The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones was once quoted as saying “We’re not into music. We’re into chaos”. Like The Pistols, Bill Drummond had been on the inside of punk looking out whilst in mid-70’s Liverpool, but eventually, his view became more panoramic. It didn’t for instance take great deductory powers to understand that the movement had musically choked itself to death before it began, but if treated instead as a set of guiding principles, here was a blank canvas on which to extend and pervert the Situationist’s deconstruction of late 20th century life.
Realisation came later. Nothing after all was more punk than rave; hijacking susceptible middle class teenage minds, soaking them with mind altering drugs, bringing them in close contact with both criminals and the authorities, annoying the shit out of anybody within five miles simply in the name of a good time. In it’s uncut form rave was utterly punk, punk was utterly rave, et cetera.
Later they would burn the money they made but, by the late eighties The KLF – with Drummond now joined by Jimmy Cauty – were regularly on our TV, always being the most subversive thing in your living room. After they mangled a British household name as The Timelords, sold a million copies of the result and then wrote a book about it, the duo went back the dormant to What Time Is Love? for The White Room project two years later. This time Kansas was truly going bye-bye, PP Arnold taking the handbrake off the rollercoaster car from right at the top of the loop. Was this hardcore, or a brilliant pastiche? Were they laughing at us, or merely proving how easy it was to become pop stars if you understood the game and the players?
It was best not knowing. Just take the blue pill and you could make it up however you wanted. Cash? No, just chaos.