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

Free The Weed 53 by John Sinclair

April 19, 2016

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 finishing up. She’s done a beautiful job from the front cover photograph of the author in front of the Hempshopper on the Singel canal (snapped by the proprietor, Sidney Daniels) to the back cover reproduction of a painting by my friend Frenchy made here in Amsterdam at Café The Zen during the recoding of my album Let’s Go Get ’Em.

I’ve been previewing the book in this column by running selected pieces from the 25 essays and 25 poems that make up the John Sinclair Reader, and I’ve got a short essay and a poem from IT’S ALL GOOD to contribute to this month’s entry here. Already available through CD-Baby is the album I’ve made of the 25 poems in the book set to music and performed by a variety of musical ensembles I’ve collaborated with over the years.

This is a big moment for me as a poet and writer of 50 years standing, to collect some of my favorite works in one volume and include the musical versions of the poems as a download card that will; be inserted into the book itself. I’m proud of this work and very thankful to Ben Horner for having the nerve to make it his first book publishing venture.

This column coincides with two important dates in my life: August 5, the day I was released from the Detroit House of Correction in 1966 after serving a six-month sentence for possession of marijuana; and August 6, the day the United States government sent the airship Enola Gay to drop atomic bombs on Japan—the only instance in human history where one country has used a weapon of mass destruction on another.

For me this atrocity represents an awful turning point in the history of civilization and the beginning of the end of our illusions about the actual nature of our country. Everything has been downhill morally and culturally since that terrible day of August 6, 1945, and the really horrible thing is that it could happen again at any moment that a government in possession of nuclear weapons decides that one of its enemies must perish.

It’s long been something of a truism that marijuana smokers are peace-loving people. We don’t hurt anyone, and we aren’t about trying to do away with our enemies through the use of weapons of mass destruction. Many of us feel that all nuclear weapons should be destroyed and the possibility of further use of weapons of mass destruction be forever abandoned.

That’s certainly the way I feel as a citizen and a marijuana smoker, and I’d like to offer the following selections from IT’S ALL GOOD in the spirit in which they were written.

MASTERS OF WAR

War is never something to be proud of, but an unprovoked war of brutal aggression to seize and control the resources of a small, defenseless nation halfway around the world from the United States is particularly shameful.

While it was extremely painful to witness the merciless bombing of Afghanistan to drive out of power our former allies, the Taliban government (remember the “heroic Islamic freedom fighters” of the 1980s?), our nation’s blitzkrieg assault on Iraq heralds a new era of American imperial atrocities of frightening proportions.

But of course our populace doesn’t remember the heroic Islamic freedom fighters of Afghanistan. Allen Ginsberg said, “the name of yesterday’s newspaper is amnesia,” and the war in Iraq revealed that nearly three of every four Americans had come to believe that Saddam Hussein had ordered the airstrikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon just a short year and a half ago.

Forgotten also has been the fact that our military establishment supported and helped arm Iraq in its eight-year war against Iran not so long ago.

This is madness, for sure, but it is also a precise measurement of the degree to which our citizenry has been successfully dummied down by the relentless, decades-long attack of the wholly compromised news media and the mass entertainment corporations that own them.

Now it’s “America At War,” “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” “Homeland Security,” “Shock and Awe,” page after page and hour after hour of disgusting pro-war propaganda building public support for the bully-boy adventures of our illegitimate president.

With its ducks all lined up in a row following the Bush putsch of November 2000 and the Republican Party takeover of the House and Senate in the disgraceful 2002 elections, the ugly cabal of unbridled greedheads who rule our social order is now determined to install its long-anticipated New World Order.

The regime change in the United States engineered by Karl Rove, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Chief Justice William Renquist and their henchmen proceeded so smoothly and with so little protest from the electorate that foreign conquest by their smash-and-grab tactics seems easy—and they’re going for it in a big way.

So pay close attention, ladies and g’s, because the nightmare has only started. The meanness and unmitigated greed which for so many people around the world have for so long characterized the American spirit are now unleashed and will soon be functioning at full force.

It’s time to stand up and be counted in opposition or stand by and watch the imperial juggernaut steamroller everything we hold sacred.

—Chicago

April 20, 2003

“Fat Boy”

for Charles Moore

 

There is something

about the American

mind

 

set on de-

struction, re-

lent-

 

less, un-

penitent,

eager to bomb.

 

There is the hatred

that fuels the A-

merican mind,

 

the shriveled-up

heart

the heartless

 

always ready

to kill

& maim

 

brutal

with the urge

to crush & destroy—

 

This is where

they built Fat Man, Mr. U-

235

 

& they sent

Fat Man

& Little Boy

 

to Japan

to level Hiroshima

& Nagasaki —

 

They love Fat Boy

They feed him the sweets

of their hearts

 

singing their filthy songs

into Fat Boy’s u-

ranium ears

 

& let the rest of us

eat the shit

of their hatred

 

of anything

or anyone

that is not them

 

Ah! Fat Boy

so round & ugly

so full of hate

 

stuffed

with the dead spirits

of the Americans

 

blinded

& lost

in the deserts of Iraq

 

Thanks for listening, and I hope to see many of my readers at the festivities at and around the Cannabis Cup in Clio. I’ll also be taking part in an event staged by the Grannies For Grass organization at Fried Eggs Productions, 15426 Harper on Detroit’s east side on August 30 at High Noon. Free The Weed!

—Amsterdam

July 16-18, 2015

© 2015 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

John Sinclair – Tour Dates New Orleans 2016

February 11, 2016

JohnSinclair_420Cafe_Frenchy

Fri. Feb. 12    7:30 p.m.     Piano Poetry Paint @ Frenchy Gallery (8314 Oak St.) with Tom Worrell, Lionel Batiste & Frenchy

Sat. Feb 13         3 p.m.     Louisiana Music Factory with the Carlo Ditta Trio (421 Frenchmen St.)

Mon. Feb 15      7 p.m.       Reading from “IT’S ALL GOOD” at Frenchy Gallery

Tue. Feb 16       7 p.m.       Reading from “IT’S ALL GOOD” at Frenchy Gallery

Wed. Feb 17      7 p.m.       Reading from “IT’S ALL GOOD” at Frenchy Gallery

Thu. Feb 18       7 p.m.       Reading from “IT’S ALL GOOD” at Frenchy Gallery

Fri. Feb 19         7 p.m.       Reading from “IT’S ALL GOOD” at Frenchy Gallery

Sun. Feb. 28    10 p.m.       d.b.a. with the Carlo Ditta Trio (618 Frenchmen St.)

Mon. Mar. 7     10 p.m.     Hi-Ho Lounge (2239 St. Claude), Instant Opus Improvised Series

Wed. Mar. 9       9 p.m.       Little Gem Saloon with the Carlo Ditta Trio  (445 S. Rampart St.)

Track John Sinclair on SongKick and get updates for shows as they are announced

Buy John Sinclair Books, Music and more here

Iron Man Records – a Birmingham based Independent Record Label

July 15, 2015

Iron Man Records Logo for print

Iron Man Records is a Birmingham based independent record label, founded in 1996. The label has released recordings by: P.A.I.N, Police Bastard, John Sinclair, Nightingales, Steve Fly, TC Lethbridge, Dufus, Sensa Yuma, and Last Under The Sun, amongst others.

“Music has no flag, no government, no police. Nobody owns it, nobody controls it. Music crosses all borders of geography, language, culture and belief. Music brings people together…..” – Reasons Why

Iron Man Records is run by a Music Promoter and Tour Manager – Mark Badger and a Script writer and Lawyer with a music background – Kevan Tidy.

Mark Badger founded Birmingham Music Network, in 2000.  Since 1994, Mark has organised more than 1000 gigs around Birmingham as Badger Promotions. Additionally, Mark Badger is an active member of two Birmingham based bands: Last Under The Sun and Police Bastard.

Before joining Iron Man Records, Kevan Tidy was a musician and a songwriter. Kevan has worked as a lawyer for many years and can help aspiring inventors, film makers, writers, and musicians and has worked at all levels.

Iron Man Records offers a number of services from Releasing Music, Tour Management and Online Strategy to Legal Advice. The label works closely with several radio stations, including: Music World Radio and Radio Free Amsterdam to give good new music a chance to be heard.

Iron Man Records is about artistic freedom. The label demonstrates its approach by supporting musicians who have something to say and wish to produce music in their own time, and on their own terms.

– Magdalena Szytko, Birmingham, 2015

Iron Man Records - Advert 2015 For Web

Free The Weed 52 by John Sinclair

July 4, 2015

John Sinclair - London 17th Sept

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 possibly have anything against it? But it soon became apparent that the authorities claimed that marijuana was a narcotic and those who might possess it would be committing a serious Violation of the State Narcotics Laws (VSNL) subject to imprisonment for up to ten years.

For those who were committed to supplying their fellow smokers with small amounts of marijuana for personal use, charges of sales or dispensing the herb—no matter the quantity—carried a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of life imprisonment.

I suffered my first arrest for VSNL—Sales of Marijuana in October 1964, six months after I moved from Flint to Detroit to attend graduate school at Wayne State University. I had been an habitué of the Detroit jazz scene for three or four years before I moved to the city and I had some pretty good weed connections already, so when I settled near the WSU campus I was able to establish a nice little bag and take care of my friends and fellow students who liked to get high.

I sold a $10 bag to a friend of a friend in Jackson, Michigan who had gotten busted on a sales charge and got hooked up in an elaborate scheme directed by the Michigan State Police to find someone who would sell him some weed. I met this guy at a jazz club in Lansing, Sonny Adams’ Tropicana Lounge, and made the mistake of telling him I could help him with some weed if he ever came to Detroit.

In December 1964 I pled guilty in Detroit Recorders Court to a reduced count of possession of marijuana and was given a sentence of three years’ probation. But now that I was a known narcotics offender, my troubles with the Detroit Narcotics Squad were just beginning, and I drew a bigger target on my back for the police when I formed Detroit LEMAR in January of 1965 and began to agitate publically for the legalization of marijuana.

As I rarely tire of saying, that was 50 years ago and we’ve spent half a century struggling to legalize marijuana in the State of Michigan. For most of this period we’ve had to concentrate on getting the police out of our lives, and since the people of the State of Michigan had the good sense to pass the Medical Marihuana Act in 2008, those of us who qualify as patients can get our medicine from a friend-caregiver or across the counter at a compassionate care center.

The medical marijuana legislation we passed seven years ago is especially valuable in its concentration on growing for self or being taken care of by a grower who is licensed to serve up to five patients. Other forms of distribution are not mentioned in the Act, which would seem to leave the door open to all sorts of solutions from public dispensaries to traditional grass-roots distribution systems.

Since the institution of medical marijuana in Michigan, events have proved incontestably that there is absolutely no public danger from the sanctioned widespread smoking of the benevolent herb. Thus the public is ready to move on to the logical solution to the marijuana problem, which is to make it completely legal and available to all who desire to smoke it without legal or societal consequence, whether they want to grow it themselves or acquire it from others.

Marijuana smokers in Michigan have long devised effective means of obtaining and enjoying our medicine. We have taken care of it ourselves despite the insane efforts of the so-called law enforcement community to stop us from getting high. We have suffered their many forms of punishment and persevered none the less, emerging triumphant on the medical marijuana front and now making marijuana available to patients over the counter.

