Rachel Mayfield – “Winter of Desire” 12th October 2017

August 13, 2017

Rachel Mayfield - Winter Of Desire

IMB6037 Rachel Mayfield – “Winter of Desire” released on Iron Man Records, 12th October 2017

All songs written by Rachel Mayfield

Rachel Mayfield – Vocals/Acoustic Guitar
Toni Woodward- Cello/Vocal Harmonies
Kirsty Ford – Vocal Harmonies
Produced by – Paul Robert Gray
Recorded at – Saint Dunstans Church Hall, June 2017
Art Work – Dave Twist
Photography – Ian Whitney
Dedication – ‘For Huck’

For all Bookings and Press enquiries email: mark@ironmanrecords.co.uk

Rachel Mayfield is a singer, writer and mixed media artist from Birmingham, UK.

In the 1990’s she formed and fronted Indie Rock band ‘Delicious Monster’ being hailed by the NME as a “Goddess of Indie Rock’ and as ‘exciting, unpredictable and dangerous as a ten legged Tyrannosaurus. The band received critical acclaim for three top ten singles and one album placing them at the forefront of the cultured Indie Rock scene. Since then she has diversified into Solo albums, Film and Art installations while continuing to develop creative collectives.

In 2015 her short film ‘All Lovers Could Be Love’  from ‘Venture of Belief’ featured in the BFI love season with Poetryfilm.org.

October 2017 will see the release of  ‘Winter of Desire’ on Iron Man Records – the first element of a four part Art work that includes Music, Film and Poetry –

Winter of Desire
Venture of Belief
Truth To Material
Collect The Hearts

Rachel Mayfield will perform 12th October 2017 as part of Anchor Gallery ‘Show Me Your Birmingham’ exhibition. Stage time Approx 8pm at Gunmakers Arms, 93 Bath Street, Birmingham, B4 6HG. £10 ticket entitles ticket holder to an all events pass for the exhibition.

What people are saying:

Rachel Mayfield is a master of dynamics and a true artist in the widest sense of the word. She expresses her worldview and reading of her experiences in a variety of formats. Her live performances are fluid; as an ever changing line-up of solid musicians enhances and alters her sound.  As a solitary character, dressed in black, barefoot, with an acoustic guitar, she enthralled me at the Midlands Arts Centre in 2015 with her live Mixed media exhibition ‘Winter of Desire.’  Yet, her most recent performance of this at Pcafe included: bass, cello and backing vocals, along with film and photography on theme, that added further dimension.  Irrespective of the line-up, Rachel instinctively knows when extra layers of instruments are required, whilst allowing the musicians creative freedom to enhance her songs.

Rachel Mayfield is unshackled by mere form. Her lyrics convey ambiguous imagery (reminiscent of artists such as Suzanne Vega) wide open to audience interpretation.  Multiple listens to the impassioned, stripped down, ‘Take Me to God’ will reward you with resonating hidden depths from a gut-wrenching and primeval cry on the eponymous refrain.  Check out the version on YouTube.  Her band cranks up the feeling till the epic crescendo; although her solo version has (at least) the same devastating impact.

Other notable tracks are: ‘Do, Don’t’ – a song that exposes the tumultuous and emotional conflict of Intimacy, illustrated by the simple, yet effective, use of the call and response titular chorus.  Rachel fearlessly exposes her vulnerability through her lyrics and her delicate and powerful vocals; her vast vocal range can hover between precarious whisper and spine-chilling, rousing wail –any time she chooses.  ’Don’t Say Never’ epitomizes the pain of heartbreak. With her sensitive vocal delivery and unobtrusive guitar playing, Rachel creates solace, whilst simultaneously promising optimism.

All in all, through compassionate, sensitive, lyrics, sound and visuals, Rachel Mayfield has produced an album destined to be the vital soundtrack for anyone who has ever experienced epic love and loss. – Antonia Woodward – Gig Junkies

‘Anyone who has not experienced the fragile beauty of Rachel Mayfield’s aural aura, needs to make it their priority. I had the pleasure of experiencing her soul-baring musical performance at Birmingham’s Central Library’s auditorium on Saturday afternoon.  The lyrics – poignant and moving – describe the delicate turmoil an artist must work through to deliver their craft. It was also the romantic tale of rebirth (creatively and physically) and a homecoming to her hometown of Birmingham after living away for over a decade.  The lyrics, personal and allegorical, tell the story of an artist who hasn’t chosen art; art has chosen her.  Lucky us.

Rachel performed one song, stopping near the beginning to encourage the crowd to join in the beautiful and haunting chorus. They did. It was a testament to her magnetic stage presence, that the passers by (above) flocked to hear her performance.  By the time the timeless melody was over, a large crowd had gathered and she was met with rapturous applause and appreciation.

Like the chorus of her self-penned song, most people who were there would need to see her “over and over”. – Andy Strachen 

‘An extraordinarily gifted singer songwriter – possessed of an exquisitely way-ward, multi octave voice.’ Paul Lester – The Guardian

‘Capable of soul baring, sensual ferocity. Heart wrenching.’
Katatonic Magazine

‘Singer, songwriter extraordinair.’
Tony Moran – The Sutton Observer

Rachel Mayfield is one of the most important women in contemporary music. She is a bruised yet strangely sensous woman.’
Andrew Field – Anthem

‘Star of the show, a rock deity whose free falling voice is a wonder to behold.’
Cumbernauld News

‘Mayfield’s voice is to sigh for, full of pure, unforced beauty.’
Whats On

‘An ambiguous, heady brew of power, politics, pleasure and personality all rolled into one.’
Redbrick – Student Magazine

‘I F…ing Love this singer’
Sarah Henderson – GWR FM Swindon

‘Pleasure with Brains.’
Buzz Factory

‘A magnetic, transfixing stage presence. The lady has everything; a totally individual sound and a personality that dominates centre stage like the innocent but knowing eye of a technicolour hurricane.’
Steve Morris – Brum Beat

‘Emphatic, Balanced, Artistry.’
Nicholas Manthorpe – Evening News

‘Rachel’s Mayfield’s voice is Swooping, demanding, pleading but always seductive.’
Cornwall College – Student Magazine

‘Rachel flings her head back, opens her mouth and this voice unleashes itself in all it’s
just controlled, terrifying beauty.’
Sarra Manning – NME

‘Mayfield’s voice is infused with an unmistakeable and exhilarating passion which sends a shiver down the spine.’
Making Waves – Oxford

‘Raw energy and well balanced sensitivity.’
Leon Burakowski – Dudley Chronicle

‘Rachel Mayfield has wit and nerve.’
Time Out – London

The only way to support a revolution…..

December 23, 2016

Looking back on this year, Iron Man Records has had an interesting one. Three recurring themes emerged.

“The only way to support a revolution is to make your own” — Abbie Hoffman, Woodstock Nation.

“Reality is not enough; we need nonsense too. Drifting into a world of fantasy is not an escape from reality but a significant education about the nature of life.” Edmund Miller, Lewis Carroll Observed

“It’s dangerous to understand new things too quickly” — Josiah Warren, True Civilization

Make of that what you will. Some of the significant things that happened this year included:

Seth Faergolzia of Dufus brought his new band Multibird to Europe on Tour.

John Sinclair published a book called It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader.  Stories of tragedy and triumph that will take you on a trip through the Wonder Years with music lyrics and poetry. Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone attempted to find out how to live a psychedelic life with the poet and activist John Sinclair as BBC Music’s My Generation celebrated the 1960s.

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy was released on Iron Man Records, 23rd April, 2016.

In the early hours of 10th April 2016, Howard Marks died peacefully in his sleep. Iron Man Records had the pleasure of meeting, working with and listening to Howard Marks. He really was exactly as you would hope: A truly decent bloke, funny, humble and just Mr Nice. His life and work will live on…..“You might control a lot of things Drugs Tsar, but you’ll never control my mind…..” Howard Marks from the song Let Me Grow More Weed he recorded with P.A.I.N

Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt was released on Iron Man Records, 23rd June, 2016

The entire Iron Man Records music catalogue was made available on Bandcamp. To start with all releases are £5 or you can Stream the releases and listen for free. All Releases are available on most of the download and streaming platforms already but for those of you who want an alternative to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Youtube, Facebook and all the other main providers, Bandcamp seems good.

Some people wonder what on earth I do for a living. Well, I earn money working as a Tour Manager and I spend all of it keeping Iron Man Records going. I spend the rest of my time trying to stay sane, despite serious provocation from people who are totally convinced or totally stupid, and often both at the same time. Have a read and make up your own mind: Back In Five Years  and My life is a pile of receipts in a deserted restaurant on a cross channel ferry

Simon Reeves at Framework Studio spent three days recording Oliver Senton reading Cosmic Trigger 1 by Robert Anton Wilson for a forthcoming audio book. Iron Man Records somehow managed to neglect it’s responsibilities to The Cosmic Trigger play but was happy to help see Oliver Senton looked after during these recordings.

Test pressings arrived for John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient which includes a beautiful recording of Howard Marks’ last lost words called War On Drugs with an ambient soundscape masterpiece from Youth…and also Police Bastard – Confined. Both records will be released in 2017.

But these things wouldn’t have happened without the money burning antics of Iron Man Records Patrons and people like you supporting the madness and getting involved.

Iron Man Records has ambitious plans to make a big impact in 2017. And with Patrons helping out, I feel positive we can make a big change. I guarantee there will be no funding appplications, no idiotic culture bids, no creative consultants, no government, business or arts advice types involved. Just you, me, musicians, madness and music.

If you want to contribute, have a look in the shop before you go: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com

Thanks again for all your support and have a fun Christmas.

Cheers Mark

Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt

June 15, 2016

Robert Anton Wilson - Meets Steve "Fly Agaric" Pratt 1600 x 1600

WORDS: Robert Anton Wilson and Steve ‘Fly Agaric 23’ Pratt

MUSIC: Steve Fly, Tim Egmond, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, Rick Rasa, Hagbard Celine, Garaj Mahal.

ARTWORK: CHU

PRODUCED BY: Mark Sampson and Steve Fly Pratt

MASTERED BY: Simon Reeves at Framework Studios, Birmingham

RELEASED on IRON MAN RECORDS June 23rd 2016.

Special thanks to: Robert Anton Wilson, Christina Pearson, Rick Rasa, Chu, Mark Sampson, Kai Eckhardt, Matt Black, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, Paul Krassner, John Sinclair, Tim Egmond, Toby Philpott, Prop Anon, Nick Larson, Caleb Selah, Pete Maybe, Jenni Vyskocil, Faustin Bray, Bob Tesch, Lance Bauscher, Jack Sarfatti, Nigel Blunt, UB40, Robin Johnson, Tom Jackson, Raymond Wiley, Daisy Eris Campbell, Janne Svensson, Gregory James, Ben Kappel, Brien Harvey, the Maybe Logic Academy staff and students.

While getting firmly hooked on the series of Cosmic Trigger books during the mid 1990s, I literally dreamed of meeting the mysterious author, Dr Robert Anton Wilson. He was an early anarchist hero to me, a truly free man, and he remains one of the funniest scientific philosophers of all time. And yet, he, and his great works remain underground for the most part, bubbling away beneath the surface, patiently awaiting rediscovery and reenactment by brave new readers from next generations and with fresh interpretations. I hope this recording can introduce his ideas to at least one such reader. We need to act on his wisdom now!

