network news: where's wally? 1 2 3 4

Wally was thus a name anyone could use. Multiple names are a playful and idealistic attempt to create havoc with officialdom, both within and beyond the margins of `art'. The multiple-use name Emmett Grogan (3) was used by San Francisco diggers in the 1960s. The book Ringolevio is a biography of several members of the diggers merged together as the autobiography of one `person', Emmett Grogan. The name Karen Eliot refers to no one and is potentially everyone. In the 1990s, the multi-use name Luther Blissett was invented and spread by artists, writers, musicians, footballers and avant-bardists. The multi-using of the Wally name was abandoned by 1975 when, on the other side of the galaxy, the Mail-Artists Stefan Kukowski and Andrew Czaranowski , initiated a project " change everyone's name to Klaus Oldenberg".

on the 24th june 74 off the floor, the laughing rock an roll movement spearhead tribal clan entrenched, home sweet dome, to arthur's banner, the union wally, best mates with all, far out communication, and totally missed by the system class, scandel monger media. our father the sun wants the lion to lie with the lamb, seeing the leopard can't change its spots, energy crisis only in the brains and hearts of ahh men, so the greatesty revolution is by example, rally at salisbury plain, the henge.or accept hell confusion of the war. The name `Wally' lost its efficacy by becoming over identified with one man, Phil Russell. Russell (aka Wally Hope) was from a wealthy background (4) and cut a rather more healthy and clean-cut image than the other scruffs at Fort Wally. He had written and published much of the promotional material for the Stonehenge festival, which is said to have been his idea. Although the Wally camp was run as an open and undisciplined commune, Russell saw himself as the leader and was not afraid to march round issuing orders, not that anyone paid much attention to him. He would talk and talk to anyone who would listen. His favourite topics were the importance of sun worship and his belief that he had met the reincarnated Jesus Christ in Cyprus.
I last saw Russell, seeming rather subdued, in 1975, at the Watchfield Free Festival A few weeks later I saw a report in the local paper that he had died in mysterious circumstances. The next year at the Stonehenge festival, a whisper went round that someone (5) had turned up with the ashes from Wally's cremation. At midday, within the sarsen circle, Sid Rawle said a few mystical words over a small wooden box and a bunch of us scattered Wally's mortal remains over the stones. I took a handful of ashes out to sprinkle on the Heel stone, and as I did so, a breeze blew up and I got a bit of Wally in my eye.

I heard no more about the Wally story until 1982 when the political punk Crass brought out Christ the Album. This was their best-selling LP, it spent weeks at number 26 in the UK album chart. This was a concept album based on the story of Wally Hope.

The record, like their others, came out with page upon page of sleeve notes and posters. It contained a booklet written by Penny Rimbaud that did much to establish the personality cult around Wally Hope, as well as create a conspiracy theory around the circumstances of his death. In the booklet, Rimbaud compares Russell with Sid Vicious and Charles Manson. Rimbaud's story was that while working towards a second Stonehenge festival, Russell was arrested for possession of a small quantity of LSD for which he was placed on remand, where he refused to wear a prison uniform. He chose to defend his LSD use on religious grounds and was `sectioned' to a mental institution. There he was pumped full of huge doses of anti-psychotic drugs which reduced him to a state of idiocy. Upon his release he suffered from an incurabable condition of chronic dyskinesia as a result of his treatment, and so killed himself with an overdose of sleeping tablets. Rimbaud investigated the case further, uncovered a number of cover-ups, and received death threats as a result. Rimbaud's is an odd and very muddled story, in which many details do not concur with other known facts about the case.

But the next time the name Wally moved into media focus was in 1983 when the book How to Be a Wally was published. By now, the meaning of the word `Wally' had 'changed in popular usage and now meant `a stupid person'.

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