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Bill Drummond brings new book to Liverpool. Literally

Exclusive: How to get hold of a copy of 100, two special performances and tickets only from here

Written by . Published on June 6th 2012.


Bill Drummond brings new book to Liverpool. Literally

Pic by Tracey Moberly


 

THE predictable dance of the media interview has been turned on its head in 100, Bill Drummond's latest book. 

Back in 2010, the artist and former Zoo Records and KLF luminary reflected that for years he had been asked a variant of the same four questions and thus had his “polished stock answers to give”. 

The city of Liverpool was given the opportunity to ask four questions of the author - through four individuals representing it

So Drummond decided to make it a bit more interesting: for the rest of his life, he would respond to only a finite number of interview requests. 

The first half, comprising 100 questions in all, and their answers – would form a book.  

Tall Paul: In itTall Paul: In itOver the course of that year, Drummond invited the first 25 people who contacted him for an interview, to ask him four things. No face-to-face musings over tea or a pint, only email correspondence; questions he agreed to respond to on the proviso that they had never been asked before. 

"In the past, I always had a pretty clear idea how these interviews would end up once they were published," he says.

"The first half of the feature would be a précis of my career to date. In recent years this has often been lifted from Wikipedia, factual errors included. The second half would be about modern culture and how the things I do, relate to it.

"This latter half might be hung around a few quotes selected from the recording of the interview - often these quotes were taken out of context. To me, this seemed unsatisfactory. I was either going to give up doing interviews altogether or make the interviews I gave, every bit as much part of my creative process, as the books I write, the actions I provoke or the music I instigate."



He went on: "For years I tried to have some ‘control’ over the media I appeared in by being as picky as I could about the interviews I gave. The thinking being, that by attempting this, somehow I would be able to make my media presence work for me.  

"As of the 1 January 2010, I flipped this thinking."



In the event, 23 publications made it into the book – and that's not 100 questions, you're thinking. 

No. So, in addition, the city of Liverpool was given the opportunity to ask four questions of the author - through the first four individuals from the city who he came into contact with that year.

These turned out to be Impropriety actor Tall Paul, talking about Capital of Culture; Liverpool Confidential's editor, Angie Sammons, who had accidentally emailed Bill Drummond requesting a gas bill; Deltasonic and Magnet founder Johnny Mellor, who wondered if it was all a pisstake, and the Everyman Theatre.

Drummond asks and answers the final four himself. 

Subjects in 100 spin wildly from Haiti, graffiti, art as a commodity, Abba, Goebbels and the internet, the Death of Princess Diana, Zoo Records, The Brit Awards, dead sheep and setting things on fire.

Is it any good? Well, apart from the fact that Liverpool Confidental is in it and we would say so, yes. The obvious danger in such a project is that it could easily unfold into the ramblings of an ego let loose. Yet here, the questions are considered and the discussions often illuminating, whether you are familiar with the author and their work or not (we tested this out on an 11-year-old yesterday).

Next Month's Mortgage SortedNext month's mortgage sortedDrummond's books are highly collectable. A copy of his first 67-pager, From The Shores of Lake Placid, which had a limited print run of 500 in Liverpool in 1998, is now selling online for an unbelievable £370.

And there are only 1,000 copies of 100 in existence. 

Want one? Well, it's not straightforward. 

You can't buy it on Amazon or any other corporate retailer. Instead, the entire edition - or the half of it that's left - will arrive on a pallet in Liverpool as a stacked sculpture next month.

It will spend the whole of July in the window of independent booksellers News From Nowhere, at 96 Bold Street, where it may be purchased for £15. And when it is gone, as they say...

Coming to a bookshop near you, ie News From NowhereComing to a bookshop near you, ie News From Nowhere, which this isn't

However, this being Liverpool there are a couple of extra bolt-ons. 

On Thursday July 5, expect to spot a mystery “Lone Sweeper”, a superhero. Homburg worn on head at all times; face in shadow of brim, who will be making his entrance to Liverpool via the Mersey Tunnel. 

The Lone Sweeper will push a broom along Lime Street. Up Renshaw Street. Down Bold Street, up Bold Street and into News From Nowhere. "In doing so he will have constructed the sculpture Two Hours of Pushing Broom #3."

But, says Drummond, "the most interesting thing about a superhero is the back story,” and you can hear all that - and more about 100 - when he conducts a special one-off performance - "How I Became A Superhero" - at the Mello Mello bar, Slater Street, on Wednesday July 4. 8pm. 

Tickets - there are only 100 of them - are £10 and are available exclusively from here. As a bonus, audience members get a fiver off the book for this one night only. 

100 questions down and just 100 more to go.

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

David WellesJune 6th 2012.

Mad bastard. Brilliant

AnonymousJune 6th 2012.

Booked and paid for!

Libertine DefargeJune 7th 2012.

There's never a dull moment with Bill , from performance art as a member of Big in Japan way back in the Eric's days, the KLF mystery tour with guests being led onto the stage of the Royal Court theatre as their blind-folds were removed for the first time that night in-front of an audience whilst being offered ice-creams from a Mr Whippy type van to the infamous burning of £1,000,000 to name a few things he's entertained us and or made statements with . Sadly I can't be here to see this next instalment . He hee, I doubt it's any random accident that this gig is on the 4th of July ;)

AnonymousJune 7th 2012.

From the photograph it appears that News from Nowhere has moved to a more upmarket street.

1 Response: Reply To This...
London RoadJune 7th 2012.

Perhaps that's the Bold Street in the Timelords' parallel universe

AnonymousJune 7th 2012.

Sounds like this will be amazing

Stevo Music ManJune 7th 2012.

Booked up - should be a good event - also be great to see some cool friends there too

AnonymousJune 7th 2012.

Cool!

AnonymousJune 7th 2012.

Awesome!

AnonymousJune 7th 2012.

Wicked

Star dudeJune 9th 2012.

Good to see that Bill's love of Liverpool seems to have been rekindled with his madcap schemes. But the question is will the thought police try to stop him sweeping the streets?

BobJune 13th 2012.

Seriously cool this. Just bought mine.

Darth FormbyJune 13th 2012.

Does this count as busking, or maybe brushking? Can an officer of the law stop him if he isn't up to scratch?

Liverpool WagJune 13th 2012.

It's a sweeping statement

Anton WaughJune 17th 2012.

Brilliant stuff. We could do with more like this LC

Carl TempestJune 29th 2012.

I am dismayed to find that this is sold out

1 Response: Reply To This...
Liz DohertyJuly 3rd 2012.

we have spare ticket if you're looking to purchase...?

AnonymousJuly 3rd 2012.

Looking forward to this!

Stevo Music ManJuly 6th 2012.

was a great night, and just to confirm Bill did sweep and I saw the rubbish in the bin to prove it - blog to follow on stevomusicman.wordpress.com

Mr BlowfishJuly 6th 2012.

Hear hear! Well done Miss Editoress for organising this. Had an absolute buzz. I have my book too. Onward and up!

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