After an auspicious solar eclipse experience in August, and a house fire in December moments before the millennium fever of 1999 went into overdrive, i had a rare moment of clarity, and decided to sell my prized turntables and scrape the money together for a ticket to go and see this guy for myself. Only six days after the sad passing of Terence Mckenna, i set off to New York where i next caught the Greyhound bus to New mexico, and my destination, the so called the ‘Prophets Conference’ only two days before my 24th birthday.

Little did i know that RAW had fallen ill that week due in part to his post polio syndrome, together with the grief of losing his lifelong companion, writer and activist Arlen Riley Wilson. The announcer at the conference informed the crowd Bob would not make it, and i went into an altered state of total shock awareness. 

 After the conference was over i straddled that Greyhound up to San Francisco and fell in awe of the San Francisco bay area. I hung out at Wired Magazine radio station, worked for Sound Photo Synthesis, jammed on turntables with jam jazz super group Garaj Mahal. Plus i met Dr John Lilly, Jack Sarfatti, Saul Paul Sirag, and some other friends and associates of RAW, all  seemingly by happy coincidence most of them were presenting at the Guilding The Lilly event at 3220 Sacremento street.

PROPHETS CON

When my visa time limit came up, unlike Columbus, I returned to the UK. One memorable summer day in 2000 i received an email from the Prophets Conference asking if i would like to be a carer for Bob during his next lecture in Palm Springs, 16-18th December 2000. I eagerly responded ‘yes’ and started to save up my dole money.

Bob’s fine lecture at Palm Springs can be viewed on youtube and you can hear him say at one point “I had a Manhattan with my lunch” which i purchased for him when sat together with Paul Krassner and his wife Nancy before his show. This may have led to him using slightly more taboo words than usual, which became part of the reason why the conference wrote him a letter explaining that they had received complaints about his language! and were unwilling to invite him to any more conferences, unless he more or less cleaned up his act. For fucks sake.

 Bob writes about this in his book T.S.O.G: The Thing That Ate The Constitution. I was sacked from the Prophets Conference a few months before Bob. My crime was much less punk rock, i failed to get Bob to the stage with adequate time to spare before he was scheduled to speak, which set a few people panicking and resulted in the boss lady of the conference screaming at me in front of Bob.

After his lecture, Bob gestured me over and invited me up to his room to conduct an interview, which i hinted at earlier. This was partly due, i think, to the fact that he saw how badly i was disgraced earlier and so took a little pity on me. I gifted Bob with a copy of the “The Stargate Conspiracy”, a pretty lame book in retrospect, but a text i figured he should take a look at as he had a few mentions in it, along with almost everybody else at the fringes of paranormal and psychic research in the 1970s.

I offered Bob some dried mushrooms picked at my local spot called Wychbury Hill. He gracefully passed on them with a kind smile and nod. They didn’t go to waste though, years later while reading an article by Richard Metzger (Dangerous Minds) who visited Bob’s room shortly after my interview–i discovered Richard ate the shrooms’ and reported that they were good and strong. Success. His friend Alex Burns, also from Disinformation, managed to get us all super high with some High Times Cannabis Cup winning weed, named William’s Wonder.

CAPITOLA

I pressed the button for the apartment number Bob had sent and waited, and waited…and after what seemed like an eternity i heard the crackle of the intercom and a familiar voice “yes”.

“It’s fly agaric, erm’, i was in touch with you by email about coming down to visit”. After another long pause he said “So…do you wanna’ come in then?” “Yeah, sure” i said, and he buzzed open the steel gate. I walked around the small inner garden area, up some steps to the front door which was already ajar. I stepped through the door.

Once through I slipped my shoes off and walked past his study on the right, and his small library area to the left. He was sitting on a couch, next to some large sliding doors, with a fresh clear view looking out over the Monterey bay. “Hi Bob, thanks for having me over.”

“Would you be so kind as to grab me a coffee, it’s in the pot” he said. “Sure”. I fetched a mug, which had a quote from Hannibal Lecter printed on it, filled it with black coffee and set it down on the table, sitting opposite Bob. “Thanks, fly. So, you’re going to make a recording right?” he asked. “yeah, if that’s cool with you.” I unpacked my minidisc recorder, and set up the microphone on the table.

The apartment reflected a humble man, with moderate furnishings, a couch, two chairs, a television set, stereo, coffee table and a dresser decorated in what looked to me like traditional Japanese artefacts. There were framed pictures hanging up and ornaments that indicated this really was Bob’s residence. On my way out I recall seeing a certificate from a UFO convention, plus I’ll never forget the cute Loch Ness monster ornament laying out on top of the cable box, which at one point during the interview he politely asked me to straighten out for him.

We had two smoke breaks out on the balcony, where i kissed the sky with a specially rolled up bomber. Bob passed my offer due to already feeling high as a mountain goat on his marijuana brownies, which he consumed for medical purposes to help relieve the pain from post polio syndrome. It would be fair to say we were both pretty high and cheerful. I went the whole nine yards and cracked open a four pack of guinness, which was probably a mistake due to the slight fogging of my memory caused by the alcohol.

Bob talked and talked, weaving his unique prose to my unrehearsed questions, turning them into delightful examples of his unique mind at play. He mixed hilarious tales with some serious facts and produced his unmistakable discordian dance of delicate metaphors. There were times when my mouth opened and nothing came out, due to my processing what he had previously said. I had to remain mindful not to interrupt or talk over him, which i’m prone to do at times. There seems nothing worse to me than an interviewer who can’t listen, and sings the eternal song of “I”.

The audio interview is regrettably only the first half of the full recording, the other half of which remains lost in an ocean of badly indexed minidiscs. Fortunately, i made a transcription of the full recording, which was published at the Maybe Logic Quarterly magazine in 2008. However during the interview my disc space ran out, but we carried on talking for at least another 45 minutes. Hence my regret at getting half drunk. Some of the subject matter i recall from that chat included Saul Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner, David Bohm and the Physics Consciousness Research Institute. He commented at length on 9/11 describing a friends experiences in New York, and the high weirdness that day, and the days that followed. I talked about some of my musical projects, about Garaj Mahal, graffiti art, Ninjatune and my fascination with jazz and synchronicities connected to the music John Coltrane.

Robert Anton Wilson Meets Steve Fly

I was made to feel welcome during the 3-4 hour visit, and Bob did not whinge or complain once. I only felt him get slightly agitated during the interview after i blindly asked him a series of four readymade questions from somebody else, the last of which was “how do you plan to take physical action?” which, when i said it, sounded rather inappropriate for a man suffering from post polio syndrome most his life, and who uses a wheelchair to get around. It hit a small nerve, he coughed and raised his voice a little “I don’t mean to ball you out but, it’s just that i hear that kind of question a lot.” He went on to describe how he attends protests and gatherings when he can get a ride there, and contributes to Amnesty International.

In 2015 I was digging for a minidisc of DJ Fly material for use on my Fly By Night radio shows, produced for Radio Free Amsterdam. While sifting through the discs I noticed one with writing in light pencil that read: R.A.W 10th September 2002. I popped it into the player, and to my delight it was the first half of the interview. I edited and boosted the sound files to the best of my ability, and added a selection of music from friends and past collaborators, resulting in what you hear right here.

I uploaded two short excerpts from the interview to my Soundcloud account and was planning to release the other parts when a friend, Mark Sampson of Iron Man Records, stepped up. In March 2016 Mark kindly offered to master the audio and release it on his independent record label Iron Man Records. So the circle is complete and I hope you enjoy the words and music. Long live the optimists.

– Steve Fly, June 2016

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy

April 21, 2016

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle - Occupy 1600x1600

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy – Released on Iron Man Records, 23rd April, 2016.

All songs written and composed by Dr Marshmallow Cubicle (Pino and Pratt) lyrics by Steve Fly. All music recorded by Kasper at Kasper Studios 2010. Additional vocals, scratches and overdubs recorded and mixed by Tim Egmond at Ei-Complex studios, 2011/2012. Mastered by Simon Reeves at Framework Studios, Birmingham, March, 2016.

Vicente Pino – Guitars, Bass and Vocals
Steve Fly Pratt – Drums, Scratches
Miss Marshmallow – Vocals
Creature of Rebelmatic – Vocals (Let’s Go Get Em’)
Mark Sampson – Executive Producer
All Rights Reversed – Iron Man Records 2016

The band formed in Amsterdam 2007 and played at local venues and festivals, including The Nieuwe Anita, Cafe’ Batavia, The Buurvrouw, Magneet Festival, Queens Day, Pacific Parc West, The Pick Up Club, CCC, The Oki, Cafe Zen, Eddie The Eagle Museum, Blijburg.

Vicente Pino has played guitar since a young age coming up in Venezuela playing everything from thrash to Django Reinhardt. Since moving to settle in the Netherlands, Pino has played in dozens of bands, performing many hundreds of shows. As the co-founder of the beloved band ‘Supercity’, he has helped write and produce 2 albums, and remains the central axis of energy for the band. Another project, ‘Pino and the Bluebirds’ is well worth tracking down, and playing at high volume.

Steve Fly Pratt is a drummer and DJ, who met up with Vicente after moving to Amsterdam in 2007, thanks to a mutual friend. Fly wrote the lyrics to all the songs on this album, while the music was teased out between both of them, together with the priceless feedback from Tim Egmond at the controls.

Vicente and Steve Fly have worked together with their friend and poet John Sinclair, and initiated into the prestigious open ended ‘Blues Scholars’ an international collective of musicians who play together with John. The Amsterdam Blues Scholars recorded an album together in 2010. And they both joined with New Orleans pianist and composer Tom Worrel, and virtuoso bassist and composer Leslie Lopez to record ‘Let’s Go Get Em’ in 2011. In 2011 and 2012 The Blues Scholars performed as a part of the 24th and 25th High Times Cannabis Cup celebrations. All of which can be found on youtube.

Occupy is the first studio album by Steve Fly and Vicente Pino a.k.a Dr Marshmallow Cubicle. In 2009 DMC joined with vocalist Miss Marshmallow for live shows, and this Occupy album. She can be heard singing on Stop The Cuts, Bluezero and Thoughts.

The DMC duo follow an improvisational framework, always inventing and moving the music in perpetually new directions. Polyrhythmic drums kick out a scatter shot across the layers of analogue feedback, loops and roughneck guitar playing. A species of experimental breakbeat punk, DMC explore many tempos and harmonic environments on the fly.

Occupy captures the various influences in the band, noticeably drum and bass, funk metal, blues and jazz. Plus the name of the album captures the brief period in 2011 when for just a moment, seemingly, global citizens united under a movement to stand up the the big bully banks, major corporations and corrupt government. “Occupy your mind” encourages you to owning your own thoughts.

Special thanks: Vicente Pino, Tim Egmond, Mark Sampson, Miss Marshmallow, John Sinclair, Creature, Kasper, Chu, Saskia Smitt, Ivo Sprey, Leah Blits, Prop Anon, William Sutton, Daniel Bruggman, Dan Dewitte, Janne Svensson, Pim, Oscar Jan, Simon Reeves at Framework Studios.

