Howard Marks 1945 – 2016

April 11, 2016

Howard Marks performing at The Garage, London in 2000

“In the early hours of 10th April 2016, Howard Marks died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his four loving children.

The best-selling author, life time campaigner, raconteur, stand-up comedian and counterculture hero died after battling bowel cancer that was diagnosed at a terminal stage in August 2014.

He fought the illness with grace and humour.

His death was 21 years to the day since his release from prison in the United States, his second bout of imprisonment for cannabis smuggling since his miraculous acquittal at the Old Bailey in 1980.

One of his last acts was to set up the Mr Nice foundation, to ensure the causes dear to him continue to receive his support.”

“I have tried every way I can think of to accelerate the day of Cannabis legalisation, thereby ceasing the torture of Cannabis smokers. I’ve flooded the country with the good herb, I’ve stood for Parliament, and I’ve skinned up in police stations. None of it has worked. I needed help. I got it from P.A.I.N., the best guys in the world” – Howard Marks (2000)

Iron Man Records had the pleasure of meeting, working with and listening to Howard Marks. He really was exactly as you would hope. A truly decent bloke, funny, humble and just Mr Nice. His life and work will live on…..

“You might control a lot of things Drugs Tsar, but you’ll never control my mind…..” Howard Marks from the song Let Me Grow More Weed he recorded with P.A.I.N

It is with great sadness I have to post news of his passing. Love to all his family and those who knew him.

Mark, Iron Man Records 11th April 2016

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

December 1, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P.A.I.N Tour 2015

January 22, 2015

P.A.I.N Tour Dates 2015
P.A.I.N have a number of tour dates for 2015 and more to be confirmed soon. Here are the dates so far:

Jan 24th – The Riverside, Sheffield

March 7th – The Birdcage, Southsea

April 4th – Zonhoven Punk Fest

May 23rd – Fibbers, Dublin

June 6th – The Hairy Dog, Derby

June 12-14th – Symmetry Fest Norfolk

July 3rd – Birmingham

July 4th – Degeneration Fest, Telford

Aug 6-9th – Rebellion Blackpool

Aug 13th-16th – Boomtown, Winchester

Sept 11th-12th – Shrubfest, Norfolk

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics.

Phil Pain: Vox and Guitar
Captain Ozbert: Vox and Bass
Dan the Man: Vox and Drums
Steuie Boh: Vox and Percussion and Saxophone
Steo: Vox and Samples

P.A.I.N Gig Bookings & P.A.I.N record or live Reviews:

Iron Man Records: (uk+44) 07974 746810 email: mark at ironmanrecords.co.uk

P.A.I.N Facebook Page

Discography:

P.A.I.N : “Oh My God! We’re Doing it.” CD Buy it

P.A.I.N featuring Howard Marks : “Let Me Grow More Weed” CD single Buy it

P.A.I.N : “Our Universe Commences Here” Gatefold Vinyl Buy it

P.A.I.N for Download on iTunes

P.A.I.N releases are also available through Amazon and the usual suspects like HMV.

P.A.I.N - May 23rd 2015 Fibber Magees

P.A.I.N – Our Universe Commences Here Vinyl distributed by Cargo

September 30, 2014

P.A.I.N - O.U.C.H - Our Universe Commences Here 1600x1600

Track Listings

1. Schtum
2. P.A.I.N
3. Blue Ska
4. Rocking Cross De Borda
5. Neighbourhood Watch
6. Super Drugs
7. A-Z
8. S.T.A.H.B.M
9. Eastern Dub
10. Chickens

Double Gatefold Vinyl (Distributed By Cargo 13 Oct 2014)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Iron Man Records

O.U.C.H is the long awaited second album from P.A.I.N. The South London conspiracy offer the world a radioactive audio file crammed full of Nuclear Dub, Genetically modified Ska, and BSE laced Punk Rock. The album is about the prison system, its use against the defenceless, and laws that cannot be defended. The band have found allies in unexpected places, such as the well documented liason with Howard Marks and the support of Kate Bush. Always outspoken, P.A.I.N see their music as a vehicle of political expression; There is much more to Our Universe than the prohibition of Cannabis, you only have to look at the poetic irony of simultaneous fuel protests and widespread environmental catastrophe. Everyone will talk of the necessity for radical change, yet still, nothing changes. Are we all just consumers for the profit of the IMF? Do our lives really amount to a column of figures? Just who has the power now? Surprisingly, it’s still all of us. The Protest Movement has become global in response, and we now have a genuine opportunity to fight back at the real enemy; no longer the copper, or politician, but the evil bastards who claim with a straight face that they own 90% of the worlds resources. We are all born on this planet and every single human being alive has an equal right to life, air, water, and food. They tell us that this is being naive and unrealistic. We tell them that we will never rest until our demands are met, they had better sleep lightly – P.A.I.N.

