Thursday, 22 November 2012

KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money - new book out now

In 1994 Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty took a million pounds to a deserted boathouse on the island of Jura, and burnt it. I wish they hadn't, to be honest, but there you go.

I read about it afterwards in an article in the Observer, which I immediately clipped and put in a drawer. I've still got it somewhere. I'd never clipped an article before, and have rarely done so since. The incident lodged in my craw and has refused to leave, especially after it became clear that neither Cauty not Drummond knew why they had done it. The more threads of the story I tugged at over the years, the odder the whole thing became.

The result of all this is that I have written this book, which is available on Kindle from November 23rd:


It is, needless to say, not a typical music biography. It's a story about The KLF, Robert Anton Wilson, Dada, Alan Moore, punk, Discordianism, Carl Jung, magic, Ken Campbell, rave, Situationism and the alchemical properties of Doctor Who. It's a story about all those strange ideas and influences that were swilling around in those days but which accounts of modern history are already leaving out.

It is totally unofficial. I had initially intended to approach Drummond and Cauty and seek approval but the whole point of the book was to capture the spirit of those times and, the deeper into that spirit I got, the more apparent it became that 'doing it properly' went against the grain. When you're echoing people who took huge samples of The Beatles and ABBA without permission and just stuck them out independently, asking nicely seems to miss the point.

There is also an automated algorithmically generated online radio stream called Radio Eris, built by Shardcore. which will broadcast for 14 days from November 23rd and then be switched off for good. Radio Eris will synthetically broadcast one chapter each day, at 3am, 9am, 3pm and 9pm GMT, with automatically-mixed audio in between.

The whole setup is completely devoid of human control and it should burble away into the void. Radio Eris is intended as a response to the burning of a million quid by Cauty and Drummond in 1994.


The book, meanwhile, is available in the UK at £4.54 and in the US at $7.00, or thereabouts. A paperback will follow next year.

Readers of The Brandy of the Damned will notice a lot of overlapping themes, for these two books were written at almost the same time, and readers of I Have America Surrounded will be able to see this as a sequel of sorts, due to the focus on Robert Anton Wilson and Discordianism.