DR MARSHMALLOW CUBICLE – OCCUPY
Total Running time (68.00 mins) 10 album tracks and 9 extras

1. Occupy

2. Stop The Cuts

3. Banksterdem

4. Law Of Acceleration

5. Silhouette

6. Thoughts

7. Let’s Go Get ‘Em [feat. Creature of Rebelmatic]

8. Bluzero

9. Lovebox

10. Coffeeshopalypse

11. Occupy [Instrumental]

12. Stop The Cuts [Instrumental]

13. Banksterdem [Instrumental]

14. Silhouette Taka

15. Let’s Go Get ‘Em

16. Thoughts [Instrumental]

17. Bluzero [Instrumental]

18. Lovebox [Instrumental]

19. The Law Of Acceleration

DMC Youtube Playlist
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3B69EE4E5EBE2716

FB Group
https://www.facebook.com/DOCTOR-MARSHMALLOW-CUBICLE-SYBLINGS-285448185020/

TC Lethbridge – 2000TC – Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On


March 7, 2016

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs

Long, long ago in in the deep forgotten past, three musicians came together in an ancient landscape and made music that drifted away, seemingly lost for all time.

This was in Wiltshire around 1992, to be more precise.
2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

The band was TC Lethbridge. It contained Doggen and Kev Bales from Spiritualized/Brain Donor and the artist Flinton Chalk. The band did not last long – they imploded before they had even played their first gig. But something happened to these musicians as they practiced, wrote and recorded in the Neolithic village of Avebury in the early nineties. They were marked by the experience.

The album they were recording as they fell apart was a project that always required closure. Two decades needed to pass before the politics and damaged relationships created by the band’s collapse could allow this to happen. In 2014 that album, 2000TC by TC Lethbridge, was finally mixed by the band from the original tapes and released on Iron Man Records.

T.C. Lethbridge - Band photo

One of those fascinated by the legend of this lost album was the author John Higgs. The Quietus has said that Higgs’ last book The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds “might well be the best music book of the 2010s”. In The Guardian Dorian Lynskey described it as “like Adam Curtis brainstorming with Thomas Pynchon”, and Alexis Petridis called it “a thing of endlessly fascinating, utterly demented genius.” Alan Moore has said that Higgs’ next book Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, to be published in August 2015, is “an illuminating work of massive insight, I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly.”

Such was the lure of the TC Lethbridge story that Higgs set about writing another book, 2000TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, “in order to understand the drive, integrity and ambition of the young musicians in that Avebury hall”. This makes TC Lethbridge the only band to have a biography written about them before they had even gigged. In keeping with the unobtainable, mythic nature of the band, Higgs published this book in a limited run of only 111 copies. It is not for sale and there are no plans to make it available in any other format.

The book was published to mark an event that was for a long time considered unthinkable: TC Lethbridge played their first gig over the night on November 22-23rd 2014, at the Robert Anton Wilson festival and Cosmic Trigger play in Liverpool, hours after being presented with copies of this book.

This, then, is the story of TC Lethbridge up until that point. They are now an active live band whose three albums – the once-lost 2000TC, their first album Moon Equipped and their instrumental CD Mina – have all been made digitally available.

If this is their past, then what is their future? Perhaps that is a myth that has yet to be written.

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC, Mina and Moon Equipped released 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records

A.O.S.3 – Far and Few (OUT NOW on CD / LP / Digital Download)

December 1, 2015

A.O.S.3 - Far and Few (CD / LP / Digital Download)

“The Long Threatened Mythical 3rd A.O.S.3 LP – It only took twenty years, but we think it was worth the wait – a hugely revitalised A.O.S.3 take a journey down to the Waters Edge, almost certainly the best LP yet from the Sunderland Dub Punk pioneers.”

A.O.S.3 – Far and Few released 13th November, 2015

Members of A.O.S.3 on this recording: John Horabin, Colin Cumpson, Andy Brown, Kev Peberdy, Sam Goddard, Penny Layden, Oska ‘Shithands’ Hogg

Lyrics – John Horabin
Recording and Mixing – Sam Goddard
Art Direction – John Horabin
Cover painting – Drea Blackbird
Other writing credits – Chris Williams, Matt Pritchard
Rear cover Photo – Jef Hardy

Tracklisting:
1. Break Break Break 00:39
2. Ritalin 02:52
3. Living In a Barcode 05:19
4. Last of the Summer of 77 04:04
5. Goodnight John 03:38
6. Boy Who Cried 06:21
7. Free Hat 03:41
8. Friendly Fire 04:07
9. Dred-it 03:52
10. Churchill 03:24
11. Waters Edge 02:50
12. Sinking Sands 04:33

https://aos3.bandcamp.com/album/far-and-few-digital-download-vinyl-pre-order-lp

https://www.facebook.com/AOS3official/

Police Bastard – Dead To The World – Digital Release (23rd November 2015)

September 5, 2015

Police Bastard - Dead To The World

IMB6020

POLICE BASTARD – Dead To The World

Digital Release on Iron Man Records, 23rd November, 2015

(Available to pre-order with 6 advance tracks from 23rd September 2015)

Tracklisting:

1 Thug Nation
2 Mental Slave
3 Sweatin’ Green
4 Mandatory Suicide
5 Death To The Unbelievers
6 Powerless
7 No Security
8 Enslaved
9 Second Skin
10 A Lesson In Human Control
11 Gulf War Syndrome
12 I Crush Worlds
13 Death Of Meaning
14 Dead To The World
15 Second Skin (Remix)
16 Relationshit

Members of Police Bastard on these recordings:


John – Guitar/Vocals
Pid – Vocals on tracks 9 to 12
Dan – Guitar
Dee – Bass
Clive – Drums

Cover Art by Lee Dowling

All songs by Police Bastard except track 4 lyrics by Araya, music by Hanneman and King

Tracks 1 to 5, 9 to 12 recorded at Jigsaw, Peterborough by Tom Savage
Tracks 6 to 8 recorded at Fantom Brothers studio, Tempere, Finland.
Tracks 13 to 15 recorded at Rich Bitch, Birmingham by Greg Chandler.

Tracks 1 to 5 originally released as the Cursed Earth EP on Twisted Chords in 2001.
Tracks 6 to 8 originally released on the Split EP with Unkind on Fight Records in 1999.
Tracks 9 to 12 originally released as the Gulf War Syndrome EP on Ruptured Ambitions in 1998.
Track 13 originally released on the Action Speaks Louder…Than Words compilation LP on Twisted Chords in 2001.
Tracks 14 and 15 are previously unreleased.
Track 16 originally released on the Brum Scum compilation CD in 1998.

TC Lethbridge – Neo-Psychedelic rock troupe missing for 23 years by Guy Hirst

September 4, 2015

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs

Made up of two long standing members of space rock pioneers Spiritualized (Doggen, Bales) and named after the radical archaeologist turned occultist T.C. Lethbridge, the band return with three re-issues of their self-released albums recorded in the early nineties: Moon Equipped, Mina and 2000 TC – released November 23rd 2014 via Iron Man Records.

T.C Lethbridge is Kevin Bales, Tony Doggen Foster and Flinton Chalk.

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC, Mina and Moon Equipped released 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records

The re-issues promoted their first public performance in 23 years last November at Liverpool’s Cosmic Trigger Festival, a theatrical production and continuation of the Illuminatus Trilogy – a satirical story of drugs, sex, magic and conspiracy theories – which was originally adapted to stage by legendary English writer and director Ken Campbell.

T.C. Lethbridge’s performance at Cosmic Trigger was a tribute to the late-great psychedelic evangelist Brian Barritt (cohort of LSD advocate Timothy Leary) who appears in the Cosmic Trigger book and had recorded with the band at Avebury stone circle during the making of 2000TC. Barritt also features on the track “Bou Saada” on the album and Flinton Chalk had previously collaborated with Barritt exploring the trance-inducing frequencies of Neolithic burial tombs – a main theme that runs throughout their music. In Brian Barritt’s words the group are exploring “Automatic writing on a sacred landscape.”

You can explore their music by listening to 2000TC here:

Author John Higgs has written a biography of T.C Lethbridge entitled “2000TC – Standing on the verge of Getting It On” and said:

“Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF. So, yeah, it had to be written.”

‘2000TC’ was recorded 1994 John Stewart Hall, Melbourne House, The Henge Shop, Avebury, 4 Track cassette, digitally remastered by John Davies 2014. You can buy 2000TC here

All re-issued TC Lethbridge albums can be found here

T.C. Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

– written by Guy Hirst 2015

Flinton Chalk – 111hz Cairn T Soundtrack

September 4, 2015

WARNING!

THIS TRACK CONTAINS 111 HERTZ WHICH MAY INDUCE A STATE OF TRANCE PLEASE LISTEN RESPONSIBLY.

The soundtrack to the Cairn T film and art installation composed and produced by Flinton Chalk (also of the band TC Lethbridge), performed by The Barrittones choir in the prehistoric chamber of Cairn T, Loughcrew, County Meath, Ireland. 111 Hertz is the average resonant frequency of the Neolithic monuments archaeoacoustically tested by Cambridge University. Medical pilot trials to date have established that this frequency increases activity in the right prefrontal cortex of the human brain whist reducing activity in the left prefrontal cortex.

In 1996, Cambridge University and Princeton University USA published the results of acoustic testing on a selection of man made European Stone Age chambers dating from the 4th millennium BC, the majority of which are in Ireland. The aim was to discover the resonant frequency of each chamber. The results fell within a very narrow band of acoustic wavelengths, between 95 Hertz and 120 Hertz, with the main proliferation between 110Hertz and 112Hertz. The average resonant frequency of the acoustically tested chambers was found to be 111Hertz. Once this frequency is emitted in the chamber, the effect is to immerse the listener in sound, in this instance the sole frequency of 111Hertz is amplified by the architecture, as it filters out other frequencies, creating an acoustic standing wave.

Many of us have experienced the effect of a standing wave whilst singing in a tiled bathroom. When a frequency is accidentally sung which correlates with the dimensions of a tiled bathroom, that tone will create a momentary standing wave causing a booming or ‘immediate echo’ sensation. This is a demonstration of how the brain experiences this immersive standing wave. We are able to recreate this immersive experience electronically in our installations. 111Hertz is lower male baritone in the human vocal range and can be comfortably hummed, sung or spoken.

CAIRN T
Research by Flinton Chalk with Brian Barritt has resulted in a film featuring an archaeoacoustic 111Hertz sound track. This film and soundtrack is then played back through a surround-sound system, which emulates the effects of listening to the sung frequency as it resonates around the original stone chamber that inspired it. The soundtrack was performed and recorded at 111Hertz within the ancient chamber of Cairn T, a monument dating from the 4th millennium BC in County Meath near Dublin.

The 10 minute film to which the soundtrack is set is the first known footage of the rising sun entering the man made resonating stone chamber to be shown in public. This archaeological phenomenon, only confirmed in 1985, occurs just twice a year, at dawn around the Equinoxes, 21st March and 21st September, when the days and nights are of equal length.

Subsequent research has established the potential beneficial medical attributes of the frequency of 111Hertz. This audible frequency is reputed to be processed by and therefore directly stimulates the right-hand prefrontal cortex of the brain, a problem area for autism and other emotional and development disorders such as anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This specific frequency is also associated with endorphin release, a potential non-addictive panacea for pain relief.

It has been observed that within a few minutes of exposure to 111Hertz, Alpha state trance is induced in the listener, as neuronal activity moves within the brain from the left hand frontal lobe to the right. At that point the language centers are ‘quietened’ along with increased Theta wave activity normally associated with sleep and cell regeneration, produced solely in the right hand prefrontal cortex. The overall effect is a subtle, altered state of consciousness, with the potential to train the brain to stimulate longer-term neuronal activity in the right hand hemisphere of the brain.

