Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Julian Cope -- "Trampolene" (1987)

Heaven's gate is locked
They will not let me by
And so I walk a little mile
Into your dream

You might not want to have Julian Cope walking into your dreams.  Cope refers to himself as a drude, which is a German term for a malevolent nocturnal spirit associated with nightmares.  

"Trampolene" was the second single from Julian Cope's third solo album, Saint Julian, which was released in 1987.

The first single from that album is "World Shut Your Mouth," which was the most successful single of Cope's long, strange trip of a musical career.  (Cope had previously released an album titled "World Shut Your Mouth," which did not include the song of the same name.  Go figure.)

Julian Cope first came to prominence as the frontman of The Teardrop Explodes, an English post-punk/neopsychedelic band that was formed in 1978.  

The breakup of The Teardrop Explodes sounds like something out of Monty Python, or perhaps This is Spinal Tap.  From Wikipedia:  

In September 1982, the band reconvened at Rockfield Studios to record their third album around the nucleus of Cope, [drummer Gary "Rocky"] Dwyer and [keyboard player David] Balfe.  Creative tensions were high, as Cope wanted to write ballads and quirky pop songs, while Balfe was more interested in recording synth-based music.  

The Teardrop Explodes
Balfe took over the sessions and locked Cope and Dwyer out of the studios for much of the time.  Rarely able (or inclined) to add their own contributions, Cope and Dwyer worked off their frustration playing risky, stoned cross-country games with speeding jeeps.  The situation culminated in a notorious (though disputed) event in which an irate Dwyer chased Balfe over the Monmouthshire hillsides with a loaded shotgun.  

[I'm going to pause here for a moment so you can read that previous paragraph once more before we move on.]

Hating Balfe’s instrumentals, Cope walked out of the sessions with only part of the singing done and the album incomplete.  To Cope’s disgust, the band were already committed to a UK tour playing as a guitarless three-piece, with the instrumentation covered mainly by synthesizer and backing tapes.  Cope found the tour "disastrous and demeaning": he performed most of it in a self-destructive sulk, raging at his audience, and quit the group immediately afterwards.

More from Wikipedia:

Interest in The Teardrop Explodes would continue long after the band's demise.  Cope, however, has always resisted pressure to reform the band.  When asked in 2000 if the Teardrop Explodes would ever get back together, he said: "Would you ever return to having your mother wipe your assh*le?"

(Tell us what you really think, Julian.)

Part of the ancient stone
circle at Avebury (UK)
Cope is an outspoken man with interests in a variety of subjects.  He is active in outsider politics, considers himself a shaman, is a fan of Krautrock musicians (like Amon Düül, Klaus Schulze, and Tangerine Dream), and an acknowledged expert on Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites -- especially ancient stone circles like Avebury and  Stonehenge.  

His books, The Modern Antiquarian and The Megalithic European, are considered the best popular guides to prehistoric sites in the UK and Europe.

Cope is also the author of the brand-new novel One Three One.  Cope's website has this description of that novel:

Judgment, consequences, hoodwinking on a grand scale, Gnosticism versus agnosticism . . . One Three One is a Gnostic whodunit that pursues readers' memories of all previous fiction into a peat bog and impales them with seven-foot-long pikes.

Cope's website contains so much wonderfully cray prose that once I start quoting from it, it's going to be very hard for me to stop.

For example, his most recent "Address Drudion" -- "drudion" is an archaic word meaning "warrior" or "reckless" -- contains this analysis of the merits of old and new music:

I’ve already heard more than enough great underground music this Millennium to convince myself that many of our 21st century artists done transcended the Ancestors.  True, brothers’n’sisters.  True true.  And don’t look at me like that all you unbelieving music writers . . . because the evidence is clear as day.  Evidence?  Yup, because when I play my daughters Old Timer stuff, they invariably tear that shit off the turntable in favour of the Current.  Always the Current comes emanating out of their rooms.  That is, of course, unless it’s Old Timer shit like Amon Düül 1, Amon Düül 2, Black Sabbath, early Blue Cheer, James Brown, Can, Cluster, Crass, Miles Davis, Death Comes Along, Doors, Electric Eels, Furekaaben, Joy Div., MC5, Rallizes, Klaus Schulze, Sleep, Taj Mahal Travellers, early T. Dream, Velvets or Neil Young.  In other words: The Ur-Ancestors. 

An Amon Düül II album
According to Cope, 

Pretty much everybody else sound like right Dwindlers compared to the new pinnacles of 21st Century Rock’n’roll.  And so I send out massive hails to . . . Stone Breath, to Orthodox, The Heads, Gnod, Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Bibilic Blood, Urthona, Hey Colossus, Grady Runyan, Acid Mothers Temple, Om, Sturmpercht, Bong, Comets on Fire, To Blacken The Pages, Father Murphy, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Temple of Bon Matin, Qa’a, San Francisco Water Cooler, Sunn 0))), Sacrificial Totem, Quittinirpaaq, Valley Of Ashes, and to Khanate, natch.  

(I can't wait to hit up Freegal and grab me some music from those Julian Cope favorites.)

Here are some excerpts from a very long autobiographical timeline on Cope's website:

October 1957
Julian Cope is born in Deri, South Glamorgan, Wales.  His parents take him to Tamworth, England, where he is raised and quickly becomes an outsider.