When marijuana is finally legalized in Michigan—hopefully in 2016, if all goes well—it is in the overwhelming interest of the entire marijuana community that current provisions for growing and distributing the weed remain within the exclusive purview of the marijuana community itself. Medical growers must be allowed to continue growing and distributing their herb as they see fit, devising whatever methodology that proves effective in terms of getting the weed to the smokers.

Medical marijuana patients must be allowed to continue the programs they are currently utilizing to take care of their needs. Recreational smokers must have a way legally to acquire their herb from individual providers or from public dispensaries. There must be no interference with these systems beyond some reasonable form of taxation as with all other products, and the police must be completely and totally removed from the cannabis community in all its manifestations.

The present situation is a smoker’s nightmare. So far there are three distinct groups agitating for their own form of marijuana legalization and ready to put their solutions up to the voters through the initiative process, potentially creating mass confusion and possibly causing the issue to fail to gain enough votes to insure legalization.

The traditional smoker’s interest is best served by the language contained in the proposition advanced by the Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Committee (MILegalize or MCCLRC), whose petition has been approved as to form by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers. Organizers expect to begin collecting signatures in late June, launching their drive on the steps of the State Capitol on June 25.

MILegalize maintains that anyone over the age of 21 would be allowed to purchase, possess or use marijuana without fear of prosecution at the state or local level. The law would also apply to marijuana products, such as edibles. A person could transfer up to 2.5 ounces and consume on private property “or on public property as otherwise allowed by law.”

Residents 21 years or older could grow up to 12 marijuana plants each, “in a manner so as to reasonably prevent unauthorized access to or harvesting of the plants.” Home grown marijuana could not be made available for sale.

The proposal would not affect Michigan’s medical marijuana law. Medical marijuana would not be subject to the proposed excise tax.

Under this plan retail marijuana sales would be subject to a 10 percent excise tax in addition to the existing state sales tax. Marijuana manufacturing, testing and retail sales establishments would be licensed by local governments, which would be responsible for establishing licensing rules, security requirements, and other regulations.

The MILegalize initiative is directed by Atty. Jeffrey Hank and other prominent marijuana activists and attorneys including Matthew Abel, Chuck Ream, and Steven Sharpe.

When someone asks you to sign a petition to legalize weed, make sure it’s from the MILegalize group and not the other two outfits, both of which are Republican Trojan horses for large-scale agricultural and pharmaceutical interests who have no history of advancing the cause of legalized marijuana. Accept no substitutes! Free The Weed!

—Amsterdam June 22, 2015

© 2015 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

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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

Sun Ra Memories by John Sinclair

December 6, 2014

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

My first real exposure to the music and legend of Sun Ra came in the fall of 1964, when drummer Roger Blank passed through Detroit with a jazz trio I can’t remember the name of.

We put him up for a few days in our stronghold at the Detroit Artists Workshop Cooperative Housing Project, and I watched Roger open his suitcase and pull out what were obviously his most prized possessions: two weird LPs on the El Saturn label with garish outer space art on the covers and names like Supersonic Jazz and Jazz in Silhouette.

I had read about the avant-garde Chicago pianist and bandleader in downbeat and other jazz magazines, but his music was still so far underground that few people outside the band’s immediate orbit had ever heard it.

By this time the apocryphal Jazz by Sun Ra album on Transition Records was long out of print, and only The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra (Savoy, 1961) was currently available.

I knew the Arkestra had moved to New York City and taken the creative music community by storm, but its music was still pretty much only a thing of legend and not something you could put on your turntable and listen to at will.

Blank regaled us with tales of Sun Ra and his fantastic Arkestra—how they all lived together in a tiny apartment at 48 E. 3rd Street on the lower east side of New York City, where at least a dozen grown men crammed into a three-room pad and rose each day for the mandatory noon rehearsal.

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

They might go for months without an actual gig, working religiously on mastering the uniquely imaginative compositions and arrangements created for them by their leader with no hope of more than a musical reward.

By 1964 Sun Ra and his long-time partner in Chicago, Alton Abraham, had launched their own label, El Saturn Records, but the fledgling company seemed to distribute its products strictly on a hand-to-hand basis.