Enough evidence has now been gathered to compel further research and discussions are underway with Cambridge University to instigate clinical trials.

Barritt and Chalk have completed a lecture tour of UK art galleries, institutions and hospitals sponsored by The Arts Council titled ‘The Future of Sound’. This included two lectures at The Royal Institution of Science in London describing the positive physiological effects of the 111Hertz frequency, outlining the history of the recent discovery of this frequency from prehistoric buildings, whist demonstrating the interactive effects of the frequency to an audience via the surround-sound installation.

Flinton Chalk and Brian Barritt

BIOGRAPHIES
Brian Barritt UK 1934 – 2011               
Beat artist, composer, author and researcher specialising in philosophy and mythology ‘Whisper’ novel 1969
Co-wrote ‘Confessions of a Hope Fiend’ with Dr. Timothy Leary defining levels of expanded consciousness made accessible by psychedelics 1971
Producer, Kosmische Musik records, Germany, regarded as the birth of electronic ambient music 1972
‘The Road of Excess’ autobiography 1999
‘The Road to Tir na n’Og’ extracts from journals regarding the art and acoustics of prehistoric Ireland 2004
Unity Stone prototype, sound stone sculpture 2010
‘The Nebob of Bombasta’ novel and collaboration with musician Youth 2010

Flinton Chalk of TC Lethbridge on Fyfield Down, Wiltshire

Flinton Chalk b. UK 1963

Artist, musician, curator and researcher specialising in alternative archaeology and archaeoacoustics
Avebury stone circle Wiltshire – official guide 1993
Photographer and PA to Julian Cope during the writing of ‘The Modern Antiquarian’ 1994-96
Proprietor of the Tomtom gallery in Soho, London, 1998-2013
DJ for the 2004 Brit Awards and after show party
Unity Stone prototype, sound stone sculpture 2010
‘T.C.Lethbridge’ collaboration with rock group ‘Spiritualized’ 2013
Gneiss – Photography exhibitions of prehistoric sites from personal archive
Cairn T – film and 111hz sound installations introducing the science of archaeoacoustics

EXHIBITIONS

GNEISS   The Architectural Association, Bedford Square, London October 2001

GNEISS   London Art Fair 2002, Business Design Centre, Islington January 2002

GNEISS   Commonwealth Institute, London March 2002

CAIRN T   Megalithamania, Conway Hall, London October 2002

CAIRN T   Glastonbury Assembly Rooms, Somerset September 2004

CAIRN T   Royal Institution of Science, London October 2004

CAIRN T   Corsica Arts Club, London April 2005

CAIRN T   BAFTA Headquarters, London May 2005

CAIRN T   Royal Institution of Science, London September 2005

CAIRN T   F.A.C.T . Liverpool December 2006

CAIRN T   Millennium Galleries, Sheffield January 2007

CAIRN T   The Sage, Gateshead January 2007

CAIRN T   Norwich Arts Centre February 2007

CAIRN T   Goldsmiths College, University of London March 2007

CAIRN T   Royal College of Art, London March 2007

CAIRN T   Queen Mary Hospital, University of London April 2007

UNITY STONE  The October Gallery, London May 2011 – Present day

Here’s the link to New Scientist soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/new-scientist/111-hertz-chant-recorded-inside-a-prehistoric-monument-in-ireland The soundtrack to the Cairn T film and art installation composed and produced by Flinton Chalk, performed by The Barrittones choir in the prehistoric chamber of Cairn T, Loughcrew, County Meath, Ireland. Read more via New Scientist here: bit.ly/NSmusictherapy Flinton Chalk 111hz New Scientist article 1Flinton Chalk 111hz New Scientist article 2Flinton Chalk 111hz New Scientist article 3Flinton Chalk 111hz New Scientist article 4Flinton Chalk 111hz New Scientist article 5

John Sinclair – Mohawk – Press

February 20, 2015

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

ARTIST: John Sinclair
TITLE: Mohawk
LABEL: Iron Man Records
FORMAT: CD Double Gatefold Sleeve / Digital Release too
RELEASE DATE: 24th March 2014
FILE UNDER: Rock
Cat No: IMB6022
John Sinclair – “Mohawk” CD out now on Iron Man Records. Distribution by Cargo

John Sinclair - Uncut Feb 2014

John Sinclair and the MC5 by David Sheppard MOJO March 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk - The Wire - March 2014 album review

John Sinclair - Mohawk in Shindig 38 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk - review by Peter Watts for Uncut April 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk Guardian 3rd March 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk Mohawk Rock N Reel/R2 Magazine album review March/April 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk - Record Collector April 2014

John Sinclair - Mojo May 2014

John Sinclair - Classic Rock Magazine - Rob Hughes interview - August 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk - review Jan 2015 High Times

John Sinclair - Mohawk review Visioni Intervista 25th April 2014

Works in Progress: Beat Poet John Sinclair 10/15/2013 By: Tom Porter – The Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

Poet John Sinclair has been described as a pioneer in the counter-cultural movement that began in the 1960s. He’s been at the forefront of the underground publishing movement, he’s managed rock bands, organized concerts, and was also founder of the White Panther movement – a group of white left-wing activists united in sympathy with the radical civil rights organization, the Black Panthers. In 1969 he was imprisoned for possessing a small amount of marijuana. His plight inspired a freedom rally and concert: John Lennon even wrote a song in his honor. Today, Sinclair lives in Amsterdam and still performs regularly around the world, often to musical accompaniment. As part of our ongoing series, Works in Progress, where we talk to artists about the creative process, Maine Things Considered host Tom Porter spoke to Sinclair this afternoon, as he prepared for a performance this evening in Portland.

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair

“I’m here to tell you that apathy isn’t it. And we can all do something if we try.” ~ John Lennon

“I just considered it part of my job. If you were gonna be a revolutionary, you were gonna have to go to prison.” ~ John Sinclair

John Sinclair is best known as the Sixties marijuana activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving two joints to an undercover policewoman. He was eventually freed when John Lennon and Yoko Ono spoke out on his behalf

Less understood is his role as the founder and chairman of the radical anti-war group, The White Panther Party, an offshoot of the Black Panthers. The Black Panther Party was a militant political organization formed after the brutal murders of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy.

During the Cold War the US Government launched a secret program called COINTELPRO to disrupt and ultimately destroy the Black Panthers and the Anti-War movement. As part of this program, John Sinclair was set up and imprisoned on marijuana charges. When the government could no longer justify denying him a bond over two joints, they falsely charged him with a Federal conspiracy to blow up a CIA station, in order to make him disappear.

In this case we find the secret origins of so much that troubles us today, like: classifying dissidents as terrorists, or the use of warrantless wiretaps and indefinite detention. The things that were revealed during his case are what the US government would prefer history forget.

a short film by CHARLES SHAW, featuring JOHN SINCLAIR. Music by Thelonius Monk, Roy Harper & Jimmy Page, Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon, Phil Ochs, Frijid Pink, Commander Cody, The Up.

John Sinclair – Motor City’s Burning – Detroit from Motown to the Stooges

Documentary looking at how Detroit became home to a musical revolution that captured the sound of a nation in upheaval.

In the early 60s, Motown transcended Detroit’s inner city to take black music to a white audience, whilst in the late 60s suburban kids like the MC5 and the Stooges descended into the black inner city to create revolutionary rock expressing the rage of young white America.

With contributions from Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, George Clinton, Martha Reeves, John Sinclair and the MC5.

John Sinclair performs Twenty One Days in Jail | Madam Miaow Says

Following the awesome appearance of 1960s icon, poet and political jailbird John Sinclair on Madam Miaow’s Culture Lounge at Resonance FM, I’m posting the video I took of John when he played at Café Oto a few years back. He performs Twenty One Days In Jail, accompanied by Gary Lammin on guitar, Martin Stacey on bass, Jim Jones on piano, and Paul Ronnie on harmonica.

The John Sinclair Freedom Rally: John Sinclair Radio Show 526

On December 10, 1971 – 42 long years ago – I was serving the 3rd year of a 9-1/2-to-10-year sentence for possession of two joints of marijuana, and people in Ann Arbor, Michigan staged a gigantic concert on my behalf that drew almost 15,000 people to demand my release and enjoy music & speeches by The Up, Allen Ginsberg, Ed Sanders, Bob Seger, Fr. James Groppi, Teegardin & Van Winkle, Bobby Seale, Phil Ochs, Rennie Davis, Dave Dellinger, Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd, CJQ, Leni & Sunny Sinclair, Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, Elsie Sinclair, Stevie Wonder, Jerry Rubin, David Peel & The Lower East Side, and John Lennon, Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band. Tonight’s program in celebration of this happy event which resulted in my release from prison three days later, on December 13, 1971, is edited from the soundtrack to Steve Gebhardt’s documentary film of the event called TEN FOR TWO: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally and was assembled at the Blackheath Studios of The Fuck You Sound.

Marijuana at the Amsterdam coffee shop. Cafe 420 with John Sinclair

John Sinclair, Cafe 420 and a reporter from CNN discussing Cannabis and the issues of coffee shop consumption in Amsterdam.

John Sinclair: Gary Grimshaw Was “A Beautiful Cat” | MOJO

John Sinclair: “Gary Grimshaw was a great creative artist who helped define the spirit and feeling of an entire era with his brilliant posters for the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, his artwork for underground newspapers like the Detroit Sun, the Fifth Estate and the San Francisco Oracle, and his posters and record covers for the MC-5 and other bands. “He was a music lover first and foremost, best friends in high school with Rob Tyner of the MC5, a beautiful cat and the most tireless and dedicated art worker I’ve ever known. We were partners in crime at the Grande Ballroom and the Detroit Artists Workshop, we founded Trans-Love Energies and the White Panther Party together, we worked side by side for several years while he beautifully interpreted all my ideas for cultural and social change into public artwork that could make people want to do things they’d never done before….

Gideon Coe played ‘Bloomdido’ from John Sinclair – Mohawk on last nights show – Wed 22nd Jan 2014

Album Review: John Sinclair – Mohawk | Folk Radio UK

Nobody could ever accuse John Sinclair of not doing his own thing. The Detroit-born poet and activist has been defying The Man since the mid-sixties: running countercultural magazines, founding anti-racist political movements and managing the MC5, one of the most mindblowing musical acts to come out of America in the psychedelic era. He was also sentenced to ten years imprisonment for a seemingly minor drug infringement, but was released with the help of John Lennon (who wrote a song about his plight), Allen Ginsberg and Abbie Hoffman, amongst others. More recently Sinclair has combined his love of the history of jazz with his considerable talent as a performance poet and storyteller to produce a surprisingly extensive body of work, mostly in the form of spoken word releases, often backed by his band the Blues Scholars. For his latest release, Mohawk, he has pillaged his own past, collecting 10 poems written over the last twenty-plus years and giving them a thoroughly modern shakedown

BBC Radio 6 Music – Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone, Ice Music Festival

BBC 6 Music – Gideon Coe played John Sinclair – ‘Relaxing With Mr Lee’ on last nights show Tuesday 28th January

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary released his new album on 24th March 2014 on Iron Man Records. John, has been described as an Archetype of the 1960’s art, music and literary synthesis, and who today, is still kicking with both feet on his trajectory for cultural transformation. His new record features ten tracks from his book of verse: always know: a book of monk. Twenty poems planted firmly in a single-shot session, and carefully trimmed down to ten exhibits for this album. Beatnik poems, great odes and personal reflections of the Be-Bop jazz persuasion, all flowering together. First conceived of in Detroit City, spring 1982, and developed throughout the 1980s with streaks of fresh edits leading right up to the session itself, John navigates some of these texts for the first time in over twenty years, free-styling his energized sincerity and attention to every word, transforming the text on the page into his unique unmistakable spoken word…..

