Monday, August 21, 2006


Three of the legendary figures of the British Underground Press and music scene: (From top) 'Chairman' Mick Farren, Dave 'Boss' Goodman (photo by Larry Wallis) and Edward Barker, the late lamented cartoonist (seen here near Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles with Annie, October 1979. Photo: John May).

The wires have been burning on the old underground press network of late, triggered by the news that Boss had suffered a severe left-brain stroke on March 31 2006. He is currently in hospital, is making good and steady progress but his return to health is likely to be a long recovery process. Friends, acquaintances and well-wishers can keep up to date with Boss's state of health here. Details of the Boss Benefit Fund can be found at "Quids In For Boss". See also The Boss Goodman Pages for details of the man's legendary antics.

Mick will be known to many as the author of numerous novels and works of non-fiction, as a recording artist with The Deviants and other combos, and as a journalist for the NME and numerous other mags and papers. His collected works and blog can be found at Funtopia

Mick has a huge number of his music journalism pieces logged at Rock's Back Pages

See also The Edward Barker Gallery

When I was a young 'freak', fresh up from Worthing, working on the underground paper Frendz, these guys were already up there, making trouble and having fun. Mick was the main instigator of the legendary Phun City festival, staged just outside Worthing, which has gone down in legend as one of the first great 'free' festivals, which featured the first ever UK appearance of the MC5. (Happy to say I was there as part of the work crew, camped for a whole week in the woods, and it was great.)

The Deviants and the Pink Fairies were two of the main underground freak bands, based around Ladbroke Grove and Boss roadied for both and was a central fixture of that Wild Bunch scene.

Mick and Ed had control of International Times for one of the most successful periods in its long lifetime and it reflected their interests: lots of stuff on Dylan, Charlie Manson, Drugs, Gene Vincent, The White Panthers, plus lots of sex, comix, music. They both eneded up in the Old Bailey on obscenity charges over one issue of the spin-off comic Nasty Tales that they produced.
Much of the history of all this can be found in Mick's excellent book 'Give The Anarchist A Cigarette.'

Mick will be writing a foreword/introduction to a forthcoming biography of the Deviants and Pink Fairies entitled Keep It Together: Cosmic Boogie with the Deviants and Pink Fairies due to be published by Headpress in March 2007. More stuff on Mick and The Deviants at Alive Records.

The Pink Fairies now have an entry in Wikipedia. Bizarre but wonderful.

While we're at, check out the the wonderful work of Phil Franks, whose gorgeous photos captured many of the sights and sounds of that period.

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