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Mick Farren

Mick Farren

Mick Farren was born on a wet night at the end of World War II and has been complaining prolifically about it ever since. For the duration of his professional career, he has divided his time between music and literature, although with certain digressions into psychedelic agitprop, like editing the underground newspaper IT, and defending both his liberty and the comic book Nasty Tales at a protracted obscenity trail at the Old Bailey.

His tabloid heyday as a commentator on popular culture was in the 1970s, when he was part of what is now called (by some) the NME golden age, during which time he helped explain punk to people who still thought Rick Wakeman had merit. The next decade found him in New York City where, among other adventures, he drank more than was good for him, wrote TV columns for the Village Voice, a monthly rant for Trouser Press, a number of books about Elvis Presley, eight science fiction novels, the cult hit The Black Leather Jacket, and the off-Broadway musical The Last Words Of Dutch Schultz.

Since here in the twenty-first century, Farren, for the most part, writes only about performers who are either dead or born well before 1960, you won't find him in too many of the current rock magazines. His major output now comes in book form, either as works of non-fiction, as the endless stream of decidedly odd neo-gothic novels that flows from his computer, or as the occasional - and even more odd - CD of his music and poetry, usually with his floating rock & roll crap-game, The Deviants.

As a lyricist, Mick's words have been sung by Metallica, Motorhead, Hawkwind, Brother Wayne Kramer, the Royal Crown Revue, and the Pink Fairies. His most recent non-fiction is the autobiographic Give The Anarchist A Cigarette (Jonathan Cape, UK), his most recent novel is Underland (Tor Books US), and his current CDs are People Call You Crazy: The Mick Farren Story (Sanctuary UK) and The Deviants Dr Crow (Track Records UK).

Mick Farren was TV critic for LA City Beat and recently returned from L.A. to his homeland to reside in Brighton. Elvis Died for Somebody's Sins But Not Mine, a collection of his writings, was published by HeadPress in 2013.

Mick died of a heart attack in London in July 2013.

List of articles in the library by artist

ABBA: Abba: Oompah?

Profile and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1976

What’s squeaky-clean, exquisitely produced, Scandinavian and goes OOMPAH? The answer to the riddle is ABBA ...and here’s MICK FARREN to ask it. ...

Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias: Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias: The Marquee, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1975

The very serious business of trying to be funny: An assessment of ALBERTO Y LOST TRIOS PARANOIAS by MICK FARREN ...

The Alpha Band: The Alpha Band

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1976

THERE MUST be something about playing with Bob Dylan that turns musicians a bit...well, shall we call it strange. ...

Lynn Anderson, Ronnie Prophet, Steve Young: Nashville

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976

An Englishman's adventures in the city of the rhinestone kings. Mick Farren was that Englishman. ...

Asleep at the Wheel

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1977

CAN AN ELEVEN-PIECE WESTERN SWING BAND EVER FIND WEALTH AND PROSPERITY IN THE WORLD OF ROCK'N'ROLL? ...

The Doors, Hawkwind, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, The Pink Fairies, Sly & The Family Stone, The Who: The Isle of Wight Festival: 5 Days of Peace, Music and Love

Report by uncredited writer, Mick Farren, International Times, September 1970

2011 note: this report on the 1970 IoW festival is led off by Mick Farren but includes contributions by other, unnamed IT writers. The title ...

The Band: ...Mounties, Maple Syrup: The Band at the Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1976

RUMOURS HAD BEEN circulating (the way rumours always do) for some months. They claimed that there was some kind of rift between The Band and ...

The Band: Ten Years of Stage Fright: The Life And Times Of Robbie Robertson & The Band

Retrospective and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1978

ALTHOUGH AT the time individuals may tell you different, it's no big deal for a band to break up. It happens almost every week and, ...

Chuck Berry, 49, Denies Knowledge of the Previous 48

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, May 1976

Chuck (Crazy Legs) Berry, top ten contender for the title "King of rock and roll", has been referred to as the greatest black folk poet ...

Chuck Berry: Rancid and Smutty (Apologists Only)

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1975

Chuck Berry: Lewisham Odeon, London ...

Dickey Betts: Movin' On Out Of The Macon Mess

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1977

I GUESS it's fair to say that Dickey Betts was the one member of The Allman Brothers to come out of the convoluted saga of ...

Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The Germs, X: LA Punk

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1981

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA is always preceded by its own legend. There is no way you can avoid that legend if you grew up with the price ...

Black Sabbath - Sabotage

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1975

I THINK IT was Lester Bangs who put forward the proposition that people who went to Black Sabbath concerts derived their pleasure from ingesting massive ...

David Bowie: Changesonebowie

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1976

I GUESS that one of the main functions of any greatest hits album is to explain to anyone who isn't a hard core fan exactly ...

David Bowie: Mr. Bowie Has Left The Theatre

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1974

NEW YORK'S Radio City Music Hall, with its elaborate art deco Thirties interior, must be the ideal place to present a David Bowie show. Unfortunately ...

The Edgar Broughton Band: Magic Triangle: The Edgar Broughton Band

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, International Times, April 1969

THE EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND came to London from Warwick in November of last year and have, in relatively short time, gained a solid reputation as ...

Arthur Brown: It's Time To Use Records As Weapons

Interview by Mick Farren, International Times, October 1967

ARTHUR BROWN: I refuse to talk without the presence of my cat near the microphone. Come here... ...

Lenny Bruce: The Law, Language And Lenny Bruce (Phil Spector International)

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1975

ABOUT EIGHTEEN MONTHS or so before Lenny Bruce died, he formed a loosely defined business relationship and a close friendship with Phil Sector. On the ...

Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa: Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart: Bongo Fury

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1975

THE STORY SO far. ...

Johnny Cash: Look At Them Beans

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1975

I FEAR JOHNNY Cash has turned his back on progress once again. ...

Johnny Cash: The Last Gunfighter Ballad

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1977

THE PICTURE on the cover shows Cash, head and shoulders, in a beat-up cowboy hat that looks like the one he wore in the movie ...

Johnny Cash: The Gospel According to J.C.

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1975

IF I'D never heard of Johnny Cash and someone came up and described him to me, I can't think of any other entertainer, short of ...

Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins: Johnny Cash: Riding the Rails and Marty Robbins: Gunfighter Ballads

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1975

OKAY, SO HERE are two special double album packages from CBS that feature two of the world's greatest exponents of country and western melodrama. ...

Cher, Tammy Wynette: Cher: Stars/Cher's Greatest Hits; Tammy Wynette: The Best Of Tammy Wynette

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1975

IN MANY WAYS Cher and Tammy Wynette make up the two facets of the Cosmopolitan philosophy, that candy coated version of feminism that seems to ...

Eric Clapton: The Bullring, Ibiza

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1977

IBIZA IS A VERY LONG way from the high pressure world of first division rock and roll. From the ancient Spanish women shrouded in all-concealing ...

The Clash: How The Clash Fed The Wonderbread Generation, Made The Mountain Come to Mohammed - And Other Miracles

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1981

The winner of NME's Flatter The Clash competition checks out the ramifications when an English band's world is at Bonds. ...

Eddie Cochran: The Very Best of Eddie Cochran (15th Anniversary Album)

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1975

I SUPPOSE WITH Showaddywaddy up in the singles chart with 'Three Steps to Heaven', and the 17-year-old version of 'C'mon Everybody' once again bubbling under ...

Eddie Cochran: He Shouldn't have Used The Car 'Cos He'd Been Workin' Late

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1974

But he did – and, fourteen years ago this Easter, EDDIE COCHRAN died of multiple injuries when a tyre blew out. MICK FARREN traces the ...

Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen: Hot Licks, Cold Steel And Truckers' Favourites

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1976

We've Got A Live One Here ...

Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1976

Commander Cody: Good timin' in the Ozone zone ...

Country Joe & The Fish: Country Joe McDonald: Paradise With An Ocean View

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1976

Gimme a W, gimme an H, gimme an A, gimme an L... ...

The Crickets: Back In Style

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1975

BUDDY HOLLY SO overshadowed The Crickets that one tends to forget that they went on to produce some very creditable work on their own after ...

The Damned

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1977

THE KID IN THE PUB doesn't believe I'm me. "You a roadie?" "I'm a writer." "Yeah?" He's already dubious. "Who do you write for then?" ...

