From T-Shirts to Books, from Promo Videos to home-made DVDs – there have been many non-CD releases and collectibles during all those years. Read more about them and find out wether they are still available.
Yes, firstly two official releases were made:
Waiting (KLF VT007)
A very rare 42-minute ambient video filmed on the Isle of Jura, was released in November 1990 and sold via mail order only, is now deleted and is PAL/VHS only. I doubt you’ll ever find a copy. In it the KLF are filmed waiting for their equipment to arrive, recording the sounds of nature (birds, surf etc.) and then re- broadcasting the sounds back at the ocean, along with some techno. Sheep feature quite prominently. It was filmed on the estate on Jura belonging to an old school pal of Drummond’s and is considered by many list members to be “quite boring”.
A commercially available compendium of the three ‘stadium house’ hits presented as a pretend live concert at Woodstock Europa. The versions of 3 am Eternal and What Time Is Love? are different from the original promos. The videos feature Wanda Dee (!). Catalogue info can be found in the discography. The UK release adds a bonus ambient feature about the making of the videos as well.
The video is still available outside the UK, and UK copies are easy to find in second hand record shops.
There are various KLF promo videos which may turn up in specialist dealers, etc. Generally these are single video promos for TV use. We don’t know how many copies there might be of these. Non-UK licensers of KLF product may have made their own promos too. However especially interesting are two different videos of the Rites Of Mu, and a promo video compilation called ‘1991: ‘The Work’ released in 1991, which featured various promos from their entire career to date.
One lucky list member has proclaimed: “I found a copy of “Indie Top Video – Take Three” (1990 UK Picture Music International MVP 9912153). It claims to be a companion to Volume 8 of the Indie Top 20 LP/CD/CASS which is included in the KLF Discography. On it is a version of the Kylie Said To Jason Promo Video. It differs from the one found on the “This Is What The KLF Are About” compilation, in that instead of the cue clock at the start, it shows a still from the White Room Film overlaid with text explaining that the Promo contains clips from the forthcoming film – The White Room. Playing over the top is a short ambient soundtrack that blends into the start of Kylie Said To Jason and then the Video starts as per the normal. The end is also slightly different in that it fades to black as the music ends instead of freezing on the satellite dish at the end. The best things about this compilation is (a) the Video is a pristine first generation copy and (b) it only cost me 2 UKP (yes that’s right 2!) 🙂 ) ”
Then there are two bootleg compilation tapes which crop up around:
This Is What The KLF Are About
A 150 min extravaganza of the ‘Work’ and ‘Waiting’ videos, various other promos, and lots of bad quality TV appearances. Its not in stereo, and there are some patches of nothing (although these were on ‘Work’ as well). Track listing can be found in the discography as well. This video was available (June 94) from Mike Dutton, but he allegedly stopped making them a long time ago. The video can occasionally be found in second- hand record shops.
A three hour compilation which describes itself as having very high visual quality, most of the material being only second generation, and excellent quality sound, all in stereo. This is a lie. The quality of the TOTP appearances is poor, both in sound and vision, but this quality improves slightly with the Waiting and Stadium House videos. Again a PAL/VHS release.
Finally, various list members have copies of other rarities, such as the original White Room film and the Omnibus documentary, which they are quite willing to copy for interested parties.
Lately, some of them have compiled their own DVDs, most notable an extended version of ‘The Work’ that features some bonus tracks, and the original ‘White Room’ film. Their sound quality varies due to the fact that the audio was taken from the videos as well, but the picture quality is far beyond anything you might have seen in the various videos on file sharing programs or the FTP server. As these two are non-profit works, list members should be willing to do copies for free.
A few, but not enough:
The Manual – How to have a number one the easy way
The Timelords (KLF Publications KLF 009B) ISBN 0-86359-616-9
(The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu reveal their zenarchistic method used in making the unthinkable happen)
The book that the KLF wrote in the summer of 1988, and self-published in Feb 89, crediting it to the Timelords. This lays out a detailed plan for now to have a novelty pop No. 1. starting from a position of no money and no talent; it also serves as an excellent guide to the music industry and the rules of pop, and as a description of the fun that the KLF had being the Timelords, also in there are pieces about some of the KLF collaborators. The original print is now deleted, and almost never seen in shops. There are however various reissues (both english and german), and an audio book that got released in 2003.
Will Pop Eat Itself? (Pop Music In The Soundbite Era)
Jeremy J. Beadle (Faber and Faber, London, 1993) IBSN 0-571-16241-X
“Explores the advent of post-modernism in pop, suggesting parallels between pop today and high art earlier this century.” A history of the sampler in pop music. Along the way is a great chapter all about the JAMs, including a very good analysis of the lyrical content of ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘Downtown’ and ‘Justified And Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)’. The chapter serves as a sort of incomplete history of the JAMs/KLF, although Beadle is less impressed with them once they stop blatant sampling. The JAMs also pop up in other chapters. RECOMMENDED.
Justified And Ancient History/History Rewritten
Two small ‘biozines’ put together by teenage KLF fan Pete Robinson. The first is a history of the KLF ‘from pressing 500 copies of their debut single to selling more singles than any other band’. The writing is no more than a brief summary of all their exploits, but it also contains lots of interesting material including a photo of Trancentral, an exclusive questionnaire filled in by Drummond, and the Pure Trance labels. It has sold more than a 1000 copies! The second is smaller, and about the post-KLF career of Drummond and Cauty up to and including the K Foundation’s alternative award ceremony. It includes highlights from their press pack, and reprints most of the K.F advertisements.
Bad Wisdom (The lighthouse at the top of the world)
Bill Drummond and Mark Manning (Penguin, London, 1996 ISBN: 0-14- 026118-4)
From the back sleeve: “Bill Drummond and Mark Manning were involved with two of pop’s most esoteric creations: Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction and The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu. Having exhausted (and been exhausted by) the young man’s religion of rock ‘n’ roll, Drummond and Manning undertake an epic journey to the North Pole to sacrifice an icon of Elvis Presley. Two very different accounts of the journey clash and mesh in Bad Wisdom as the Zenarctic pilgrims venture forth into the frozen wastes at the top of the world.” The book is not primarily about the KLF, but Drummond does write in detail about some aspects of the band, such as how it all fell apart. It is widely available.
Also Julian Cope’s autobiography, Head On (Head Heritage 0-9526719-0-5) and Holly Johnson’s autobiography A Bone in my Flute (1994 hardback ISBN: 0-7126-6145-X. 1995 Arrow Books paperback ISBN 0-09-939341-7) feature some details about Drummond’s carreer in the early 80’s Liverpool scene.
K Foundation Burn A Million Quid
Chris Brooke and Alan Goodrick (1997 Ellipsis ISBN 1-899-858-37-7)
A very good book covering the infamous burning on the Isle of Jura, featuring many pictures taken from the film, countless quotes from people who watched it afterwards and some interesting essays by various people on the money topic in general. Definitely worth a read!
Bill Drummond (Little, Brown & Co ISBN 0-316-85385-2)
Although being a complete autobiography of Bill, he also talks about some of their KLF exploits, most notable the recording of ‘Justified And Ancient’ and the (short) history of 2K. The book has been reissued in 2001 by Abacus (ISBN 0349112894).
The original t-shirts were deleted along with the KLF back catalogue. There are various shirts on eBay every now and then, but these are either represses of the original layouts (by passionate list members) or awful prints like the one with the ice cream van on the front.
What can be picked up on eBay quite regularly is the 2K shirt with large letters on it shouting ‘Fuck The Millennium’, either as part of the 2K bag handed to the audience at the Barbican in 1997 or on their own. And yes, this is an official shirt.