John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient – Press update

July 20, 2017

John Sinclair - Beatnik Youth Ambient - Artwork
John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient
Iron Man Records
IMB6033

Distributed by Cargo

All Press enquiries to Sean Newsham : sean@mutante.co.uk

“Incendiary bebop beauty from the renegade poet John Sinclair with hand drawn cover artwork by YOUTH. If we ever needed a passionate beat soul speaking words of wisdom, it’s now, and John Sinclair – Revolutionary, Jazzman – lays it down. Bohemian ex-manager of the MC5, Sinclair was central to 1960’s counterculture. A year or two back he met producer YOUTH (Primal Scream, U2), and got dragged into the 21st Century.

The result is a hypnotic celebration of personal freedom; laid-back thoughts spoken in John Sinclair’s gruff, grainy drawl, draped against blues, bebop and trip-hop.

Do It, with it’s lonesome sax, echoes Paddy McAloon’s intimate I Trawl The Megahertz: “In those days, to make poetry and art…that wasn’t called for. But you did it, even though you knew you would never get paid…”

Brilliant Corners is a wild tribute to Jack Kerouac, and Sitarrtha offers, “If we’re lucky, music will bring us through, and we’ll wake up singing.” What a dude.” – Glyn Brown **** Mojo Magazine August 2017.

Order John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient here

John Sinclair Beatnik Youth Ambient review MOJO Aug 2017
John Sinclair interview MOJO Aug 2017

John Sinclair - Beatnik Youth Ambient - UNCUT Magazine September 2017

John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient UK Press/Radio feedback – Released July 28th 2017

BBC6Music – Gideon Coe played ‘Do It’ on 8th June.

BBC6Music – Jon Hillcock (sitting in for Gideon Coe) played ‘Do It’ on 31st May

BBC6Music – Jon Hillcock (sitting in for Gideon Coe) played ’Sitarratha’ on 30th May.

BBC Radio Lancashire – On The Wire – Steve Barker played ‘Do It’ on 17th June

Confirmed Features

Bandcamp Magazine feature – Saby Reyes-Kulkarni interviewed John and Youth
Mojo Magazine – Eyewitness feature – Pat Gilbert – for issue out end of June – interview done – out now
Louder than War Magazine feature – skype with Gus Ironside done earlier this week email Q&A with Youth still to happen

Confirmed Album Reviews

Electronic Sound Magazine
Louder Than War Magazine – Gus Ironside
Mojo Magazine – Glyn Brown – out now
Record Collector – Kris Needs
Shindig Magazine – Chris Twomey
Uncut Magazine – John Lewis – Issue out mid August
Vive Le Rock

Digital Press

Cone Magazine – http://www.conemagazine.com/john-sinclair/
Sunday Experience – https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/john-sinclair-2/

The Seventh Wave (Birmingham) Chris MacAdams – playing tracks

Iron Man Records Discography Advertisement A5 Landscape without marks

John Sinclair – It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader

February 18, 2016

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It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader

Writer/Poet John Sinclair takes readers on a journey through time through music lyrics, poetry and stories from songwriters themselves. It’s All Good features stories of tragedy and triumph, musical and poetic inspiration that takes readers on a trip through the Wonder Years.

John Sinclair has been many things to many people—founder of the Detroit Artists Workshop and the White Panther Party, manager of the storied MC-5, producer of the legendary Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festivals and of records by artists from Deacon John to Sun Ra, political prisoner and implacable opponent of the marijuana laws since 1965, popular radio broadcaster at WDET and WWOZ and originator of the live coverage of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, pioneer of podcasting and proprietor of his own internet radio station at Radio Free Amsterdam for the past ten years.

But first and always John Sinclair is a poet and journalist with 50 years of the written and spoken word behind him. His work in adapting the blues and jazz idioms to verse forms with musical accompaniment is without parallel, and he’s produced more than 20 albums of his music & verse creations.

IT’S ALL GOOD collects 25 of Sinclair’s poems and 25 prose writings into one handy compendium of selections from his books of poetry Fattening Frogs For Snakes—Delta Blues Suite, always know: a book of monk, and Song of Praise—Homage to John Coltrane, plus excerpts from his underground classic Guitar Army and features on Jack Kerouac, Dr. John, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Irma Thomas, and the Wild Indians of Mardi Gras.

