Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty of the KLF

The KLF (also known as Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The Timelords and other names) were one of the seminal bands of the British acid house movement during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Beginning in 1987, Bill Drummond (alias King Boy D, formerly of Big In Japan as well as ex-manager of Echo & The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes) and Jimmy Cauty (alias Rockman Rock, also co-founder of the Orb) released hip hop-inspired and sample-heavy records as The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, and on one occasion (the British number one hit single "Doctorin' the Tardis") as The Timelords. The abbreviation of the band has long been a mystery; it is widely believed to stand for "Kopyright Liberation Front". Their most notorious performance was a collaboration with Extreme Noise Terror at the February 1992 BRIT Awards, where they fired machine gun blanks into the audience and dumped a dead sheep at the aftershow party. This performance announced The KLF's departure from the music business, and in May 1992 the duo deleted their entire back catalogue.

Links To Peel

Peel started playing the KLF sometime in 1987, when they were called the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, but did not seem to play their 1988 UK number 1 hit single "Doctorin' The Tardis", when they were called The Timelords. However he did start playing KLF material in 1990 and later on the group collaborated with Extreme Noise Terror after Bill Drummond heard them on Peel's show. Their collaboration ultimately led to their only 1992 Festive Fifty entry, "3am Eternal", which entered at number 44.

3 A.M. Eternal

The KLF vs

The KLF vs. Extreme Noise Terror - 3AM Eternal

KLF vs Extreme Noise Terror at the Brits, 12 February 1992.

Towards the end of 1991, Bill Drummond heard Extreme Noise Terror on the Peel show (when he was having a bath, apparently) and decided to approach them with the idea of a collaboration, having first considered Motörhead. The result was a fast, brutal version of KLF's techno anthem 3 A.M. Eternal, the premiere of which was intended for the Top Of The Pops Christmas special, but the BBC bailed out, considering the song unsuitable for daytime TV: consequently, KLF boycotted the show for the remainder of their career. The song saw a limited release on their own KLF Communications label and received Peel's dedicated support (including a competition to win copies), but being available only by mail order, and then only in limited quantities, it had no chance of charting. The two bands worked together on The Black Room, but all recordings of the sessions were deleted when KLF broke up.

The song had one last memorable hurrah, however. KLF won the Best British Group award at the Brits (ironically, jointly with Simply Red), and were booked to open the show. ENT performed 3 A.M. Eternal with Bill Drummond, who was suffering from a broken leg and (after having stumbled over his rap and corpsed as a result), closed the act by spraying the audience with blank machine gun bullets. Their publicist / announcer Scott Piering stated, "Ladies and gentlemen, the KLF have now left the music business" (despite the fact that conductor Sir Georg Solti walked out of the show in disgust, Billy Bragg can be seen in the audience applauding enthusiastically). This was indeed the end of KLF. 3 A.M. Eternal made the 1992 Festive Fifty, and was simultaneously the only entry for ENT, the KLF and extreme music as a whole.

Festive Fifty Entries

Shows Played

The list below was compiled only from the database of this site and may be incomplete. Please add further details if known.

  • 02 November 1987: Whitney Joins The JAMS (7") (Under the name of Justified Ancients of Mu Mu)
  • 04 January 1992: 3 A.M. Eternal (with Extreme Noise Terror) (7") (JP: 'It seems about 3 or 4 weeks ago Bill Drummond was listening to this programme, in his bath it was the way it was told to me, and he heard me playing a track by Extreme Noise Terror, and he had the idea of getting them to work with him and the KLF, to rerecord 3AM Eternal for the Christmas Top Of The Pops. Now if you watched the Christmas Top Of The Pops, you'll know that this actually never got shown, but I was sent an acetate of it, which disappeared into the internal Radio 1 Christmas post, and has not as yet resurfaced. So this afternoon before the match at Portman Road I met up with Dean from Extreme Noise Terror and he gave me his tape of it.')
  • 11 January 1992: 3 A.M. Eternal (with Extreme Noise Terror) (7")
  • 18 January 1992: America What Time Is Love (12")
  • 19 January 1992: 3.A.M. Eternal (with Extreme Noise Terror) (7") (Peel wanted to reveal the winners of a singles competition to win this, but he hasn't physically got his hands on the prizes yet)
  • 31 January 1992 (BFBS): America: What Time Is Love? (Radio Edit) (12")
  • 18 July 1992: On Your Feet?
  • 18 December 1992: 3 A.M. Eternal (with Extreme Noise Terror) (7") 1992 Festive Fifty #44 (JP:'  A great moment. Only 2 minutes and 45 seconds of it, but it was excellent stuff.')

See Also

External Links