"Farren's fertile imagination has a snaggletoothed bite all if its own.” - NME
Elvis Died For Somebody's Sins But Not Mine: A Lifetime's Collected Writingby Mick Farren
That he has survived so long may well be a miracle. Mick Farren has spent more than four decades in the thick of the culture wars as a commentator, activist, essayist, poet, performer, and rebel with multiple causes. Being a founding figure in the 1960s underground press, who was forced to defend his work at The Old Bailey, might well be sufficient laurels on which to rest, but, instead, he careered on through the London birth pangs of punk, the intoxicated madness of Lower Manhattan under Ronald Reagan, earthquakes and urban insurrection in Los Angeles. He has written for IT, Oz, NME, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, and countless other publications great and small. And as if that wasn't enough, Farren has also taken time out to publish some two dozen sci-fi/psychedelic/Gothic novels and create an entire catalogue of rock'n'roll songs, not only for his own band The Deviants but also for Hawkwind, The Pink Fairies, Motorhead, and Metallica. Back home in England, part of his time has been spent assembling this sample volume of his provocative and at times quite alarming body of work.
"Within these pages you'll meet the likes of Frank Zappa, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry and Gore Vidal, and steam open correspondence between the author and Pete Townshend. And, much more importantly, you're about to go one-on-one with a world-class raconteur... Sounds like a good time to me. If this kind of mess-around seems like your cup of meat, then prepare your relaxant of choice, kick back and dig in. The greasy 'oodlums are at your door." Charles Shaar Murray, from his Foreword.
"And how is that nice friend of yours? The one with the robots?”
Felix Dennis, from his Preface
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Read an Excerpt
From the foreword by Charles Shaar Murray
"… and then the greasy 'oodlums arrived!”
Mick Farren is a man of many parts, an impressive number of which are still working despite the natural wear-and-tear incurred by decades of research and recreation. First and foremost amongst these are brain and fingers, and this book is evidence of the excellent use he's made of those particular bits from 1967 (the so-called 'Summer Of Love') right up to the more-or-less present day.
At various points along that timeline highway from Young Punk to Grand Old Man Of The Counterculture, he's been-often simultaneously-a critic, commentator, novelist, journalist, polemicist, political activist, lyricist, rock performer, screenwriter, poet, memoirist, raconteur, life and soul of many parties and a member in better than good standing of the Most Honorable Association Of Cultural Infidels.
Or-to misquote an old Kris Kristofferson song memorably recorded by one of Mick's primo heroes, Johnny Cash-he's a poet, he's a prophet, he's a preacher and a pilgrim and a problem when he's stoned, he's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction…
And he's also-as you can discover for yourself by randomly opening this book at virtually any page-very sharp, very funny, very perceptive and possessed of a highly distinctive prose style: simultaneously hardboiled and self-deprecating. And it all comes from a POV as unique as said prose, which is: a rockin' way of knowledge. Farren is of the generation which encountered rock and roll when it was brand new, when white kids just hitting-or, to be more precise, getting hit by-puberty encountered something which had never previously existed in the world of American white-picket-fence conformity and English net-curtain-land suburbia. Something which was marketed as entertainment but which manifested, no matter how spuriously, as liberation. Hence the famous line, often heard during drug-fuelled downtime chitchat around the NME offices during Farren's now-celebrated seventies tenure there, about how everything was boring… "and then the greasy 'oodlums arrived!” Said greasy 'oodlum invasion was spearheaded by Elvis Presley-hence this book's title-rapidly followed by the likes of Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and many more. They transformed lives-where would John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Lord Keef Richards, Jimmy Page ad-bleedin'-infinitum have been without them?...
Meet the Author
Mick Farren divides his time between music and literature, with digressions into psychedelic agitprop. His life as a recording artist began by fronting the anarchic pre-punk The Deviants and has continued with his lyrics being recorded by Metallica, Motorhead, Hawkwind and Wayne Kramer. He learned his trade as a writer in the heady days of the underground press. At the NME in 1970s, he helped explain the dawn of punk to a worried world. He has published twenty-two novels and more than a dozen non-fiction works, including the bestselling Elvis And The Colonel.
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