Before John Sinclair founded the White Panthers, managed the MC5 and did time for giving an undercover cop two joints as a Christmas present, he read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road as a junior in high school — and he says his life started. Sinclair will be at the Mercury Cafe on Friday, February 7 as part of the Neal Cassady Birthday Bash, reading poetry and performing with the Blues Scholars. In advance of that event, we spoke with Sinclair about On the Road, poetry and reefer, since he’s been a weed activist for five decades.
“My life started when I read On the Road, by Jack Kerouac,” says John Sinclair, a poet, activist, former MC5 manager and White Panther Party founder. “It came out in September of 1957. I was a junior in high school. It set me on the correct path of life. I’ve followed that path ever since.” Kerouac cohort Neal Cassady, who was raised on the streets of Denver and died in 1968, is featured prominently in On the Road, as protagonist Dean Moriarty. Cassady would have been 88 years old this weekend, and will be remembered at the fifth annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash, which kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Sinclair, who was inspired by Kerouac’s approaching writing the way a jazz musician improvises, will be reading poetry with the Blues Scholars at the event along with other friends of Cassady and Kerouac; a jazz group led by Beat legend David Amram, featuring local musicians such as trumpeter Hugh Ragin, drummer Tony Black and bassist Artie Moorie
Mohawk is the previous MC5 manager and beatnik-poet’s umpteenth album of jazzy gravel-voiced verbiage and mighty fine it is too. Billed as a homage to the life and times, wit and wisdom of perhaps jazz-music’s finest players – Dizzy, Bird and in particular Monk, in case you were curious – Mohawk features Sinclair drawling out his passionate observations and energetic lyricisms on top of Stourbridge mixmaster Steve The Fly’s deft brushwork, turntable gymnastics and be-bop bounce, all engineered sweetly by Dutch wizard Tim Egmond – a good job all round.
On the Monday following the Watergate break-in, the Supreme Court decided U.S. vs. U.S. District Court (Keith) ex rel Sinclair, which struck down the Nixon/Mitchell program of warrantless domestic political wiretapping. The aftermath, leading to Nixon’s resignation, revealed the ugliness of the FBI’s COINTELPRO campaign to disrupt the civil rights, black liberation, anti-war, youth, women, environmental, LGBT and other social justice movements that exploded in the 1960s. That led to the Church Commission, which recommended various checks on the FBI’s power to disrupt political dissent and the creation of Foreign Intelligence Security (FISA) Court, which is today the subject of great controversy in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive data mining and surveillance of U.S. citizens and their communications (not to mention that of the rest of the world). Particularly since 9/11 and the passage of the Patriot Act, progressives and civil libertarians have protested…

I was sent a freebie CD of John Sinclair’s newest spoken-word disc, Mohawk, courtesy of my pal and fellow M.L.A.-alumnus, Fly Agaric (or Steve Pratt, to his folks) and the good people at Iron Man Records. Going by the title, and groovy cover art (by digital artist Chu – the “Mohawk” cover seems a clever post-techno hommage to Thelonius Monk‘s “Underground” album cover) – I reckoned the ‘theme’ would be one about the punk explosion in the 1970s and beyond. You see, Sinclair, for those not familiar with him, was the manager of the legendary MC5, the Detroit psychedelic rock band in their glory days. Sinclair got the ’5 into radical politics via his own “White Panther Party“, a kind of more trippy version of the Black Panthers. The White Panthers weren’t really into setting up a state to replace the old one, they were more into free dope, fucking in the streets and just generally having a good time. Eventually, John and the MC5 parted ways. As a result of a drug bust…..
He was the fearless Detroit protopunk who terrified America with his band the MC5 – and saw busts and jail as all part of a revolutionary’s lot. So what’s John Sinclair doing today? Writing jazz poetry in Amsterdam and releasing his new album called Mohawk on Iron Man Records, an independent record label based in Birmingham…..
Sean O’Hagan of the London-based Guardian meets John Sinclair in a canalside coffee shop in Amsterdam, “where the vibes are mellow, the air perfumed, and the soundtrack a stream of vintage rock songs of the more laidback kind.” Sinclair, 72, “seems utterly relaxed, an ageing hippy blissfully at home in a city that still retains some of the libertarian values he fought so hard for – a fight that cost him his liberty at the tail end of the 1960s.” It is, however, a long way – literally and metaphorically – from Detroit, the city where Sinclair made his name, and that of the rock group he managed, the MC5, in the most dramatic fashion. Almost 50 years after those culturally heady and politically tumultuous days, when he found himself at the heart of the race riots that raged through Detroit, the 72-year-old now keeps the freak flag flying as best he can in a world that has become more liberal, and paradoxically more conservative, than his younger self could ever have imagined.

John Sinclair - Mohawk gatefold inner

John Sinclair – legend! He was the 60s in a nutshell: cultural revolutionary, manager of the MC5, founder of the White Panther Party, subject of a John Lennon protest song after being imprisoned on drugs offences (part of The Man’s crushing of anything countercultural), poet, broadcaster on Radio Free Amsterdam – but he was really a child of the 50s. His great book Guitar Army includes dedications to people like Coltrane, Ayler, Dolphy and Kerouac, and those influences are still reflected in Mohawk, essential a 50s-tributing beatnik jazz record. As ‘Carolina Moon’ explains, it was conceived in 1982 after hearing of the death of Thelonius Monk, and recorded in Amsterdam much more recently. Sinclair’s spoken word lyrics are meditations on Monk and lots of other jazz sessions from the 50s, “when Bird, and Diz and Monk made it all happen” (‘Bloomdido’) set to louche be-bop backing from Steve The Fly
Released on 24th March 2014 John, has been described as an Archetype of the 1960’s art, music and literary synthesis, and who today, is still kicking with both feet on his trajectory for cultural transformation. His new record features ten tracks from his book of verse: always know: a book of monk. Twenty poems planted firmly in a single-shot session, and carefully trimmed down to ten exhibits for this album. Beatnik poems, great odes and personal reflections of the Be-Bop jazz persuasion, all flowering together. First conceived of in Detroit City, spring 1982, and developed throughout the 1980s with streaks of fresh edits leading right up to the session itself, John navigates some of these texts for the first time in over twenty years, free-styling his energized sincerity and attention to every word, transforming the text on the page into his unique unmistakable spoken word. The music was written and arranged by Steve Fly who mirrored John’s poems in the music…..
John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album called “Mohawk,” on Iron Man Records, on Monday 24th March 2014 with distribution by Cargo. The music was written and arranged by Steve Fly who mirrored John’s poems in the music by initially combing the tempo of the original songs recorded by John ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie, Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and Thelonious Monk. Steve The Fly is a native of Stourbridge UK, now an Amsterdam resident who plays drums, spins vinyl, writes novels and literary and cultural commentary. He also maintains a flock of websites and works in various other art forms without visible restraint. His other music projects have included New Flesh, Garaj Mahal, Temple Dragon band, of course he is now full time with John Sinclair. CHU, also a native of Stourbridge UK, has made a fantastic video showing how he put the John Sinclair – Mohawk CD sleeve art together. It’s really worth a look. Watch it here: http://youtu.be/20RFyhTfs7U
John Sinclair – “Mohawk” CD Released Monday 24th March 2014 by Iron Man Records, Birmingham. John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album on Monday 24th March 2014. John, has been described as an Archetype of the 1960′s art, music and literary synthesis, and who today, is still kicking with both feet on his trajectory for cultural transformation. His new record features ten tracks from his book of verse: always know: a book of monk. Twenty poems planted firmly in a single-shot session, and carefully trimmed down to ten exhibits for this album. Beatnik poems, great odes and personal reflections of the Be-Bop jazz persuasion, all flowering together. First conceived of in Detroit City, spring 1982, and developed throughout the 1980s with streaks of fresh edits leading right up to the session itself, John navigates some of these texts for the first time in over twenty years, free-styling his energized sincerity and attention to every word…
Mohawk is the previous MC5 manager and beatnik-poet’s umpteenth album of jazzy gravel-voiced verbiage and mighty fine it is too. Billed as a homage to the life and times, wit and wisdom of perhaps jazz-music’s finest players – Dizzy, Bird and in particular Monk, in case you were curious – Mohawk features Sinclair drawling out his passionate observations and energetic lyricisms on top of Stourbridge mixmaster Steve The Fly’s deft brushwork, turntable gymnastics and be-bop bounce, all engineered sweetly by Dutch wizard Tim Egmond – a good job all round. It’s one busy, ‘dizzy’ little ride that’s best taken in one hit, rather than hopping and skipping through the tracks. Most of the free-styling odes fall short of three minutes, making the title-track, Straight No Chaser and Leap Frog and the like, easy-to-swallow chunks of hip story-telling that actually date back to the ’80s in a few cases. Straight No Chaser has some tight back-winding and scratching going on and is an album highlight.
“The rest of the music industry was controlled by the Illuminati, the book explained, which was how they were able to incorporate the anti-JAMS slogan ‘Kick out the Jams, motherfucker!’ into MC5 records.” – John Higgs, Illuminations and Illuminatus, The KLF, pg 48. Sean O’Hagen of the Guardian newspaper flew out to meet John and I in Amsterdam. Read his article here.
Sinclair croaks his way through a short narrative over a free jazz backing on the title track that starts the album off. He plays it perfectly, an elder statesman of hip, oozing grizzled late-night coffee house cool. ‘Straight No Chaser’ is everything the title suggests, and Sinclair’s nicely warming to his theme. ‘Leap Frog’ is a real wig-out, and the music vibes well with the first-hand recollections of the legendary era of the true jazz greats. Namedropping Dizzy and Monk, Sinclair was there, at the heart of it, as it happened. The way he tells it… yeah, good times, good times. Swingin’ times. Electric times, a musical revolution was happening. ‘Bloomdido’ sees Sinclair getting excited as he recounts the way Bird and Monk transformed the musical landscape in the clubs of Harlem, painting a vivid picture of how these cats made everything bloom, great big flowers around New York…. He reminisces about the birth of be-bop of ‘An Oscar for Treadwell’. ‘This is the shit!’ he cries…..
In Ken Burns’ 1994 documentary “Baseball,” writer and essayist Gerald Early said, “When they study our civilization two thousand years from now, there will only be three things that Americans will be known for: the Constitution, baseball and jazz music.” With that in mind, I write enthusiastically of “Mohawk,” a new spoken-word release from renegade poet John Sinclair (who also once managed the iconic rock band MC5) because it celebrates a part of the history of an American art form — some say the only true American art form — that is all too often forgotten by our culture in this day and age. Opening track “Mohawk” expresses Sinclair’s passion for the be-bop revolution well when he says “Bird,” “Monk” and “Dizzy” were “building a new music on the bones of the old … with a whole new structure of sound … breathing life of its own, like nothing that had ever existed before.” On tracks such as “Bloomdido” and “An Oscar for Treadwell,” Sinclair waxes ecstatic with pure enthusiasm….
Counter culture icon, beat poet and manager of the MC5 John Sinclair chats about his new album Mohawk on Iron Man Records, a tribute to the jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. Plus ‘outsider musician’ Daniel Johnston talks about what it’s like being an underground artist and Stuart’s featured album is an under-appreciated classic of mid-90s trance from The Black Dog.
“Man, I worshipped those guys as gods when I was young,” John Sinclair told the Guardian earlier this month, over a joint. “Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders. That’s where I was coming from, not rock or folk.” Which is why, for his album Mohawk, he has set his poetry to jazz – there’s no sign here of the hard rock of the band he famously managed, the MC5. But don’t think the revolutionary flame has dimmed. As he also told the Guardian: “All I know is that if you want things to change, you have to work to make them change. And sometimes, you have to be prepared to go to jail or have your head cracked open. Far as I can see, that’s still the case. Look at Pussy Riot. They are the first kick-ass revolutionary group since the MC5. They don’t want a record contract, they don’t want their own fragrance, they want to overthrow the goddam Russian government. Yes!” Have a listen to Mohawk, and let us know what you think.
Some months ago, Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt wrote me and asked if I’d pen a press release for the new album he did with John Sinclair, the famous countercultural icon. I said sure. I asked Steve to send me some quotes. I didn’t hear back. I forgot to remind him. Time passed, and I got busy with other stuff, and the album was released. So Steve, sorry the press release didn’t get written, how about a blog post at my blog? Here is the official press release on the album, which features Steve’s music and Sinclair’s words. The Guardian article is here. It links to a stream of the album.

