Cosmic Trigger 4th – 27th May 2017

May 8, 2017

The Play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Adapted from Robert Anton Wilson’s seminal autobiography Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of The Illuminati. See it at The Cockpit – Gateforth St, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. BUY TICKETS HERE

“Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Illuminatus!’ had a profound effect on me and the Cosmic Trigger Play will no doubt do the same for a whole new generation.” Alan Moore, writer/author of V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Jerusalem

Turn On. Tune In. Find The Others

In 1976 maverick playwright and director Ken Campbell staged Robert Anton Wilson’s, Illuminatus! – a nine-hour stage play that helped launch the careers of Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy. It also led to the backstage conception of a baby girl; Daisy Eris Campbell.

“One of the most original and unclassifiable talents in British theatre of the past half-century” The Guardian obituary for Ken Campbell – 2008

Now Love & Will Productions and The Cockpit are delighted to announce the debut full run of Daisy Campbell’s adaptation of Wilson’s seminal countercultural text; Cosmic Trigger. Part sequel, part revisit, part homage, part new writing; this is the story behind the notorious conspiracy satire, ‘Illuminatus!’, the extraordinary life of the novel’s author, Robert Anton Wilson, and the unstoppable force that was theatre legend Ken Campbell.

Daisy Campbell says; “Reading Cosmic Trigger changed my life and the lives of many others – and the book is dedicated to my Dad. Wilson’s uniquely optimistic and radically agnostic philosophy is incredibly relevant in these crazy times. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with The Cockpit on this production. They are the perfect co-conspirators to help us bring the wit and wisdom of Robert Anton Wilson back to life.”

The original work reinterpreted world history as a giant conspiracy theory and Daisy’s new work gives a backstory to the original production, featuring the lives of Wilson and Campbell, as well as the counterculture figures Timothy Leary, Alan Watts and William Burroughs, whom Robert Anton Wilson befriended.

Set in the late sixties and early seventies, the play recounts the period of Wilson’s life around the conception and writing of Illuminatus. During this time, he befriended heroes of counterculture, took LSD and experimented with the magical rituals of Aleister Crowley with predictably – and unpredictably – mind-blowing results.

With many of the original cast returning and Alan Moore appearing via specially recorded audio and morphed video projections Cosmic Trigger is a celebration of all that has gone before it as well as a vital venture in its own right. This is a highly ambitious production, with projections in the round, phantasmagorical multiple narratives, and a different actor performing as William Burroughs every night, it is designed to evoke the real-life hallucinogenic trip through conspiracy, paranoia and enlightenment that transformed Robert Anton Wilson from ‘Playboy’ editor to much-loved counter-cultural icon.

Dave Wybrow, Artistic Director of the Cockpit and co producer of Cosmic Trigger says; “We are putting together a venue, a tribe and new ways of networking and creating work. It’s about joining low tech to hi tech, low culture to high culture and low budgets to high levels of audience reach and social impact. This first venture looks at counter-cultural legacy. But the vision is an open artistic community for the future.”

Cosmic Trigger previously played for two days in November in Camp & Furnace in Liverpool and five days at Lost Theatre Vauxhall in London in 2014 – this is the play’s first full run.

Reviews:

Broadway World

London City Nights

The Upcoming

The Stage

International Times

The Guardian

The Times

Cosmic Trigger The Times Online Version

Radio/podcasts
Arthur Smith interviews Daisy Campbell on Radio 4 xtra:
http://buff.ly/2pSBxRh
Short thing with Arthur Smith (more like a plug)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08q3339

Cosmic Trigger – 4th – 27th May 2017 at The Cockpit
http://thecockpit.org.uk/cosmictrigger

Cosmic Trigger Press release

Related Materials:

Listen to Iron Man Records Release: Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt

Listen to Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati (Audio Book) Written by Robert Anton Wilson and 
Narrated by Oliver Senton

Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt

June 15, 2016

Robert Anton Wilson - Meets Steve "Fly Agaric" Pratt 1600 x 1600

WORDS: Robert Anton Wilson and Steve ‘Fly Agaric 23’ Pratt

MUSIC: Steve Fly, Tim Egmond, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, Rick Rasa, Hagbard Celine, Garaj Mahal.

ARTWORK: CHU

PRODUCED BY: Mark Sampson and Steve Fly Pratt

MASTERED BY: Simon Reeves at Framework Studios, Birmingham

RELEASED on IRON MAN RECORDS June 23rd 2016.

Special thanks to: Robert Anton Wilson, Christina Pearson, Rick Rasa, Chu, Mark Sampson, Kai Eckhardt, Matt Black, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, Paul Krassner, John Sinclair, Tim Egmond, Toby Philpott, Prop Anon, Nick Larson, Caleb Selah, Pete Maybe, Jenni Vyskocil, Faustin Bray, Bob Tesch, Lance Bauscher, Jack Sarfatti, Nigel Blunt, UB40, Robin Johnson, Tom Jackson, Raymond Wiley, Daisy Eris Campbell, Janne Svensson, Gregory James, Ben Kappel, Brien Harvey, the Maybe Logic Academy staff and students.

