John Higgs - The KLF - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £10.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781780226552
    • Publication date:26 Sep 2013
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781780226569
    • Publication date:26 Sep 2013

The KLF

Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds

By John Higgs
Read by John Higgs

  • Downloadable audio file
  • £P.O.R.

'By far the best book this year, brilliant, discursive and wise' BEN GOLDACRE. The strange tale of the death, life and legacy of the hugely successful band. Updated with new material.

'By far the best book this year, brilliant, discursive and wise' BEN GOLDACRE. The strange tale of the death, life and legacy of the hugely successful band.

They were the bestselling singles band in the world. They had awards, credibility, commercial success and creative freedom. Then they deleted their records, erased themselves from musical history and burnt their last million pounds in a boathouse on the Isle of Jura. And they couldn't say why.

This is not just the story of The KLF. It is a book about Carl Jung, Alan Moore, Robert Anton Wilson, Ken Campbell, Dada, Situationism, Discordianism, magic, chaos, punk, rave, the alchemical symbolism of Doctor Who and the special power of the number 23.

Wildly unauthorised and unlike any other music biography, THE KLF is a trawl through chaos on the trail of a beautiful, accidental mythology.

Read by John Higgs

(p) Orion Publishing Group 2018

Biographical Notes

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children.
www.johnhiggs.com
@johnhiggs

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781409180401
  • Publication date: 08 Mar 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Orion
'By far the best book this year, brilliant, discursive and wise' — Ben Goldacre
The book brilliant captures the anti-establishment attitude of Drummond and Cauty, and makes you wish the pop charts were full of such madness these days' — THE BIG ISSUE
'Book of the Century. Most pop biographies are a dull patchwork of clippings - this is something else' — Rob Manuel, co-founder of B3ta
'Might well be the best music book of the 2010s . . . eccentric, bizarre, confusing, hilarious and more than a little pretentious but utterly irresistible and totally brilliant' — Cay McDermott, THE QUIETUS
'This wildly entertaining thesis speculates on how the KLF arrived at a crowning act of transgression even they did not understand, drawing together threads including practical magic, strange patterns of coincidence and punk' — MOJO
'A pop biography for people who don't read pop biographies. Higgs approaches the short career of the early 90s top 10 provocateurs like Adam Curtis brainstorming with Thomas Pynchon, exploring all manner of magical thinking and conspiracy theories. Touching on Dada, DOCTOR WHO and Discordianism, it's as playful and sui generis as the KLF themselves, which is saying something' — Dorian Lynskey, GUARDIAN
'John Higgs's The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band Who Burned a Million Pounds succeeds by ignoring music for much of the story, in favour of the group's philosophical and psycho-geographical underpinnings in Discordianism, situationism, art and magic. Sometimes, the music is just a means to an end - in their case, a million-quid bonfire that Higgs suggests may be "a magical act that forged the 21st century". Well, maybe . . .' — Andy Gill, INDEPENDENT
''John Higgs's book about the KLF is - like its subject - a thing of endlessly fascinating, utterly demented genius'' — Alexis Petridis
'I am going to bang on about The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds rather a lot. Fascinating . . . Enthralling' — Robin Ince
W&N

Being John Lennon

Ray Connolly
Authors:
Ray Connolly
W&N

Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Rebecca Front
Authors:
Rebecca Front
Trapeze

The Most Beautiful

Mayte Garcia
Authors:
Mayte Garcia
Trapeze

Like a Bat Out of Hell

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall
W&N

Jonas Kaufmann

Thomas Voigt
Authors:
Thomas Voigt

W&N

Gainsborough

James Hamilton
Authors:
James Hamilton

** Selected as a Book of the Year in The Times, Sunday Times and Observer **'Compulsively readable - the pages seem to turn themselves' John Carey, Sunday Times 'Brings one of the very greatest [artists] vividly to life' Literary Review Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) lived as if electricity shot through his sinews and crackled at his finger ends. He was a gentle and empathetic family man, but had a volatility that could lead him to slash his paintings, and a loose libidinous way of speaking, writing and behaving that shocked many deeply. He would be dynamite in polite society today.In this exhilarating new biography - the first in decades - James Hamilton reveals Gainsborough in his many contexts: the easy-going Suffolk lad, transported to the heights of fashion by a natural talent; the rake-on-the-make in London, learning his art in the shadow of Hogarth; falling on his feet when he married a duke's daughter with a handsome private income; the top society-portrait painter in Bath and London who earned huge sums by bringing the right people into his studio; the charming and amusing friend of George III and Queen Charlotte who nevertheless kept clear of the aristocratic embrace.There has been much art history written about this chameleon of art, but with fresh insights into original sources, Gainsborough: A Portrait transforms our understanding of this fascinating man, and enlightens the century that bore him.

