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

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

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 65 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where I’m enjoying one of the finest summers ever with lots of sunshine and not so much rain. As a Flint native, I’m accustomed to long hot summers with plenty of heat, and as a former resident of New Orleans, I know what heat and humidity are all about. There’s nothing like that here, and it stays kind of chilly most of the time even after the sunniest days, but it’s great to have more sun than rain in one’s life here in Amsterdam, and I’ll take it! I had a great experience the other night when I went with my friend Leslie Lopez to the Nord…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 64 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where I’m spending the summer in a very interesting section of the city called the Bijlmer that used to be a terrible fear-ridden slum on the outskirts of town but has been redeveloped by the government as a sort of art-centered multi-cultural neighborhood populated by people of many descriptions, from dark-skinned immigrants to young white urban professionals with real jobs and a certain quotient of bohemians both black and white. The interesting thing is that, unlike in the States, the immigrant population of the former ghetto was not expelled to make the renovated area  “safe’ for white people but was included in the redevelopment plans and rehoused…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 63 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where I’ve just returned for the summer (if all goes well) to continue my efforts to set up my personal foundation called Stichting John Sinclair in order to make a proper repository for my life’s work, my intellectual properties, copyrighted writings and albums, and artifacts of my creative endeavors including my poetry and book manuscripts, master recordings, and related materials. I’ve always preserved the materials created by my work as an artist and activist with an eye to the future when I’m no longer here, and in the past I’ve created an archive at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan for most of the…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 62 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Detroit, where I’m spending my last week before crossing the ocean to appear at a Detroit Artists Workshop exhibition in London and then on to Amsterdam for as long as I can get away with it. April is always a great time for me to be in Michigan, and except for the day-long snowfall at the Hash Bash in Ann Arbor at the top of the month, which didn’t really seem to dampen too many spirits out on the Diag and on Monroe Street for the festivities, I’ve had a great time celebrating the sacred weed in various settings all month. Following the Monroe Street Fair there was…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 60 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from New Orleans, where I was greeted for Mardi Gras with the splendid news that the New Orleans City Council is about to pass an ordinance virtually decriminalizing marijuana possession in the Crescent City, largely due to the work of Kevin Caldwell and the organization called Legalize New Orleans and to Council member Susan Guidry, who introduced the measure. “Under the proposed municipal law change,” nola.com reports, “a first-time offender could get off with a verbal warning. A second-time offender could get a written warning, then a $50 fine the third time” and a $100 fine any time after that. “Police will now be able to use their discretion,”…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 59 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, former marijuana capitol of the world, although I intend to be in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras by the time you’re reading this column. Sad to say, Louisiana is one of the most backward sectors of the USA in terms of its marijuana laws, and I’ll go back to a life of full-time criminality as a toker during my up-coming six weeks in the Crescent City. Here in Amsterdam the attack on the cannabis culture by the Dutch authorities continues to rage, with another round of forced coffeeshop closings completed in the busy Warmoestraat on January 1, including the mammoth Grasshopper shop and the popular Baba.…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 58 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from the south of England at the end of 2015 and highest wishes for the New Year, which may indeed be the one that brings us legalized marijuana in Michigan and takes us closer to our goal on the national level: FREE THE WEED! Dear friends, let us pray that 2016 will be the year that begins to blow away the web of distorted myth from the topic of marijuana and starts the process of according full recognition and respect to the reality of marijuana and its many beneficial uses in our sick social order. This whole process of demonizing marijuana and its users in order to forge a…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 57 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam at the beginning of the traditional Cannabis Cup week, where for the first time since 1988 there will be no High Times Cannabis Cup in the marijuana capitol of the world and no Thanksgiving Day awards for the best weed grown in Holland. I first came to Amsterdam for the 11th Cannabis Cup in 1998, where I served as High Priest and performed at the Melkweg club nightly with my band of Blues Scholars from New Orleans. I had such a good time that I begged High Times to bring me back the next year, and that’s when I fell in with Michael Veling of the 420…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 56 by John Sinclair

Hi everybody and highest greetings from the northeast sector of Detroit where I’m recovering from foot surgery with my daughters and granddaughter waiting on me hand and foot to keep me from going stir crazy while I sit here and heal. While in Detroit for the past two months I’ve been delighted to read page after page of coverage in the daily papers of the proliferation of medical marijuana outlets in the city and several serious think pieces about the burgeoning of the cannabis industry and the imminence of legalization for recreational use as well. My position is clear: For those like myself who spent 40 or 50 years copping in…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 55 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from the northeast side of Detroit, where I’m visiting with my daughter Sunny and granddaughter Beyonce and waiting right now to schedule a required foot operation that promises to restore much of my personal mobility that’s been shackled for most of the present year by a diabetic wound on my left foot that has refused to heal. My several doctors say that portions of infected bones in my foot—sadly including my small toe—must be removed so that the flesh may heal, and then I’ll be off my feet for another month of recovery time. I’ve had to cancel all my potential performance work and my entire trip to Chicago,…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 54 by John Sinclair

I’ve been talking in this space all year about my forthcoming book from the MMM Publishing Company called IT’S ALL GOOD—A John Sinclair Reader, and our hope was to have it available for the Cannabis Cup in Clio. But that proved impossible, and now it’ll hit the streets right around the first  of September. I’ve been running excerpts from the book to try to pique your interest in what’s coming, and here’s an excerpt from the lead number in the book: On The Road…. Although this writer has followed faithfully the bardic path for fifty years, I waited a long time to hit the road as a poet. There were so…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 53 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where I’ve been spending my summer so far working with my pals Steve The Fly and Sidney Daniels to try to open up a temporary autonomous zone of our own called the Bohemian Embassy somewhere in the city of Amsterdam this fall. At the same time I’m working on completing the final stages of production so my new book, IT’S ALL GOOD—A John Sinclair Reader, can go to the printer under the careful hands of my publisher, Ben Horner. My daughter Celia, who’s designed and produced the book for me, was in Detroit working with me on making the book and now is back in New Orleans…

Continue Reading

Free The Weed 52 by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where I’ve just returned for the summer until it’s time to come back to Michigan in August for the Michigan Medical Cannabis Cup festivities in Clio and around the Flint area. As a native of Flint I take great pride in the long strides made there by the medical marijuana community to establish itself and secure its existence under the law, and in the citizens of the city itself for voting to enjoy legalized recreational marijuana in their community. When I smoked my first joint in Flint sometime in 1961, I could barely comprehend that weed was illegal. It seemed like such a good thing—how could anyone…

Continue Reading

John Sinclair – Mohawk – Press

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 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…

Continue Reading