Seeing two of them now, popping out of Roger Blank’s suitcase in Detroit, sent thrills coursing throughout my being—they were so rare it was like the answer to a prayer.

Soon Sun Ra would release two startling albums—The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volumes 1 & 2—on the new avant-garde jazz label ESP-Disk, which finally brought his music to the attention of the jazz world at large.

On a trip to New York City in the fall of 1966 after I’d been released from a 6-month prison sentence at the Detroit House of Correction, I made a pilgrimage to 48 E. 3rd and spent some time with Sun Ra and the Arkestra, even managing to interview the enigmatic composer for our underground paper in Detroit, the Warren-Forest Sun.

One evening I showed up at the pad with my tiny Opel sedan just in time to serve as the major transport for the Arkestra’s gig that night at the Jazz Arts Society of New Jersey in Newark, where they ended up playing for just about as many people as were in the band—about 15.

In the spring of 1967 I arranged for the Arkestra to make its first Detroit appearance at the Community Arts Auditorium on the Wayne State University campus, a 600-seat venue. They shared the bill with the MC-5 and the Magic Veil Light Show and played to maybe 100 people.

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

The gate receipts were so miniscule that one of the members of our Detroit commune, Emil Bacilla, ended up driving the Arkestra back to New York City in his Volkswagen bus because we were unable to pay the band’s transportation costs.

During my tenure (1967-69) as manager of the MC-5, I shared with the band my unbridled enthusiasm for Sun Ra’s musical message and his cosmic space philosophy. In 1968 the MC-5 developed a piece called “Starship,” a wild space odyssey in the amplified-guitar-and-rock-drums idiom into which the singer Rob Tyner incorporated Sun Ra’s poem, “There / is a place / where the sun shines / eternally….”

“Starship” made it onto the 5’s first album for Elektra Records, with Sun Ra sharing composer’s credit with the MC-5.

In the spring of 1969 I arranged for Sun Ra and the Arkestra to come out to Michigan for a month-long residency. We rented the house next door to our commune at 1510 Hill Street in Ann Arbor for them and presented the Arkestra in concert with the MC-5 at several area venues, including Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, the Ann Arbor Armory, and as headliners at the First Detroit Rock & Roll Revival festival at the Michigan State Fairgrounds, where they headlined with Chuck Berry and the MC-5 in a bill designed to showcase the past, present and future of the music.

When I had the opportunity to select the artists for the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival, I scheduled Sun Ra & the Arkestra to close the first night’s show, following performances by the Seigel-Schwall Blues Band, the Contemporary Jazz Quintet (CJQ), Junior Walker & the All-Stars and Howlin’ Wolf.

Sun Ra completely wowed the crowd of 12,000 with the Arkestra’s spectacular presentation of space-age improvisational music, brilliant costumery and frenzied choreography. On the Atlantic Records 1972 Festival album, the audience can be heard chanting “Sun Ra! Sun Ra! Sun Ra!” for several minutes following the end of the Arkestra’s performance.

Sun Ra’s 1973 appearance was more highly anticipated than ever before. Now he was incorporating his philosophical disquisitions into the stage show itself, casting his views into verse and presenting them via a three-part vocal chorale to stunning effect.

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

A new suite based on the previous year’s smash success, “Space Is the Place,” had been prepared to introduce Ra’s concept of an “Outer Space Employment Agency” which would put the idled workers of post-industrial America back into a productive mode outside the tired orbit of Earth.

The Arkestra was again a big hit at the 1973 Festival, and they were scheduled to return for the 1974 event when hassles with the Ann Arbor city government impelled us to move the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival to Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from downtown Detroit.

I was trying to shepherd the Arkestra through Canadian customs when I was singled out and deported back to Detroit on the basis of a marijuana conviction 10 years previously.

I went back to my room in the Shelby Hotel and watched myself talking to a television news reporter covering my deportation proceedings.