Original sleeve artwork by top British cartoonist Pete Loveday whose Saga of Russell comic books can be found around the world. P.A.I.N feature ex-members of R.D.F and A.O.S.3. Members of P.A.I.N can also be found in SUICIDE BID, RUBELLA BALLET, LESS and LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD.

P.A.I.N - OUCH poster 150 dpi

P.A.I.N – Oh My God! We’re doing it! CD distributed by Cargo

September 29, 2014

P.A.I.N - Oh My God! We're Doing It....We're Fuckin' Doing It....!! 1600x1600

Track Listings
1. Intro/Beltane
2. Everything Must Go
3. Pork Dub
4. British Justice
5. No Leaders For The Free
6. Money
7. Oh No! It’s The Pigs
8. Lighters
9. Punx With Guns

Audio CD (Distributed by Cargo 13 Oct 2014)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Iron Man Records

This is the re-issue on Iron Man Records of P.A.I.N’s classic first album. Originally released on Inner State back in 1995 the album sold out and after the collapse of Inner State had been lost until now. The Original artwork has been reconstructed to be as close to the original as possible and the track listing includes all the classics from the P.A.I.N set.

The album includes the work of Phil, Dan and Ozzy who were all in R.D.F. Phil has also played guitar with RUBELLA BALLET and been involved with the band called SUICIDE BID. John is no longer performing with the band and is currently working with a reformed A.O.S.3. (John also did LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD and later a band called LESS)

This record was seen by P.A.I.N as the third in a trilogy, RDF: Raggamuffin Statement, A.O.S.3: Diversionary Tactics and this cd P.A.I.N: Oh My God! We’re Doing it.

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, and pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their addled heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way, working extensively with groups like Reclaim the Streets, Anti-globalisation groups, Hunt Saboteurs, Anti-fascists, Squatters, Mad Pride, MacLibel, and many more….

That’s the politics, however, it would be to sell the band short to say the story stops there…They are, like most punk bands, part Pistols, part Spinal Tap (actually, was there much difference?) and the best things about P.A.I.N are the stories of what has happened to them over the years, genuinely unbelievable situations…Contrary to the many rumours circulating, the band have not split up, they never did. The band are alive and well and gigging all over the place, writing songs for the next album. They have a page on facebook too.

“Through raw dub, reggae and punk rock P.A.I.N. challenge inconsistent politics and attack and question through intelligent and bright lyrics: “So many thousands across the country with nowhere to go at night, so they take over empty derelict houses to call their own and try to put right, can’t you see that squatting is not a moral wrong it’s a cry for help from those in need, anxious for a roof over their head when the council are deaf to their pleas”. There are bands that just use politics as a front and something to sing about and there are bands that truly believe in what they are writing and singing about and who are devoted to it even when they’re not making music and that’s P.A.I.N. Their sound and attitude is unquestionably English and this record could have come out in the late ’70’s, early ’80’s or really anytime up to the present. It’s old-fashioned and fresh all at once and it’s a pity that you don’t really get bands like this anymore….really staunch, raw political bands. It’s all just silly shit these days where very few punk rock bands have got anything really important to say.”

 “P.A.I.N (Propaganda and Information Network for the uninitiated) were/are a band formed from the ashes of the seminal RDF (Radical Dance Faction) and the festy-dub-ska-punk AOS3 (named after Augustus Owsley Stanley III, maker of much LSD and roadie for Grateful Dead). With that background in mind, “Oh My God…” manages to combine a hard radical political edge with catchy tunes, skanking dub and some original sampling!

