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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, January 16, 2009
    Holy arty facts

    A holy artefact. You see, this is just the sort of reason why I can't take Julian Cope too seriously when he rages against organised religion. His work is full of exactly the same sort of references and stances as that thing which he so strenuously disavows. It can't all be irony. Methinks he protests too much. So here in the article which inspired his (predictably absolutely thrilling) HARDROCKSAMPLER Cope invokes the Gods of Rock against dogma and tradition whilst being pretty unyielding about who and what defines Hard Rock.

    Herein we find him stating with the absolute conviction of the devotee, that "the genre is emotionally and physically fulfilling in so many ways that new waves and newer waves down the years have brought forth genuinely new musical revelations and genuinely new stars of each period". Revelations, and the enthusiastic assertion that "Sleep’s Jerusalem [raises] Hard Rock to the level of High Ritual": they're all in Julian's articles of faith.

    I'm not trying to pick an argument with the Archdrude because when it comes to music I'm of the same mind; that's why I'm always dipping into UNSUNG, "Head Heritage's repository for lost and unchampioned rock'n'roll". It's a feast, an anointing, a howl of exultant hagiography every time (ie, it gives me many good ideas about new stuff to listen to). For this reason it'd just be good, O Lord Yatesbury, if you'd admit the complicated truth that some of us involved in organised religion (admittedly probably quite a minority; nevertheless...) dig the same stuff you do. And thanks for HARDROCKSAMPLER. I'm loving it. So in conclusion:
    Luckily for all of us, [it] is such a poetically essential part of Western Culture that it’s just gonna keep going away and coming back, coming and going as part of culture’s ebb and flow.
    What is Julian writing about there? Well, Hard Rock, as it happens, but, um, what else could it be...?

    Pic from Head Heritage's HARDROCKSAMPLER page