Wondrous memoirs of fleeting stardom and LSD-induced psychosis.’ Q, 50 Best Music Books Ever (2001)
'Hilarious, observant and deeply subversive.' i-D
'Considered and self-deprecating…Mighty.' Time Out
'Repossessed…is one of the best books about the 80s ever written and without doubt the best book about toy cars, hermiting, integrity and drug paranoia.' The Guardian
'Cope's passion and intelligence are well served by a vein of self-deprecating wit.' The Telegraph
'Cope's rocking writing at its most infectious, moving and hilarious.' NME
'Compulsive reading…This man is truly a genius.' Loaded
'A wryly rendered masterpiece.' Q MagazineSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
As an earlier reviewer suggested, you dont have to be a Cope fan to read this book, i leant it to all my friends who hated him but loved the book, two of whom nicked it from me... i have yet to buy a third copy.
Had Sleeping Gas never been the hit it was, we may have had the Bill Hicks of literature on our hands. Anyway, enjoy!
Julian played "sock" so you don't have to... Beg, buy, borrow or steal this book.
Repossessed is something completley different. It strikes no chords, not unless you've seen the abyss. Not unless you've been a drug-fucked, (reputedly) insane, fabulously-talented rock star. Not unless you've bathed in audience adulation while suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous second rate NME hacks.
Repossessed doesn't have that much that most of us can relate to. What it does have is a wonderfully frank and unpretentious account of Julian H Cope's descent into the inferno, and the rising, phoenix like, from the flames to become a living legend. Having read about it all from the music press perspective, it's great to see it all again from someone who was actually there.
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