Detective: Detective

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1977

WHEN MICHAEL Des Barres was sojourning in London, going through the motions of Silverhead and other assorted, third division glitzkid antics, I always got the ...

The Deviants

Retrospective by Mick Farren, MOJO, October 1999

They couldn’t sing. They couldn’t play. They were winding up the hippy establishment a decade before punk. And 30 years ago they enjoyed their finest ...

Mink DeVille, Willy DeVille: Willy DeVille: Sacked!

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1979

Wille Deville in "services no longer required" shock! ...

Fats Domino: Diamonds and Mr Domino

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1977

"I went on a two-week trial to Las Vegas... and stayed there for seventeen years" ...

Fats Domino: New Victoria Theatre, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1976

WHAT CAN I do? What can I say? How exactly can I prostrate myself? I guess there's no excuse for a rock critic who goes ...

Lonnie Donegan: Will The Circle Really Be Unbroken?

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1978

LONNIE DONEGAN'S life seemed to have completed such a perfect full circle that it could almost prove even the dumbest hippy's half-assed theories of a ...

The Doors (part 1): The Hunting of the Lizard King

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1975

Visionary? Poet? Revolutionary? Or was he simply a narcissist with a drink problem? Either way he created a considerable legend. In the first of a ...

The Doors (part 2): Incident in Miami

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1975

...and JIM MORRISON'S FINAL DECAY. Fame may have made him crazier but the money hardly affected him – all it meant was he could buy ...

Dr. Feelgood: Doctor Feelgood: Dingwalls, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1974

IT'S NOT often that the jaded, booze-soaked crowd that throng Dingwalls dancehall bring an almost unknown band back for three encores. ...

Dr. Feelgood: Dr Feelgood: Be Seeing You

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1977

MAYBE IT'S FREUDIAN. The Feelgoods have picked up on a motif from The Prisoner for the title of this album and, in some ways, they're ...

Dr. Feelgood: Dr Feelgood: The Truth Behind The Break-up…

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1977

AS REPORTED in the news pages Dr. Feelgood have come apart at the seams, with Wilko Johnson going one way and the rest of the ...

Dr. Feelgood: Dingwalls, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1974

BACK IN JUNE I made one of my regular midnight creeps to Dingwalls in Camden Town with the main purpose of getting drunk. ...

Dr. Feelgood: It's only Rock 'n' Roll ...But it's crowded

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976

MICK FARREN bares armpits and gets sweaty (and drunk) with DOCTOR FEELGOOD ...

Dr. Feelgood: The Slaughterhouse 4: Dr Feelgood and Mr Freud (Cert X)

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1975

MICK FARREN in the Abattoir with The Greatest Local Band In The World ...

Dr. Feelgood: Wilko Not Buried Yet...

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1977

WITH DOCTOR FEELGOOD moving into the charts and just embarked on a headlining nationwide tour, one question still hangs around the street corner waiting to ...

Dr. Feelgood, Hawkwind: Hawkwind and Dr Feelgood On Tour

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1974

THE START OF a tour is never really any great cause for rejoicing. It's the end of a tour that is usually all fun and ...

Bob Dylan: An NME Consumer's Guide to Bob Dylan, Part 2

Guide by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1974

CONTINUED FROM PART 1 ...

Bob Dylan: Desire (CBS)

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1976

THE RECORD came into the office round about lunchtime. At approximately three forty-five, I went into the review room, turned on the stereo and put ...

Bob Dylan: Hard Rain

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1976

AS SOME OF you regulars out there have probably long suspected, I have a certain difficulty in being strictly objective about the work of Bob ...

Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline (CBS)

Review by Mick Farren, Oz, May 1969

SOMEBODY ONCE said that when Bob Dylan first started his career he wanted to be Elvis Presley much more than he wanted to be Woody ...

Bob Dylan: The Basement Tapes (CBS)

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1975

THE STORY goes that Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the fastest gun of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, distraught at the death of his beloved Lizzy Siddons, had a ...

Bob Dylan: Journey To The Centre Of The Psyche: Blonde On Blonde

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1976

IT'S AN almost impossible opening sentence. ...

