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Elvis Died For Somebody’s Sins But Not Mine

A Lifetime's Collected Writing by Mick Farren

A rocking life railing against the machine, in the company of Johnny Cash, Frank Zappa, Chuck Berry, Gore Vidal, Pete Townshend and others.


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That he survived so long may well be a miracle.

Mick Farren spent more than four decades in the thick of the culture wars as a commentator, activist, essayist, poet, performer, and rebel with multiple causes. Being a founding figure in the 1960s underground press, who was forced to defend his work at The Old Bailey, might well be sufficient laurels on which to rest, but, instead, he careered on through the London birth pangs of punk, the intoxicated madness of Lower Manhattan under Ronald Reagan, plus earthquakes and urban insurrection in Los Angeles. He wrote for International Times (IT), OZ, NME, the Village Voice, the Los Angeles Times, and countless other publications great and small. And as if that wasn’t enough, Farren took time out to publish some two dozen novels and create an entire catalogue of rock’n’roll songs, not only for his own band the Deviants but also for Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Motörhead, and Metallica.

Elvis Died For Somebody’s Sins But Not Mine is a collection of Mick Farren’s own favourite pieces, blistering extracts from his writing beginning with the underground press through to short stories and novels.

“Within these pages you’ll meet the likes of Frank Zappa, Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry and Gore Vidal, and steam open correspondence between the author and Pete Townshend. And, much more importantly, you’re about to go one-on-one with a world-class raconteur… If this kind of mess-around seems like your cup of meat, then prepare your relaxant of choice, kick back and dig in. The greasy ’oodlums are at your door.” Charles Shaar Murray (from his foreword)

Charles Shaar Murray

Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award winner CHARLES SHAAR MURRAY has been appearing regularly in print for four decades, and has long been recognised as one of the most admired stylists in British pop-cultural journalism. He is “the rock critic’s rock critic” (Q Magazine), a “front-line cultural warrior” and “original gunslinger” (Independent on Sunday). The first two decades of his journalism, criticism and vulgar abuse have been collected in Shots From The Hip. He is the internationally acclaimed author of Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-war Pop and Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century.

Mick Farren

MICK FARREN was born on a wet night at the end of World War II and complained prolifically about it ever since. During his long, occasionally hallucinatory, and sometimes hell-raising career, Mick Farren published twenty-two novels that ranged from the psychedelic fantasy of The DNA Cowboys Trilogy, to the neo-goth vampirism of The Renquist Quartet, and the far future militarism of Their Master’s War. He also published more than a dozen non-fiction works on topics that range from music to drugs to conspiracy theory. An unreconstructed rock & roller, he continued to function as a recording artist and songwriter, with more than a dozen CDs to his credit, and cult followings in the US, Europe, Japan, and even India. He made detours into anarcho-agitprop like editing the underground newspaper IT, and defending both his liberty and the comic book Nasty Tales through a protracted obscenity trail at the Old Bailey. He was part of what is now called (by some) the NME golden age, during which time he helped explain punk to people who still thought Rick Wakeman had merit. As a lyricist, Mick's words have been sung by Metallica, Motorhead, Hawkwind, Brother Wayne Kramer, the Royal Crown Revue, and the Pink Fairies. He died in 2013 after collapsing on a London stage while performing with the Deviants.


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