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Head On/Repossessed

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  669 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Julian Cope's highly acclaimed autobiography and its long-awaited sequel in one extraordinary volume. Contents: Julian Cope shot to fame with eighties band 'Teardrop Explodes' during the Punk era. Hailed as a visionary by those people who recognise his genius and a madman by those who find him perplexing, he has become a cult figure in the music world. Head-On has previous ...more
Published May 1st 2005 by Thorsons (first published 1999)
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Oct 28, 2008 Roderick rated it it was amazing
Fiction about rock and roll is almost always ridiculous. Non-fiction about rock and roll is almost always also ridiculous, particularly in the form of the memoir.

However, Julian Cope is slightly different, perhaps because his life story is so ridiculous that it's kind of hard to believe, whether in the fictional or non-fictional format, and yet it turns out that he speaks the truth, in a very strange and compelling way.

These two books, bundled together comprise the two-volumes of his rock and r
Dec 12, 2010 Alex rated it really liked it
The Teardrop Explodes are one of my favourite ever groups, and "Head-On" is a perfect evocation of the band and the time. Julian writes in a friendly and hilarious manner, making this easy to read. He's a natural communicator.

"Repossessed" is heavy going in parts and not as enjoyable as "Head-On", but you will still want to read it if you enjoyed "Head-On"

Separately, "Head-On" would rate 5 stars and "Repossessed" would rate 3.
Susannah Marriott
Apr 19, 2012 Susannah Marriott rated it it was amazing
Possibly the best music memoir ever? In order of reading, I loved him, got bored by him, laughed at him, threw him against the wall, detested him, felt sorry for him, grew to love him again, became completely infatuated, and finally adored him so much that I had to read everything else he'd written.
Steve Porter
Oct 21, 2014 Steve Porter rated it really liked it
In the first installment, Julian Cope recollects the Liverpool (post)punk scene, revolving around Eric's club,literally just across the street from the world famous Cavern. The seeds were sown for the Teardrop Explodes.

In 1976, he left his Midlands home for college on Merseyside and soon formed his first band - The Crucial Three - with Ian McCulloch (then known as 'Duke') and Pete Wylie. As the name suggests, the group took themselves very seriously from the start. But, convinced of their own ta
Feb 16, 2014 Stefano rated it liked it
Shelves: in-italiano
Ho letto solo Head-On, bello, pieno di aneddoti dettagliatissimi che mi fa pensare che o Cope si scrivesse tutto nei minimi particolari mentre le cose accadevano, o, visto che si è fatto più acidi di quanti si possano immaginare, si sia inventato tutto ma allora lo ha fatto in maniera brillante.
Per chi ama il punk ed il suo mondo.
Ian Fiddes
Jul 21, 2010 Ian Fiddes rated it really liked it
8/10. Julian does write an entertaining book. Enjoyed this a lot.
Jan 15, 2010 Godzilla rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, 2010, memoir
A fascinating combination of two books (which rather confused my children, who thought I was reading a book upside down and backwards! Then were extremely disappointed to find out that I hadn't developed a new skill!) which cover two very different periods of Mr Cope's life.

I can't call myself a huge fan of The Teardrop Explodes or even St Julian, prior to reading these books, I picked them up on recommendation alone.

I wasn't disappointed, as he dissects the rise and fall of The Teardrop Explode
Todd Osborn
Nov 04, 2013 Todd Osborn rated it it was amazing
I loved Head-On and Repossessed, but then I'm a huge Cope-head. In other words, I'm biased toward liking it. This is my second time reading Head-On. I find Cope's stories of his early musical life interesting, engaging, often hilarious, and sometimes outrageous. In particular, the antics of his drugged-out company of cohorts (including him) made me wonder how he made it through that time alive.