IT’S ALL GOOD is accompanied by a free album download of Sinclair’s poetry & music collaborations corresponding to the poems in the book and featuring accompaniment by Wayne Kramer, Jeff Grand, Mark Ritsema, Charles Moore, Lyman Woodard ,Tom Worrell, Afrissippi , Ed Moss & the Society Jazz Orchestra and others.

Buy It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader

Product Details
Copyright The John Sinclair Foundation (Standard Copyright Licence)
Publisher Horner Books
Published 16 September 2015
Language English
Pages 416
Binding Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink Black & white
Weight 0.27 kg
Dimensions (centimetres) 15.24 wide x 22.86 tall

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

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

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

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) Poet, Playwright, Activist

January 11, 2014

“Take the words and make them into bullets, take the words and make them do something.”

The life and legacy of Amiri Baraka, the poet, playwright and political organizer who died Thursday 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. We are joined by four of Baraka’s longtime comrades and friends: Sonia Sanchez, a renowned writer, poet, playwright and activist; Felipe Luciano, a poet, activist, journalist and writer who was an original member of the poetry and musical group The Last Poets; Komozi Woodard, a professor of history at Sarah Lawrence College and author of “A Nation Within a Nation: Amiri Baraka and Black Power Politics”; and Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress in Newark, New Jersey. http://www.democracynow.org

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” cd is Released Monday 24th March 2014 by Iron Man Records. Track 5 is called “Bloomdido” and is dedicated to Amiri Baraka. Rest in Peace. The work continues. All Press Enquiries Sean Newsham: sean@mutante-inc.demon.co.uk

Free John Sinclair – The David Frost Show: John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Jan 13th 1972

November 19, 2013

You can find John Sinclair Books, CDs and other interesting stuff in the Iron Man Shop here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

 

WHITE PANTHER: The Legacy of John Sinclair

October 11, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

John Sinclair – Discography

July 8, 2013

01 John Sinclair: Thelonious: a book of monk (1996)
02 John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars: Full Moon Night (1994)
03 John Sinclair with Ed Moss Society Jazz Orchestra: If I Could Be With You (1996)
04 John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars: Full Circle (1997)
05 John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars: White Buffalo Prayer (2000)
06 John Sinclair: Underground Issues (2000)
07 John Sinclair & His Boston Blues Scholars: Steady Rollin’ Man Live (2001)
[BOX-1] John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars: Fattening Frogs For Snakes, Volume One: The Delta Sound (2002)
08 John Sinclair: KnockOut (2002)
09 John Sinclair & Monster Island: PeyoteMind (2002)
10 John Sinclair: It’s All Good (2005)
11 John Sinclair: No Money Down: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 (2005)
12 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: criss cross (2005)
[BOX-2] John Sinclair: Fattening Frogs For Snakes, Volume Two: Country Blues (2005)
13 John Sinclair: Guitar Army (2007)
14 John Sinclair & Pinkeye: Tearing Down the Shrine of Truth & Beauty (2008)
15 John Sinclair & His Motor City Blues Scholars: Detroit Life (2008)
[BOX-3] John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars: Fattening Frogs For Snakes, Volume Three: Don’t Start Me To Talking (2009)
16 John Sinclair & Planet D Nonet: Viper Madness (2010)
17 John Sinclair: It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader (2010)
18 John Sinclair & His International Blues Scholars: Let’s Go Get ‘Em (2011)
19 John Sinclair & Hollow Bones: Honoring The Local Gods (2011)
20 John Sinclair: SONG OF PRAISE—Homage to John Coltrane (2011)
21 John Sinclair: Beatnik Youth (2012)
22 John Sinclair: Conspiracy Theory (2012)
23 John Sinclair: Viperism (2012)

[BOX-4] John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars: Fattening Frogs For Snakes, Volume Four: Natural From Our Hearts (unissued)

—John Sinclair
Amsterdam, June 30, 2013

DISCOGRAPHY NOTES

[1] Numbering system for albums corresponds to my album files

[2] Original releases on:
01 New Alliance Records
02 Alive/Total Energy Records
03 Schoolkids Records
04 Alive Records
05-06 SpyBoy Records
07 triPup Records
BOX-1 Okra-Tone Records/Rooster Blues
08 D-Men Records
09 Future Is Now Records
10-11-12, BOX-3, 22-23 Big Chief Records
BOX-2, 15-16-18 (MoSound) No Cover Records
13 Feral House/Process Books
14 LocoGnosis Records
17 Headpress
19
20 Trembling Pillow Press
21 Track Records