While getting firmly hooked on the series of Cosmic Trigger books during the mid 1990s, I literally dreamed of meeting the mysterious author, Dr Robert Anton Wilson. He was an early anarchist hero to me, a truly free man, and he remains one of the funniest scientific philosophers of all time. And yet, he, and his great works remain underground for the most part, bubbling away beneath the surface, patiently awaiting rediscovery and reenactment by brave new readers from next generations and with fresh interpretations. I hope this recording can introduce his ideas to at least one such reader. We need to act on his wisdom now!

After an auspicious solar eclipse experience in August, and a house fire in December moments before the millennium fever of 1999 went into overdrive, i had a rare moment of clarity, and decided to sell my prized turntables and scrape the money together for a ticket to go and see this guy for myself. Only six days after the sad passing of Terence Mckenna, i set off to New York where i next caught the Greyhound bus to New mexico, and my destination, the so called the ‘Prophets Conference’ only two days before my 24th birthday.

Little did i know that RAW had fallen ill that week due in part to his post polio syndrome, together with the grief of losing his lifelong companion, writer and activist Arlen Riley Wilson. The announcer at the conference informed the crowd Bob would not make it, and i went into an altered state of total shock awareness. 

 After the conference was over i straddled that Greyhound up to San Francisco and fell in awe of the San Francisco bay area. I hung out at Wired Magazine radio station, worked for Sound Photo Synthesis, jammed on turntables with jam jazz super group Garaj Mahal. Plus i met Dr John Lilly, Jack Sarfatti, Saul Paul Sirag, and some other friends and associates of RAW, all  seemingly by happy coincidence most of them were presenting at the Guilding The Lilly event at 3220 Sacremento street.

PROPHETS CON

When my visa time limit came up, unlike Columbus, I returned to the UK. One memorable summer day in 2000 i received an email from the Prophets Conference asking if i would like to be a carer for Bob during his next lecture in Palm Springs, 16-18th December 2000. I eagerly responded ‘yes’ and started to save up my dole money.

Bob’s fine lecture at Palm Springs can be viewed on youtube and you can hear him say at one point “I had a Manhattan with my lunch” which i purchased for him when sat together with Paul Krassner and his wife Nancy before his show. This may have led to him using slightly more taboo words than usual, which became part of the reason why the conference wrote him a letter explaining that they had received complaints about his language! and were unwilling to invite him to any more conferences, unless he more or less cleaned up his act. For fucks sake.

 Bob writes about this in his book T.S.O.G: The Thing That Ate The Constitution. I was sacked from the Prophets Conference a few months before Bob. My crime was much less punk rock, i failed to get Bob to the stage with adequate time to spare before he was scheduled to speak, which set a few people panicking and resulted in the boss lady of the conference screaming at me in front of Bob.

After his lecture, Bob gestured me over and invited me up to his room to conduct an interview, which i hinted at earlier. This was partly due, i think, to the fact that he saw how badly i was disgraced earlier and so took a little pity on me. I gifted Bob with a copy of the “The Stargate Conspiracy”, a pretty lame book in retrospect, but a text i figured he should take a look at as he had a few mentions in it, along with almost everybody else at the fringes of paranormal and psychic research in the 1970s.

I offered Bob some dried mushrooms picked at my local spot called Wychbury Hill. He gracefully passed on them with a kind smile and nod. They didn’t go to waste though, years later while reading an article by Richard Metzger (Dangerous Minds) who visited Bob’s room shortly after my interview–i discovered Richard ate the shrooms’ and reported that they were good and strong. Success. His friend Alex Burns, also from Disinformation, managed to get us all super high with some High Times Cannabis Cup winning weed, named William’s Wonder.

CAPITOLA

I pressed the button for the apartment number Bob had sent and waited, and waited…and after what seemed like an eternity i heard the crackle of the intercom and a familiar voice “yes”.

“It’s fly agaric, erm’, i was in touch with you by email about coming down to visit”. After another long pause he said “So…do you wanna’ come in then?” “Yeah, sure” i said, and he buzzed open the steel gate. I walked around the small inner garden area, up some steps to the front door which was already ajar. I stepped through the door.

Once through I slipped my shoes off and walked past his study on the right, and his small library area to the left. He was sitting on a couch, next to some large sliding doors, with a fresh clear view looking out over the Monterey bay. “Hi Bob, thanks for having me over.”

“Would you be so kind as to grab me a coffee, it’s in the pot” he said. “Sure”. I fetched a mug, which had a quote from Hannibal Lecter printed on it, filled it with black coffee and set it down on the table, sitting opposite Bob. “Thanks, fly. So, you’re going to make a recording right?” he asked. “yeah, if that’s cool with you.” I unpacked my minidisc recorder, and set up the microphone on the table.