At just over 40 minutes with 9 tracks including the RDF songs “Punx with guns” and “Lighters” (with the same tune as Dum-Diggy on Ragamuffin Statement) there is something for everyone on here. From the slowed-out dub reggae of “Beltane” and the ludicrously catchy “Money” to the punked up “British Justice” and “Oh no! It’s the Pigs,” this album incorporates the best of the earlier bands’ sounds. The political angle makes this album sublime and not done in a conventional anarcho-ranting way but fusing some humour, simple choruses and catchy tunes such as “If you go down to Sainsbury’s, the special offer of the week is that it’s free” and “British justice… British justice… I can’t make sense of it ‘cos I’m stupid.” Vegetarianism, environmental activism, anti-capitalism, self-organisation and anti-statism are among the topics covered in songs, but not in a preach-shove-down-throat way but to the relaxing dub beats and bouncing British punk. To round it all off, the album ends with armed revolution on the streets of Britain!

Admittedly the recording quality could be a tad better but by standards of other DIY punk/reggae/free-festival types, it’s not that bad! To top it all off, the title comes from the truly brilliant anarchist-propaganda Tin Tin “Breaking Free” comic which makes for a great album cover and t-shirt!

“Oh my God…” brings together all the best elements of AOS3, RDF, the anarchist-influences, free festivalling and biting satire. Still going strong despite losing John from AOS3, P.A.I.N manage to make one of the best ska-dub-punk-esque releases which you can come back to again and again. Finally, to top it all off, many hours will be wasted laughing at the booklet that comes with it demonstrating all the political acts against the state, government, Tories and much more. May the session continue!” By MH Lambert on 8 Oct 2007.

P.A.I.N- Oh My God! Net Advert

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/

The Culture Industry: Enlightenment or Mass Deception?

February 10, 2014

“Pop culture in general is the main thing they use to keep young people from developing any ideas.” – John Sinclair.

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

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.

John has been on TV news recently with an appearance on CNN talking to Atika Shubert about the Marijuana laws in Holland, and the value of these laws in attracting tourism. The piece makes an interesting overview of the issues involved and Cafe 420 is featured including an interview with the owner. Perhaps Birmingham City Council’s tourism department could learn a trick or two.

For those into poetry and performance: Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer died last month at the age of 79. Baraka was a leading force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963 he published “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” known as the first major history of black music to be written by an African American. A year later he published a collection of poetry titled “The Dead Lecturer” and won an Obie Award for his play, “Dutchman.” After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965 he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater. In the late 1960s, Baraka moved back to his hometown of Newark and began focusing more on political organizing, prompting the FBI to identify him as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the pan-African movement in the United States.” Baraka continued writing and performing poetry up until his hospitalization late last year, leaving behind a body of work that greatly influenced a younger generation of hip-hop artists and slam poets. If you don’t know his work, find out more for yourself.

For those assembling posters and flyers for gigs across the region, January also said Farewell to Gary Grimshaw, a Rock Art Legend, the man whose posters and covers defined the Detroit rock scene. John Sinclair wrote a few lines that I think are worth sharing with Midlands based musicians and artists here “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.

“After the movement ended in the mid-’70s we went our separate ways but reunited in Detroit in the 1980s in partnership with Frank & Peggy Bach to serve the Motor City music community for several years before Gary moved to the San Francisco Bay area. He was one of my greatest friends of all time, most valued co-worker and constant inspiration.”

“The Revolution is totally committed to bringing people out of their shells and into each others arms. The music is the source and effect of our spirit flesh and we demand a free music and a free high energy source that will drive us wild into the streets…..yelling and screaming and tearing down everything that would keep people slaves” – John Sinclair

John Sinclair relives his ups and downs with the MC5 in the next issue of MOJO, on sale from January 28, 2014.

Last Under The Sun have more gigs planned, 15th Feb at Rock Zombie Dudley and 16th Feb at The Flapper and Firkin Birmingham. You can listen to and download all their music for free here: http://lastunderthesun.bandcamp.com or you can find their cds in the Iron Man Shop. The band are off to Belgium and Holland in March.

Police Bastard are assembling tour dates to promote their new album, Confined, which continues to generate interesting reviews. A few quotes include:

“Thought-provoking monologues and confrontational lyrics bring you on a cold, doom-laden journey of perpetual war, psychological mind control and disillusionment.”