[3] Guitar Army album inserted in Feral House printing of book;
It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader album inserted in Headpress prnting of book

[4] Albums 06, 10, 11, 22, 23 are compilation albums

[5] Albums 02, 03, 05, 07, 14, 19, 20 recorded “live”

[6] Choice studio albums are 04, 12, 15, 16, 18 and 21

Buy Books and Music by John Sinclair in the Iron Man Shop here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

John Sinclair – Biography (June 2013)

June 26, 2013

Cultural revolutionary, pioneer of marijuana activism, radical leader, political prisoner by the end of the 1960s, a legend of the imagine nation, the last of the Beatnik Warrior Poets, and a founding father of the U.S rock and roll constitution, John Sinclair.

John Sinclair

John Sinclair was born on the 2nd of October 1941, in Flint, Michigan, and grew from being a rock’n’roll fanatic and teenage disc jockey enthusiast to a cultural revolutionary icon, pioneer of marijuana activism, co-founder of the White Panther Party and a political prisoner, all by the end of the explosive 1960’s.

He first tuned into rhythm and blues radio at a young age, getting his hands on records by the likes of Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. This early exposure to high energy African American music would have a life-altering effect on John. He graduated high school and went on to attend Albion College, University of Michigan at Flint, and then went on to Graduate school at Wayne state University, Detroit for an M.A. in American Literature, and ultimately dropped out of state run academia in 1965 to follow the path of the beatnik poet warrior, independent scholar and cultural organizer.

From 1966-67 Sinclair correspondently founded the Detroit Artists’ Workshop with his partner Leni Arndt, poet/film-maker Robin Eichele, trumpeter Charles Moore and twelve other like minded individuals. Consequently the workshop became part of the ‘hippy revolution: Sex, drugs, rock & roll and fucking in the streets”.

Together with other fine works produced in step with the mimeograph revolution, the Artists Workshop published his first book of poems ‘This is our Music’ (1965) Fire Music; a record (1966), The Poem for Warner Stringfellow (1966), and Meditations: a suite for John Coltrane (1967). John served as a local correspondent for Downbeat (1964-65) and Jazz (New York) magazines, and had his articles, reviews and poetry appear in numerous other publication besides those he edited, including; American Poet, Camels Coming, Coda, Connections, El Corno Emplumade, Incense, island, Jazz (Warsaw), The Journal, Kaleidoscope, Kulchur, Latitudes, Magazine, Move, New Lantern, Club Review, Orpheus, Other Scenes, Out of Sight, the Paper (Lansing), Poetmeat, San Francisco Oracle, Seed, Sounds (Germany), and Sounds & Fury.

In July 1965, John read his works at the Berkeley Poetry Conference together with Ed Sanders, Ted Berrigan, and Lenore Kandel.) In 1966, he began to manage the proto-punk/Avant Rock band MC5, simultaneously, in the summer of 1967 the Detroit Riots broke out. This event along with years of police harassment aimed at the Detroit Artists’ Workshop led Sinclair and his friends to take refuge in the college town of Ann Arbor Michigan. MC5’s first album was recorded “live” at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in 1968 and “exploded onto the scene like a bomb though a courtroom window” and was released along with the declaration that Sinclair, MC5 and a select few others had formed the White Panther party, in opposition to the U.S. government, the war in Vietnam, the war on drugs, the culture wars and to show open support for the Black Panther Party.

The White Panther Party spearheaded the process of a “rock’n’roll revolution” during 1968 to 1969, and the writings of Sinclair for the underground press helped document and analyse the White Panther Parties “Total assault on the culture” and the mutual opposition to the Vietnam war. The WPP remains the only political party ever formed by a rock’n’roll band. They preached the poetry of an immediate revolution–a sonic rainbow revolution–and carried out their radical political and cultural organising and edutainment work alongside their fellow revolutionaries on the East, and West coasts of the U.S.A. The White Panther Party was referred to by the FBI as “potentially the largest and most dangerous of revolutionary organisations in the United States”, shortly before the FBI were caught illegally wire-tapping the white house leading to the Watergate scandal.