The apartment reflected a humble man, with moderate furnishings, a couch, two chairs, a television set, stereo, coffee table and a dresser decorated in what looked to me like traditional Japanese artefacts. There were framed pictures hanging up and ornaments that indicated this really was Bob’s residence. On my way out I recall seeing a certificate from a UFO convention, plus I’ll never forget the cute Loch Ness monster ornament laying out on top of the cable box, which at one point during the interview he politely asked me to straighten out for him.

We had two smoke breaks out on the balcony, where i kissed the sky with a specially rolled up bomber. Bob passed my offer due to already feeling high as a mountain goat on his marijuana brownies, which he consumed for medical purposes to help relieve the pain from post polio syndrome. It would be fair to say we were both pretty high and cheerful. I went the whole nine yards and cracked open a four pack of guinness, which was probably a mistake due to the slight fogging of my memory caused by the alcohol.

Bob talked and talked, weaving his unique prose to my unrehearsed questions, turning them into delightful examples of his unique mind at play. He mixed hilarious tales with some serious facts and produced his unmistakable discordian dance of delicate metaphors. There were times when my mouth opened and nothing came out, due to my processing what he had previously said. I had to remain mindful not to interrupt or talk over him, which i’m prone to do at times. There seems nothing worse to me than an interviewer who can’t listen, and sings the eternal song of “I”.

The audio interview is regrettably only the first half of the full recording, the other half of which remains lost in an ocean of badly indexed minidiscs. Fortunately, i made a transcription of the full recording, which was published at the Maybe Logic Quarterly magazine in 2008. However during the interview my disc space ran out, but we carried on talking for at least another 45 minutes. Hence my regret at getting half drunk. Some of the subject matter i recall from that chat included Saul Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner, David Bohm and the Physics Consciousness Research Institute. He commented at length on 9/11 describing a friends experiences in New York, and the high weirdness that day, and the days that followed. I talked about some of my musical projects, about Garaj Mahal, graffiti art, Ninjatune and my fascination with jazz and synchronicities connected to the music John Coltrane.

Robert Anton Wilson Meets Steve Fly

I was made to feel welcome during the 3-4 hour visit, and Bob did not whinge or complain once. I only felt him get slightly agitated during the interview after i blindly asked him a series of four readymade questions from somebody else, the last of which was “how do you plan to take physical action?” which, when i said it, sounded rather inappropriate for a man suffering from post polio syndrome most his life, and who uses a wheelchair to get around. It hit a small nerve, he coughed and raised his voice a little “I don’t mean to ball you out but, it’s just that i hear that kind of question a lot.” He went on to describe how he attends protests and gatherings when he can get a ride there, and contributes to Amnesty International.

In 2015 I was digging for a minidisc of DJ Fly material for use on my Fly By Night radio shows, produced for Radio Free Amsterdam. While sifting through the discs I noticed one with writing in light pencil that read: R.A.W 10th September 2002. I popped it into the player, and to my delight it was the first half of the interview. I edited and boosted the sound files to the best of my ability, and added a selection of music from friends and past collaborators, resulting in what you hear right here.

I uploaded two short excerpts from the interview to my Soundcloud account and was planning to release the other parts when a friend, Mark Sampson of Iron Man Records, stepped up. In March 2016 Mark kindly offered to master the audio and release it on his independent record label Iron Man Records. So the circle is complete and I hope you enjoy the words and music. Long live the optimists.

– Steve Fly, June 2016

TC Lethbridge – 2000TC – Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On


March 7, 2016

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs

Long, long ago in in the deep forgotten past, three musicians came together in an ancient landscape and made music that drifted away, seemingly lost for all time.

This was in Wiltshire around 1992, to be more precise.
2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

The band was TC Lethbridge. It contained Doggen and Kev Bales from Spiritualized/Brain Donor and the artist Flinton Chalk. The band did not last long – they imploded before they had even played their first gig. But something happened to these musicians as they practiced, wrote and recorded in the Neolithic village of Avebury in the early nineties. They were marked by the experience.

The album they were recording as they fell apart was a project that always required closure. Two decades needed to pass before the politics and damaged relationships created by the band’s collapse could allow this to happen. In 2014 that album, 2000TC by TC Lethbridge, was finally mixed by the band from the original tapes and released on Iron Man Records.

T.C. Lethbridge - Band photo

One of those fascinated by the legend of this lost album was the author John Higgs. The Quietus has said that Higgs’ last book The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds “might well be the best music book of the 2010s”. In The Guardian Dorian Lynskey described it as “like Adam Curtis brainstorming with Thomas Pynchon”, and Alexis Petridis called it “a thing of endlessly fascinating, utterly demented genius.” Alan Moore has said that Higgs’ next book Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, to be published in August 2015, is “an illuminating work of massive insight, I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly.”

Such was the lure of the TC Lethbridge story that Higgs set about writing another book, 2000TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, “in order to understand the drive, integrity and ambition of the young musicians in that Avebury hall”. This makes TC Lethbridge the only band to have a biography written about them before they had even gigged. In keeping with the unobtainable, mythic nature of the band, Higgs published this book in a limited run of only 111 copies. It is not for sale and there are no plans to make it available in any other format.

The book was published to mark an event that was for a long time considered unthinkable: TC Lethbridge played their first gig over the night on November 22-23rd 2014, at the Robert Anton Wilson festival and Cosmic Trigger play in Liverpool, hours after being presented with copies of this book.

This, then, is the story of TC Lethbridge up until that point. They are now an active live band whose three albums – the once-lost 2000TC, their first album Moon Equipped and their instrumental CD Mina – have all been made digitally available.

If this is their past, then what is their future? Perhaps that is a myth that has yet to be written.

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC, Mina and Moon Equipped released 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records

TC Lethbridge – Neo-Psychedelic rock troupe missing for 23 years by Guy Hirst

September 4, 2015

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs

Made up of two long standing members of space rock pioneers Spiritualized (Doggen, Bales) and named after the radical archaeologist turned occultist T.C. Lethbridge, the band return with three re-issues of their self-released albums recorded in the early nineties: Moon Equipped, Mina and 2000 TC – released November 23rd 2014 via Iron Man Records.

T.C Lethbridge is Kevin Bales, Tony Doggen Foster and Flinton Chalk.

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC, Mina and Moon Equipped released 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records

The re-issues promoted their first public performance in 23 years last November at Liverpool’s Cosmic Trigger Festival, a theatrical production and continuation of the Illuminatus Trilogy – a satirical story of drugs, sex, magic and conspiracy theories – which was originally adapted to stage by legendary English writer and director Ken Campbell.

T.C. Lethbridge’s performance at Cosmic Trigger was a tribute to the late-great psychedelic evangelist Brian Barritt (cohort of LSD advocate Timothy Leary) who appears in the Cosmic Trigger book and had recorded with the band at Avebury stone circle during the making of 2000TC. Barritt also features on the track “Bou Saada” on the album and Flinton Chalk had previously collaborated with Barritt exploring the trance-inducing frequencies of Neolithic burial tombs – a main theme that runs throughout their music. In Brian Barritt’s words the group are exploring “Automatic writing on a sacred landscape.”

You can explore their music by listening to 2000TC here:

Author John Higgs has written a biography of T.C Lethbridge entitled “2000TC – Standing on the verge of Getting It On” and said:

“Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF. So, yeah, it had to be written.”

‘2000TC’ was recorded 1994 John Stewart Hall, Melbourne House, The Henge Shop, Avebury, 4 Track cassette, digitally remastered by John Davies 2014. You can buy 2000TC here

All re-issued TC Lethbridge albums can be found here

T.C. Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

– written by Guy Hirst 2015

The Story of TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC: Standing on the verge of getting it on by John Higgs

January 8, 2015

Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Released by Iron Man Records – 23rd November 2014)

If you spend too much time in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction you might end up running a record label. Living life in a completely deluded state, generating massive debt for no apparent reason can be difficult to keep going for more than 17 years at a time but, it seems by some terrible mistake I’ve made it look relatively easy. But anyway, enough of that, I want to explain something.

I went to a meeting last year year, the back room of a pub, The George in Southwark actually. The pub is just a few minutes walk from The Shard in London. Gimpo worked on The Shard and if I was going to park anywhere, parking at the foot of the Shard endorsed his work. I’ve spent time, 25 hours at a time, in a van going round the M25 with Gimpo, and believe me, it’s an experience to be had. I was with Steve Fly, a writer, musician and someone who plays drums for the Detroit Poet, John Sinclair who used to manage MC5 and was a founder member of the White Panthers. Steve and John released Mohawk through Iron Man Records in March and I was interested to accompany Steve to the meeting. I wanted to listen in, and if necessary, endorse him as a potential Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger, a new stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Daisy is the daughter of Ken Campbell who staged the Illuminatus! in 1976. I was 5 years old when all of that was going on.

The meeting was interesting as I had never met Daisy before and had no idea what to expect. Michelle the production manager, who was sat opposite, seemed to be keen to find the right people to take on the task ahead and no one was thinking any of this was going to be easy. A lot of hard work was ahead. If Bill Drummond had gone out to get Araldite in 1976, never to return…I was sure that this new stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s book The Cosmic Trigger was not going to be any easier for anyone.