Bob Dylan: Remember Those Fabulous Sixties? An NME Consumer's Guide to Bob Dylan

Guide by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1974

Enigma, prophet, fink or sell-out? MICK FARREN looks back over Dylan’s recorded career at a time when argument over the artistic worth — or lack ...

Dave Edmunds: Get It (Swan Song)

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1977

FOR SOME TIME NOW, Dave Edmunds has been nearly legendary. He started as the minor league guitar king of Love Sculpture's 'Sabre Dance' fame, then ...

The Everly Brothers: Songs Our Daddy Taught Us

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1976

IN A QUIET sort of way, 1975 saw an Everly Brothers revival of sorts. Warner Brothers released their magnificent Walk Right Back With The Everlys, ...

The Flamin' Groovies: Teenage Head

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1976

I MUST confess that when I was first confronted with the Flamin' Groovies, I was not impressed. ...

The Fugs: Lookin' Back at The Fugs

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1974

... a word of thanks to the guys who made all this decadence, vulgarity and debauchery possible. ...

J. Geils Band: Hot Line

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1975

THERE WAS a time, I guess it must have been a couple of years ago now, when the J. Geils band were being hailed as ...

Gene Vincent

Obituary by Mick Farren, International Times, October 1971

GENE VINCENT, after years of illhealth and injury, died this week of a perforated ulcer. ...

Steve Gibbons Band, The Who: Who, Gibbons Face the Hog Butcher Vibe

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1976

The Who/Steve Gibbons Band: Pavillion de Paris ...

Grateful Dead: Wake Of The Flood/From the Mars Hotel

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1977

THE GRATEFUL DEAD have always been a band whose work formed into waves and troughs. Wake Of The Flood is unfortunately one of the low ...

Grateful Dead: My Night With The Dead

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, May 1977

IT'S LIKE GOING back home."Acid!""Acid, black beauties!""Acid!""You got any pot to sell?""No, man, all I got is acid and black beauties."What else could it be ...

Grateful Dead: The Exhumation of The Dead

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1974

They've been slagged, slated, abused, and misused – most often in these very pages. But Hell hath no Fury like a Dead fan scorned, and ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: Empire Pool, Wembley

Live Review by Mick Farren, International Times, April 1972

"The trouble with a lot of kids who come to our concerts is that they can't see beyond the drugs. They get so ripped that ...

Woody Guthrie: Growin’ Fat on the Grapes of Wrath

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1977

LAST YEAR they tried it with Leadbelly, the year before it was Lenny Bruce, this year they're doing it with Woody Guthrie. It seems like, ...

Hawkwind: The Regular 'Wind Miracle

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1974

NEW YORK just doesn't seem to be the place for Hawkwind. ...

Hawkwind: Trippin’ USA

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1974

The Hawkwind 1999 party rolls across the plains of America, dealing in cosmic vibes and - more important in the eyes of the Chicago denim ...

The Heavy Metal Kids: Heavy Metal Kids: Heavy Metal Kids

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1974

THERE WAS a time, way back in the middle of the sixties, when the British mod-Motown bands were all growing their hair and going psychedelic, ...

Buddy Holly: Legend

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1974

IF YOU WANTED to be crass you could say that the main features that made Buddy Holly a legend were that, first, he was the ...

Buddy Holly: The Rocker Next Door with the Mail-Order Axe

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1975

IN A frame of reference where you might think of Elvis Presley as an idol and Little Richard as a hero. Buddy Holly has to ...

The Jam: This Is The Modern World

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1977

SO THIS is the modern world. I'm glad they told me. For an instant I'd thought I'd been transported back to 1965. Flashback on flashback ...

Jan & Dean: Jan and Dean: You Don't Come Back from Dead Man's Curve

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1975

Mick Farren talks to Dean Torrence ...

Jefferson Starship: Spitfire

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1976

IT WAS FUNNY, though, wasn't it? ...

Jefferson Starship: Skate Board Grounds the Starship

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1976

I WAS WOKEN up by the phone. I had some trouble working out where I was. It took a few seconds to realise that I ...

Waylon Jennings: Are You Ready For The Country

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1976

Waylon breaks thru' Nashville's blanket defense ...

Wilko Johnson: Wilko Not Buried Yet

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1977

WITH DOCTOR Feelgood moving into the charts and just embarked on a headlining nationwide tour, one question still hangs around the street corner waiting to ...