W&N

Watling Street

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs

A journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten.Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape. The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.

Trapeze

Prince

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall
W&N

Paul McCartney

Philip Norman
Authors:
Philip Norman
W&N

Stranger Than We Can Imagine

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs
Orion

PewDiePie

Jo Berry
Authors:
Jo Berry

Hey, bros! Listen up. Want to know everything about PewDiePie? The ultimate king of YouTube? WELL KEEP CALM AND FIST BUMP, because this book is all you need. With this ultimate unofficial guide to PewDiePie, you will learn everything you need to know to become one of his Bro Army. Discover PewDiePie's vlogger friends, his best and worst gaming moments, his favourite catchphrases and most outrageous pranks, as well as sharing a day in the life of this YouTube superstar.This companion is jam-packed with everything from PewDiePie's early days, his top tips and best challenges, to facts, stats and puzzles. Fully illustrated with a free pull-out poster, this book is all you need to become a bro and stay awesome, Pewds style!

Orion

Getcha Rocks Off

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall
W&N

Johnny Cash

Robert Hilburn
Authors:
Robert Hilburn

Orion

Lou Reed

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall
Orion

Black Sabbath

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall

The final word on the only name synonymous with heavy metal - Black Sabbath.Way back in the mists of time, in the days when rock giants walked the earth, the name Ozzy Osbourne was synonymous with subversive and dark. Back then, Ozzy was the singer in Black Sabbath, and they meant business. In an era when it seemed possible to measure a band's musical prowess by how 'heavy' they were, they didn't come any weightier than Black Sabbath. There were, it's probably fair to say, none-more-black.A four-piece formed from the ashes of two locally well-known groups called The Rare Breed (Ozzy and bassist Geezer Butler) and Mythology (guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward), all four founding members of the original Black Sabbath grew up within half-a-mile of each other, in the same narrow, grey streets of Aston, a tiny Birmingham suburb then struggling to come to terms with the mess Hitler's bombs had made of it. Though they all shared a deep love of music - The Beatles for Ozzy, the Mothers of Invention for Geezer, the Shadows and Chet Atkins for Iommi, and Gene Kruppa for Ward - they all saw the opportunity to form a successful group, Ozzy would tell me, 'as the quickest way out of the slums.'This biography tells the story of how they made that dream come true - and how it then turned into a nightmare for all of them. How at the height of their fame, Sabbath discovered they had been so badly ripped off by their managers they did not even own their own songs. How they looked for salvation from Don Arden - an even more notorious gangster figure, who resurrected their career but still left them indebted to him, financially and personally. And how it finally came to a head when in 1979 they sacked Ozzy: 'For being too out of control - even for us,' as Bill Ward put it.Of course the story does not end there. The next 15 years would see a war break out between the two camps: the post-Ozzy Sabbath and Ozzy himself, whose solo career overshadowed Sabbath to the point where, when he offered them the chance to reform around him again, it was entirely on his terms. Or rather, that of his wife and manager - and, to add a further bitter twist to the tale for Sabbath, daughter of Don Arden - Sharon Osbourne.

W&N

Darling Judi

Various
Authors:
Various

A celebration of Britain's favourite actress, Judi DenchThe very name Judi Dench encourages a warm and admiring response from the public and fellow actors alike. Her wide-ranging career includes numerous Shakespearean performances (most recently in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL at the RSC) and contemporary theatre (in plays by, among others, David Hare and Hugh Whitemore); on television (in the series A FINE ROMANCE and AS TIME GOES BY) and in the cinema (MRS BROWN, her Oscar-winning performance in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, THE SHIPPING NEWS, IRIS, and in four James Bond films as 'M').Judi Dench is as popular as she is talented - when she and Maggie Smith appeared together in a David Hare play last year all seats were sold for the entire run within 24 hours.John Miller, her biographer, invited fellow actors, writers, and people of the theatre, film and television, to illustrate her genius and her character from their own experience and perspective. With contributors ranging from Billy Connolly to Hugh Whitemore, Bob Larbey to Tim Pigott-Smith, this is a unique portrait of the legend that is Dame Judi Dench.