Shortly after the FBI cottoned onto Sinclair and the WPP, he was sent to prison after giving an undercover police officer, two joints of Marijuana in a set-up linked by many to the secret spy operation called cointelpro. It was his third conviction of similar offences and Sinclair received a distorted maximum penalty of 10 years. Sadly, this conviction resulted in MC5 discharging his services and breaking up the growing strength of the WPP.

Sinclair utilized his time in prison fruitfully to read and write, producing the incendiary books, ‘Guitar Army’: a collection of writings for the underground press, and ‘Music & politics’, co-written by Robert Levin. He continued to support some activities of the White Panther Party from his cell, feeding back with the other throughout its transformation into the Rainbow Peoples Party.

The Free John campaign aided Sinclair’s release after a long 29 month campaign and reached its climax in the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally” that took place at the Chrysler arena in Ann Arbor. The now legendary benefit featured Phil Ochs, Stevie Wonder, Allen Ginsberg, Bobby Seale, Archie Shepp, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Lennon composed a song especially to help raise awareness of Sinclair’s case called “John Sinclair” which was featured on the ‘Sometime In New York City’ album. Three days after the rally was held, Sinclair was released and had his conviction overturned.

“It ain’t fair, John Sinclair/In the stir for breathing air/Won’t you care for John Sinclair?/In the stir for breathing air/Let him be, set him free/Let him be like you and me/They gave him ten for two/What else can the judges do? Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta,gotta, gotta, gotta set him free”–John Lennon, John Sinclair.

After being released Sinclair got back into music management and promotions through the Rainbow MultiMedia Corporation, which was to manage Mitch Ryder, Detroit, and several other bands from Ann Arbor, while continuing the role of Chairman of the Rainbow Peoples Party, its direction, political organising work. He helped produce the historic Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz festivals that hosted Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, B.B. King, Otis Rush, J. B. Hutto and the Hawks, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Magic Sam, Freddie King, Son House, Clifton Chenier, Roosevelt Sykes, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Sun Ra, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor Ray Charles, Maceo Parker, Etta James, James Brown, Booker T. & the MG’s, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Al Green. He also became involved in radio, hosting popular shows on WNRZ and WCBN, and founded The Peoples Ballroom, The Free Concerts in the Park Programme, The Ann Arbor Tribal Council and took on a key role in the success of the local Human Rights Party that resulted in two city council members being elected and the institution of the $5 marijuana possession fine.

In 1975 the Rainbow Peoples Party disbanded, while the resignation of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon together with the end of the Vietnam War changed the mass movement in America. Sinclair moved back to Detroit and his poetry, Journalism, radio programming and urban cultural activism. He spent 15 years with a loving family and while working as the editor of the Detroit Sun newspaper. He was also the founder and director of the Detroit Jazz Centre, assistant professor of popular music history at Wayne State University, programme host for WDET-FM, director of the City Arts Gallery for the Detroit Council of the Arts, and editor of City Arts Quarterly.

In 1991, after attending the Mardi Gras festival annually for over a decade, Sinclair relocated to New Orleans and became a member of the volunteer staff at WWOZ radio and won the OffBeat magazine’s reader poll, voted the city’s most popular DJ 5 years in a row (from 1999-2003). He formed a band in 1992 called The Blues Scholars, and in 1994 he recorded his first CD and consequently set out on tour as a performance artist backed by Jazz, blues and rock groups. His collaborations include Little Milton, Jimbo Mathus, the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Ras Moshe, The Kudzu Kings, Afrissippi, The Pinkeye Orchestra, Wayne Kramer,  and The Dutch Rappers Lange Frans & Baas B.

Several of Sinclair’s poetry collections were published along with his major work in verse, ‘Fattening Frogs for Snakes: Delta Sound Suite’. He has released more than 15 CD’s of his work with Music and Verse which include Volumes 1 and 2 Of ‘Fattening Frogs For Snakes: Delta Sound Suite’, ‘Full Circle’ and ‘White Buffalo Prayer’ with Wayne Kramer. During his time in the musical mecca of New Orleans, John wrote hundreds of original essays and articles along with some new edits of his previous poetry.

