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John Higgs's Octannual Manual #42
Little Lamb who made thee?
It’s been ten years since the paperback of my KLF book was published - and 2023 is a very KLF year - so here comes…
It’s the 10th anniversary edition of The KLF - and it will arrive in UK bookshops in July.
The ‘new material’ mentioned on the cover is a 13,000 word author’s commentary, which takes the form of footnotes spread throughout the book. In these new footnotes I look back on the text after ten years to see what I make of it now. It’s kind of like a director’s commentary on a DVD, but in book form. Hence the second sheep on the book cover. The same big old sheep as before is still up there at the top of the page, unchanged, but there is now a new little lamb underneath, acting as a sheep represention of the footnotes.
This new edition is a big handsome hardback. The book has gone from being a self-published ebook, to a paperback, to a hardback. It’s the life cycle of a typical book, but entirely the wrong way around. This seems somehow fitting, given the subject matter. One pleasing thing about it being a hardback is that the list price of the book is now… £23.
Cover-wise, we’ve inverted the shocking pink and yellow in order to go full Blobby. That yellow circle by the lamb, I like to think, is the exact same yellow circle that you last saw covering the giant’s bits on the cover of William Blake Vs The World.
If you’re unfamilar with this book, the blurb will give you a hint of what to expect:
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.
In this wildly unauthorised biography, John Higgs trawls through chaos on the trail of a beautiful, accidental mythology. He offers us mind bending, genre-defying insights into the strange ideas driving the band – and why pop music at its most glorious is more significant than you might think.
This newsletter is shorter than normal, I’m afraid, due to my current excessive workload. I’m busy working on a Thing with an intense deadline, and this leaves little time for much else. But before I go, I should mention that I’m doing a couple of Beatles-and-Bond events next weekend. On Saturday March 25th I’m returning to Carmarthenshire in South Wales for the Laugharne Weekend, where I will be interviewed by Robin Ince. The festival is sold out, I believe, but it will be live streamed on Facebook - details are here.
Then the following day I’m in Stroud in Gloucestershire talking to Andy Pemberton and signing books - it’ll be great to see you there. More details are here.
Until next time,