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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Justified and Ancient (Stand by The JAMs)/The KLF with Tammy Wynette

Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, the anarchic duo known as The KLF (which stands for Kopyright Liberation Front), were heavily influenced by The Illuminatus! Trilogy, three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. The three books--The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, and Leviathan--were published individually in 1975 and as a single volume in 1984. The trilogy serves up a dense, satirical melange of conspiracy theories, religious cults, alternate history, and talking porpoises (to name just a few elements), all leavened liberally with sex, drugs, and yes, rock and roll. A previous incarnation of The KLF, The JAMs, took its name from The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, a group featured in The Illuminatus! Trilogy that is devoted to sowing chaos and discord in order to disrupt the plans of The Illuminati, who secretly control the world. (The KLF were similarly inspired to sow anarchy in the corporately controlled music industry.) The song "Justified and Ancient" was recorded in a number of versions and contexts by The JAMs and The KLF, but its most notable incarnation occurred in a 1991 release (available on the album The White Room/Justified & Ancient) with country singer Tammy Wynette handling lead vocals. The subtitle of this version, "Stand by The JAMs," is a nod to Wynette's hit Stand By Your Man. Under the name The Timelords, the duo released additional recordings and a 1988 book, The Manual, which details how anyone can create a #1 single.

With a nod to Ron Hogan.

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