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Mick Houghton

Fried & Justified


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£14.99

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A Book of the Year, ROUGH TRADE
A Book of the Year, MOJO

'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.

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