Rickie Lee Jones

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1979

About the crassest tag anyone has tried to hang on Rickie Lee Jones is that she’s "the female Tom Waits". It is also the kind ...

Janis Joplin: Janis

Retrospective by Mick Farren, International Times, September 1972

A LOOK AT A JET AGE RED HOT MAMA ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF HER DEATH ...

Kiss: Love Gun

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1977

"Hey, Gene.""What, Peter?""What are we doing in one of Farren's record reviews?" ...

Kiss: Pinocchio Reversed

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1977

From human beings to cardboard cut-outs. Kiss defy orthopaedic surgery... ...

Denny Laine, Wings: Denny Laine: Holly Days

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, May 1977

THERE ARE some people who can do it, and there are others who can't. It's as simple as that. ...

The Last Poets: Wake Up Limeys, The Last Poets Are Among You

Profile and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1978

"Wheat's characteristics and nature make it wheat. It differs from barley because of its nature. Wheat perpetuates its own characteristics just as the white race ...

John Lennon: The Snuff Of Dreams: The Death of John Lennon

Comment by Mick Farren, Soho Weekly News, December 1980

IT'S EASY IN more normal times to talk about the price of fame. By very definition the artist, the rock 'n' roll star is up ...

Little Richard: Lewisham Odeon, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1975

THE DEBUT DATE of Little Richard's UK tour at the half empty Lewisham Odeon was little short of a disaster. Possibly the person least to ...

The Mamas and The Papas: The Mamas and the Papas: The Best Of The Mamas and The Papas

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1977

REMEMBER THOSE fabulous '60s? The protest marches? The draft card burnings? All those wandering boot heels? You had to swat the little bastards before they ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley and the Wailers: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976

THERE WERE EXACTLY FOUR things wrong with the final show by the Wailers at the Hammersmith last Friday. ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers: Bob Marley: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1976

THERE WERE EXACTLY four things wrong with the final show by the Wailers at Hammersmith last Friday. ...

MC5: Kramer Climbs Back From MC5 Wreckage

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1974

NEW BAND AND A NEW IMAGE: Mick Farren in Detroit ...

MC5: Kick Out The Jams (Elektra EKS-74042)

Review by Mick Farren, International Times, March 1969

MC5 Muddle ...

MC5, The Stooges: MC5/Stooges: Panic in Detroit

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1974

THOSE FUN lovers from the motor city, the Stooges and the MC5, are winding up for another rampage. Of course, we've heard tales like this ...

Roger McGuinn - Roger McGuinn and Band

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1975

IT'S BEEN A fair old while since anyone pointed the finger at Roger McGuinn and accused him of pumping out high energy rock and roll. ...

Roger McGuinn: Urban Spaceman Metamorphoses Into Plumber

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1975

ROGER McGUINN’S return to the Los Angeles Troubadour could be described as something of a minor triumph. With Steve Love, Richard Bowden, Greg Attaway and ...

Mink DeVille: Mink DeVille

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, May 1977

THE WORD from over there was that Mink De Ville were probably the tightest and best musically organised outfit in the whole of the C.B.G.B.'s ...

Moonrider: Moonrider

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1975

MENTION THE name Keith West to anyone and odds on they'll say "Teenage Opera" and not much else. ...

Motorhead: Scumbags Over USA

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1981

Mick Farren and Motorhead Lemmy, long time partners in slime and former Ladbroke rogues, meet up in a bar in Passaic, New Jersey, to discuss ...

Elliott Murphy: Bottom Line, NY

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1977

I WAS HALFWAY through my cheeseburger when Elliott Murphy hit stage. He was greeted by the kind of applause that is reserved for unknowns who ...

Ted Nugent: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1977

WE'VE HEARD a great deal lately about how Ted Nugent abjures drugs and alcohol. Perhaps that's his mistake. The occasional soul searching high might have ...

The Osmonds: The Osmonds' Greatest Hits

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1978

I HAVE this theory that they're a totally separate (and probably hostile) species. They breed and multiply in hidden canyons of the American South West. ...

The Pink Fairies Motorcycle Club And All Star Rock And Roll Big Band: A Fairy-tale

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, International Times, May 1969

A NUMBER of musicians from various well known bands in London have, it was revealed to IT in an exclusive interview this week, formed an ...

