3 September 1943
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
27 July 2013 (aged 69)
Michael 'Mick' Farren (born 3 September 1943, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) is an English journalist, author and singer associated with the UK Underground and counterculture scene.
Farren was the singer with the proto-punk English band The Deviants between 1967 and 1969, releasing three albums. In 1970 he released the solo album Mona – The Carnivorous Circus which also featured Steve Peregrin Took, John Gustafson and Paul Buckmaster, before leaving the music business to concentrate on his writing.
In the mid-1970s, he briefly returned to music releasing the EP Screwed Up, album Vampires Stole My Lunch Money and single "Broken Statue". The album featured fellow NME journalist Chrissie Hynde and Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson.
He has sporadically returned to music, collaborating with Wayne Kramer on Who Shot You Dutch? and Death Tongue, Jack Lancaster on The Deathray Tapes and Andy Colquhoun on The Deviants albums Eating Jello With a Heated Fork and Dr. Crow.
Aside from his own work, he has provided lyrics for various musician friends over the years. He has collaborated with Lemmy, co-writing "Lost Johnny" for Hawkwind, and "Keep Us on the Road" and "Damage Case" for Motörhead. With Larry Wallis, he co-wrote "When's the Fun Begin?" for the Pink Fairies and several tracks on Wallis' solo album Death in a Guitar Afternoon. He provided lyrics for the Wayne Kramer single "Get Some" in the mid-1970s, and continued to work with and for him during the 1990s.
In the early 1970s he contributed to the UK Underground press such as the International Times, also establishing Nasty Tales which he successfully defended from an obscenity charge. He went on to write for the main stream New Musical Express, where he wrote the article The Titanic Sails At Dawn, an analysis of what he saw as the malaise afflicting then-contemporary rock music which described the conditions that subsequently gave rise to punk.
To date he has written 23 novels, including the Victor Renquist novels and the DNA Cowboys sequence. His prophetic 1989 novel The Armageddon Crazy deals with a post-2000 United States which is dominated by fundamentalists who dismantle the Constitution.
Farren has written 11 works of non-fiction, a number of biographical (including four on Elvis Presley), autobiographical and culture books (such as The Black Leather Jacket) and a plethora of poetry.
Since 2003, he has been a columnist for the weekly Los Angeles CityBeat.
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