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Penny Rimbaud - Experimental Punk from United Kingdom - Biography & Full Album Download MP3

Penny Rimbaud

Experimental Punk Band from United Kingdom

Penny Lapsang Rimbaud (born Jeremy John Ratter, 8 June 1943), is a writer, poet, philosopher, painter, musician and activist. He was a member of the performance art groups EXIT and Ceres Confusion, and in 1972 was co-founder of the Stonehenge Free Festival, together with Phil Russell aka Wally Hope. In 1977 with Steve Ignorant, he co-founded the seminal anarchist punk band Crass and served as its drummer. Crass disbanded in 1984. Until 2000 Rimbaud devoted himself almost entirely to writing, returning to the public platform in 2001 as a performance poet working with Australian saxophonist Louise Elliott and a wide variety of jazz musicians under the umbrella of Last Amendment.


Ratter changed his name by deed poll in 1977, as, in his own words, he "wanted to be his own child." His surname was taken from that of the French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud, and his forename of Penny was chosen because Rimbaud's brother Anthony would often call him "a toilet-seat philosopher" (a penny being the price to enter public toilets). The middle name Lapsang was added at the last moment to add "a touch of the exotic".

Early life

Rimbaud was expelled from two public schools: Brentwood School in South East England and Lindisfarne College in North Wales. In early interviews, he claimed to have studied philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford, but later claimed that this story had been fabricated "so that they couldn’t disclaim my role as an intellectual."

Artistic life

Rimbaud enrolled at the South East Essex Technical College and School of Art in the early 1960s, where he met his lifelong creative partner Gee Vaucher. Whilst there, he realised the potential within the then fledgling pop art movement, scoring considerable success as an innovator. His works were included in the Northern Young Contemporaries, which offered him the chance to work at Andy Warhol's Factory studio. He refused the opportunity because he "had better things to do," a decision that he claims to never have regretted.In 1964, Rimbaud appeared on ITV Granada's Ready Steady Go! to receive a prize from John Lennon after having won a competition to produce artwork depicting the Beatles' song "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Rimbaud worked briefly as an art teacher before becoming disillusioned with education, and then spent some time working as a coalman.

In 1967, inspired by the film Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Rimbaud and Vaucher, both vegetarians, set up the anarchist/pacifist open house Dial House in the Epping Forest of southwest Essex, which has now become firmly established as a "centre for radical creativity."

Wally Hope's death and Crass

At Dial House in the early 1970s, Rimbaud co-founded the Stonehenge Festival along with Phil Russell, better known as Wally Hope, as documented in Rimbaud's 1998 autobiography Shibboleth: My Revolting Life. Following his incarceration in a mental institution for possession of LSD, Russell appeared to have been seriously mentally damaged, especially by the side effects of prescription drugs that he had been administered, and subsequently died. Though the official verdict declared Russell's death a suicide, Rimbaud claims that he has uncovered strong evidence that Russell was murdered and that his anger over unanswered questions about the death inspired him to form the anarchist punk band Crass in 1977.

When Crass disbanded in 1984, Rimbaud adopted a hermit-like existence, writing and publishing poetry, philosophy, essays, novels and plays. In 2001, he returned to the public platform as a performance poet, first working with saxophonist Ed Jones and then with Louise Elliott, who has become his full-time accompanist. With Crass vocalist Eve Libertine, in 2003 he founded the Crass Collective, later known as the Crass Agenda and finally the Last Amendment, a loose collective of jazz musicians, artists and filmmakers who share Rimbaud's interest in progressive, improvisational art.

Written works

Rimbaud's written works include the originally self-published Reality Asylum, a vitriolic attack on Christianity that appeared in heavily revised form on Crass' 1978 debut album The Feeding of the 5000, as a longer single and as a 45-minute spoken-word monologue. Other writings include: Rocky Eyed, an extended poem attacking prime minister Margaret Thatcher and her government following the 1982 Falklands War, which was recorded as the Crass album Yes Sir, I Will; The Death of Imagination (a "musical drama in 4 parts"); and The Diamond Signature (published by AK Press). Oh America is a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks and the United States' subsequent war on terror. It includes the line, "Give us justice which is not the searing spite of revenge, peace which is not the product of war nor dependent upon it."

Current work

Since 2003, Rimbaud has worked as part of Last Amendment on live performances and CD releases. Titles include Savage Utopia, a collaboration with Coldcut's Matt Black and other jazz musicians, and How?, a reworking of Allen Ginsberg's beat poem Howl, which was recorded live at the Vortex Jazz Club. In 2007, Rimbaud worked on a "Jazz Requiem" with saxophonist Ed Jones.In 2005, Rimbaud completed his philosophical work This Crippled Flesh and appeared in Dominic Thackray's short film Girlfriend in a Kimono.

Rimbaud contributed several spoken-word tracks to the 2008 Japanther album Tut Tut Now Shake Ya Butt and spoken-word vocals for the Charlatans track "I Sing the Body Eclectic" on the album Who We Touch. He was also featured in the song "The Furious" on the Bloody Beetroots' 2013 album Hide.

Rimbaud has written introductions to books, including for the controversial The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World. He is also a regular columnist for the Stoke Newington-based magazine N16.In 2010, Rimbaud studied with University of New Haven physics professor Matthew W. Griffiths, with whom he collaborated on a book called Tricking the Impossible: An Investigation into Modern Alchemic Thought.In March 2013, Rimbaud played the part of the wizard Yan Overton in the trailer for the novel The Laila Mythology; the part had been written for him in the book.In 2014, Rimbaud presented an event at a cultural festival at De Montfort University in Leicester.