“…an anti-theistic slice of brutality, which leaves the listener in no doubt that Police Bastard mean business. You even get a quote from Richard Dawkins about teaching the bible as fiction. Musically they give us huge chugging riffs on “Brought To Our Knees”, which tackles the blandness of multi-national companies infecting the high street, set against the backdrop of the widening gap between rich and poor. For those that like their anthems loud and stompy, “Sick Sick System” will no doubt win a seal of approval with its knock about Punk mayhem and catchy refrain, ‘sick sick system, same old bullshit’.

“….From Mark Orton‘s cover art through to the final song, “Fortress,” Police Bastard have presented an album that uses hardcore’s battering ram approach to push through a series of songs that depict how humanity has destroyed the Earth. Lines such as “We’re sealing our fate” hammer home the idea that mankind has taken the world to the edge of existence…”

“Confined” was recorded at Framework Studios, Birmingham and is out now.

The Nightingales – Born out of Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects, the Nightingales have stubbornly ploughed their own furrow in the field of alternative rock n roll for three decades. 2006 saw the release of “Out Of True” on Iron Man Records and the return of a reformed Nightingales after some years away. The band have not wasted much time since then and yet another new album is on the way for 2014.

The band hope to announce tour dates for UK/Europe for  April and May and some Festivals to be confirmed for over the summer/autumn 2014. There may be some United States dates in Sept/Oct time too.

Nightingales are planning a 7″ 45rpm to be released at some point & another album to be recorded later in the year for early 2015 release.

Described in John Robb’s definitive post punk biography ‘Death To Trad Rock’ as “the misfits’ misfits”, the band has constantly garnered praise and respect from other artists and received endless glowing press reports, particularly for their live shows. Led by singer/lyricist Robert Lloyd (‘The most underestimated songwriter of his generation’ according to Ben Thompson in the Independent) the latest incarnation of the Nightingales are back again with a new album recorded at Faust studio in September 2013 for release in spring 2014. There will be a vinyl lp and the record label & title will be confirmed soon.

Blog: On the Iron Man website I’ve posted a series of interesting articles like The Bitcoin Revolution By Steven Hager and Free The Weed 35 by John Sinclair.

The Bitcoin Revolution: “Bitcoin is rapidly transforming the financial landscape with a peer-to-peer solution for wealth transfer. It has already shown capacity to absorb tremendous resources and withstand crisis sell-offs. Read this short ebook to understand why you should invest in this revolutionary computer art meets cryptography concept. I came late to Bitcoin and have zero understanding of the technical complexities of cryptography, but I do realize Bitcoin is open source and completely transparent and completely non-predatory in design, a real departure from our banking industry. Any assets moved into Bitcoin virtually disappear from the public record at this point and do not become taxable events until they are brought back into the system. Bitcoin has numerous benefits to offer and represents a real threat to our current corrupt money system. The media has been relentlessly negative on bitcoins for a reason: they threaten the status quo.”

Free The Weed: “….people in the cannabis community are looking on in wonder as the United States takes its first tentative steps toward legalizing marijuana for use by all thinking persons over 18 years of age.

Like they say in New Orleans, a lotta people don’t know that marijuana is not actually legal in the Netherlands, although over-the-counter sales of cannabis has been allowed under what they call a “grey area” in the law which amounts to a sort of super-decriminalization policy that not only eliminates arrest but lets smokers buy and ingest the sacrament in designated coffee shops without police interference.

But growing, distribution, wholesale transfer and delivery are still fully illegal, growers are tracked down and arrested, distributors are intercepted, delivery remains fully clandestine, shop owners are prohibited from stocking more than 500 grams of cannabis products on the premises at any one time, and even the consumer is limited to purchases of no more than 5 grams per trip.”

If you are a rapper or organise shows for rap and hip hop, Prop Anon, from New York, is looking at Touring Europe in July 2014. If you want to book him to play email him at propanon23@gmail.com. Theres a post with a few videos I like on the website.

P.A.I.N play in Brighton on 15th March and a number of other tour dates are coming up. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Framework Recording Studios is now fully operational in Digbeth with Simon Reeves at the controls. The recording studio is based at Blotto on Floodgate Street, Birmingham, B55ST. If you are interested in recording at Framework call 07790 158210 or email siframework@gmail.com.

