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Julian Cope

Julian Cope

Musician, writer, historian, and cosmic shaman Julian Cope was born in Deri, in 1957. His parents took him to Tamworth, England, where he was raised and quickly became an outsider. In 1976, upon attending college in Liverpool, Cope found himself part of a community of musicians including Ian McCulloch, Pete Burns, and Pete Wylie. After various incarnations and not so amicable departures (McCulloch went on to fame with Echo & the Bunnymen), the Teardrop Explodes were formed. One of the more influential bands of the late '70s, the group delivered a volatile mix of neo-psychedelic rock and electro-pop. In 1983, after numerous lineup changes and legendary feuds between Cope and Zoo Records figurehead Bill Drummond, the band ceased operations.

Cope and his girlfriend Dorian got married in Long Island, NY in 1984. They arrived in separate 1959 Cadillacs for a long Greek Orthodox service. In 1985 Cope returned to seclusion in Tamworth. He retired into a closed world. In 1986 Cope signed to Island Records. He begans a new LP, working with Donald Ross, Double DeHarrision and producer Ed Stasium. Cope played several guerrilla shows around Britain. Queues stretched around the block to see this wildly misunderstood and very influential figure.

The "World Shut Your Mouth" 45 was released in September 1986 and charts high thanks to a messianic Wogan performance and the garage groove of the song. In 1988 The new LP, 'My Nation Underground' was released. Cope was nearly immediately disappointed and this remained his least favourite of his LPs. Cope spent time hanging out again in 1989, getting his vision of the world together, reading avidly, and writing his autobiography, 'Head-On'.

Cope spent a great deal of this period purging himself of his seemingly endless creative energy through side projects on his mail-order-only label Ma-Gog, a creative outlet that eventually morphed into the website /record label Head Heritage. He released Interpreter in 1996, a return to pop form that saw the self-described "Arch Drude" tackling both environmental and social issues with renewed vigour. His most recent project is Brain Donor, a four-piece, face-painted, triple double-neck guitar-playing garage rock\punk outfit that released its debut, Love, Peace & ---- on Head Heritage in 2001, followed by Too Freud to Rock 'n' Roll, Too Jung to Die in 2003. 2005 saw the release of two more albums, both of which relied on two discs of sonic fury and pop mayhem.

Cope had been compiling his memoirs into book form throughout the '90s; Head On, a chronicle of his life up to the demise of the Teardrop Explodes, was published in 1993, followed by its sequel, Repossessed, in 2000. He also trudged all over the country in search of stone circles while researching his exhaustive coffee table book, The Modern Antiquarian: A Pre-Millennial Odyssey Through Megalithic Britain. He has spoken at numerous festivals, museums, and universities on these topics.

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