After some visits to Amsterdam as a guest of the High Times Cannabis Cup in the late 1990’s  John relocated to Amsterdam in 2003. His grass roots radio show is now the flagship of the encyclopedic Radio Free Amsterdam. He began performing throughout Europe as a solo artist, as a duet with Guitarist Mark Ritsema, in Detroit with the Motor City Blues Scholars and around the world with a variety of Collaborators.

Sinclair was honoured as the International recipient of the prestigious Targa Matteo Salvatore in Foggia, Italy. He made an appearance at the Festival Internazionale della Letteratura Resistente in Tuscany and has been featured at major events in festivals all over the world, examples being Rome, Milano, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Seville and Santiago, Chile.

In 2006 at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, Sinclair was honoured with a prize winning strain being named after him; it was also in the same year that Sinclair published ‘Va Tutto Bene’ another collection of poems through Stampa Alternativa in both American and Italian. March 2006 saw Sinclair join The Black Crowes on stage twice to read his poems “Monk In Orbit” and “Fat Boy” during the instrumental breaks of “Nonfiction” and “How Much For Your Wings.”

On May 1st 2007, and the 35th anniversary of his book ‘Guitar Army’ he celebrated through a re-release of the book, along with 40 previously unreleased period photos, an introduction by Michael Simmons and a bonus CD with rare musical recordings, including cuts by MC5.

In 2008 Sinclair became the editor-in-Chief of Headpress, an apolitical anthology series from the London based Independent publishing house of the same name.

‘It’s all good’ a compilation to Sinclair’s music journalism and poetry was release on the 9th of April 2009 and resulted in him performing at Filthy Macnasty’s Whiskey Café in Islington on the 15th of April 2009. Later that year on August 14 2009, Sinclair also played at the Bonded Warehouse Stourbridge as part of a Poetry and Spoken Word event put on by Iron Man Records. Also in 2009, Sinclair released ‘Detroit Life’ an album of poetry with the Motor City Blues Scholars on No Cover Productions based in Michigan.

In 2010 Sinclair teamed up with the Dirty Strangers to release a “politically charged anthem” ‘Lock and Key’ backing the Green Party, it was release on the 26th of April in time for the UK general election. It was released on the renowned and recently reactivated 60’s label, Track Records, that is also known for releasing records for The Who and Jimi Hendrix. On November 9th Sinclair, along with Planet D Nonet from Detroit released ‘Viper Madness’ through No Cover Productions.

Sinclair released “Let’s go get ‘em” on Big Chief Productions and “Honouring The Local Gods” on Straw2gold pictures in 2011. He also released Songs Of Praise: Homage To John Coltrane. On December of 10th the same year the White Panther Party reunited in Ann Arbour that featured a live performance by John, and surprise special guest set with Wayne Kramer.

Beatnik youth was released in 2012 on Track Records and featured contributions from Howard Marks, Keith Levine, Bobby Gillespie, Brian James, Angie Brown, Zodiac, Jesse Wood, Mark Stewart, Alan Clayton, Steve Fly and bass on all tracks by Youth. He then embarked on the “Breathin Air” tour with Howard Marks in the UK and Ireland. Upon arriving in London, Sinclair was searched and arrested after his medical marijuana papers were not recognised by the authorities, after paying a £50 fine John used the arrest papers, with a little help from Howard and a large projector, as the backdrop for the first show of the tour at E4’s Udderbelly.

January 2013 saw Sinclair sign to Iron Man Records to release a new album of poetry taken from his huge work: Always Know: A book of Monk, with music by Steve Fly. In New Orleans John spent time conducting further research into the beatnik roots of New Orleans and performing with many local characters such as Tom Worrel, Lionel Batiste. He was invited to perform his poetry at the opening of the Tuba Fats square, named after the late great Tuba Fats.

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

John Sinclair & Planet D Nonet – Viper Madness CD

January 24, 2013

John Sinclair & Planet D Nonet - Viper Madness album cover

Viper Madness album by Planet D Nonet / John Sinclair was released Nov 09, 2010 on the No Cover Productions label.

Viper Madness (NCP128) Features the legendary John Sinclair doing 10 pieces on the period before Marijuana was illegal and featuring stories and comments from Louie Armstrong and Mezz Mezzrow. John is backed up by the big horn sounds of RJ Spangler’s Planet D Nonet, a big band and swing ensemble from Detroit!