Tour Mangement: In addition to running Iron Man Records, I also work as a Tour Manager and spend a lot of time helping bands find just about everything else tour related. If you need a tour manager or need help sourcing a good vehicle at the right price email mark@ironmanrecords.co.uk or call (+44) 07974 746810.

WARNING: Culture Industry is a term coined by Theodor Adorno (1903–69) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), who argued in “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods – through film, radio and magazines – to manipulate the masses into passivity; the easy pleasures available through consumption of popular culture make people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances. Culture industries may cultivate false needs; that is, needs created and satisfied by capitalism. True needs, in contrast, are freedom, creativity, or genuine happiness….Culture not only mirrors society, but also takes an important role in shaping society through the processes of standardization and commodification, creating objects rather than subjects. By standardizing the consumer’s needs, the Culture Industry is manipulating the consumer to desire what it produces. The outcome is that mass production feeds a mass market that minimizes the identity and tastes of the individual consumers who are as interchangeable as the products they consume. Think about it.

For more on all of the above and to buy music by the artists visit www.ironmanrecords.net

Interview: John Sinclair – Mohawk

January 15, 2014

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

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

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

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

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

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

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

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

“to take the hair off
the sides of the head

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

building a new music
on the bones of the old

— John Sinclair from the title track “Mohawk”

John Sinclair - Mohawk gatefold inner

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

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

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

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

John Sinclair - Mohawk back cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the short film:

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

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

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

A sense of solidarity Vol #1 by The Warzone Collective

January 10, 2014

ALL proceeds go towards keeping the doors of the Warzone centre open.

1.The Steady Decline – Death Parties 02:37
2.Runnin’Riot – Bold as Brass 02:52
3.Hardcase – Our Guitars kill fascists 02:22
4.The Defects -HILL STREET 02:17
5.Aggressors B.c – A.G.G.R.E.S.S.O.R.S 02:50
6.Low Street – Fight 03:28
7.The Decline – Always run 02:46
8.Decoy47 – St Christy 02:37
9.Divisions – Take my stand 02:58
10.Monkhouse -Say nothing 02:42
11.P.A.I.N – British justice 04:46
12.Beer Fridge – Nuclear Acid 01:50
13.Setting off Sirens – Papercuts 02:22
14.Suckin Diesel-TV Licence Men of The Apocalypse 03:20
15.Buck Eejit-Cameron (you c**t) 02:19

Warzone Collective began in 1984 when a few local musicians decided to pool their efforts, seize the times and get their own venue, practice rooms and social space. By 1986 the Collective opened its first premises in Belfast which provided a vegetarian cafe/drop in centre (Giros), practice and office space, venue and screen printing workshop. It developed organically along DiY lines and soon became a focal point for alternative culture in the city. In 1991 the Collective moved to a larger and more ambitious venue. Over the years thousands of people passed through the doors and were exposed to new ideas centred around the DiY ethos, and the Centre became the counter-cultural hub for the greater Belfast area and beyond. Towards the end of 2003 the Centre closed for a number of different reasons but it left a gap in radical Belfast culture. In 2007 discussions began and eventually in 2009 the Collective reformed and by 2011 a new centre was opened once again. Where it goes from here depends on all those who get involved.

Warzone Collective is everyone who helps!

To book an event in the Centre please contact warzonegigcollective@riseup.net for an application form.

For information on upcoming events visit the Warzone forum or www.facebook.com/pages/Warzone-gig-collective/156649134364054

Massive thanks to all the bands who contributed tracks towards this project!

We are all we have.

P.A.I.N – Brighton, 15th March, 2014

January 7, 2014

The Green Door Store, Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton, BN1 4FQ. Doors 7pm Tickets £6
P.A.I.N - Brighton 15th March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014
19:00 until 22:30

BRIGHTON : The Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches
Lower Goods Yard
Brighton
BN1 4FQ

The Surplus People present a mash up night of punk/ska/dub/reggae/rockerbilly with…

P.A.I.N (Propaganda And Information Network)
&
RATBAG
&
HOLLYWOOD ASSASSINS

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way.

Advance tickets here: www.wegottickets.com/event/250937

Buy P.A.I.N records and T-shirts here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

Next Page »