Orion

Tattoos & Tequila

Vince Neil, Mike Sager
Authors:
Vince Neil, Mike Sager

An explosive biography of one of America's most notorious bands - Mötley Crüe.Mötley Crüe were formed in Los Angeles in 1981, and have since gone on to become one of America's biggest-selling and notorious heavy metal acts, with nine studio albums and over 80 million album sales. Acquiring huge success by the end of the 1980s with their mixture of heavy metal and glam rock, singer Vince Neil's 'glam' look even supposedly inspired the hit Aerosmith song 'Dude (Looks Like A Lady)'. In 1992 Neil left the band to pursue a solo career before returning in 1997. The band went into hiatus in 2000 before reuniting in 2004.In TATTOOS & TEQUILA, Vince Neil chronicles his personal experiences as singer and frontman for Mötley Crüe, and his time as a participant on reality shows. Mötley Crüe were a band who always lived up to the typical image of the 'rock and roll' lifestyle, and this is captured firsthand by Neil, who writes candidly about the band's struggles with drugs, alcohol and the law. These include incidents such as bass guitarist Nikki Sixx's near fatal heroin overdose in 1987. He also details his marriages to date, as well as movingly writing about the death of his daughter Skylar from cancer in 1995. The result is a compelling look at a band and a man who have seen many highs and lows in their career.A highly-anticipated film following the group's formidable ascent to the top of the '80s rock scene will be released in February 2018.

Orion

When Giants Walked the Earth

Mick Wall
Authors:
Mick Wall

The final word on the world's greatest rock band, Led Zeppelin.They were 'the last great band of the sixties; the first great band of the seventies'; they rose, somewhat unpromisingly, from the ashes of the Yardbirds to become one of the biggest-selling rock bands of all time. Mick Wall, respected rock writer and former confidant of both Page and Plant, unflinchingly tells the story of the band that wrote the rulebook for on-the-road excess - and eventually paid the price for it, with disaster, drug addiction and death. WHEN GIANTS WALKED THE EARTH reveals for the first time the true extent of band leader Jimmy Page's longstanding interest in the occult, and goes behind the scenes to expose the truth behind their much-hyped yet spectacularly contrived comeback at London's O2 arena last year, and how Jimmy Page plans to bring the band back permanently - if only his former protégé, now part-time nemesis, Robert Plant will allow him to. Wall also recounts, in a series of flashbacks, the life stories of the five individuals that made the dream of Led Zeppelin into an even more incredible and hard-to-swallow reality: Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, and their infamous manager, Peter Grant.The culmination of several years research, this book tells the full, shocking story of Led Zeppelin from the inside, written by someone who has known Jimmy Page for over twenty years.

W&N

Bloomsbury Ballerina

Judith Mackrell
Authors:
Judith Mackrell

The story of the splendidly unpredictable Russian dancer who ruffled the feathers of the Bloomsbury set and became the wife of John Maynard KeynesBorn in 1891 in St Petersburg, Lydia Lopokova lived a long and remarkable life. Her vivacious personality and the sheer force of her charm propelled her to the top of Diaghilev's Ballet Russes. Through a combination of luck, determination and talent, Lydia became a star in Paris, a vaudeville favourite in America, the toast of Britain and then married the world-renowned economist, and formerly homosexual, John Maynard Keynes.Lydia's story links ballet and the Bloomsbury group, war, revolution and the economic policies of the super-powers. She was an immensely captivating, eccentric and irreverent personality: a bolter, a true bohemian and, eventually, an utterly devoted wife.

W&N

Goddess

Anthony Summers
Authors:
Anthony Summers

The classic, definitive biography of Marilyn Monroe, now updated in the year of the 50th anniversary of the iconic star's deathShe was born Norma Jeane but the world knew and loved her as Marilyn. Her life was one of unprecedented fame and private misery, her death a tragedy surrounded by mysteries. Drawing on first-hand interviews Anthony Summers offers both a classic biography and a shockingly revealing account of the screen goddess's relations with John and Robert Kennedy.'The definitive story of the legend ... more convincing at every page - told with all the coldness of truth and the authority of the historian, but at the end of it we still love Marilyn' Maeve Binchy, Irish Times