Cosmic Brain Cover

The Cosmic Brain Explodes is a Neo-gnostic treatise on the Eternal Truth.‘On The Eternal Truth’? What on Earth (or in the Multiverse) can that mean in the 21st century? Surely today everything is relative and nothing is sacred! But there’s the point: if it is in any sense ‘Eternal’ it must mean something in all times and places. What would you do if you found yourself commissioned by fate to write a book on such a subject? That is precisely the situation Monty Oxymoron (keyboard player of the Damned), was plunged into when he was training to be a psychiatric nurse before becoming a professional musician. After filling his brain with world philosophy and literature, Gnosticism and psychology, then shaking it all up vigorously on stage, he allowed that brain to explode onto paper in a wild tempest of paradoxical ravings to inscribe the ineffable… ‘Beyond the Beyond, there is an All and everything that knows; and its knowing knows no ending…’Welcome to the Oxymoron Codex!


Laurence Burrow (Monty Oxymoron) was born in 1961 and is the son of renowned historian John W Burrow who wrote “The Crisis of Reason”, Yale, 2000, and “A History of Histories”, Allen Lane, 2007. The latter has proved to be a best seller in academic history. Laurence is best known as “Monty Oxymoron”, keyboard player for punk rock band The Damned for 25 years (from 1996). Playing in this particular band has been very enjoyable for Monty as he was a fan, and the fact that the band has evolved into other musical domains (transcending and including punk), such as Psychedelia, Prog Rock and Filmic music. Laurence has a wide musical interest and plays his own compositions in Classical and Jazz styles as well as free improvised music “in the moment”. Laurence is interested in all the arts: he attended the Related Arts course at West Sussex Institute Of Higher Education in Chichester where students of art, music, literature and dance studied the arts through the lenses of Modernism, Romanticism, and critical, cultural and aesthetic theories. Laurence’s dissertation compared the work of William Blake with that of Jala al-Din Rumi.

After the B.A. he qualified on the Art Psychotherapy course at Goldsmith’s College London: he is also interested in relating and comparing the various arts therapies. Laurence is a psychiatric nurse and works at a nursing home for people with dementia: there he recently helped lead workshops on understanding dementia, emotional and social intelligence, and Person Centred Care (which he is passionate about.) Ever since encountering the work of Carl Jung he has been studying world philosophy and religions as well as psychology: long world tours provided plenty of time to read, and to collect books from the best shops he found in English speaking countries. His latest fascination has been with the mushrooming literature form neurological research.

Andrew Phillip Smith kindly asked Laurence to write a Preface (as Monty Oxymoron) for his 2015 edition of “The Secret History Of The Gnostics” after they had discussions about philosophy and music. Gnosticism has been one of Laurence’s abiding preoccupations for some time so he was honoured to write this. Monty’s: “The Cosmic Brain Explodes” is published by Andrew’s Bardic Press. Website:

Monty’s music is available on BandCamp