Cope's books are well written, and easy to follow. He doesn't load up his writing with tons of technic
Mik Sabiers
Jun 25, 2008 Mik Sabiers rated it it was amazing
A really good insight into how Copey became famous, the wonders of travelling on the road and the break up and rebirth of his musical career. Head on as a story of how someone made a name for themselves is great, Repossessed less so, but if you were getting into music in the late 1970s/early 1980s then this shiould bring back memories and also provide some home truths about people on the scene...
Mar 30, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it
'Head On' is possibly the best music memoir I have ever read. Julian Cope is such a brilliant writer and story-teller, he had me glued to the book and I read it far too fast. The second half of the book 'Repossessed' is a much darker read as he struggles through drug overuse and I founds parts of it heavy going but again his writing engages you to him and his story and I cant wait to read the next installment.
José Vicente
May 22, 2014 José Vicente rated it it was amazing
Tremendo Documento del Señor Cope....Teardrop explodes vs Echo and the bunnymen....Julian Cope vs Ian Mcculloch....Escena de Londres / USA vs Escena Liverpool...Punk vs (plus) psicodelia....Drogas plus Musica....Vamos... impresionante testimonio de lo que era la escena alternativa post-sex pistols de principio de los 80...
Nov 19, 2007 Matthew rated it it was amazing
so great that the funniest, most personal telling of the rock'n'roll life, full of side splitting drug stories, tour tales, hilarity and anguish, should come from the singer of a pretentious 80s british pop band, now turned astro-hippy druidic historian and incredibly bad dresser. oh julian i love you.
Aug 02, 2010 William rated it really liked it
Fun book. Julian Cope gives his account of an indie band's rise to fame. It's not at all glamorous or particularly inspirational. The Teardrop Explodes were dirty and drugged and often without too many ideas other than to look hip. But Cope has a good story to tell. More important, he has a lot of fire in his belly and it comes out in the writing. Uh, Awlright!
May 01, 2008 Shelby rated it really liked it
Julian is a surprisingly good writer. He has a remarkable memory for detail, especially considering all of the acid he was taking at the time!

Head On is fantastic, Repossessed lacks the same manic energy. I hope he gets around to publishing an account of the next 5+ years, in which Julian did his best work.
Jun 16, 2009 lou rated it it was amazing
such a fantastic read ... Julian Cope tells the story w/ such ease + energy ... i think i read this over the course of 2 or 3 days all the way through + just wanted to keep going ... i highly recommend it
Aug 12, 2011 Adam rated it it was amazing
Head-On is possibly the best book going about rock'n'roll madness, drugs and general adolescent nonsense. Great fun.
Oct 24, 2010 JoAnne rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Only on page 20, but so far a great read. Anyone who lived through the punk scene of the 70's and 80's will love this book.
DJ Yossarian
Jan 18, 2011 DJ Yossarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-punk, england
"Head On" gets 5 stars -- late 70s music scene in Liverpool blah blah blah it's great. "Repossessed" gets 3 or 3-1/2 sstars as it starts to get a bit repetitive and JC is best taken in smaller doses.
Feb 04, 2008 Guy rated it it was amazing
Astute and honest appraisal of his rocky relationship with the music industry from a man whose individualism and integrity have not been compromised. Wit, Intelligence and attitude prevail.
May 07, 2014 Keir rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Refreshingly honest and fascinating account of Cope's musical and personal life. For all those kids dreaming of rock stardom, there's some things you need to this book.
Jul 02, 2012 John-paul rated it it was amazing
One of the best documentaries of rock'n'roll excess and the craziness of non-stop touring. Cope is a very human figure and takes you with him.
Aug 11, 2013 Neil rated it really liked it
You like '80's post punk? Read this riveting bio.
Dec 13, 2007 minnie rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of his, but this book is excellent for anyone interested in the early '80's post punk scene, or the music business in general.See it all through Copes acid tinged eccentricity.
Michael D
Aug 06, 2011 Michael D rated it it was amazing
The best book by a rock n roller ever. The last few chapters of 'repossessed' are as creatively inspiring as anything i have ever read. WELL AWLRIGHT!
May 11, 2011 K rated it really liked it
Lol. One of the funniest rock autobiographies I've ever read.
Sep 05, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing
repossessed was amazing. a very talented writer.
Jules Fry
Dec 12, 2010 Jules Fry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
recommended - fascinating insight into the time, the man the genius...
Jack Bates
Jan 02, 2016 Jack Bates rated it it was amazing
I'd give this ten stars if I could.
Feb 22, 2017 Neil rated it really liked it
One of the best music books ever written!
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Julian Cope (born Julian David Cope, on 21 October 1957) is a British rock musician, author, antiquary, musicologist, poet and cultural commentator. Originally coming to prominence in 1978 as the singer and songwriter in Liverpool post-punk band The Teardrop Explodes, he has followed a solo career since 1983 and initiated musical side projects such as Queen Elizabeth, Brain Donor and Black Sheep. ...more
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