Mohawk by John Sinclair | by graffiti artist Chu

Mohawk, John and Sinclair. This began as a replica of Thelonius Monk’s 1968 album sleeve for ‘Underground’. The art direction won a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package the following year, so it obviously ruffled a few feathers…..

It’s hard to like a hippie. That’s true. Still, it doesn’t mean hippies can’t do good work, right? John Sinclair was once the manager of the magnificent, world-spinning MC5. He was arrested countless times as he fought as part of the counter-culture of the ‘60s (though he was apprehended, of course, for possession of marijuana rather than civil unrest) and was sentenced to a decade in prison for giving a pair of joints to FBI agents – a term of which he served only two years following the intervention of some of his famous allies. He was a friend of Lennon (who wrote a song about him), a tireless protester, a man who always seemed to find himself at the epicentre of cultural and social action. Yet Sinclair is, all of that aside, a poet and what we get though on this album is something gentle, something beatific – his love of early/mid 20th century jazz, expressed through spoken word. This love is no surprise – he was an early and vocal fan of the free jazz movement…..
Tom Robinson played ‘Straight No Chaser’ from John Sinclair – Mohawk on last nights show 6th April listen back here. John Sinclair – Mohawk is out now on Birmingham’s Iron Man Records.
Released on the 24th of March 2014, ‘Mohawk’ is John Sinclair’s latest album. Depicting his musical attributes and his radical attitudes, Sinclair presents a truly authentic collection of his work. The generalised description as a ‘72 year old jazz poet’ simply does not offer his figure justice. ‘Mohawk’ is not merely another notch in his musical bedpost, but a direct manifestation of his talent, knowledge and his political stand. His career is proof that passion and persistence in one’s beliefs can move people towards revolution. Defying the cultural practice of the 21st century music industry, which predominantly aims to create audible satisfaction for a particular audience, Sinclair aims to stir political stances in all of his work. Sinclair is an advocate for the power of music and is an individual whose goals go beyond winning media popularity or reaping the perks of fame.
John Sinclair, man of many accolades, releases new album that draws upon work conceived in the 80′s with production from Steve Fly. Mohawk feels personal, reflective and assertive, a long developed and creative record, that has been visualised through Walsall born artist Chu. Chu talks through the conceptualisation and formation of the artwork in his blog, referencing his influences as be-bop, John’s Detroit roots, and motifs of rebellion, activism and cannabis culture. It does capture the instrumental virtuosity of the record, and in its details mirrors Sinclair’s politically charged and self reflective poetry. Worth looking at the processes he uses to realise the 3D design.
Poet, writer and former 60’s far left counterculture leader John Sinclair speaks to John Clarkson about his ever controversial views on drug culture, his new blues album ‘Mohawk’ on Birmingham’s Iron Man Records and managing influential Detroit-based 60’s band, the MC5
John Sinclair opens the tracklist with Mohawk for Drastic Shuffle EP 05 by Claudia Haddow
It’s Friday May 23, the day after the centenary of Sun Ra’s birth, and I’m sat around a table in a pub in north London with John Sinclair, Thurston Moore and Paul Smith, founder of the Blast First record label. As David Stubbs’ excellent Sun Ra piece which appeared on the Quietus on the day of Ra’s birthday last Thursday has rendered an introduction to the man and his music unnecessary, I intend to keep this opening paragraph short so as to reproduce the interview as fully as space permits. Thurston Moore himself needs little introduction, as he is well known for both his work with the seminal New York band Sonic Youth and innumerable other projects as he is known as a champion of underground music, film and art in all its forms. For those interested in further listening, his Top Ten Free Jazz Underground list is essential reading. John Sinclair similarly needs little introduction…..
From the 1995 retrospective of the pioneering ’70’s Detroit rock band, The Up – Killer Up! – this bonus cut – “Prayer For John Sinclair”, an agit-prop chant by Allen Ginsberg It’s 1971 and John Sinclair (“Ten for Two” – ten years for two joints!) is, most definitely, a political prisoner. So hear him (Allen) intone: “Trick or treat. Year after year. Literary persons, Ed Sanders, Robert Creeley, myself organization, the American chapter of PEN Club representing one thousand one hundred writers have petitioned the state of Michigan for release of poet-musician John Sinclair from entrapment by police courts jails – nine-and-a-half to ten years sentence – no appeal – bail – fully maximum-security – for two-joint bust. This case articulates the bankrupcy of middle-class law and order – work within the system rationalizations of irrational public injustice. No lawmaker, judge or policeman in Michigan can argue their own respectability while their state bureaucracy conspires to outrage..
DETROIT – This is the story of a woman, her camera and the thousands of moments she’s captured. Sitting down with Leni Sinclair inside her Detroit home, she showed me thousands of negatives of her photographs that hold a lot of history. “I came to Detroit in 1959 and brought with me a little camera and I’ve been taking pictures ever since,” Sinclair said. She has taken some of the most iconic images of the Detroit rock scene – and you’re probably familiar with her work and not even know it. Sinclair has photographed so many iconic artists such as the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, Bob Seger, Marvin Gaye, Alice Cooper and John Lee Hooker.
Produced by Steve Gebhardt & John Sinclair – A Musicus Production with Big Chief Productions – Executive Producer: Robert A. Johnson With appearances by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Allen Ginsberg, MC-5, Up, Ed Sanders, Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, Ed Moss, Andre Williams, Bo Dollis and Cyril Neville. Original 16mm footage from the 1960s and ’70s by Leni Sinclair. Graphic design by Gary Grimshaw. Music supervision by John Sinclair. Edited by Tom Hayes. Directed by Steve Gebhardt. 20 TO LIFE Begun in 1991 and completed in 2007, 20 TO LIFE is the real-life story of this legendary poet-provocateur and American cultural warrior whose exploits have reverberated throughout the international underground for 40 years. The story is told by Sinclair, his family, friends and associates through the years and highlighted by a series of electrifying poetry performances by Sinclair’s contemporary blues and jazz ensembles.
Oregon voters are pretty savvy on a lot of issues; Oregon is a one-party state; money still exercises a lot of speech in Oregon – and “Follow the Money” remains the best political advice; New Jersey, Illinois, Louisiana, Carl Hiaasen’s Florida…aren’t the only states with political soap operas and dubious ethics… One cannot lead off about Oregon Election 2014 with anything other than the End of Prohibition (again). Oregon voters passed Measure 91; joining voters in the District of Columbia in legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana use (the tax is fixed at $35 an ounce with local entities not allowed to tax it – only the state); coming together with Washington and Colorado as Free States that have seen the light…with many more to come. Whew. It’s been a long haul. It was the fourth try here. Pretty much the sole opposition came from the Oregon Sheriffs and the State Prosecuting Attorneys, who financed the No on Measure 91 campaign.
Television Blues episode 1, with features & music from Trampolene, Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band, Alan McGee, Nev Cottee & John Sinclair. Thanks to Tony Linkin, Matt Lockett at shacknet.co.uk, John Read & Matt Bristow at Cherry Red, Sean Newsham, Mark Sampson at Iron Man Records, Chu, Jon Mojo Mills & The Briton’s Protection pub in Manchester. John Sinclair 360 degree artwork c/o Chu at schudio.co.uk/blog.
Political activist, poet, MC5 manager, and leader of the White Panther Party: Detroit’s original rebel reflects on his lengthy career. John Sinclair has always been a poster child for what he calls “outness and defiance and all that kind of shit.” While acting as the manager of iconoclastic rock group MC5, his political collective the White Panther party worked to support the civil rights movement with free concerts and political rallies in 1960s era Detroit. After he was imprisoned in 1969 for giving two joints to an undercover officer, artists including John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Stevie Wonder performed and spoke at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1971, which saw him successfully released three days later. The resulting changes in the state marijuana laws contributed to his cred as a lifelong marijuana activist. In 1992 he formed his band The Blues Scholars in New Orleans, which allowed him to set his radical poetry to music, and in 2014 released the album Mohawk…
“C’est pas mon boulot de parler de moi, iI y a ce truc appelé Google pour ça”, déclarait lors de notre entrevue le provocateur John Sinclair en évoquant les questions perpétuelles des journalistes sur son passé. Avant de vous parler de l’album de jazz ‘Mohawk’ qu’il vient de sortir chez Iron Man Records, nous allons donc brièvement vous parler de ce que nous avait appris Google à son sujet ! Rencontrer John Sinclair, c’est un peu rencontrer une légende vivante qui, contrairement aux nombreux grands personnages qu’il a côtoyés, a survécu. Originaire de Detroit aux États-Unis, Sinclair est impliqué dès les années 1960 dans le milieu underground alors dominé par un mouvement artistique et pacifique sous fond d’émancipation, inédit à ce jour, dans la veine de ce qu’avaient déjà initié les beatniks. Il participe ainsi à la création de plusieurs journaux alternatifs, le plus connu étant Fifth Estate. Poète déjà célèbre (il lit à la Berkeley Poetry Conference en 1965 au sein d’un cercle…..

John Sinclair - Mohawk back cover

All Press Enquiries Sean Newsham: sean@mutante-inc.demon.co.uk

CHU talks about his artwork for John Sinclair – Mohawk here: http://www.schudio.co.uk/blog/2014/mohawk-by-john-sinclair/

John Sinclair – Mohawk CD released on Iron Man Records Buy It Here

Buy Books and Music by John Sinclair in the Iron Man Shop: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com John Sinclair - Mohawk CD Gatefold back

John Sinclair – Mohawk

February 12, 2015

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” CD
Out Now on Iron Man Records, Birmingham. Distribution by Cargo

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary released his latest album in March 2014. John, has been described as an Archetype of the 1960’s art, music and literary synthesis, and who today, is still kicking with both feet on his trajectory for cultural transformation. His record features ten tracks from his book of verse: always know: a book of monk. Twenty poems planted firmly in a single-shot session, and carefully trimmed down to ten exhibits for this album. Beatnik poems, great odes and personal reflections of the Be-Bop jazz persuasion, all flowering together.

