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Thursday, September 7, 2023

C.J. Stone on the revised Higgs KLF book [Now with an exclusive update!]

The KLF and Tammy Wynette, performing a KLF song inspired by the Illuminatus! trilogy. 

Of all of John Higgs' excellent books, the one he wrote on the KLF, The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds, arguably is his weirdest and certainly is the one that discusses Robert Anton Wilson the most.

So when Nick Helseg-Larsen sent me a link to "Footnotes to a Discordian Fable," a review by Christopher James Stone of a new edition of the book, I was interested.

As you know if you regularly read my blog, Higgs has issued a new edition of the book, updated with thousands of words of footnotes. I had a better idea of what the new edition is like after reading Stone's review. 

I'll let you read the review for yourself (you should read it), but a couple of things. Stone has a comment about John's career which seems insightful: "This is part of Higgs’ genius: his ability to identify neglected stories that need to be told."

There's also an anecdote about John, not really related to the review, which illustrates the determination and drive which also has been a part of John's success. John and Mr. Stone, who have become friends, travel to Stonehenge and are knighted by "King Arthur," a biker turned Druid who is the subject of a book by Stone and an unproduced screenplay by Stone. "He vowed to remain in the stones till dawn. It was an awful night, raining constantly, and I soon gave up and sat in the car. Higgs remained true to his word and stayed out all night. When he finally joined me after dawn he was shivering with the cold and dripping wet. We turned on the engine so that the fans blew out a stream of hot air."

In the review, Stone reveals that one the structures of the book is that it focuses on five topics, conforming to the Discordian Law of Fives, e.g. "Bill Drummond, Robert Anton Wilson, Ken Campbell and Doctor Who." but then lists only four topics. Is this a joke that I'm not getting, or did the reviewer make a mistake? Update: After I asked about this on the Social Media Platform Formerly Known As Twitter, Stone wrote: "Ah yes, how could I have missed that? The fifth element is Alan Moore, the comic book writer. He's mentioned earlier."

1 comment:

Chad said...

First time reading it. Loved it. Cannot imagine reading it without John’s footnotes. If anyone wants to buy my pink
copy or make a trade, let me know. We should do more book swapping on here…