1994, the year I left the old- country for the new world and the year Cope released Autogeddon.
I read Heathcote Williams poem before listening to Autogeddon the first time, this was actually years before listening as it was part of my anarchist past, and letting you know that would ruin the flow of the story which I have already done. I was 23 at the time and full of fire and anger and outrage. I was 28 when I bough Autogeddon and still full of outrage, although it was moving into cynicism by them and less anger, the anger is back though. It was easier to be outraged than dealing with leaving all that I actually knew 6000 miles behind me and heading to the West Coast.
Go on read it: Autogeddon it really is a powerful poem.
I had moved to the USA and bought Autogeddon on CD at Music Millennium on Burnside in Portland, probably the second best record store in the entire world, after Probe Records in Liverpool. Well at least when it was on Button St. I am not so sure about the sad memory of a store by the Bluecoat. Take a look, it is still a great store and it may have actually been instrumental in the creation of record store day, I have no idea, I don’t go there too often anymore as it’s a long way and I don’t have enough money: Music MIllenium. It used to be walking distance form our third apartment. This was dangerous.
I remember listening to Autogeddon in the car, there’s irony for you. We didn’t have a CD player in the house at the time and I had hooked a discman, remember them, up to the cassette player in the car via a weird cassette with a headphone jack attached to it. I am sure that fidelity of sound was not something to write home about, but it worked.
Bits and pieces of Ain’t no gettin’ round gettin’ round used to rattle around my head on the drive to work and back late at night. All disjointed, making no sense.
“Yes today I just feel so confused…
I need a car to get me around…
Ain’t no gettin’ round gettin’ round…”
I would drive on the the interstate, wide roads limited to 55mph the only person out there it felt at midnight.
We were waiting for our stuff to be shipped out from the UK, they were probably in some container out in the Atlantic and waiting to arrive. The CD’s and records were all in boxes somewhere out there, until they arrived I was stuck with Copey and Autogeddon and whatever I could borrow form my father-in-law which ran largely to blues and some singer songwriter albums.
I loved this album, I lived it, driving back and forth to work, eating crappy drive through food and drinking coffee. We had a Chevy Celebrity and it smelled of cigarettes and old people and spilled milk, some of these smells we were responsible for and others came with the car.
At some point the car got stolen and we got the car back without the CD’s. I hope whoever got it really got messed up trying to understand what Autogeddon had to do with the BB King, Buddy Guy and Lyle Lovett albums. I never owned Autogeddon after that, I occasionally looked for the vinyl but it was too expensive.
So when they released the 25th Anniversary Mega Super Box Edition of this manic collection of wigged out anti-vehicular mayhem last year I had to buy it, 7inch singles, EP’s and the album, what more could you want in a re-release? Who was worried about the price at this point it was necessary and wonderful and a blast from a past that was equal parts terrifying, sad and wonderful.
It is a massively confusing weirdly entertaining, funky psychedelic freak out of an heathen blow out.
It sure is a pretty package as well, look at that cloth covered box, it may have got a bit dusty.
Then there is the iconic album cover from the Vilage of Druid in Corwen which a certain blogger will rejoice in Wales’ place in this anarchic album.
There is also the E.P. of Paranormal in the West Country recorded originally in the West Kennet Long Barrow, which everyone should go sit on and be still for awhile.
And then there is the affect of listening to all this which Syd definitely manages to capture here: