Wednesday, December 6, 2023

proto-proto-Titanic: Watch Out Kids


Moot point whether this 1972 tract is the swan song for the 1960s fever dream ("How Elvis gave birth to the Angry Brigade") or the earliest inkling of renewed faith in rock-as-revolution

Either way, the most seductively unbalanced over-estimation of the power of youth music until....

Well until the scribings of the 77-76 music papers.  Until The Boy Looked At Johnny

In retrospect, Mick Farren's science fiction novel The Texts of Festival  from the following year (1973) seems closer to an accurate prophecy of what would become of rock: 

"In the Great Hall of the capital city called Festival, the magic ritual of Soundcheck prepares the ancient loudspeakers for tonight's Celebration. It is the distant future, when all that remains of the ancient ways is a collection of sacred black discs which contain the words and music of the great prophets who lived before the disaster: Dhillon, Djeggar, and Morrizen, the fabled lizard-king.

But in the hills and valleys surrounding Festival, a threat builds. An outlaw army, wasted by spirits and speeding on 'crystal,' works its way toward the dying city, raping and pillaging, gathering strength and weapons as it goes. In Festival, the population continues its preparations for the Celebration, unknowing, unsuspecting..."

That's the jacket copy of one edition; here's another 

"In the wilderness of Britain little of civilization remains. Decadence and division have overtaken the huddled people of Festival. And faith in the texts of the old gods - Dhillon, Djeggar and Morrizen - is fading fast. Beyond the city walls the tribes are massing, united in evil intent. Hill savages fired by ritual superstition to pillage and slaughter. Satanic horse riders inspired by drugs to rape and defile. And crystal-crazed Iggy at the head of them all - a despot in search of territory. A territory like Festival."

In other words, rock as a dwindling, increasingly haggard tribe, cherishing its myths and rituals long after they have lost purchase on reality. 

1 comment:

  1. Or maybe just signs of different drugs fueling the music? Makes me think of Hawkwind, in an interview they said they went separate ways because they were into different drugs, Lemmy liked anphetamines and the others LSD and psychedelic stuff. So Lemmy was already a motorhead and trailblazed for metal breaking with the psychedelic 60´s. But it´s still rock. The story sounds very Heavy Metal actually.