This experience marked a major turning point in my life when I considered that the farthest-out group of characters I had ever seen in America was allowed entry to Canada, while I was turned back as “too far out.”

“You’ve gone too far,” I said to myself. “It’s time to turn back now.”

That fall I retired from political activism and the rock & roll scene to take up less grueling pursuits, working as an alternative journalist and editor for a couple of years and then opening a small community arts consulting business focused on providing program development and grant-writing services to indigenous jazz artists and organizations.

This led to the establishment of the Detroit Jazz Center in 1979, and by the end of 1980 the Jazz Center was presented with the opportunity to bring in Sun Ra and the Omniverse Jet-Set Arkestra for a week-long residency in downtown Detroit.

Rick Steiger, an aspiring young saxophonist and bandleader (Kuumba, the Sun Messengers, the Sun Sounds Orchestra) from the east side and a regular participant in the Jazz Center’s various activities, came to me with an attractive proposal: He had just inherited a couple of thousand dollars from a dearly departed relative, and he wanted to use this windfall to finance a trip to the Motor City by Sun Ra & the Arkestra.

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

He would engage the band for the week between Christmas and New Year’s; we would lodge them at the Jazz Center, present the Arkestra in a series of concerts in our after-hours performance space called the Jazz Gallery, and host daily workshops with the band where local musicians could meet, hang out, study and play with the members of the Arkestra.

After a full week of nightly concerts which were carefully taped for posterity, culminating in three shows on New Year’s Eve, Sun Ra ended his residency at 6:00 am January 1, 1981 by sending band representative Danny “Pekoe” Thompson down to the studio where I was packing up the results of our live recording sessions.

Pekoe asked if we’d like to co-produce an album from the tapes with them, and I was curious as to what that would involve. When he mentioned that they would want us to pay for issuing the record, I explained that there was nothing in the Jazz Center’s pitiful budget for such a project.

“Oh, man,” he sighed, “Sun Ra says just reach down in that oil money and pull some out—they won’t miss it.”

And there it was: for something like 15 years, while I had sacrificed all available funds, energy, and even my reputation at times to present the Arkestra in Michigan as often as possible, Sun Ra had taken me for an heir to the Sinclair Oil Company fortune!

I saw Sun Ra after that many times over the years and never failed to recall that shocking conversation. I would continue to appreciate the music and performances of the Arkestra as long as Ra lived, but the avid idealism which had driven me to pursue these great feats of derring-do would never again return.

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

From “Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth” in IT’S ALL GOOD: A JOHN SINCLAIR READER (London: Headpress, 2009) © 2009, 2014 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.)

John Sinclair – NYC Tour Dates October 2014

October 17, 2014

John Sinclair - NYC Tour Dates October 2014

Oct 17 – 11pm West End Lounge

Oct 18 – 8pm Parkside Lounge

Oct 21 – 10pm Sidewalk Cafe

Oct 22 – 5pm Otto’s

Oct 23 – 10.30pm Sidewalk cafe

Oct 24 – Beast Of Bourbon

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 in the Iron Man Shop

 

John Sinclair + The Founder Effect – Spiegeltent, Canary Wharf, London 17th Sept

August 24, 2014

John Sinclair at 12 Bar Club, London, Sunday 11th May 2014
John Sinclair and The Founder Effect perform songs from ‘Mohawk’ at Canary Wharf Spiegeltent, London

Download the Spiegeltent Leaflet PDF here

“John Sinclair – renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary…..an Archetype of the 1960’s art, music and literary synthesis, still kicking with both feet on his trajectory for cultural transformation. Mohawk features ten tracks from his book of verse: always know: a book of monk. Beatnik poems, great odes and personal reflections of the Be-Bop jazz persuasion, all flowering together.”