Robert Anton Wilson was an American author novelist, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. I discovered Robert Anton Wilson by way of a band called The KLF and the various aliases from The Timelords, The Jams, The Justified Ancients of MU MU, to 2K and K Foundation. Magic Temple of Discordian Promotions gave me many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books as a present which I’ve read and sometimes re-read. Magick was also a big KLF fan and seemed to know more than me so we soon became good friends. Both Robert Anton Wilson and the discussions I had about his work with Magick gave me inspiration when organising gigs for bands in Birmingham, when signing on and eating the food in my housemate’s cupboard was about all I had. The last posting that Robert Anton Wilson put on his website said: “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.” The whole concept of keeping the lasagne flying made sure I didn’t get any ideas like getting a job or doing anything sensible with my time. In fact, I only stopped organising gigs because the venue I worked at, The Old Railway, was scheduled to be bulldozed. But that’s an aside, someone else was at the meeting who I knew of but had never met. Flinton Chalk was sat across from me, he was the one who sold the old car to Jimmy Cauty which ended up being used in KLF music videos and was renamed Ford Timelord. Flinton had bought the car from a film studio and spent time with friends dressing up as a nun and driving around doing donuts in muddy fields in the middle of the night. You might be wondering where on earth all this is going. You see, as John Higgs will tell you, if you happen to run a record label and read his book The Brandy Of The Damned “This is the problem with doing weird things. If you behave like a reasonable person, then the world will be reasonable back. If you step outside of the norm, however, and act in freaky ways, then the world will match you step for step. ”

And this is how I ended up talking with Flinton about the car, dressing up as a transvestite pirate nun, Jimmy Cauty, KLF, Julian Cope, Tall Hats, Stones Circles, and his time living in Avebury. I used to live in Wiltshire so I know that part of the world pretty well. Judging by the number of times I had driven through Avebury late at night in the early 1990’s its a wonder I didn’t run Flinton down. Somehow we got on to 111hz which can wait for another time, and then to a serious story about his trip to Mothers Jam on Fyfield down near Avebury. A stone tried to dematerialise Flinton and Julian Cope on one of their outings to collect photos and detail for The Modern Antiquarian. Flinton also told me about his band TC Lethbridge, named after Thomas Charles Lethbridge, who was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer.

Having spent every last penny for the last 17 years on a record label that few people have any interest in, or understanding of, I was in no mood to consider working with another band and certainly not one that hadn’t played a gig, or had been missing for 23 years with three unreleased albums. But, I have done many things over the years, sometimes for money, sometimes for free, and sometimes because insanity is a far more rational approach to a complex situation than trying to think things through properly. And that’s how I ended up agreeing to help TC Lethbridge until they found someone more suitable.

Sat next to me, Steve Fly had just been appointed Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger so the work was done. I didn’t get out of the building until I had also agreed to do whatever I could to help The Cosmic Trigger. What had started out in my mind as a meeting to endorse Steve and “listen in and learn,” ended up as “You don’t listen and you never learn.” And so it began. TC Lethbridge had found themselves a record label.

I drove back to Birmingham wondering if I would ever learn anything ever. But that was then, so here’s to the now.

John Higgs is the Author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned A Million Pounds’ and ‘I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary’. John Also writes fiction (as JMR Higgs) including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.

I’ve read John’s book on Timothy Leary and also his book on the KLF and The Brandy of The Damned. All of them are well worth the read, you can make your own mind up which one to read first but, before you consider any of those, I want to tell you about his latest work.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs
John Higgs has written a book called 2000 TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. The book is not for sale, it will be one of a private edition of 111 copies. Don’t ask. The answer will blow the right side of your brain.

2000 TC was written to mark The Cosmic Trigger play and festival performance in Liverpool. It is the story of TC Lethbridge, who played their first gig after the play, 23 years after they formed. TC Lethbridge are Doggen and Kev Bales, of Spiritualized and Julian Cope/Brain Donor, and Flinton Chalk, who you’ll find more about in John’s KLF book (pages 116-117).

2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

2000 TC is an album recorded by TC Lethbridge in Avebury 20 years ago. It was remastered by the same person who remastered the recent Led Zeppelin reissues. Don’t ask about that either, that’s another story altogether. Flinton met me backstage at The Barbican on 31st May after John Sinclair had performed with The Founder Effect supporting Marshall Allen and The Sun Ra Arkestra. The gig was to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Sun Ra and it was a suitable venue to hand over the 2000 TC master. The album was released on November 23rd by Iron Man Records along with an album called Moon Equipped and another called Mina. The band have been missing for 23 years and now they are back with a gig as part of The Cosmic Trigger, a book by John Higgs, and three albums on Iron Man Records.

I should mention that Thomas Charles Lethbridge was born 23rd March 1901 and passed away on 30th September 1971. You may be interested to know that 30th September 1971 is my birthday. Let me be clear: I am not the reincarnation of TC Lethbridge. If I had come up with a good reason not to work with the band of the same name, it still wouldn’t have stopped anything. It appears from birth, despite my protesting, I have been destined to know TC Lethbridge and release the records by a band of the same name. You cant make this stuff up, no one would believe it. Give the music a listen, you might like it.