A Series of Shock Slogans and Mindless Token Tantrums (Exitstencil Press, 1982) (originally issued as a pamphlet with the LP Christ - The Album)

Shibboleth: My Revolting Life (Penny Rimbaud, 1999, AK Press)

The Diamond Signature (Penny Rimbaud, 1999, AK Press)

An extensive interview with Rimbaud appears in issue 29 of The Idler magazine

In The Beginning…Was the Word (Penny Rimbaud, 2005, Bracketpress)

Freedom Is Such a Big Word (Penny Rimbaud, 2006, Bracketpress)

Methinks (Penny Rimbaud, 2006, Bracketpress)

How? (Penny Rimbaud, 2006, Bracketpress)

The Conveniences of Philosophy (Penny Rimbaud, 2007, Bracketpress)

Smile or Smirk? (Penny Rimbaud, 2007, Bracketpress)

And Now It Rains (Penny Rimbaud, 2007, Bracketpress)

I the Indigene & Africa Seems So Far Away (Penny Rimbaud, 2007, Bracketpress)

Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out (Penny Rimbaud, 2008, Bracketpress)

Nobody's Child (Penny Rimbaud, 2008, Bracketpress)

The Last of the Hippies (Penny Rimbaud, 2008, Active Distribution)

This Crippled Flesh – A Book of Philosophy and Filth (Penny Rimbaud, 2010, Bracketpress/Exitstencil Press)

Particular Nonsense (essay) The Idler, No.43 'Back to the Land' May 2010

View full biography

- Biography -

19 albums

Penny Rimbaud - Kernschmelze III (Concerto For Improvised Cello)

Kernschmelze III (Concerto For Improvised Cello)

2022 - United Kingdom
Digital FLAC8 Tracks
Caliban Records

Penny Rimbaud - You Stare

You Stare

2021 - United Kingdom
Experimental, Spoken Word, Avantgarde
Digital FLAC2 Tracks
Do It With Others Records

Penny Rimbaud - Corpus Mei

Corpus Mei

2021 - United Kingdom
Avant-garde Jazz, Experimental, Poetry
Digital MP310 Tracks
One Little Independent

Penny Rimbaud - Arthur Rimbaud In Verdun

Arthur Rimbaud In Verdun

2020 - United Kingdom
CD Album22 Tracks
One Little Independent Records

Penny Rimbaud - How?


2020 - United Kingdom
CD Album4 Tracks
One Little Independent Records

Penny Rimbaud - Christ

Christ's Reality Asylum

2020 - United Kingdom
Spoken Word, Sound Art
Vinyl LP4 Tracks
One Little Indian

Penny Rimbaud - Us Boys

Us Boys

2019 - United Kingdom
Punk, Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock
Vinyl 7"4 Tracks
God Unknown Records

Penny Rimbaud - War & Peace

War & Peace

2019 - United Kingdom
Vinyl 7"4 Tracks
One Little Indian

Penny Rimbaud - Entry Points. Resonating Punk, Performance, And Art

Entry Points. Resonating Punk, Performance, And Art

2019 - United Kingdom
Avantgarde, Experimental
CD Album1 Tracks
Ujikaji Records, Minor Compositions

Penny Rimbaud - Kernschmelze II (Cantata For Improvised Voice)

Kernschmelze II (Cantata For Improvised Voice)

2017 - United Kingdom
Experimental, Noise
CD Album8 Tracks
Cold Spring

Penny Rimbaud - What Passing Bells (The War Poems Of Wilfred Owen)

What Passing Bells (The War Poems Of Wilfred Owen)

2017 - United Kingdom
CD Album34 Tracks
One Little Indian

Penny Rimbaud - Yes Sir, The Truth Of Revolution

Yes Sir, The Truth Of Revolution

2016 - United Kingdom
Punk, Experimental, Avantgarde
CD Album12 Tracks
Cold Spring

Penny Rimbaud - Kernschmelze (Concerto For Improvised Piano)

Kernschmelze (Concerto For Improvised Piano)

2015 - United Kingdom
CD Album1 Tracks
Exitstencil Press

Penny Rimbaud - Two Landscapes And A Space

Two Landscapes And A Space

2014 - United Kingdom
Avant-garde Jazz, Poetry, Experimental
Cassette Album1 Tracks

Penny Rimbaud - Not Them / Not Us

Not Them / Not Us

2011 - United Kingdom
Poetry, Avant-garde Jazz
Vinyl 7"2 Tracks
Boo-hooray, Exitstencil Press

Penny Rimbaud - Oh Magick Kingdom

Oh Magick Kingdom

2011 - United Kingdom
Industrial, Experimental
CD Album1 Tracks

Penny Rimbaud - Oh America

Oh America

2003 - United Kingdom
CD Single1 Tracks
Exitstencil Music

Penny Rimbaud - The Death Of Imagination

The Death Of Imagination

2001 - United Kingdom
Modern Classical, Spoken Word, Experimental
CD Album10 Tracks
Red Herring Records

Penny Rimbaud - Acts Of Love

Acts Of Love

1984 - United Kingdom
Modern Classical, Ethereal
Vinyl LP50 Tracks
Crass Records

- Videos Penny Rimbaud -

11 Videos

Last Update : 01 December 2022                   13,718 views

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