Fried & Justified

ISBN
9780571336821
Published
04/07/2019
9780571336821
Format
Paperback
Price
£14.99
Paperback
320

About the Book

We arrived in a fleet of white stretch limos at a clearing in a wood near Woking. Here the K Foundation was exhibiting a million pounds in cash, while Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty circled the perimeter in two orange Saracen armoured vehicles, blasting out Abba’s ‘Money Money Money’ . . .

The list of bands and artists Mick Houghton worked with in an illustrious career in the music business reads like a Who’s Who of some of the greatest, most influential and downright dysfunctional cult groups of the post-punk era and beyond – Ramones, Talking Heads, The Undertones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Felt, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, Spiritualized and Elastica among them. Often judiciously (or unintentionally) sidestepping the major trends in music – baggy, grunge and Britpop – his reputation for attracting outsiders led to him working with artists as disparate as Sun Ra, Andrew Oldham, Ken Kesey, Bert Jansch, Stereolab, Mercury Rev and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

But the three acts Mick is most closely identified with are Echo & the Bunnymen, Julian Cope (and the Teardrop Explodes) and the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/KLF in all their guises. Between them, these three played a significant role in shaping the musical landscape of the eighties and nineties, and – as confidant and co-conspirator – Mick was with their chorus along the way, carefully navigating the minefield of rivalries and contrasting fortunes. It is Mick’s indefatigable belief that it was always the music that came first, and it is his knack of attracting so-called difficult and troubled artists that makes Fried & Justified such an amusing, honest and insightful tale.

We arrived in a fleet of white stretch limos at a clearing in a wood near Woking. Here the K Foundation was exhibiting a million pounds in cash, while Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty circled the perimeter in two orange Saracen armoured vehicles, blasting out Abba’s ‘Money Money Money’ . . . The list of bands and artists Mick Houghton worked with in an illustrious career in the music business reads like a Who’s Who of some of the greatest, most influential and downright dysfunctional cult groups of the post-punk era and beyond – Ramones, Talking Heads, The Undertones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Felt, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, Spiritualized and Elastica among them. Often judiciously (or unintentionally) sidestepping the major trends in music – baggy, grunge and Britpop – his reputation for attracting outsiders led to him working with artists as disparate as Sun Ra, Andrew Oldham, Ken Kesey, Bert Jansch, Stereolab, Mercury Rev and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.But the three acts Mick is most closely identified with are Echo & the Bunnymen, Julian Cope (and the Teardrop Explodes) and the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/KLF in all their guises. Between them, these three played a significant role in shaping the musical landscape of the eighties and nineties, and – as confidant and co-conspirator – Mick was with their chorus along the way, carefully navigating the minefield of rivalries and contrasting fortunes. It is Mick’s indefatigable belief that it was always the music that came first, and it is his knack of attracting so-called difficult and troubled artists that makes Fried & Justified such an amusing, honest and insightful tale.
  • Mick Houghton

    Mick Houghton began writing about music during the seventies, for such publications as Circus, Zigzag, Let It Rock, Sounds and Time Out before stumbling into a job as a PR at Warner Bros in 1979. Within a year he had set up the independent Brassneck Publicity, where he's looked after an extraordinary array of people ever since. Over the years he's been closely associated with Echo and the Bunnymen, Julian Cope, The Undertones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, The KLF, Spiritualized, Bert Jansch and Richard Thompson. He began writing again in 2001, first for Mojo and later for Uncut. As one of the Grammy-nominated compilers/producers of the boxed set Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra, 1963-1973, he went on to write Becoming Elektra: The True Story of Jac Holzman's Visionary Record Label, published in 2010.

“Insightful, absorbing and humble [ ... ] Houghton has crafted a vivid, humorous style that beautifully captures events and characters.”
- 5***** Record Collector
“His prose style is about understated wit rather than sensationalism or prurience. There's also an undertow of elegy for times and music mags now gone. One of Mick Houghton's main roles was to dispense interview favours among these music titles, yet he remained extremely well liked at the magazines - likeable as this engaging, even epochal, book.”
- 4**** Mojo

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