HITS Daily Double

Mick Farren

MICK FARREN, a longtime musician and one of the most widely read British rock critics, has died at age 69. Farren collapsed on stage at London's Borderline on Saturday night (7/27) while performing with his band The Deviants at the Atomic Sunshine Festival. The news was first posted on his Facebook page; it read: "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 unconscious on stage when the venue was cleared." Another post 15 hours later confirmed the news. Farren formed The Deviants (originally Social Deviants) in 1967 in London. The band released three albums between 1967 and 1969, and Farren's solo debut followed a year later. He achieved greater notoriety as a writer, turning out 23 novels, 11 non-fiction books, no less than four Elvis Presley tomes and the 1960s counterculture memoir Give The Anarchist A Cigarette. He worked for NME in the 1970s, famously writing the 1976 piece The Titanic Sails at Dawn, which predicted the oncoming punk explosion. "The iceberg in this case seems to be one of a particularly threatening nature," he wrote. "In fact it is an iceberg that is drifting uncomfortably close to the dazzlingly lit, wonderfully appointed Titanic that is big-time, rock-pop, tax exile, jet-set show business." A career-spanning anthology of Farren's writing, Elvis Died for Somebody’s Sins but Not Mine, was published earlier this year. (7/29a)