The Pink Fairies: Looking Back

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1975

A thrilling tale of Ladbroke Grove, loose aggregations, hanging out, and falling about – recounted in loving detail by an actual participant in those glorious ...

Pink Floyd: Eyeless In The Galaxy

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1977

Depressed? Anxious? Hung-up, man? Don't just sit there, bozo – get out and make money out of it! FREEWHEELIN' FARREN winds up out on the ...

Robert Plant: Pictures at Eleven

Review by Mick Farren, Trouser Press, October 1982

IT'S ALWAYS HARD to know what to do when the drummer drops dead. The Who and the New York Dolls recruited new ones and pressed ...

Elvis Presley is Dead

Obituary by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1977

IT WAS ONE OF THE worst storms to hit London since God knows when. The thunder rolled, lightning flashed and the rain hammered into the ...

Elvis Presley: Pictures Of Elvis

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1975

THERE CAN BE little doubt that the Elvis Presley Sun collection was a compilation of some of his finest work. ...

Elvis Presley: Junk, junk food junk prose (pulpitations for all)

Book Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1977

Red West, Sonny West, Dave Hebler, as told to Steve Dunleavy: Elvis – What Happened? ...

Elvis Presley: There Is No Truth In the Rumour that Elvis Is Losing His Marbles

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1974

ELVIS AARON PRESLEY, one time truck driver and supreme rock-and-roll superstar, has been taking some pains of late to allay a host of false rumours ...

Elvis Presley: Elvis: Father, Son & Hillbilly Cat

Essay by Mick Farren, MOJO, February 1995

Boy-King/Fertility God brings wonder and prosperity to the land, is cut down but manages to transcend death... The ballooning Cult of Elvis is turning into ...

Elvis Presley: Elvis: Well, Bless-uh Muh Soul, What's-uh Wrong With Me?

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, May 1976

WHEN AN artist hasn't produced anything of note for something like 14 years, the world begins to judge him on just about anything but his ...

Elvis Presley: In Search of the Real Elvis

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1977

Otherwise known as an interview with FELTON JARVIS (Felton who???) ...

Elvis Presley: Okay, Kids... Which Twin is the Real Elvis?

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1976

"I'm gonna go infiltrate the International ELVIS PRESLEY Fan Club Convention", said MICK FARREN. ...

The Pretty Things: Greatest Hits 1964-1967

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1975

FOR A SHORT time, around the London clubs and art school dances, back in 1964, it seemed as though the Pretty Things might just unseat ...

The Ramones: Notes on Minimalism (or Learning To Live With The Ramones)

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, May 1977

THERE'S BEEN A LOT of loose talk, and it has got to stop. Ever since The Ramones blundered into the blinding spotlight of international rock ...

The Righteous Brothers - Sons of Mrs. Righteous

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1975

IT REALLY DOES seem that the greater part of the Righteous Brothers was their uncle Phil Spector. ...

The Rolling Stones: Pop In The Police State

Comment by Mick Farren, International Times, June 1967

"People try to put us down just because we get around."The Who – 'My Generation' ...

The Rolling Stones: Robert Greenfield: A Journey through America with the Rolling Stones

Book Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1975

I FEAR THIS book may be the one that could finally O.D. the reader on rock writing, particularly that flat, conscientious, detailed, post-Truman Capote style ...

The Rolling Stones: Rolling Stones, The: Rolling Stones in Hyde Park # 4

Memoir by Mick Farren, MOJO, July 1995

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, my date for the Stones concert in Hyde Park was Germaine Greer, although I remember, once we arrived there, I spent ...

The Rolling Stones: Rolling Stones: Tour Of The Americas 1975

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1975

The Usherettes at the Los Angeles Forum all wear short Roman tunics, and calf-length, white mid-sixties style boots. The outfit gives them the looks of ...

The Rolling Stones: ...We Also Sing The Blues

Essay by Mick Farren, International Times, September 1973

THE ROLLING STONES are apt to get tied in with so many images, drugs, decadence, libertine aristos of the jive renaissance, that it gets all ...

