"Ragworts" by Bill Drummond

This book was printed in an edition of 1,000 copies to coincide with the first Ragworts Week which was celebrated in Sheffield between 30 April and 6 May 2012. 100 copies of the book are allocated for sale each Ragworts Week until all books are sold.

Back Cover Blurb

This book is about Sheffield, listening, seething rage, sparrows, bus journeys to nowhere, ragworts, The River Don, Tesco, pop music, wrong turnings in life, corner shops, kingfishers, Forgemasters, Bill Drummond, cultural quarters. The17, steel mills, graffiti, cracked pavements, facing retirement, Molotov cocktails, being 16 and the Norfolk Bridge Diner

And contains the following words:

I loathe the word ‘regeneration’. Anytime I hear an area is up for regeneration my heart begins to sink.

I like the opposite. I like things falling to bits, crumbing and corroding.

I want more degeneration, not regeneration…

Great bands, music and art in general, are never sanctioned from above, they are never born out of Arts Council funding, or they’re equivalent. And they definitely never, ever blossom in the safety of designated cultural quarters. This is a sweeping statement on my part, a simple over generalization, but nonetheless true. The only art ever worth having is art that has not been state subsidised. As soon as it is state subsidised it becomes state propaganda. However subtle that propaganda is, it is still doing the states bidding. I am also aware that this kind of reductionist talk, is bordering on the rhetoric of the American right.

This is something I have yet to square…

The flowering of great pop practioner is all to brief. It is usually only months between their first public stirrings and their greatest work. But that is the way it should be. Their later careers, spent trying to squeeze a living out of people’s hunger for anything that triggers nostalgia for their lost youth, should be ignored…

I would also argue, the survival instincts of any society only permit that, which will not bring it down. We in the free market loving, democratically governed west, allow for political art, because it not only bolsters but strengthens the systems that controls our culture. By allowing for it, the system we live under, can demonstrate to the rest of the world how inclusive and attractive a system we have. Looking back at what I’ve been involved with over the years, I’m probably as guilty as anyone…

7 thoughts on “Ragworts

    1. Next Ragworts week will probably happen at the end of April 2019. Until then it might pop up on eBay every now and then but at exorbitant prices…

    1. Usually around the end of April. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed to not miss next year’s Ragworts week.

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