Liner Note Author: John Sinclair. Viper Madness CD music contains a single disc with 10 songs.

Recording information: Straight Ahead Studio, Oak Park, MI (04/12/2010/04/19/2010).

Editor: John Sinclair Viper Madness CD music.

Arrangers: James O’Donnell ; John Sinclair; PD-9.

Personnel: John Sinclair (vocals); Justin Jozwiak (clarinet, alto saxophone); Joshua James (clarinet, baritone saxophone); Jim Holden (tenor saxophone); James O’Donnell , Ken Ferry (trumpet); David Gadd (piano); Bill MacLeod (acoustic bass); RJ Spangler (drums).

Audio Remixers: Joshua James ; Holice P. Wood; Mike Boulan; RJ Spangler.

1 
Sendin’ the Vipers
 
2 
Really the blues
 
3 
Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
 
4 
There’ll Be Some Changes Made
 
5 
Everybody Loves My Baby 

6 
If You’se a Viper 

7 
I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead
 
8 
Tin Roof Blues 

9 
When the Saints Go Marching In 

10 
Chant of the Weed (It’s All Good)

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

John Sinclair – Biography

January 11, 2013

John Sinclair

John Sinclair author, poet and activist John Sinclair (born October 2, 1941, in Flint, Michigan) mutated from small-town rock’n’roll fanatic and teenage disc jockey to cultural revolutionary, pioneer of marijuana activism, radical leader and political prisoner by the end of the 1960s.

In 1966-67 the jazz poet, downbeat correspondent, founder of the Detroit Artists Workshop and underground journalist joined the front ranks of the hippie revolution, managing the “avant-rock” MC5 and organizing countless free concerts in the parks, White Panther rallies and radical benefits. Working closely with lead singer and songwriter Rob Tyner and the members of the band, Sinclair brought the MC5 to local fame, national attention and a contract with Elektra Records.

The first MC5 album, recorded “live” at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom in the fall of 1968, exploded onto the scene like a bomb through a courtroom window, accompanied by a declaration that Sinclair, the band members and selected compatriots had formed the White Panther Party to oppose the U.S. government and support the Black Panther Party.

 Closely allied with Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Ed Sanders and the Yippies, the White Panther Party spearheaded the short-lived “rock’n’roll revolution” of 1968-69, and Sinclair ‘s writings for the underground press both chronicled and analyzed the revolutionary events of the day in the light of the WPP’s focus on “Total Assault on the Culture” by any means necessary, including “Rock’n’Roll, Dope, & Fucking in the Streets.” Theory and practice were fiercely united in the White Panthers, the only American political party ever formed by a rock’n’roll band. The White Panthers not only preached revolution, they lived the revolution in communes and tightly knit conclaves of long-haired revolutionaries who lived, worked, fucked, smoked dope and dropped acid together while they carried out their radical political and cultural organizing and educational work among their fellow hippies.

John Sinclair

Sinclair’s antagonistic rhetoric coupled with the incendiary performances of the MC5 inflamed ever-growing crowds of rebellious youth throughout Michigan and the Midwest. In 1970 the FBI referred to the White Panthers as “potentially the largest and most dangerous of revolutionary organizations in the United States.” By this time Sinclair had been railroaded off to prison on a 9½ to ten year sentence for giving away two joints to an undercover policewoman.

While he was in prison, Sinclair wrote the books Guitar Army: Street Writings/Prison Writings, a collection of his writings for the underground press between 1968-71, and Music & Politics, co-written with Robert Levin. His legal appeal challenged the constitutionality of Michigan’s draconian marijuana laws, and he continued to lead and direct the activities of the White Panther Party from his cells in Marquette and Jackson Prison through its conversion to the Rainbow Peoples Party (RPP), his release from prison, the success of his appeal in the Michigan Supreme Court and the consequent overthrow of the marijuana laws.

Sinclair was released from Jackson Prison when the twenty nine month campaign to gain his freedom climaxed in the mammoth “John Sinclair Freedom Rally” at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan on December 10, 1971, where John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs, Bobby Seale and others performed and spoke at the eight-hour long event in front of 15,000 people. Lennon wrote and performed his song, “John Sinclair,” later released on his Some Time in New York City album. Three days after the concert, the Michigan Supreme Court released Sinclair, and later overturned his conviction.

