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Quotations From Chairman Mick


Collated by Michael Simmons

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Photos courtesy Mick Farren

"We were storming into the future.  We still want to storm into the future."

--"Deviated Spectrum: Mick Farren Interviewed," March 17, 2013


The armed asshole enters the Western movie barroom in his black hat and sinister gloves.  Drinking bad whiskey, and lacking a better idea of fun, he fires bullets into the rough wood floor, close to the feet of an unarmed innocent bystander.  His instruction is simple.  "Dance."  Faced with the choice of dancing or being shot in the foot, the innocent bystander dances, but - if he is not quite as innocent as the bully assumes - he will use all of his cunning to choreograph a performance that will confuse and ultimately confound the asshole in the black hat.  Either that, or the innocent bystander will continue dancing until black hat runs out of ammunition.  The other part of the trick is to learn to enjoy the dance, because the assholes have endless supplies of ammunition.

--"Ghost Dancer," Elvis Died For Somebody's Sins But Not Mine, 2012


If rock becomes safe, it's all over.  It's a vibrant, vital music that from its very roots has always been a burst of colour and excitement against a background of dullness, hardship or frustration.  From the blues onwards, the essential core of the music has been the rough side of humanity.  It's a core of rebellion, sexuality, assertion and even violence.  All the things that have always been unacceptable to a ruling establishment.    

--"The Titanic Sails At Dawn," New Musical Express, June 19, 1976

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I was an idiot clown with an emotionally dangerous job.  It went with the territory of the apprentice Holy Fool.  Days have come and gone when the only way to stay sane was to see the humorous side of nuclear annihilation.

--Give The Anarchist A Cigarette, 2001


I still have Hitler's brain, it resides in the back of my freezer

A dirty block of primal ice, the color of degenerate fungus

And sometimes I regard it wistfully

If I could just find the directions…

But the way my luck's been running

The instructions would undoubtedly be in Japanese

--"Vinnie Wants To Sell Me Hitler's Brain," 1987


The dragon has the cutting edge, the glory and the power

Hear the rattle of its scales in that quiet evil hour

It's a pointless list of questions reading you your rights

It's the force of occupation

Gunfire in the night

Protect and serve you bastards

Gunfire in the night

--"Gunfire In The Night," 1992

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"Seemingly we have a change of plan."

"A change of plan?  I wasn't aware we had a plan in the first place."

"That's the change of plan.  It was decided that the good ship Golgotha should hit a rather large iceberg and go down with massive loss of life, particularly among the passengers in steerage."

"A provocation to class conflict or a corporate cleansing?"

"Both.  No good disaster ever goes to waste."

"So what do we do?"

"I have to collect my pharmaceuticals and join the women and children in the lifeboats.  What you do is entirely your own affair.  Be careful though.  It's possible Mothra may attack the survivors and you don't want to end up like Quint."

--"Dialogue Box," Road Movie, 2012


Odquoftr dn yofutk wqea nog hrii assxdx zgg hjkj iqfrn.  Lhu oz ngxk o gnaiih.  Y tts stan zg oy o.  Ngx qrf jkuu yofutkl itk nnn-fzgh.  O hrii sgea htlak 'kii xhdgu r'yrt zg o 'd zigxio.  Y gk!  Zgfd'y.  Ilyaa oflort itk hxlln zgg ohjinfu.  Viiad'fj egrxsr zgg ygkutt wt o nasga'll fdfhert ugofu zqat.

--"Kadishtu O Oz'l," Road Movie, 2012


Just because it makes no sense doesn't mean it's not good advice.

-- Unknown Origin


The time seems to be right for original thinking and new inventive concepts, not only in the music but in the way that it is staged and promoted.  It may be difficult in the current economic climate, and it may be a question of taking rock back to a street level and starting all over again.  Putting the Beatles back together isn't going to be the salvation of rock 'n' roll.  Four kids playing to their contemporaries in a dirty cellar club might.

And that, gentle reader, is where you come in. 

"The Titanic Sails At Dawn," New Musical Express, June 19, 1976

Yes, my friends, the Ghost Dance continues and will go on as long as the dancers know the end may be looming.  Not only must the proliferation of nuclear weapons be halted and reversed, but global corporations - and whatever China has become - urgently need to wean themselves off policies of damage and destruction in the name of profits while we still have a habitable planet.  Until that golden day dawns, we can only keep dancing.

--"Ghost Dancer," Elvis Died For Somebody's Sins But Not Mine, 2012


Image cover elvis died for somebodys sins but not mine

Elvis Died For Somebody's Sins But Not Mine: A Lifetime's Collected Writing by Mick Farren. A rocking life railing against the machine, in the company of Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry, Gore Vidal, Pete Townshend and others. Buy this item»

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