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The Rock Of Cathcart Zen

“Get this gutless shit out of my ears,” Cathcart Zen growled, smashing the radio with a roasted horse leg.

“But it’s popular,” whined Metz, the chef.

“So’s anal sex with schoolgirls. Doesn’t mean I have to listen to it while I eat. Fucking hippies and Seventies queens everywhere. In 1967 John Cale and I would drink a bathtub full of whisky and meth — each — and then go out into Manhattan, hunt hippies, and open up umbrellas in their cocks. This worthless, polite fucking noise offends me. Rock and roll is about sex and anger and declaring that you are alive, not making your fucking grandmother smile while she knits condoms with the Pope’s face on the side. It’s the hymns for the church of booze and pills and cigarettes and orgasms I’m talking about, not some walking colostomy bag in a bad hat singing through his nose about how he’s a waste of a good womb. It’s about being an epic fucking human being. This is why I went into cryogenic hibernation for part of the Seventies, I tell you. They didn’t mention Dean Friedman in Revelations, but I tell you he was on the fucking list right after the seas turn to blood. I was stored under David Bowie’s studio in Berlin. If I’d known Brian Eno would win and everything would sound like it’d been pre-monged for playing in the fucking elevator at Macy’s I would’ve kicked open the hatch, dug up through the floor and gnawed the bastard’s throat out when I had the chance. Did you hear that shit on the radio? I mean, really hear it? Anyone would think Elton John was still alive.”

“Um… Elton John is still alive.”

“Fuck! ” yelled Cathcart Zen. “Bring my tank out to the front of the house! There’s WORK to be done!”

© Warren Ellis 2005, originally posted on my old LiveJournal. I’ve run this one here before — and received a funny, if maybe slightly aggrieved, note from Mr Dean Friedman himself. And, as I said to him, I can only say that I heard “Lucky Stars” about a thousand times too many during the 1970s, and my unfairness to his career is a result of those scars. His website, by the way, is a good laugh.

Published in brainjuice


  1. Matt Matt

    While they’re all great fun, this one is definitely my favorite of the Cathcart Zen pieces. Sadly, popular music hasn’t really improved since this was written.

  2. I totally agree. This is great fun. And who gives a shit if you upset him, that’s half the fun.

  3. Jim Jim

    Why is it you don’t write for SNL?

    These would be great little skits to put on film.

    The SNL thing was a joke, these are much too intelligent for that crowd.

  4. SNL? Being in Britain, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode… a few clips here and there.

  5. Jim Jim

    You really aren’t missing anything. At least not in the last couple years. I just meant that these would make good skits if someone were to put them on film.

  6. I somehow doubt that cock umbrellas would fly on SNL, no matter how dumbed down the skit got. Walking colostomy bags might, though.

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