June 1978
Cope, [Ian] McCulloch and a friend play a selection of songs, including "Louie Louie", at Kirkland's.  McCulloch falls in love and the group flounders.  Cope cannot sing but insists on being the vocalist. McCulloch leaves in a sulk, Gary Dwyer joins and the Teardrop Explodes is born.

November 1978
The Teardrop Explodes play its first gig at a private party at the stupidly hip Eric's Club in Liverpool.  Cope still feels guilty and asks McCulloch to share the gig with his new band, Echo & The Bunnymen.

September 1982
Cope and Dwyer hate the new songs Balfe has written.  Balfe locks them both out of the studio so, loaded up on goon's pills, they race around the countryside in a jeep with Dwyer driving and Cope clinging to the roof.  The album sounds like crap to Cope.  He leaves the studio with Dorian and goes home, refusing to sing.  He quits the group following a disastrous and demeaning UK tour.

October 1984
Cope and Dorian [a 22-year-old New Yorker Cope had met in 1981] get married in Long Island, NY. They arrive in separate 1959 Cadillacs for a long Greek Orthodox service. [Cope's second solo album] Fried is released to a much warmer reception than [Cope's first solo album] World Shut Your Mouth, but disappears nonetheless.

May 1990
Droolian [which is Cope's sixth solo album] is released.  Is it a Cope LP or not?  It's released in Austin, Texas only as part of a campaign to free Roky Erickson, the then jailed former leader of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

October 1990
Cope records a new double LP with the usual suspects, Donald [Ross Skinner] and Rooster [Cosby], in attendance.  Cope gets to play sizeable chunks of leccy guitar for the first time.  Something of a revelation to the doubters who always considered he couldn't play for toffee.

July 1993
"An Audience With The Cope" — four solo performances in Irish castles in Cork, Belfast, Dublin and Galway.  He also plays at the new Phoenix Festival with the full band, a performance that culminates in a ritual disclothing leaving only a bright yellow jock-strap and little else to the imagination.

July 1994
Def American in the U.S. and Echo in Britain both release the Autogeddon LP, which focused on the pillaging of Mother Earth and the evils of the automobile.  (Ironically, just prior to its release Cope passed his driving test, prompting the quote "there ain't no getting around getting around.")

September 1995
Two milestones marked September 1995 . . . [the second of which] was the publication of Krautrocksampler — One Head's Guide To The Guide To The Great Kosmische Musik, the acclaimed realization of Cope's ambition to pay tribute to the music most dear to his heart.

December 1997
The limited edition CD Queen Elizabeth 2 -- Elizabeth Vagina is released through Head Heritage, and immediately sells out.  

July 1999
Brain Donor is formed with erstwhile cohorts Doggen [Foster] and [Kevin "Kevlar" Bales], based on their need to create proto-metal informed by Grand Funk Railroad's red LP [Grand Funk] and the first two Blue Cheer albums.

April 2000
The South Bank Centre sees Cope's two-day festival Cornucopea bring together several rock'n'roll heroes from the past (Ash Ra Tempel, Groundhogs) with new Cope projects, including the concert debut of Brain Donor. Horrified by the make-up and platform boots, many Cope fans exit before the end of the show.  However, the presence in the foyer of ambient band Anal and a Krautrock coloring competition ensure something for everyone.

May 2000
Cope's hour long BBC2 documentary The Modern Antiquarian visits 32 ancient sites and covers over 3000 miles in just nine days.

October 2000
German language edition of Krautrocksampler is published.

July 2001
Love Peace & F*ck is the title of the Brain Donor debut LP, a fluorescent double album that most people ignore because of the cumbersome riffage and his fans' natural abhorrence of heavy metal.

July 2003
After eight years of planning, a heavily-bearded Cope visits Armenia in order to view the Mesopotamian plain, visit megalithic temples on the Iranian border, and to see Mt. Ararat.  His driver Vanno, a former KGB agent, informs him that it is "a bad time to have a beard in Armenia" and — with pride — shows Cope the nuclear power station of Metsamor, informing him when they are just two miles from the site and that it was built to the same blueprint as Chernobyl.

The Metsamor nuclear power plant
in Armenia was shut down in 2007
November 2003
Cope's sold-out two-day festival begins at Hammersmith's Lyric Theatre.  Entitled Rome Wasn't Buried in a Day, the shows include rare rock 'n' roll films of Van Der Graaf Generator, Kiss, Les Rallizes Denudes, Taj Mahal Travellers, plus performances by Seattle doomsters Sunn 0))), with Cope guesting on lead vocals for the 25-minutes of "My Wall."

December 2004
French language edition of Krautrocksampler is published.

(I could keep going with this stuff.  To quote Yul Brenner in The King and I, "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.")

I assumed at first  that "Trampolene" was a British spelling of "trampoline," but it's not.  I don't really know what it means, but the line "Trampolene, I can't believe you're trampling me" indicates that it is the name of someone who is trampling on the singer's hopes and dreams. 

Here's "Trampolene," much of which you will remember from the Go Home Productions mashup, "(I Am The) Trampolene (To The Other Side)":

Click below to order "Trampolene" from Amazon:

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