Flatpack Festival
Film, and then some

Tamworth on my mind

Ian Francis
Wednesday 21st May, 2008 Posted by Ian Francis

The imminent arrival of Julian Cope at Town Hall next week has resurrected heady teenage days when I wore a homemade 'Julian Cope is God' tshirt, played Peggy Suicide to death and pored over his declarations in the NME. Cope's freewheeling memoirs are still a joy to read, and a reminder that Monday is almost a homecoming gig. He grew up in Tamworth, fled to Liverpool as a student and tasted pop infamy with The Teardrop Explodes, then after the group broke up in the early 80s holed up in his hometown to nurse various paranoid complexes, accumulate a huge collection of toy cars and gradually rebuild his life. In one of his more mental solo songs 'Reynard the Fox' the backdrop is provided by childhood memories of the countryside east of Tamworth (see Paul Drummond's map below), and long before he was writing scholarly tomes about megalithic Britain Cope was making up his own pre-history of the 'Alvecote mound', a slag-heap which now overlooks the M42. (Pictured on the cover of Fried with emblematic toy truck, above.)

The internet does boast a 'Tamworth Bands Heritage Trail', but there's no mention of Cope in there (too posh? too weird?) so I decided to rectify this with a little help from Google Maps (in the process discovering that you can now attach video clips to specific locations, which is very exciting). Now that's quite enough stalking, time to get on with some proper work...

Polesworth map

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