Doors – 6.00pm
John Sinclair on stage 6.30pm – 7.45pm
Tickets available through SEE Tickets for £10 + Booking Fee

All Press Enquiries Sean Newsham: sean@mutante-inc.demon.co.uk
All Guest List requests to: Ben Conway ben@peterconwaymanagement.com

TUBE Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf DLR Canary Wharf or Heron Quays

LONDON BUSES D3, D7, D8, 135, 277

THAMES CLIPPERS Canary Wharf to
Central London in 23 minutes, 26 times a day. thamesclippers.com / 0870 781 5049

LONDON TRANSPORT INFORMATION tfl.gov.uk
John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

John Sinclair and The Founder Effect at Barbican, London, 31st May 2014.

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy 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 in the Iron Man Shop

John Sinclair + The Founder Effect – Spiegeltent, London 17th Sept poster

Ticket Link: http://www.seetickets.com/event/john-sinclair-and-the-founder-effect/spiegeltent-at-canary-wharf/810282

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” CD  March 2014 by Iron Man Records, Birmingham.

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary released his new 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 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 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.

The words here poured forth after cannablissed talking-poet John Sinclair stared at the moon when jazz giant Thelonious Monk died in 1982. The luminous lunar loom inspired Sinclair to create a series of poems about early Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie: “Lest we forget these are young men…bursting with the joy of discovery.” Sinclair lifts up the proverbial bandstand (per Monk’s mandate) with tales of the birth of bop at Monroe’s Uptown House and the jazz/Beat connection. Drummer/composer Steve Fly creates a hip-hopped be-bopped bed of rhythmic sound. (And the bonus track at the end has a Beatle on it!) – Michael Simmons

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

ARTIST: John Sinclair
TITLE: Mohawk
LABEL: Iron Man Records
FORMAT: CD Double Gatefold Sleeve / Digital
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 Sun Ra Arkestra and John Sinclair – Barbican, London by Michael Horovitz, 4 June 2014

June 4, 2014

Detroit jazz poet John Sinclair, counterpointed by inventive British post-bop quartet The Founder Effect, whom he’d only just met, filled the first half hour of this marathon gig with echoes and premonitions of the Arkestra and of its visionary originator-captain Sun Ra, who died in 1993. Sinclair’s finale ‘Another Order of Being’ drew extensively on Ra’s pronouncements, notably that ‘A band can demonstrate unity among men more than anything else in the world’, and that ‘In some far place, many light years in space, where human feet have never trod! where human eyes have never seen! I’ll build a better kind of world’.

John Sinclair at The Barbican 31st May 2014

Then on ambled a dozen amiable all-black Arkestrans, exotically clad in flowing raiments and headgears of multinous shapes and colours, led by biblicly bearded, Popeishly mitred alto sax, flute and kora maestro Marshall Allen, who has directed the band’s various line-ups since 1995. What followed over the next two hours was pure Saturnalia, qua unrestrained merry-making – as came super/naturally, given it was just a few evenings after Ra’s 100th birthday – consolidating his lifelong insistence that he’d been delivered to Earth from Saturn to spread universal light.

The nonstop musical euphoria this edition of the band generated was one supreme generating factor, itself swathed throughout by another, the ebulliently bubbling psychedelic triple-screen liquid light-show laid on by ex-Pink Floyd illuminator Peter Wynne-Willson’s ‘Mystic Lights’. The band consisted of four saxes, two trumpets, trombone, french horn, guitar, two streams of percussion, Tyler Mitchell’s walking bass, the infinitely lyrical pianistics of Farid Barron and gospel-tinged songsprays from Tara Middleton.

Their repertoire included wild ‘inter-galactic’ Ra/Allen hits like ‘Sunology’, ‘Angels & Demons’, ‘Space is the Place’ interspersed with straight melodic, parodic, improvised/squealy-squawked variations on ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’, ‘Sometimes I’m Happy’ and the early Coleman Hawkins’ ‘Queer Notions’, plus unison and free-form honking’n’hooting’n’blurting’n’chanting, Swing Era riffing, with the marching band tradition recalled every so often by the horn-players taking off-stage sorties to every unoccupied foot-space in the jam-packed auditorium, whilst still blowing their (and many of our) arses off.

