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Passings: Mick Farren of the Deviants (1943 - 2013)

Mick Farren, founder of early punk band the Deviants and prolific writer, collapsed on stage during the band's set at the Atomic Sunshine Festival in London and has died. He was 69.

Word first broke in a thread on Farren's Facebook page when David Leigh wrote "Hate to break the news but Mick collapsed on stage mid gig and the rest of the festival has been cancelled. I don't know how the old boy is but he was unconcious [sic] on stage when the venue was cleared."

Another post about 15 hours later simply said "Today was indeed the day. RIP." No word has been released on a cause of death.

Farren formed the Social Deviants in the Ladbroke Grove area of London in 1967, shortening their name to the Deviants after a change in lineup. The band released their first album, Ptooff!! in 1967 via the underground scene in London to enough success that it was picked up by Decca for general release. They recorded two more albums, 1968's Disposable and 1969's The Deviants 3, before the band decided to continue without Farren.

In 1970, Mick released his first solo album Mona: The Carnivorous Circus. While the album would mark the end of Farren's full-time work in music, he did record occasionally including Screwed Up (EP), Vampires Stole My Lunch Money and Eating Jello With a Heated Fork and continued to occasionally do shows under the Deviants name. He also collaborated in writing music for Motorhead (Keep Us On the Road, Damage Case) and Hawkwind (Lost Johnny).

The majority of his post-Deviants life, though, was as a writer, first for the London underground music publications and then the New Musical Express. In total, Farren wrote 23 novels, including series based around the character Victor Renquist and DNA Cowboys, and eleven non-fiction books. Among his music-based books were Elvis: In His Own Words, The Rolling Stones: In Their Own Words, the Rock and Roll Circus, Elvis: The Illustrated Record, Elvis and the Colonel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to Elvis, Gene Vincent: There's One in Every Town and (Who Put the) Bomp? Saving the World One Record at a Time.


Anonymous said…
I knew Mick quite well from early '67 until I left London in the 1970s. I'm very saddened to hear he's died but heartened to know he was on a stage performing with a band. A trite phrase, I know, but it's what he'd have wanted. Goodby, mate. Andy