The Rolling Stones: Rolled Gold

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1975

DECCA RECORDS, even though their past form on the subject of Rolling Stones albums is not immaculate, have now produced what is undoubtedly the definitive ...

The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers

Review by Mick Farren, Ink, May 1971

IF THERE'S such a position as world's top rock & roll band, the Stones now occupy it, though it's happened more by default of the ...

The Rolling Stones: The Long Road to Room Ten-O-Nine

Comment by Mick Farren, International Times, June 1972

The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street ...

Max Romeo & the Upsetters: War In A Babylon

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976

I WAS a soft-porn-skankin' rude boy in a mohair suit until I discovered RASTAFARI!!!! ...

Diana Ross, The Supremes: Diana Ross and the Supremes: 20 Golden Greats

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1977

IF THEY weren't the highest form, they sure as hell were the most refined. The three-piece girl vocal group is almost a dying art. Only ...

The Runaways: Queens Of Noise

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1977

THE MAIN thing that's wrong with this album can be summed up in two words. They are Kim Fowley. Yes that's right. Fowley appears to ...

The Runaways: From Jailbait to Jes' Plain Bait

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1976

Q: How do you persuade five young LA Teen Queens to clean up their act?A: Put 'em in a group and make 'em famous ...

Sandy Denny: The North Star Grassman & the Ravens (Island)

Review by Mick Farren, International Times, October 1971

THERE SEEMS to be a line that lady singers have to cross before they begin to exhibit real soul. The transition also seems, to many, ...

Pete Seeger: Together In Concert

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1975

PETE SEEGER HAS just about every credential it's possible for a folk singer to have without actually being dead. ...

Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band: Live Bullet

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1976

I GUESS YOU could say that Bob Seger and Ted Nugent are the last of the Michigan cowboys. ...

Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band: Night Moves (Capitol)

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976

WHEN YOU'VE just made one of the year's classic live albums, following it can be a bit of a problem. ...

The Shadows

Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1977

Hank B. Marvin, Bruce Welch and Mick Farren chew the cud... ...

Phil Spector, Ronnie Spector: 'I Wasn't Even a Housewife': Ronnie Spector's true confessions

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, September 1980

SHE WAS supposed to be promoting her album, but Ronnie Spector’s first solo album isn’t the kind of thing that’s about to stop the world ...

Status Quo: Cardiff Castle

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1976

ALTHOUGH I IMAGINE it could be a disaster area if it rained, Cardiff Castle on a fine day is an ideal spot for a one ...

Steve Peregrin Took, Tyrannosaurus Rex: Steve Peregrin Took: Staring At The Stars

Memoir by Mick Farren, MOJO, August 1995

Mick Farren remembers his friend Steve Peregrin Took, sidekick to Marc Bolan in Tyrannosaurus Rex and pursuer of an elusive fame... ...

The Tubes: What is Our Role in the Universe?

Profile and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1977

These young people are pondering the question that has perturbed all the great philosophers since time immemorial and beyond: WHAT'S the barbed wire doing over ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground: VU (Verve/Polygram)

Review by Mick Farren, Spin, May 1985

ONE OF THE great strengths and also the fatal weakness of the Velvet Underground was that they made their greatest statements as a band at ...

Gene Vincent: Po' White Punk from the Pool Hall

Retrospective by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, February 1975

MICK FARREN traces the career of GENE VINCENT, the Rock 'n' Roll star who didn't sell out his audience or his origins. ...

Gene Vincent: Hell's Angel: Gene Vincent

Retrospective by Mick Farren, MOJO, February 2000

He looked for all the world like a man in the grip of some dark, wrenching religious experience. The contorted figure in the black leather ...

Tom Waits: The Skid Row Drunk Goes Legit: Tom Waits live in New York

Live Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, December 1979

BECAUSE of circumstances too dumb to relate here and now, I had never seen Tom Waits doing a live show, unless, of course you count ...

Larry Williams

Retrospective by Mick Farren, MOJO, July 2000

ON JANUARY 7, 1980, THE BODY OF LARRY WILLIAMS WAS FOUND lying in a pool of blood on the garage floor of his Laurel Canyon ...

Roy Wood: The Roy Wood Story

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1976

"WHEN YOU'RE NUMBER two, you try harder." ...