First conceived of in Detroit City, spring 1982, and developed throughout the 1980s with streaks of fresh edits leading right up to the session itself, John navigates some of these texts for the first time in over twenty years, free-styling his energized sincerity and attention to every word, transforming the text on the page into his unique unmistakable spoken word.

The music was written and arranged by Steve Fly who mirrored John’s poems in the music by initially combing the tempo of the original songs recorded by John ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie, Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and Thelonious Monk.

Steve The Fly is a native of Stourbridge UK, now an Amsterdam resident who plays drums, spins vinyl, writes novels and literary and cultural commentary. He also maintains a flock of websites and works in various other art forms without visible restraint. His other music projects have included New Flesh, Garaj Mahal, Temple Dragon band, of course he is now full time with John Sinclair.

These songs are further utilized by John’s poetic method so that each title and the rhythm of his poetry can piggy-back upon the same song title, and rhythm, of an original composition set in history, for extra rooting. Steve put down drums, turntables, cello-bass, flute, and glockenspiel, shooting to play around the vocal lead lines and diverse expressions from John.

“to take the hair off
the sides of the head

& leave just a strip
along the top,
scalping pretense
for the baldness of statement

building a new music
on the bones of the old

— John Sinclair from the title track “Mohawk”

John Sinclair - Mohawk gatefold inner

The album was recorded diligently by Tim Egmond at Ei Studios, Amsterdam and passed along to Simon Reeves at Framework Studios, Birmingham for mastering.

Tim Egmond is a music producer, engineer and studio whizz, based in Amsterdam, who has worked with scores of international and locally based artists on a wide variety of projects.

Simon Reeves has completed many projects for Iron Man Records already and he has been described as one of Birmingham’s finest independent studio engineers who has worked with bands from Napalm Death to Police Bastard, and a host of other brutal metal and punk bands.

All artwork was cradled and visualized by the post-industrial imagination of CHU; The Black Country, tech savvy, rule-breaking, progressive wordsmith and thinker – an ardent advocate of aerosol painting and its vanguard for over 30 years with global public works and murals, 3D perspective illusions and many group shows, under his Walsall leather belt. CHU’s work has included projects with Banksy and Jamie Hewlett among many others, and he has been described as the ‘Escher of UK street art’ and founder of Graffiti Bastards.

John Sinclair - Mohawk back cover

The album is released by Birmingham based Iron Man Records whose releases have included The Nightingales, Howard Marks, P.A.I.N (Propaganda And Information Network), and Police Bastard, amongst others.

The album is beautifully packaged in a double gatefold cd wallet with artwork by CHU in full colour and a ten page booklet. Mohawk illustrates the kind of care and attention a John Sinclair record deserves. After all, he kinda helped start this underground art explosion.

All Press Enquiries Sean Newsham: sean@mutante-inc.demon.co.uk

CHU talks about his artwork for John Sinclair – Mohawk here: http://www.schudio.co.uk/blog/2014/mohawk-by-john-sinclair/

John Sinclair – Mohawk CD released on Iron Man Records 24th March 2014 Buy It Here

Listen to: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally: John Sinclair Radio Show 526

Watch WHITE PANTHER: A Legacy Interview with John Sinclair – https://ironmanrecords.net/2013/10/white-panther-a-legacy-interview-with-john-sinclair/

ARTIST: John Sinclair
TITLE: Mohawk
LABEL: Iron Man Records
FORMAT: CD Double Gatefold Sleeve / Digital Release too
RELEASE DATE: 24th March 2014
FILE UNDER: Rock
Cat No: IMB6022

Buy It Here from Cargo Distribution Direct: http://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/john-sinclair-mohawk

Buy Books and Music by John Sinclair in the Iron Man Shop here: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com

Visit John Sinclair: http://www.johnsinclair.us

Visit Steve Fly: http://acrillic.blogspot.co.uk

Visit Chu: http://www.schudio.co.uk
John Sinclair - Mohawk CD Gatefold back

The Story of TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC: Standing on the verge of getting it on by John Higgs

January 8, 2015

Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Released by Iron Man Records – 23rd November 2014)

If you spend too much time in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction you might end up running a record label. Living life in a completely deluded state, generating massive debt for no apparent reason can be difficult to keep going for more than 17 years at a time but, it seems by some terrible mistake I’ve made it look relatively easy. But anyway, enough of that, I want to explain something.

I went to a meeting last year year, the back room of a pub, The George in Southwark actually. The pub is just a few minutes walk from The Shard in London. Gimpo worked on The Shard and if I was going to park anywhere, parking at the foot of the Shard endorsed his work. I’ve spent time, 25 hours at a time, in a van going round the M25 with Gimpo, and believe me, it’s an experience to be had. I was with Steve Fly, a writer, musician and someone who plays drums for the Detroit Poet, John Sinclair who used to manage MC5 and was a founder member of the White Panthers. Steve and John released Mohawk through Iron Man Records in March and I was interested to accompany Steve to the meeting. I wanted to listen in, and if necessary, endorse him as a potential Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger, a new stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Daisy is the daughter of Ken Campbell who staged the Illuminatus! in 1976. I was 5 years old when all of that was going on.

The meeting was interesting as I had never met Daisy before and had no idea what to expect. Michelle the production manager, who was sat opposite, seemed to be keen to find the right people to take on the task ahead and no one was thinking any of this was going to be easy. A lot of hard work was ahead. If Bill Drummond had gone out to get Araldite in 1976, never to return…I was sure that this new stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s book The Cosmic Trigger was not going to be any easier for anyone.

Robert Anton Wilson was an American author novelist, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. I discovered Robert Anton Wilson by way of a band called The KLF and the various aliases from The Timelords, The Jams, The Justified Ancients of MU MU, to 2K and K Foundation. Magic Temple of Discordian Promotions gave me many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books as a present which I’ve read and sometimes re-read. Magick was also a big KLF fan and seemed to know more than me so we soon became good friends. Both Robert Anton Wilson and the discussions I had about his work with Magick gave me inspiration when organising gigs for bands in Birmingham, when signing on and eating the food in my housemate’s cupboard was about all I had. The last posting that Robert Anton Wilson put on his website said: “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.” The whole concept of keeping the lasagne flying made sure I didn’t get any ideas like getting a job or doing anything sensible with my time. In fact, I only stopped organising gigs because the venue I worked at, The Old Railway, was scheduled to be bulldozed. But that’s an aside, someone else was at the meeting who I knew of but had never met. Flinton Chalk was sat across from me, he was the one who sold the old car to Jimmy Cauty which ended up being used in KLF music videos and was renamed Ford Timelord. Flinton had bought the car from a film studio and spent time with friends dressing up as a nun and driving around doing donuts in muddy fields in the middle of the night. You might be wondering where on earth all this is going. You see, as John Higgs will tell you, if you happen to run a record label and read his book The Brandy Of The Damned “This is the problem with doing weird things. If you behave like a reasonable person, then the world will be reasonable back. If you step outside of the norm, however, and act in freaky ways, then the world will match you step for step. ”

And this is how I ended up talking with Flinton about the car, dressing up as a transvestite pirate nun, Jimmy Cauty, KLF, Julian Cope, Tall Hats, Stones Circles, and his time living in Avebury. I used to live in Wiltshire so I know that part of the world pretty well. Judging by the number of times I had driven through Avebury late at night in the early 1990’s its a wonder I didn’t run Flinton down. Somehow we got on to 111hz which can wait for another time, and then to a serious story about his trip to Mothers Jam on Fyfield down near Avebury. A stone tried to dematerialise Flinton and Julian Cope on one of their outings to collect photos and detail for The Modern Antiquarian. Flinton also told me about his band TC Lethbridge, named after Thomas Charles Lethbridge, who was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer.

Having spent every last penny for the last 17 years on a record label that few people have any interest in, or understanding of, I was in no mood to consider working with another band and certainly not one that hadn’t played a gig, or had been missing for 23 years with three unreleased albums. But, I have done many things over the years, sometimes for money, sometimes for free, and sometimes because insanity is a far more rational approach to a complex situation than trying to think things through properly. And that’s how I ended up agreeing to help TC Lethbridge until they found someone more suitable.

Sat next to me, Steve Fly had just been appointed Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger so the work was done. I didn’t get out of the building until I had also agreed to do whatever I could to help The Cosmic Trigger. What had started out in my mind as a meeting to endorse Steve and “listen in and learn,” ended up as “You don’t listen and you never learn.” And so it began. TC Lethbridge had found themselves a record label.

I drove back to Birmingham wondering if I would ever learn anything ever. But that was then, so here’s to the now.

John Higgs is the Author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned A Million Pounds’ and ‘I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary’. John Also writes fiction (as JMR Higgs) including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.

I’ve read John’s book on Timothy Leary and also his book on the KLF and The Brandy of The Damned. All of them are well worth the read, you can make your own mind up which one to read first but, before you consider any of those, I want to tell you about his latest work.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs
John Higgs has written a book called 2000 TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. The book is not for sale, it will be one of a private edition of 111 copies. Don’t ask. The answer will blow the right side of your brain.

2000 TC was written to mark The Cosmic Trigger play and festival performance in Liverpool. It is the story of TC Lethbridge, who played their first gig after the play, 23 years after they formed. TC Lethbridge are Doggen and Kev Bales, of Spiritualized and Julian Cope/Brain Donor, and Flinton Chalk, who you’ll find more about in John’s KLF book (pages 116-117).

2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

2000 TC is an album recorded by TC Lethbridge in Avebury 20 years ago. It was remastered by the same person who remastered the recent Led Zeppelin reissues. Don’t ask about that either, that’s another story altogether. Flinton met me backstage at The Barbican on 31st May after John Sinclair had performed with The Founder Effect supporting Marshall Allen and The Sun Ra Arkestra. The gig was to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Sun Ra and it was a suitable venue to hand over the 2000 TC master. The album was released on November 23rd by Iron Man Records along with an album called Moon Equipped and another called Mina. The band have been missing for 23 years and now they are back with a gig as part of The Cosmic Trigger, a book by John Higgs, and three albums on Iron Man Records.

I should mention that Thomas Charles Lethbridge was born 23rd March 1901 and passed away on 30th September 1971. You may be interested to know that 30th September 1971 is my birthday. Let me be clear: I am not the reincarnation of TC Lethbridge. If I had come up with a good reason not to work with the band of the same name, it still wouldn’t have stopped anything. It appears from birth, despite my protesting, I have been destined to know TC Lethbridge and release the records by a band of the same name. You cant make this stuff up, no one would believe it. Give the music a listen, you might like it.

The voice on the 2000 TC track Bou Saada is that of Brian Barritt. He makes an appearance in the book Cosmic Trigger, when Timothy Leary tells Robert Anton Wilson that he needs to talk to Brian if they are to both understand Aleister Crowley.

John Higgs said “Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF.

So, yeah, it had to be written.

No doubt it will be made more widely available at some point, in some format, in some way, should the band keep gigging and putting themselves about. But until then – more about the band here, and catch them Saturday if you can.”

All three TC Lethbridge albums – Moon Equipped, Mina, and 2000 TC were released on 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records. Note: Any money generated from sales of these TC Lethbridge albums will be used to finance a vinyl and CD release of each record in future.

If you are interested in reviewing the 2000 TC book or reviewing any TC Lethbridge album get in touch

John Higgs spoke in Liverpool on the Sunday after Robin Ince and made an attempt to make sense of the preceeding days. Unfortunately I didn’t get there, I had to finish a few things and then pop out for a bit. I needed to get some Araldite.