Following his release from prison, Sinclair got back into music management and promotion through the Rainbow MultiMedia Corporation, managed Mitch Ryder & Detroit and several Ann Arbor bands, and produced the historic Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festivals while serving as Chairman of the RPP (Rainbow People Party) and directing its political organizing work in Ann Arbor. He hosted popular radio shows on WNRZ and WCBN, founded the People’s Ballroom, the Free Concerts in the Park program, and the Ann Arbor Tribal Council, and played a leading role in the success of the local Human Rights Party that resulted in the election of two City Council members and the institution of the legendary $5 fine for marijuana possession in Ann Arbor.

In 1975, following the resignation of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon and the termination of the War in Vietnam, the mass movement dried up and America went back to business as usual. Sinclair disbanded the RPP and moved back to Detroit to return to life as a poet, journalist and urban cultural activist. For the next fifteen years he raised his family in Detroit and worked as editor of the Detroit Sun newspaper, founder and director of the Detroit Jazz Center, adjunct professor of popular music history at Wayne State University, artists manager and concert producer, WDET-FM program host, director of the City Arts Gallery for the Detroit Council of the Arts and editor of City Arts Quarterly.

Sinclair moved to New Orleans in 1991 and joined the volunteer staff of WWOZ radio, winning Off Beat magazine’s reader’s poll as the city’s most popular DJ five years in a row (1999-2003). In 1992 he formed his band, the Blues Scholars (founded in Detroit ten years earlier), recorded his first CD in 1994 and began to tour the United States as a performance artist backed by jazz, blues and rock ensembles. He has collaborated with musicians from Little Milton and Jimbo Mathus to the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Ras Moshe, the Kudzu Kings, Afrissippi, the Pinkeye Orchestra and the Dutch rappers Lange Frans & Baas B.

Sinclair has published several collections of his poetry along with his major work in verse, Fattening Frogs For Snakes: Delta Sound Suite, an investigation in verse of the Delta blues and the world that produced it. He has released more than fifteen CDs of his work with music & verse, including Volumes 1 and 2 of Fattening Frogs For Snakes: Delta Sound Suite, Full Circle and White Buffalo Prayer with Wayne Kramer.

John Sinclair

Sinclair first visited Amsterdam in 1998 as High Priest of the Cannabis Cup and relocated to The Netherlands in the fall of 2003. One of the pioneers of podcasting, his weekly internet program, The John Sinclair Radio Show, is the flagship of Radio Free Amsterdam.

Sinclair is now performing throughout Europe solo and in duet with guitarist Mark Ritsema, in Detroit with the Motor City Blues Scholars, and around the United States with a wide variety of collaborators. The poet was recently honored as the International recipient of the prestigious Targa Matteo Salvatore in Foggia, Italy. He’s appeared at the Festival Internazionale della Letteratura Resistente in Tuscany and been featured at major events and festivals in Rome, Milano, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Paris, Seville and Santiago, Chile.

At the 2006 Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam a potent prize-winning strain of Dutch marijuana was named in his honor. John Sinclair Seeds may be obtained at the Hempshopper, Singel 10, 1013GA Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

You can buy Books and Music by John Sinclair in the Iron Man Shop here: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth CD

December 24, 2012

John Sinclair - Beatnik Youth
While many know John Sinclair as the White Panther firebrand who stoked the MC5’s insurrectionary manifesto, or drug bust victim released after John Lennon’s high-profile intercession, his roots stretch back to jazz and the beats, as writer, avant-garde champion and poet. Sinclair’s large legend allows him to travel the world, collaborating with like-minded souls; a living embodiment of the original free spirit that fought to emancipate a generation, one of the few left still flying the freak flag as high as he can hoist it.

Since the early 90s, Sinclair has released albums of his poetry, but Beatnik Youth is the high-profile statement he’s been meant to make all his life. This poorly served generation needs it: that militant energy which released the bats in the 60s is crucially booted into the 21st Century in a riotous celebration of personal freedom, cultural trailblazers and, frankly, marijuana.

