A signed copy of Milton Acorn's More Poems for People, purchased at Attic Books' annual Boxing Week sale. It wasn't until after returning home that I noticed these scrawls by Acorn and others on the inside back cover:
It's been over five years since we settled in Perth County, mere kilometres from Stratford, and yet the Perth County Conspiracy and the Black Swan Coffee House meant nothing to me. Time and geography are my only excuses. I was a seven-year-old living in suburban Montreal when Columbia Records was pushing the Conspiracy; I began drinking coffee at twenty-five.
|Billboard, December 1970|
Like the great Mekons, the Perth County Conspiracy seems fairly designed to give Peter Frame nightmares. A band that was not really a band – or was it? – you'd almost think the line-up was dictated by weather, whim and gas money. The name, either the Perth Country Conspiracy or the Perth County Conspiracy (Does Not Exist), is a bit of a mindfuck, is it not?
Just as well that I knew nothing of the PCC/PCC (DNE) back in high school – my teenage, post-punk self would've sneered. My adult self enjoyed Kevin Courrier's excellent CBC Radio documentary, Dream Times: The Perth County Conspiracy… Does Not Exist.
Old man Busby recommends it most highly, along with "The Early Days of the Perth County Conspiracy", a detailed history by Swedish scholar of psychedelia Patrick Lundborg. Musician David Woodhead shares some pretty great photos here.
Was he ever a member of the band?