KLF: kopyright liberation front    By the time Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty got together, they had already been involved in hundreds of music and arts projects. When they got together under the name KLF it was not their intention to change the world of music. They wanted to destroy it. In 1989 they brought out the single “Doctorin’ the Tardis¨. And they achieved what nobody expected. It reached the top of the charts. The song is a collage and mix of the theme tune from the tv series Doctor Who and Gary Glitter’s Rock and roll part two. When Cauty and Drummond were getting all the media’s praises and attention, they published ¨The Manual: How to Have a Number One the Easy Way¨, saying quite clearly that anybody who song which would get to the top of the charts. The music industry was gob-smacked. Their next hit, ¨The Queen and I¨, took bits from Swedish group ABBA’s ¨Dancing Queen¨ and, of course, even though people danced like mad to it, the Swedes’ lawyer tried to get the madness stopped. Drummond and Cauty travelled to Sweden meet up with the members of ABBA, but the Eurovision-winning quartet did not want to hear anything about the two strange Britons Drummond and Cauty had taken the ¨The Queen and I¨ LPs which had been withdrawn from the shops with them to Sweden and they burned them ceremonially and threw the vinyl ashes into the North Sea.

In 1991 they brought out “The White Room”. Their idea was to make a pure dance record. A record without anything from rock’n’roll on it. The experts called it Pure Trance and they walked all over the dance floors and dance charts. A year later, during a concert, they threw a dead sheep from the stage onto the audience. Shortly afterwards, at the Brit Awards, they finished their show by firing duds from a machine-gun at the audience without warning anybody beforehand. It was KLF’s last appearance. Shooting the audiencereally caused a controversy.

The partners took their back catalogue out of the shops, destroyed the masters and so on, and gave the world a single condition for them to return to the world of music: ending the conflict between Israel and Palestine. But they didn’t keep their word. Some years later, and again without giving any warning, they gave a twenty minute concert together ... each of them in a wheelchair. Apparently KLF means Kopyright Liberation Front, but the partners, as usual, have never confirmed or denied it.

K foundation

However, the partners’ most revolutionary and daring event was yet to happen. With the money they had earned with KLF, they set up K Foundation with the objective of turning the world of art upside down. Their first initiative was to create a prize. It was going to be awarded to the worst artist of the year. But their most extreme event took place on the isle of Jura, in Scotland, on 23rd August, 1994. They took all the money they had earned with the KLF music project there and burned it. Literally. A million pounds became ash in the blink of an eye. You can see it all in the video Watch the K foundation burn a Million Quid.

20 years have gone by since Cauty and Drummond lit the most expensive barbecue in history. Their events caused many debates and reflections. They
proved how easy it was to reach the top of the music industry charts. Their musical compositions/collages led to a lot of debate about copyright. They turned the contemporary art business upside down and burned the fortune they’d made without giving any explanations to anybody. As usual.