The voice on the 2000 TC track Bou Saada is that of Brian Barritt. He makes an appearance in the book Cosmic Trigger, when Timothy Leary tells Robert Anton Wilson that he needs to talk to Brian if they are to both understand Aleister Crowley.

John Higgs said “Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF.

So, yeah, it had to be written.

No doubt it will be made more widely available at some point, in some format, in some way, should the band keep gigging and putting themselves about. But until then – more about the band here, and catch them Saturday if you can.”

All three TC Lethbridge albums – Moon Equipped, Mina, and 2000 TC were released on 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records. Note: Any money generated from sales of these TC Lethbridge albums will be used to finance a vinyl and CD release of each record in future.

If you are interested in reviewing the 2000 TC book or reviewing any TC Lethbridge album get in touch

John Higgs spoke in Liverpool on the Sunday after Robin Ince and made an attempt to make sense of the preceeding days. Unfortunately I didn’t get there, I had to finish a few things and then pop out for a bit. I needed to get some Araldite.

Find out more about the band here:

TC Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on by John Higgs

November 21, 2014

Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Released by Iron Man Records – 23rd November 2014)

If you spend too much time in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction you might end up running a record label. Living life in a completely deluded state, generating massive debt for no apparent reason can be difficult to keep going for more than 17 years at a time but, it seems by some terrible mistake I’ve made it look relatively easy. But anyway, enough of that, I want to explain something in the hope that you might understand it better than me.

I went to a meeting earlier this year, the back room of a pub, The George in Southwark actually. The pub is just a few minutes walk from The Shard in London. Gimpo worked on The Shard and if I was going to park anywhere, parking at the foot of the Shard endorsed his work. I’ve spent time, 25 hours at a time, in a van going round the M25 with Gimpo, and believe me, it’s an experience to be had. I was with Steve Fly, a writer, musician and someone who plays drums for the Detroit Poet, John Sinclair who used to manage MC5 and was a founder member of the White Panthers. Steve and John released Mohawk through Iron Man Records in March and I was interested to accompany Steve to the meeting. I wanted to listen in, and if necessary, endorse him as a potential Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger, a new stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Daisy is the daughter of Ken Campbell who staged the Illuminatus! in 1976. I was 5 years old when all of that was going on.

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The meeting was interesting as I had never met Daisy before and had no idea what to expect. Michelle the production manager, who was opposite, seemed to be keen to find the right people to take on the task ahead and no one was thinking any of this was going to be easy. A lot of hard work was ahead. If Bill Drummond had gone out to get Araldite in 1976, never to return…I was sure that this new stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s book The Cosmic Trigger was not going to be any easier for anyone.

Robert Anton Wilson was an American author novelist, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. I discovered Robert Anton Wilson by way of a band called The KLF and the various aliases from The Timelords, The Jams, The Justified Ancients of MU MU, to 2K and K Foundation. Magic Temple of Discordian Promotions gave me many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books as a present which I’ve read and sometimes re-read. Magick was also a big KLF fan and seemed to know more than me so we soon became good friends. Both Robert Anton Wilson and the discussions I had about his work with Magick gave me inspiration when organising gigs for bands in Birmingham, when signing on and eating the food in my housemate’s cupboard was about all I had. The last posting that Robert Anton Wilson put on his website said: “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.” The whole concept of keeping the lasagne flying made sure I didn’t get any ideas like getting a job or doing anything sensible with my time. In fact, I only stopped organising gigs because the venue I worked at, The Old Railway, was scheduled to be bulldozed. But that’s an aside, someone else was at the meeting who I knew of but had never met. Flinton Chalk was sat across from me, he was the one who sold the old car to Jimmy Cauty which ended up being used in KLF music videos and was renamed Ford Timelord. Flinton had bought the car from a film studio and spent time with friends dressing up as a nun and driving around doing donuts in muddy fields in the middle of the night. You might be wondering where on earth all this is going. You see, as John Higgs will tell you, if you happen to run a record label and read his book The Brandy Of The Damned “This is the problem with doing weird things. If you behave like a reasonable person, then the world will be reasonable back. If you step outside of the norm, however, and act in freaky ways, then the world will match you step for step. ”

And this is how I ended up talking with Flinton about the car, dressing up as a transvestite pirate nun, Jimmy Cauty, KLF, Julian Cope, Tall Hats, Stones Circles, and his time living in Avebury. I used to live in Wiltshire so I know that part of the world pretty well. Judging by the number of times I had driven through Avebury late at night in the early 1990’s its a wonder I didn’t run Flinton down. Somehow we got on to 111hz which can wait for another time, and then to a serious story about his trip to Mothers Jam on Fyfield down near Avebury. A stone tried to dematerialise Flinton and Julian Cope on one of their outings to collect photos and detail for The Modern Antiquarian. Flinton also told me about his band TC Lethbridge, named after Thomas Charles Lethbridge, who was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer.