Bill Wyman: Stone Alone

Review by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1976

WELL, HERE HE comes again. Bill Wyman, on face value the least likely Stone to strike out on his own account and yet, apparently, the ...

Tammy Wynette: Boots, Brandy, Boots, Bouffants + Buffy

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1976

THERE WERE more Stetson hats than you could shake a stick at in Wembley last weekend. ...

Frank Zappa:

Report and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1975

Mothers albums nestle amongst the legal papers. A stereo system has been set up in front of The judge. The scene is Law Court Seven. ...

List of genre pieces

Kenneth Anger: My Boyfriend Left Me For Charlie Manson!

Profile and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1976

Hi! I'm KENNETH ANGER. Marianne Faithfull plays a demon in my new movie. This is a picture of me when I was three and a ...

Rock — Energy For Revolution

Comment by Mick Farren, Melody Maker, October 1970

WHEN I first brought home Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry albums my parents didn't much like it. They made the mistake of thinking rock was ...

That Baaad Cocaine

Report by Mick Farren, Trouser Press, May 1982

AS I WRITE THIS, the tabloids tell me we're having a cocaine war in New York City. Not that there's anything novel about a cocaine ...

The Titanic Sails at Dawn

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1976

AS YOU CAN all quite well-imagine, the letters that get themselves printed in Gasbag (or Dogbag or Ratbag or Scumbag or whatever jiveass name we've ...

Blaxtravaganza: Soul Train

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1975

That’s SOUL TRAIN, a TV showcase not only for the cream of US soul acts, but for the stuff-struttingest most fashion conscious kids on the ...

God is Alive and Well and Living Off Rock'n'Roll...

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1975

Unfurling his roadmaps for the soul, MICK FARREN, Bachelor of Divinity of this parish, slumps grimly over his flea-ridden Olivetti to bang out the sandwich-luncher's ...

Nashville - Part Two

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1976

In which Mick Farren doesn't talk to Chet Atkins, visits Opryland, views the tourist spots from the OAP's bus and, (quiver, quiver....), converses with Dolly ...

New York: Suddenly It's A Hell Of A Town Again…

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1977

And why? Because folks have got nothing to lose. Because it's happening, it's exciting, life is fun again and people aren't ashamed to have a ...

Now Ain't The Time For Your Tears

Comment by Mick Farren, Rock's Backpages, April 2003

Where are the dissident voices in Bush's gung-ho Amerika? MICK FARREN writes in fury not sorrow. ...

Rock and Western Films: My baby useta love western movies...

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, April 1975

OVER CHRISTMAS THE BBC showed The Magnificent Seven – and gave us a very forcible reminder of how great an effect western movies have had ...

Rock Mortality: They Gave Their Souls For Rock 'n Roll

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1979

THE WRITER can eventually put down his pen, close the book and turn on the TV. The actor can take off his makeup and go ...

Rock on TV: Old Grey Whistle Test

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1974

Meanwhile, in a small, cramped studio, dedicated men wrestle desperately with obsolete equipment in a noble attempt to produce meaningful rock TV for 800 quid ...

San Francisco: Who needs music when we've got the Zebra?

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1974

IT WAS A bad times for San Francisco. It was spring, but whereas in most places this is greeted with some joy – with snows ...

Shades

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, July 1976

WHEN ALL AROUND YOU is brown, burnt, pink or peeling and you're tired of squinting in the glare it's time to consider... ...

Sleaze: The '70s

Overview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, October 1977

THE MUTANTS, the dwarfs and the all night girls (that's right, the ones who still brag about escapades out on the D train, despite the ...

The Hollywood Binliner: L.A. Punk

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, November 1977

THERE ARE 70 PUNKS IN L.A. – HERE'S MOST OF 'EM... ...

The Kids Are Not Necessarily Alright

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, March 1975

Or how the '70s has seen a limp-wristed sell-out of the ideals of the 60s. MICK FARREN discusses the way the Uncle Toms of Teendom ...

The Rock'n'Roll Way of Death

Essay by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, June 1974

Death has always been big business as a perverse form of entertainment. In the 18th Century, public hangings had similar pulling power to Emerson Lake ...

Wild In The Streets

Report by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, August 1975

MICK FARREN visits the Notting Hill Carnival ...

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