July 7th – August 3rd 2016

Day 26

August 1st 1672
Death of Abiezer Coppe

“My Dear One. All or none. Everyone under the Sun. Mine own. My most excellent Majesty (in me) hath strangely and variously transformed this form. And behold, by mine own Almightiness (in me) I have been changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the trump.”
– Abiezer Coppe

Several of those celebrated during the SydArthur Festival, though not rock’n’rollers themselves, nevertheless lived to the hilt the life that would become synonymous with the rock star. Abiezer Coppe sits atop that pile. Espousing free love, free speech and lambasting the establishment with his venomous, incisive, drooling/dribbling lyrical outpourings, Coppe lived and worked at the cutting edge of the English Revolution: that time which would slide inexorably into the English Civil War. His place in the SydArthur Festival is guaranteed specifically because of the manner in which he chose to represent himself and because of the culturally liquid period through which he lived. His detractors dismissed him as a ranter: as a Ranter, he has gone down in history. Sniping from the very edges of society, Abiezer Coppe and his so-called Ranters demanded such social change that English society thereafter could never again return to those forelock-tugging times in which the divine rights of kings and the ruling class prevailed.

In truth, we know not precisely when Coppe died – only that it was some time in early August 1672. Nevertheless, that in itself is enough for us to bring this extraordinary motherfucker into the hallowed ranks of the SydArthur Festival. For under this lunar spotlight, he gains his rightful place. Earlier than Burroughs, earlier than Huxley, earlier than Shelley, earlier even than the Storming of the Bastille: Coppe and his Ranter cohorts stood baying and howling at the gateway of World Change. It was a time of new messiahs. It was time of new possibilities. It was a time of extravagant characters roaming the landmass. It was a time of cliques. It was a time of confrontation. What time was it? It was 1649. It was 1789. It was 1967. It was all of these times. And we’ve still got time.

Today let’s run screaming round the boundaries of our settlement, noting where we feel our safest and noting too those streets and avenues that make us uncomfortable.

Thu Thursday
Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Day 1: Thursday Jul :7th
Death of Syd Barrett
Day 2: Friday Jul :8th
Death of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Day 3: Saturday Jul :9th
Day 4: Sunday Jul :10th
Day 5: Monday Jul :11th
Day 6: Tuesday Jul :12th
Henry David Thoreau’s Birthday
Day 7: Wednesday Jul :13th
Day 8: Thursday Jul :14th
The Storming of the Bastille
Day 9: Friday Jul :15th
Roky Erickson’s Birthday
Day 10: Saturday Jul :16th
Day 11: Sunday Jul :17th
Day 12: Monday Jul :18th
Death of Nico
Day 13: Tuesday Jul :19th
Full Moon
Day 14: Wednesday Jul :20th
Death of Dieter Moebius
Day 15: Thursday Jul :21st
Day 16: Friday Jul :22nd
George Clinton’s Birthday
Day 17: Saturday Jul :23rd
Day 18: Sunday Jul :24th
Robert Graves’ Birthday
Day 19: Monday Jul :25th
Day 21: Wednesday Jul :27th
Day 22: Thursday Jul :28th
Day 23: Friday Jul :29th
Suicide of Vincent Van Gogh
Day 24: Saturday Jul :30th
Day 25: Sunday Jul :31st
Day 27: Tuesday Aug :2nd
Death of William S. Burroughs
Day 28: Wednesday Aug :3rd
Death of Arthur Lee