Having spent every last penny for the last 17 years on a record label that few people have any interest in, or understanding of,  I was in no mood to consider working with another band and certainly not one that hadn’t played a gig, or had been missing for 23 years with three unreleased albums. But, I have done many things over the years, sometimes for money, sometimes for free, and sometimes because insanity is a far more rational approach to a complex situation than trying to think things through properly. And that’s how I ended up agreeing to help TC Lethbridge until they found someone more suitable.

Sat next to me, Steve Fly had just been appointed Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger so the work was done. I didn’t get out of the building until I had also agreed to do whatever I could to help The Cosmic Trigger. What had started out in my mind as a meeting to endorse Steve and  “listen in and learn,” ended up as “You don’t listen and you never learn.” And so it began. TC Lethbridge had found themselves a record label.

I drove back to Birmingham wondering if I would ever learn anything ever. But that was then, so here’s to the now.

John Higgs is the Author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned A Million Pounds’ and ‘I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary’. John Also writes fiction (as JMR Higgs) including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.

I’ve read John’s book on Timothy Leary and also his book on the KLF and The Brandy of The Damned. All of them are well worth the read, you can make your own mind up which one to read first but, before you consider any of those, I want to tell you about his latest work.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs
John Higgs has written a book called 2000 TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. The book is not for sale, it will be one of a private edition of 111 copies. Don’t ask. The answer will blow the right side of your brain.

2000 TC was written to mark The Cosmic Trigger play and festival performance in Liverpool. It is the story of TC Lethbridge, who will be playing their first gig after the play on Saturday – 23 years after they formed. TC Lethbridge are Doggen and Kev Bales, of Spiritualized and Julian Cope/Brain Donor, and Flinton Chalk, who you’ll find more about in John’s KLF book (pages 116-117).

2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

2000 TC is an album recorded by TC Lethbridge in Avebury 20 years ago. It was remastered by the same person who remastered the recent Led Zeppelin reissues. Don’t ask about that either, that’s another story altogether. Flinton met me backstage at The Barbican on 31st May after John Sinclair had performed with The Founder Effect supporting Marshall Allen and The Sun Ra Arkestra. The gig was to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Sun Ra and it was a suitable venue to hand over the 2000 TC master. The album is being released on November 23rd by Iron Man Records along with an album called Moon Equipped and another called Mina. The band have been missing for 23 years and now they are back with a gig as part of The Cosmic Trigger, a book by John Higgs, and three albums on Iron Man Records.

I should mention that Thomas Charles Lethbridge was born 23rd March 1901 and passed away on 30th September 1971. You may be interested to know that 30th September 1971 is my birthday. Let me be clear: I am not the reincarnation of TC Lethbridge. If I had come up with a good reason not to work with the band of the same name, it still wouldn’t have stopped anything. It appears from birth, despite my protesting, I have been destined to know TC Lethbridge and release the records by a band of the same name. You cant make this stuff up, no one would believe it. Give the music a listen, you might like it.

The voice on the 2000 TC track Bou Saada is that of Brian Barritt. He makes an appearance in the book Cosmic Trigger, when Timothy Leary tells Robert Anton Wilson that he needs to talk to Brian if they are to both understand Aleister Crowley.

John  Higgs said “Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF.

So, yeah, it had to be written.

No doubt it will be made more widely available at some point, in some format, in some way, should the band keep gigging and putting themselves about. But until then – more about the band here, and catch them Saturday if you can.”

All three TC Lethbridge albums – Moon Equipped, Mina, and 2000 TC will be released on 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records. Note: Any money generated from sales of these TC Lethbridge albums will be used to finance a vinyl and CD release of each record in future.

If you are interested in reviewing the 2000 TC book or reviewing any TC Lethbridge album get in touch

John Higgs will be speaking in Liverpool on the Sunday after Robin Ince and will then host a panel that will attempt to make sense of the preceeding days. Someone has to do it and if anyone stands a chance, it’s John. I hope the weekend is fun but unfortunately I wont be there, I just need to finish this and then pop out for a bit. I need to get some Araldite.

Find out more about the band here:

TC Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

TC Lethbridge

November 5, 2014

TC Lethbridge are Doggen, Kev Bales and Flinton Chalk. Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.

T.C. Lethbridge - Band photo
T.C. Lethbridge – Band photo.

Daniel James, Kev Bales, Tony Doggen Foster, Flinton Chalk at John Stewart Hall, Yatesbury, Wessex, where most of the tracks for Mina and 2000TC were recorded.