Sinclair’s core cohorts are producer-bassist Youth and The Dirty Strangers’ singer-guitarist Alan Clayton (plus engineer-keyboardist Michael Rendall). Different tracks also feature Howard Marks, Zodiac Mindwarp, Mark Stewart, Primal Scream, singer Angie Brown and one Beef Pilchards. Between insidious soul choruses over diverse backdrops, Sinclair barks, growls, rails, coos and guffaws with a roaring animated passion undimmed by his 70-plus years. Moods straddle the smokily atmospheric (Testify, Sitartha), balls-out rockers (Ain’t Nobody’s Business, 1965-composed doper anthem Good Stuff) or free-form cinematic (Brilliant Corners homaging Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs). Everybody Needs Somebody’s motorik carries Sinclair’s infamous (Thelonious) Monk In Orbit poem, while the Primals-driven Culture-Cide (hijacked from Youth’s recent Mark Stewart sessions) becomes a weed-for-all riot with Howard Marks gleefully piling in. That Old Man is a spirits-lifting reflection on growing old disgracefully, concluding that this old man is “still alive and kicking”. A rare delight all round. – Kris Needs

Tracklisting:

Testify
Good Stuff
Everybody Needs Somebody
Change My Life
Ain’t Nobodys Bizness
My Buddy
That Old Man
Brilliant Corners
Culture-Cide
Red Dress (Ruby My Dear)
Sitarrtha

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

They call him “The Big Chief”. From Detroit to New Orleans and from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, John Sinclair is still the cigar-chomping, king-size, psychedelic old-gangster poet, a living legend, a veteran of the counterculture, a survivor of the Marijuana Wars, and one of the last bohemians still standing. As a co-founder of the Detroit underground newspaper The Fifth Estate, manager of punk godfathers MC5, and Chairman of the White Panther Party – described on Wikipedia in these modern times as “a far-left, anti-racist, white American political collective founded in 1968 and dedicated to ‘cultural revolution’” his mark on the boho rock & roll underground has been unique.

In 1969, with Richard Nixon in the White House, Vietnam in chaos in the wake of the Viet Cong’s near-suicidal Tet Offensive, and American cities still scared and scarred from urban riots, even the comparatively harmless agitprop pranks of White Panther “cultural revolution” had those in power reaching for their metaphoric – and sometimes actual – revolvers. Authorities remembered how John had organized the MC5’s playing outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the only band actually able to perform before Mayor Daley’s rabid police department violently derailed the massive anti-Vietnam war rally with teargas, billy clubs, and helicopter support.

John was deemed a danger to society and set up like a bowling pin. After handing a couple of joints to a hassling hippie who turned out to be an undercover narcotics agent, John found himself on the bad end of a ten year jail term. At the same time though he became a cause celebre. Free John Sinclair became one more battle cry in an embattled era. Protests, propaganda, and a giant concert in Ann Arbor headlined by John Lennon and Yoko Ono ultimately resulted in John’s release in November 1971. Lennon even wrote a song about him called ‘John Sinclair’ which he included on his ‘Sometime In New York City’ album.

In common with much that happens with John, a meeting with producer Youth (Paul McCartneys ‘Fireman’, Primal Scream, The Verve etc & Killing Joke bass player) that sowed the creative seeds was a matter of stoned synchronicity. As Track Records boss Ian Grant tells it , “Alan Clayton told me he had ‘John Sinclair coming round tomorrow.’ I said “the John Sinclair”. One night Zodiac (Mindwarp) was on the bill the Dirty Strangers and Youth was very taken with John. “I want to make a jazz album with John”. Since then, the two met at Youths house whenever he was home, and when John was in the country, and recorded the album.”

And – through the course of those recordings – John, always so associated with the 1960s, took a serious step into the ways of the 21st century, with the same intoned poetry (he even tells the tale of Thelonious Monk on acid), but with melodic backing vocals, highly inventive production, even a nod to hip-hop, but still remembering his first loves of blues, be-bop, and classic rock & roll. Beatnik Youth is one more step in the Big Chief’s long zigzag trip that seems set to continue all the way to the far blue horizon. Summing up John Sinclair, you can only say with certainty that the beatnik goes on.

Guest on the album include, Howard Marks, Keith Levine, Bobby Gillespie, Brian James, Angie Brown, Zodiac (Mindwarp), Jesse Wood, Mark Stewart, Alan Clayton and Youth plays bass on all tracks.

12 page booklet with sleevenotes by Mick Farren and John Sinclair

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