I just finished re-reading Head-On, and it was just as awesome and entertaining as I remembered it being, if not more so. It was incredibly exciting when it came out and I devoured it then, but hey, I was so much younger back in 1995 ; ) We had just gotten into Julian Cope a few years before after my friend Jon McCann read an interview with Robert Plant, saw Cope's name, and looked into his work. Always thankful that he did. We used to be incredibly hungry for any interesting music that we hadn't heard back then, always on the lookout for something new, and I'm really pleased that all of us still are. I think the first thing Jon bought was Peggy Suicide and I remember annoying everyone because I became obsessed with If You Loved Me At All and would play it over and over again in the car. I remembered last night that the cassette contained the song Uptight not on any other format, and so I had to seek it out. Strangely, this song isn't on the 2009 Deluxe Edition that nevertheless has 29 bonus tracks. I was also always very fond of this remix of Head, Heed: Of Penetration & The City Dweller - Head Remix, that I had on a dub compilation called 110 Below - Journey In Dub. But I'm getting away from myself.
I remember having one-and-a-half 90 minute cassettes of Cope and Teardrop b-sides that I taped off Jon. Some really great stuff on there, his cover of Pere Ubu's Non-Alignment Pact, Disaster (another of my faves), and Crazy Farm Animal, which I always thought was such a great song. Really good lyrics, the overall feel - its prolonged opening swells, then how the song proper alternately mellows and kicks in, before clip-clopping then riding a wave out - is just such a good listening experience. The B-side to China Doll, here's the Spotify link . It was later included on Leper Skin: An Introduction To Julian Cope 1986-92. And then there's this live version recorded for a Janice Long Session 12/12/84 that came out on Floored Genius 2: Best Of The BBC Sessions 1983-1991:
And the A-side China Doll video, featuring Pete DeFreitas, drummer for Echo & The Bunnymen, two weeks before he died in a motorcycle accident on the same bike he's riding here. For one of rock n' roll's most interesting stories, see the part in Cope's Repossessed (second part of the autobiography) about DeFreitas' adventure in New Orleans recording the Sex Gods album and also, if I remember correctly, there's some info on it in Chris Adams' excellent book, Turquoise Days: The Weird World Of Echo & The Bunnymen.