Flint had a tape with him, rough mixes of 2000TC songs recorded in Avebury which he pulled out of a box of cassettes under the stairs. I was keen to hear it. I was a big fan of the Mina instrumentals. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but it wasn’t the overwhelming sense of purpose that burst out of the speakers. I was reminded of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which I was not prepared for. There is one particular section of 2000TC that for me crystallises everything that Flint, Kev and Doggen were doing. It is at the end of the sixth track. Doggen’s playing becomes increasingly possessed by some musical spirit, the like of which I have never heard before. As the song progresses you get the strange sense that those musicians no longer exist, that they have been replaced. They have sunk a deep well and been swept away by the sound gushing out of them. This builds and builds and… stops, abruptly. The tape ran out. But back in that hall none of them noticed. They continued, utterly lost in what they were doing… To hear where they were when just before the tape ended is a cruel tease indeed. But it also points to those lost moments we can never recover, of three musicians in Avebury who had left their egos far behind and were producing, as Brian Barritt put it, “automatic writing in the sacred landscape.” – John Higgs

 

‘Moon Equipped’ – 250 Vinyl 1994 self released. Recorded 1992 on board Judith, a Dutch barge on Thames at Battersea Bridge on 4 Track cassette.
TC Lethbridge - Moon Equipped (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – Moon Equipped (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

‘Mina’ – 500 CDs self released 2001, recorded John Stewart Hall, Yatesbury, Melbourne House, Avebury, 1993, 4 track cassette, released to mark 100 years since Lethbridge’s birth.
TC Lethbridge - Mina (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – Mina (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

‘2000TC’, recorded 1994 John Stewart Hall, Melbourne House, The Henge Shop, Avebury, 4 Track cassette, digitally remastered by John Davies 2014.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

Band Line up:

Formed 1991 (Laurel Canyon) named 1992 (Avebury).

Flinton Chalk – Vocs, Keys, Percussion, Engineer, Producer.

Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster – Guitars, Keys, Lead Vocs, Digital Remaster Engineer.

Kev Bales – Drums, Percussion, Vocs,

Daniel James – Bass on 1st album.

Next public performance:
The Cosmic Trigger Festival, Camp and Furnace, Liverpool, 22nd Nov 2014 around 10pm…..

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014
The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience
Find The Others
Conferestival

Performance, Speakers, Art, Music Cinema, Rituals, Workshops, poetry, Quizzes, Stalls, Discordian Papal Ball.

Prof. Robert Temple, Robin Ince, Nina Conti, Youth, Adam Gorightly, Johnny “Dolphin” Allen, C.J. Stone, John Higgs, Dr. David Luke, Greg Sams, Jeff young, Liverpool Impropriety, TC Lethbridge, DJ Kin, Michael Brunstrom, Dr. David Bramwell, John Constable, Salena Godden, Jacqueline Genie, Adrian reynolds, Jamie Reid, Jimmy Cauty.

Camp and furnace, Liverpool L1 0BY

14:23-02:23 Sat 22nd november 2014 (Play and Ball)

11:23-23:23 Sun 23 Nov 2014 (Conferestival)

Tickets £69 (full weekend = play and ball and festival)

Phone The Everyman box office: 0151 709 4776 www.cosmictriggerplay.com

T.C. Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

October 18, 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience
Find The Others
Conferestival

If you are interested in finding out more about Robert Anton Wilson, The writing (and living) of Illuminatus, the cult novel which launched a million conspiracy-freaks; Stumbling, via LSD and Aleister Crowley onto a 6500-year-old conversation with the planet Sirius; Dreaming up the formula, with Timothy Leary, of positive human evolution; Co-conspiring to create the Discordian religion, which worships Eris, the Goddess of Chaos and Confusion; Tantric sex, musical sing-alongs and mass initiations; Bob’s fellow Discordian being accused of being “the second Oswald” in JFK’s assassination; Mind-blowing visual effects, extraordinary musical soundscapes, and proper “Ken Campbell style” acting; The journey through Chapel Perilous, a dangerous occultist crossing point, from which one either emerges paranoid or agnostic. This might be for you…..

Performance, Speakers, Art, Music Cinema, Rituals, Workshops, Poetry, Quizzes, Stalls, Discordian Papal Ball.

Prof. Robert Temple, Robin Ince, Nina Conti, Youth, Adam Gorightly, Johnny “Dolphin” Allen, C.J. Stone, John Higgs, Dr. David Luke, Greg Sams, Jeff young, Liverpool Impropriety, T.C. Lethbridge, DJ Kin, Michael Brunstrom, Dr. David Bramwell, John Constable, Salena Godden, Jacqueline Genie, Adrian Reynolds, Jamie Reid, Jimmy Cauty.

Camp and Furnace, Liverpool L1 0BY

14:23-02:23 Sat 22nd november 2014 (Play and Ball)

11:23-23:23 Sun 23 Nov 2014 (Conferestival)

Tickets £69 (full weekend = play and ball and festival)

Phone The Everyman box office: 0151 709 4776