Find out more about the band here:

TC Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on by John Higgs

November 21, 2014

Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Released by Iron Man Records – 23rd November 2014)

If you spend too much time in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction you might end up running a record label. Living life in a completely deluded state, generating massive debt for no apparent reason can be difficult to keep going for more than 17 years at a time but, it seems by some terrible mistake I’ve made it look relatively easy. But anyway, enough of that, I want to explain something in the hope that you might understand it better than me.

I went to a meeting earlier this year, the back room of a pub, The George in Southwark actually. The pub is just a few minutes walk from The Shard in London. Gimpo worked on The Shard and if I was going to park anywhere, parking at the foot of the Shard endorsed his work. I’ve spent time, 25 hours at a time, in a van going round the M25 with Gimpo, and believe me, it’s an experience to be had. I was with Steve Fly, a writer, musician and someone who plays drums for the Detroit Poet, John Sinclair who used to manage MC5 and was a founder member of the White Panthers. Steve and John released Mohawk through Iron Man Records in March and I was interested to accompany Steve to the meeting. I wanted to listen in, and if necessary, endorse him as a potential Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger, a new stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Daisy is the daughter of Ken Campbell who staged the Illuminatus! in 1976. I was 5 years old when all of that was going on.

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The meeting was interesting as I had never met Daisy before and had no idea what to expect. Michelle the production manager, who was opposite, seemed to be keen to find the right people to take on the task ahead and no one was thinking any of this was going to be easy. A lot of hard work was ahead. If Bill Drummond had gone out to get Araldite in 1976, never to return…I was sure that this new stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s book The Cosmic Trigger was not going to be any easier for anyone.

Robert Anton Wilson was an American author novelist, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. I discovered Robert Anton Wilson by way of a band called The KLF and the various aliases from The Timelords, The Jams, The Justified Ancients of MU MU, to 2K and K Foundation. Magic Temple of Discordian Promotions gave me many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books as a present which I’ve read and sometimes re-read. Magick was also a big KLF fan and seemed to know more than me so we soon became good friends. Both Robert Anton Wilson and the discussions I had about his work with Magick gave me inspiration when organising gigs for bands in Birmingham, when signing on and eating the food in my housemate’s cupboard was about all I had. The last posting that Robert Anton Wilson put on his website said: “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.” The whole concept of keeping the lasagne flying made sure I didn’t get any ideas like getting a job or doing anything sensible with my time. In fact, I only stopped organising gigs because the venue I worked at, The Old Railway, was scheduled to be bulldozed. But that’s an aside, someone else was at the meeting who I knew of but had never met. Flinton Chalk was sat across from me, he was the one who sold the old car to Jimmy Cauty which ended up being used in KLF music videos and was renamed Ford Timelord. Flinton had bought the car from a film studio and spent time with friends dressing up as a nun and driving around doing donuts in muddy fields in the middle of the night. You might be wondering where on earth all this is going. You see, as John Higgs will tell you, if you happen to run a record label and read his book The Brandy Of The Damned “This is the problem with doing weird things. If you behave like a reasonable person, then the world will be reasonable back. If you step outside of the norm, however, and act in freaky ways, then the world will match you step for step. ”

And this is how I ended up talking with Flinton about the car, dressing up as a transvestite pirate nun, Jimmy Cauty, KLF, Julian Cope, Tall Hats, Stones Circles, and his time living in Avebury. I used to live in Wiltshire so I know that part of the world pretty well. Judging by the number of times I had driven through Avebury late at night in the early 1990’s its a wonder I didn’t run Flinton down. Somehow we got on to 111hz which can wait for another time, and then to a serious story about his trip to Mothers Jam on Fyfield down near Avebury. A stone tried to dematerialise Flinton and Julian Cope on one of their outings to collect photos and detail for The Modern Antiquarian. Flinton also told me about his band TC Lethbridge, named after Thomas Charles Lethbridge, who was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer.

Having spent every last penny for the last 17 years on a record label that few people have any interest in, or understanding of,  I was in no mood to consider working with another band and certainly not one that hadn’t played a gig, or had been missing for 23 years with three unreleased albums. But, I have done many things over the years, sometimes for money, sometimes for free, and sometimes because insanity is a far more rational approach to a complex situation than trying to think things through properly. And that’s how I ended up agreeing to help TC Lethbridge until they found someone more suitable.

Sat next to me, Steve Fly had just been appointed Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger so the work was done. I didn’t get out of the building until I had also agreed to do whatever I could to help The Cosmic Trigger. What had started out in my mind as a meeting to endorse Steve and  “listen in and learn,” ended up as “You don’t listen and you never learn.” And so it began. TC Lethbridge had found themselves a record label.

I drove back to Birmingham wondering if I would ever learn anything ever. But that was then, so here’s to the now.

John Higgs is the Author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned A Million Pounds’ and ‘I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary’. John Also writes fiction (as JMR Higgs) including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.

I’ve read John’s book on Timothy Leary and also his book on the KLF and The Brandy of The Damned. All of them are well worth the read, you can make your own mind up which one to read first but, before you consider any of those, I want to tell you about his latest work.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs
John Higgs has written a book called 2000 TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. The book is not for sale, it will be one of a private edition of 111 copies. Don’t ask. The answer will blow the right side of your brain.

2000 TC was written to mark The Cosmic Trigger play and festival performance in Liverpool. It is the story of TC Lethbridge, who will be playing their first gig after the play on Saturday – 23 years after they formed. TC Lethbridge are Doggen and Kev Bales, of Spiritualized and Julian Cope/Brain Donor, and Flinton Chalk, who you’ll find more about in John’s KLF book (pages 116-117).

2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

2000 TC is an album recorded by TC Lethbridge in Avebury 20 years ago. It was remastered by the same person who remastered the recent Led Zeppelin reissues. Don’t ask about that either, that’s another story altogether. Flinton met me backstage at The Barbican on 31st May after John Sinclair had performed with The Founder Effect supporting Marshall Allen and The Sun Ra Arkestra. The gig was to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Sun Ra and it was a suitable venue to hand over the 2000 TC master. The album is being released on November 23rd by Iron Man Records along with an album called Moon Equipped and another called Mina. The band have been missing for 23 years and now they are back with a gig as part of The Cosmic Trigger, a book by John Higgs, and three albums on Iron Man Records.

I should mention that Thomas Charles Lethbridge was born 23rd March 1901 and passed away on 30th September 1971. You may be interested to know that 30th September 1971 is my birthday. Let me be clear: I am not the reincarnation of TC Lethbridge. If I had come up with a good reason not to work with the band of the same name, it still wouldn’t have stopped anything. It appears from birth, despite my protesting, I have been destined to know TC Lethbridge and release the records by a band of the same name. You cant make this stuff up, no one would believe it. Give the music a listen, you might like it.

The voice on the 2000 TC track Bou Saada is that of Brian Barritt. He makes an appearance in the book Cosmic Trigger, when Timothy Leary tells Robert Anton Wilson that he needs to talk to Brian if they are to both understand Aleister Crowley.

John  Higgs said “Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF.

So, yeah, it had to be written.

No doubt it will be made more widely available at some point, in some format, in some way, should the band keep gigging and putting themselves about. But until then – more about the band here, and catch them Saturday if you can.”

All three TC Lethbridge albums – Moon Equipped, Mina, and 2000 TC will be released on 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records. Note: Any money generated from sales of these TC Lethbridge albums will be used to finance a vinyl and CD release of each record in future.

If you are interested in reviewing the 2000 TC book or reviewing any TC Lethbridge album get in touch

John Higgs will be speaking in Liverpool on the Sunday after Robin Ince and will then host a panel that will attempt to make sense of the preceeding days. Someone has to do it and if anyone stands a chance, it’s John. I hope the weekend is fun but unfortunately I wont be there, I just need to finish this and then pop out for a bit. I need to get some Araldite.

Find out more about the band here:

TC Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

TC Lethbridge

November 5, 2014

TC Lethbridge are Doggen, Kev Bales and Flinton Chalk. Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.

T.C. Lethbridge - Band photo
T.C. Lethbridge – Band photo.

Daniel James, Kev Bales, Tony Doggen Foster, Flinton Chalk at John Stewart Hall, Yatesbury, Wessex, where most of the tracks for Mina and 2000TC were recorded.

Flint had a tape with him, rough mixes of 2000TC songs recorded in Avebury which he pulled out of a box of cassettes under the stairs. I was keen to hear it. I was a big fan of the Mina instrumentals. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but it wasn’t the overwhelming sense of purpose that burst out of the speakers. I was reminded of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which I was not prepared for. There is one particular section of 2000TC that for me crystallises everything that Flint, Kev and Doggen were doing. It is at the end of the sixth track. Doggen’s playing becomes increasingly possessed by some musical spirit, the like of which I have never heard before. As the song progresses you get the strange sense that those musicians no longer exist, that they have been replaced. They have sunk a deep well and been swept away by the sound gushing out of them. This builds and builds and… stops, abruptly. The tape ran out. But back in that hall none of them noticed. They continued, utterly lost in what they were doing… To hear where they were when just before the tape ended is a cruel tease indeed. But it also points to those lost moments we can never recover, of three musicians in Avebury who had left their egos far behind and were producing, as Brian Barritt put it, “automatic writing in the sacred landscape.” – John Higgs

 

‘Moon Equipped’ – 250 Vinyl 1994 self released. Recorded 1992 on board Judith, a Dutch barge on Thames at Battersea Bridge on 4 Track cassette.
TC Lethbridge - Moon Equipped (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – Moon Equipped (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

‘Mina’ – 500 CDs self released 2001, recorded John Stewart Hall, Yatesbury, Melbourne House, Avebury, 1993, 4 track cassette, released to mark 100 years since Lethbridge’s birth.
TC Lethbridge - Mina (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – Mina (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

‘2000TC’, recorded 1994 John Stewart Hall, Melbourne House, The Henge Shop, Avebury, 4 Track cassette, digitally remastered by John Davies 2014.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

Band Line up:

Formed 1991 (Laurel Canyon) named 1992 (Avebury).

Flinton Chalk – Vocs, Keys, Percussion, Engineer, Producer.

Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster – Guitars, Keys, Lead Vocs, Digital Remaster Engineer.

Kev Bales – Drums, Percussion, Vocs,

Daniel James – Bass on 1st album.

Next public performance:
The Cosmic Trigger Festival, Camp and Furnace, Liverpool, 22nd Nov 2014 around 10pm…..

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014
The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience
Find The Others
Conferestival

Performance, Speakers, Art, Music Cinema, Rituals, Workshops, poetry, Quizzes, Stalls, Discordian Papal Ball.

Prof. Robert Temple, Robin Ince, Nina Conti, Youth, Adam Gorightly, Johnny “Dolphin” Allen, C.J. Stone, John Higgs, Dr. David Luke, Greg Sams, Jeff young, Liverpool Impropriety, TC Lethbridge, DJ Kin, Michael Brunstrom, Dr. David Bramwell, John Constable, Salena Godden, Jacqueline Genie, Adrian reynolds, Jamie Reid, Jimmy Cauty.

Camp and furnace, Liverpool L1 0BY

14:23-02:23 Sat 22nd november 2014 (Play and Ball)

11:23-23:23 Sun 23 Nov 2014 (Conferestival)

Tickets £69 (full weekend = play and ball and festival)

Phone The Everyman box office: 0151 709 4776 www.cosmictriggerplay.com

T.C. Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5