The kids’ playground/circus electricity were further recharged by Pucklike altoist Knoel Scott periodically erupting into nimbly balletic somersaults, flying handstands and joyously whizzing cartwheels, and a couple of times getting one of the other saxophonists to play vigorous physically-back-to-back duets with him.

The memory of this fantastic spectacle and its wondrous soundscapes will go on uplifting my spirits for many a moon. Should Ra himself have chosen to revisit that little bit of Earth for this party, he too may still be smiling these bits of his legacy’s work and play to have witnessed – and mayhap even deliver whatever he likes of it back to Saturn . . .

Michael Horovitz, 4 June 2014

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

March 7, 2014

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

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, 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 2014 to promote the new album, all show details to follow. 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 to follow
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

Video by CHU on the making of 360 degree artwork for "Mohawk" by John Sinclair

February 17, 2014

“I sketched the entire world and digitised it inside Google’s Sketchup, where this three dimensional, three hundred and sixty degree artwork could spring to life. This sketch can be viewed from almost anywhere and the result is a multi-dimensional drawing – a million sketches worth. When making a normal two dimensional drawing, changing the viewpoint requires a completely new sketch – this way, the sketch allows plenty of freedom for the viewer and there are a sickening amount of permutations.

This economy in the production stemmed from the need to pay tribute to, as close as possible, the location and setting for the photoshoot on the cover of Thelonius Monk’s Undeground LP released on Columbia in 1967. The sleeve won a Grammy in 1968 for art direction.

Steve ‘Fly’ and I considered it may have been Monk’s apartment in Manhattan on the original sleeve. Wherever it may have been, I rebuilt the scene, destroyed it, reinfected it and drenched it all in psychedelia, on a stage that Paddington Bear would be proud of.

Is there something in that marmalade?” – CHU 14th Feb 2014

For more on CHU’s mind boggling digital sculpting, research and free-form thinking have a look at his own site and see for yourself what he has been up to:

http://www.schudio.co.uk/blog/2014/mohawk-by-john-sinclair/

Video by CHU on the making of 360 degree artwork for "Mohawk" by John Sinclair

February 17, 2014

“I sketched the entire world and digitised it inside Google’s Sketchup, where this three dimensional, three hundred and sixty degree artwork could spring to life. This sketch can be viewed from almost anywhere and the result is a multi-dimensional drawing – a million sketches worth. When making a normal two dimensional drawing, changing the viewpoint requires a completely new sketch – this way, the sketch allows plenty of freedom for the viewer and there are a sickening amount of permutations.

This economy in the production stemmed from the need to pay tribute to, as close as possible, the location and setting for the photoshoot on the cover of Thelonius Monk’s Undeground LP released on Columbia in 1967. The sleeve won a Grammy in 1968 for art direction.

Steve ‘Fly’ and I considered it may have been Monk’s apartment in Manhattan on the original sleeve. Wherever it may have been, I rebuilt the scene, destroyed it, reinfected it and drenched it all in psychedelia, on a stage that Paddington Bear would be proud of.

Is there something in that marmalade?” – CHU 14th Feb 2014

For more on CHU’s mind boggling digital sculpting, research and free-form thinking have a look at his own site and see for yourself what he has been up to:

http://www.schudio.co.uk/blog/2014/mohawk-by-john-sinclair/

John Sinclair talks to CNN's Atika Shubert about Marijuana, Amsterdam and Cafe 420

January 18, 2014

Every year 6 million tourists come to Amsterdam for the culture, but others come for the Marijuana. CNN’s Atika Shubert reports and talks with the owner of Cafe 420, and John Sinclair

Watch the video link here: http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2014/01/13/ac-pkg-shubert-marijuana-amsterdam.cnn.html

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