How to live a psychedelic life with the poet and activist John Sinclair

July 26, 2016

John Sinclair at 12 Bar Club, London, Sunday 11th May 2014

Psychedelia with John Sinclair
Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone

Stuart finds out how to live a psychedelic life with the poet and activist John Sinclair as BBC Music’s My Generation celebrates the 1960s. John Sinclair is best known for his jazz poetry, managing the rock band MC5 and being a founding member of the White Panther party in the late 1960s. Stuart chats to him about the creative philosophies behind psychedlia and how to open your mind.

John Sinclair in the Iron Man Records shop

Interview: John Sinclair – Mohawk

January 15, 2014

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary interviewed on his new album Mohawk, music and poetry, sharing ideas, the war on drugs, doing what you want, and more.

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” CD. Released Monday 24th March 2014 by Iron Man Records

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

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 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 to be 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 will be beautifully packaged in a double gatefold cd wallet with artwork by CHU in full colour and a ten page booklet. John Sinclair will be appearing in November through to March to promote the new album. 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

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) Poet, Playwright, Activist. Baraka was a leading force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled “The Dead Lecturer” and won an Obie Award for his play, “Dutchman.” After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the late 1960s, Baraka moved back to his hometown of Newark and began focusing more on political organizing, prompting the FBI to identify him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Baraka continued writing and performing poetry up until his hospitalization late last year, leaving behind a body of work that greatly influenced a younger generation of hip-hop artists and slam poets. Track 5 on John Sinclair – Mohawk is called “Bloomdido” and is dedicated to Amiri Baraka. Rest in Peace. The work continues.

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

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

Watch the short film:

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 to follow
RELEASE DATE: 24th March 2014
FILE UNDER: Rock
Cat No: IMB6022

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

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair

October 11, 2013

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair – a short film by CHARLES SHAW featuring JOHN SINCLAIR music by THELONIUS MONK

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.

The Nixon Administration and the FBI 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.

You can find John Sinclair Books, CDs and other interesting stuff here: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com

Documentary: John Sinclair in New Orleans during Mardi Gras

February 12, 2013

“I always was involved into music. As a fan, composer, journalist, performer, photographer and now film maker….I was lucky to work with Blondie, David Bowie, Chris Wilson, Chris Blackwell and of course John Sinclair, (author, performer, beat-poet, DJ, founder of the White Panther Party, “Spirit” of the early MC5, ex-radical hippie saved from 10 years of prison by John Lennon….)

John has been a major contributor to the Culture of New Orleans and one of its most enlighted experts….particularly found of the “Black culture” of New Orleans, so rich in extraordinary talents…John guided me through the back streets of New Orleans, so to encounter the Mardi Gras Indians….” Gilles Riberolles

Click the link http://vimeo.com/47967644 to play the Documentary We love Big Chief from Gilles Riberolles on Vimeo.

Coming from Paris I joined John Sinclair in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras time….John drove me through Black New Orleans up to the Mardi Gras Indians…

You can find more John Sinclair in the Iron Man shop here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop