Mavericks like Bill Drummond are one in a million


ON THE RECORD:YOU ARE Bill Drummond and, because you are Bill Drummond, you can do whatever the hell you like. Drummond has always followed his own star and this has resulted in a life rich in adventure and incident.

From managing idiosyncratic acts such as Echo The Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes to The KLF’s happenings, to that infamous million quid bonfire and his “soup line” from Belfast to Ipswich, Drummond has always been a quixotic character.

It’s why Drummond was on the Aran Islands the other week for the Drop Everything festival, where he gave a lecture – which opened with the line “I have a recurring fantasy to kill all musicians” – and performed. It’s also why he became a shoe-shine boy at the age of 58 (“You see, this is what is missing from the career of Lady Gaga – she has never gone through her shoe-shine girl period”).

Drummond is back in the headlines thanks to an announcement that he is to stop doing normal interviews and to answer just 200 more questions in his lifetime, with each interviewer limited to four questions. 100 of these questions will be in a new book (called 100), and The Guardian had a go at the next four this week.

It’s a superbly Drummondesque move. There are certain figures in pop culture who always produce colourful copy and are thus in steady demand. Drummond is one of them but, by limiting the media exchange, he has, if anything, increased his profile.

That Drummond began his mischief-making in the music business should not be forgotten. Once upon a time, this business valued and lauded mavericks. But the more corporate and less artistic it became, the more difficult it became for figures like Drummond. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the blanding of the music business began when the one-offs were run out of town. Time to bring them back.

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