THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF BRILBURN LOGUE

The sleeve notes for the Bauhaus album Masks (1981) includes the following poem, credited to Brilburn Logue:

This is for when the radio is broken and crackles like uranium orchids
This is for when the fohn-wind rattles the telegraph wires like a handful of bones
This is for when dream ambulances skitter through the streets at midnight
This is for when you get caught in a sleep-riot and the sky is out of order
This is for when your sex is full of voodoo
This is for when your clothes are imaginary
This is for when your flesh creeps and never comes back.

The poem appears on the cover of the album This is For When Live.

And this is a ‘clean’ copy of that cover:

You can hear it recited on the version of Double Dare on the live album Press The Eject and Give me the Tape. It’s not read by the author, and starts with ‘-graphy, doubled up’ and ends with the line ‘when your flesh creeps and never comes back’. You can download the track from Amazon.

This is the only work I know of credited to Brilburn Logue, but there’s no great mystery. ‘Brilburn Logue’ is a pseudonym for Alan Moore, at this point very, very early in his comics writing career – he’d just turned down the chance to write the main strip for Doctor Who Monthly (having written a number of back up strips for the magazine) and started preliminary work on Marvelman and V for Vendetta.

The only other ‘Brilburn’ I’ve been able to find is Conrad Veidt’s character in Abend-Nacht-Morgen (a lost 1920 silent film – “Brilburn, her brother, is a ne’er-do-well who bums money from his sister. He influences his sister to have Chester buy her an expensive pearl necklace, so he can steal it”, according to imdb user Arne Andersen). Moore might have picked ‘Logue’ simply because the suffix ‘-logue’ is used to denote forms of speech and writing – prologue, monologue and so on. It’s an amusing coincidence that that speech therapist Geoffrey Rush plays in The King’s Speech is ‘Lionel Logue’.

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8 responses to “THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF BRILBURN LOGUE

  1. Pingback: Linkblogging For 13/03/11 « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I was looking for Brilburn Logue from the Mask album quote and it looks like you had the same thought and have saved me hours of research.

  3. Lyall, thanks for that. As you can see from the new blog post, I’ve been looking at Moore’s musical work recently.

  4. I remember as a some what dark thinking 13 yr old when I bought Mask that that was a great piece of cut up like burroughsian poetry and long since my abandonment of the northampton bauhaus I’ve held onto thid peice but only a few years ago found out it was Alan Moore. There was a great short film made to go along with mask and a massive poster that could be bought from Acme in northampton

  5. 1. Thanks for posting this! I found it very helpful.

    2. Are you sure it’s not Alan reciting the poem? Sounds to me like it could be him (31 years ago!), and the discography in “Extraordinary Works” says that “Moore does the spoken introduction on side one” of the “Satori In Paris” EP, the first track of which is indeed a live version of “Double Dare”.

    3. I have two mp3 versions of “Double Dare” – one matches what you say, beginning with “-graphy, doubled up”, but the other is a slightly longer edit and starts with “ambulances”. Unfortunately I don’t know where this other version comes from.

    4. Could you explain what you mean by “a ‘clean’ copy of that cover”?

  6. OK. In reverse order – ‘clean’ as opposed to one with ‘Bauhaus’ written over it like: http://www.soundstagedirect.com/media/bauhaus_this_is_for_when_live.jpg ; Ooh … I think there are bound to be various radio edits, album versions and so on, and if anyone knows more, that would be useful to hear about; I don’t think it’s him, but I sound more confident in the post than I should. I’ll double check my notes to see why; Thanks.

    Also – a re-read of Roscoe Moscow reminded me that he’s on the trail of ‘Brilburn Smorch’ for a lot of that story, so that’s another Brilburn.

  7. Curtis E Johnson

    Hi My Name is Curtis, Fires I wish I’d Seen was recorded by the Satanic Nurses not the E.O.I.C. , which comprised Alan, Chris Barber on Bass, and myself. I wrote the music and programmed the DR 55 drum machine, and played the guitars.he Nurses never played live ever, and the track was recorded at the Lode in Northampton which is owned by Robert John Godfrey of The Enid. Not long after this recording we added Peter Brownjohn and Tim and then I said why dont we lask our girl friends if they would like to sing backup, the lyons Maids were born.

  8. Marcel Lamothe

    Have you heard this version?

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