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COUM 'business' card, c. 1971.

Artist: Coum Transmissions

Country: United Kingdom
Format: Mag/Lit

Prints a statement from the New Testament - "Jesus said: 'This is my only commandment, That you love one another as I have loved you' ", with the names 'The Very Rev. L.E. Cheesewire Maull' and 'Coum' printed below. 6x9cm. Printed on recto in black on white card with gilt deckle edges. Fine.

Les Maull, a childhood friend of Cosey Fanni Tutti, was an early participant in COUM, contributing guitar and tape effects, usually under the guise of his baroque pseudonym (other aliases included "Lelli" and "Eduardo Romero R., flamenco guitarist"). As Simon Ford notes, he also "supplemented his COUM activities by burgling churches and policemen's houses" (Ford 2.6), later spending several months in prison.

In her autobiography, Tutti mentions Maull posing outside Canterbury Cathedral "in full garb" (a stolen priest's outfit) during COUM's Copyright Breeches action (April 1972), and includes a photo of herself with Maull's Bible stand in Hull in 1971 (Maull used to hand out the 'business' cards to people in the street).

The future band name, Throbbing Gristle, was directly attributable to Maull, who often used the term in the storytelling sessions he was renowned for. It was first used publicly in August 1974 at AMP (Artist Meeting Place, "an open resource for artists run by artists", set up by John Sharkey in Covent Garden in May 1974), with Maull a member of the band's earliest incarnation, alongside Tutti, P-Orridge, Tim Poston and John Lacey. It was the latter (aka John Gunni Busck) who introduced P-Orridge and Tutti to Chris Carter (en passant, Lacey's name was confused with John Latham's on Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's 1974 T-shirt, co-designed with Bernie Rhodes, "You're gonna wake up one morning and know what side of the bed you've been lying on", a proto-punk manifesto sold in their shop, SEX).