Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt

June 15, 2016

Robert Anton Wilson - Meets Steve "Fly Agaric" Pratt 1600 x 1600

WORDS: Robert Anton Wilson and Steve ‘Fly Agaric 23’ Pratt

MUSIC: Steve Fly, Tim Egmond, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, Rick Rasa, Hagbard Celine, Garaj Mahal.

ARTWORK: CHU

PRODUCED BY: Mark Sampson and Steve Fly Pratt

MASTERED BY: Simon Reeves at Framework Studios, Birmingham

RELEASED on IRON MAN RECORDS June 23rd 2016.

Special thanks to: Robert Anton Wilson, Christina Pearson, Rick Rasa, Chu, Mark Sampson, Kai Eckhardt, Matt Black, Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, Paul Krassner, John Sinclair, Tim Egmond, Toby Philpott, Prop Anon, Nick Larson, Caleb Selah, Pete Maybe, Jenni Vyskocil, Faustin Bray, Bob Tesch, Lance Bauscher, Jack Sarfatti, Nigel Blunt, UB40, Robin Johnson, Tom Jackson, Raymond Wiley, Daisy Eris Campbell, Janne Svensson, Gregory James, Ben Kappel, Brien Harvey, the Maybe Logic Academy staff and students.

While getting firmly hooked on the series of Cosmic Trigger books during the mid 1990s, I literally dreamed of meeting the mysterious author, Dr Robert Anton Wilson. He was an early anarchist hero to me, a truly free man, and he remains one of the funniest scientific philosophers of all time. And yet, he, and his great works remain underground for the most part, bubbling away beneath the surface, patiently awaiting rediscovery and reenactment by brave new readers from next generations and with fresh interpretations. I hope this recording can introduce his ideas to at least one such reader. We need to act on his wisdom now!

After an auspicious solar eclipse experience in August, and a house fire in December moments before the millennium fever of 1999 went into overdrive, i had a rare moment of clarity, and decided to sell my prized turntables and scrape the money together for a ticket to go and see this guy for myself. Only six days after the sad passing of Terence Mckenna, i set off to New York where i next caught the Greyhound bus to New mexico, and my destination, the so called the ‘Prophets Conference’ only two days before my 24th birthday.

Little did i know that RAW had fallen ill that week due in part to his post polio syndrome, together with the grief of losing his lifelong companion, writer and activist Arlen Riley Wilson. The announcer at the conference informed the crowd Bob would not make it, and i went into an altered state of total shock awareness. 

 After the conference was over i straddled that Greyhound up to San Francisco and fell in awe of the San Francisco bay area. I hung out at Wired Magazine radio station, worked for Sound Photo Synthesis, jammed on turntables with jam jazz super group Garaj Mahal. Plus i met Dr John Lilly, Jack Sarfatti, Saul Paul Sirag, and some other friends and associates of RAW, all  seemingly by happy coincidence most of them were presenting at the Guilding The Lilly event at 3220 Sacremento street.

PROPHETS CON

When my visa time limit came up, unlike Columbus, I returned to the UK. One memorable summer day in 2000 i received an email from the Prophets Conference asking if i would like to be a carer for Bob during his next lecture in Palm Springs, 16-18th December 2000. I eagerly responded ‘yes’ and started to save up my dole money.

Bob’s fine lecture at Palm Springs can be viewed on youtube and you can hear him say at one point “I had a Manhattan with my lunch” which i purchased for him when sat together with Paul Krassner and his wife Nancy before his show. This may have led to him using slightly more taboo words than usual, which became part of the reason why the conference wrote him a letter explaining that they had received complaints about his language! and were unwilling to invite him to any more conferences, unless he more or less cleaned up his act. For fucks sake.

 Bob writes about this in his book T.S.O.G: The Thing That Ate The Constitution. I was sacked from the Prophets Conference a few months before Bob. My crime was much less punk rock, i failed to get Bob to the stage with adequate time to spare before he was scheduled to speak, which set a few people panicking and resulted in the boss lady of the conference screaming at me in front of Bob.

After his lecture, Bob gestured me over and invited me up to his room to conduct an interview, which i hinted at earlier. This was partly due, i think, to the fact that he saw how badly i was disgraced earlier and so took a little pity on me. I gifted Bob with a copy of the “The Stargate Conspiracy”, a pretty lame book in retrospect, but a text i figured he should take a look at as he had a few mentions in it, along with almost everybody else at the fringes of paranormal and psychic research in the 1970s.

I offered Bob some dried mushrooms picked at my local spot called Wychbury Hill. He gracefully passed on them with a kind smile and nod. They didn’t go to waste though, years later while reading an article by Richard Metzger (Dangerous Minds) who visited Bob’s room shortly after my interview–i discovered Richard ate the shrooms’ and reported that they were good and strong. Success. His friend Alex Burns, also from Disinformation, managed to get us all super high with some High Times Cannabis Cup winning weed, named William’s Wonder.

CAPITOLA

I pressed the button for the apartment number Bob had sent and waited, and waited…and after what seemed like an eternity i heard the crackle of the intercom and a familiar voice “yes”.

“It’s fly agaric, erm’, i was in touch with you by email about coming down to visit”. After another long pause he said “So…do you wanna’ come in then?” “Yeah, sure” i said, and he buzzed open the steel gate. I walked around the small inner garden area, up some steps to the front door which was already ajar. I stepped through the door.

Once through I slipped my shoes off and walked past his study on the right, and his small library area to the left. He was sitting on a couch, next to some large sliding doors, with a fresh clear view looking out over the Monterey bay. “Hi Bob, thanks for having me over.”

“Would you be so kind as to grab me a coffee, it’s in the pot” he said. “Sure”. I fetched a mug, which had a quote from Hannibal Lecter printed on it, filled it with black coffee and set it down on the table, sitting opposite Bob. “Thanks, fly. So, you’re going to make a recording right?” he asked. “yeah, if that’s cool with you.” I unpacked my minidisc recorder, and set up the microphone on the table.

The apartment reflected a humble man, with moderate furnishings, a couch, two chairs, a television set, stereo, coffee table and a dresser decorated in what looked to me like traditional Japanese artefacts. There were framed pictures hanging up and ornaments that indicated this really was Bob’s residence. On my way out I recall seeing a certificate from a UFO convention, plus I’ll never forget the cute Loch Ness monster ornament laying out on top of the cable box, which at one point during the interview he politely asked me to straighten out for him.

We had two smoke breaks out on the balcony, where i kissed the sky with a specially rolled up bomber. Bob passed my offer due to already feeling high as a mountain goat on his marijuana brownies, which he consumed for medical purposes to help relieve the pain from post polio syndrome. It would be fair to say we were both pretty high and cheerful. I went the whole nine yards and cracked open a four pack of guinness, which was probably a mistake due to the slight fogging of my memory caused by the alcohol.

Bob talked and talked, weaving his unique prose to my unrehearsed questions, turning them into delightful examples of his unique mind at play. He mixed hilarious tales with some serious facts and produced his unmistakable discordian dance of delicate metaphors. There were times when my mouth opened and nothing came out, due to my processing what he had previously said. I had to remain mindful not to interrupt or talk over him, which i’m prone to do at times. There seems nothing worse to me than an interviewer who can’t listen, and sings the eternal song of “I”.

The audio interview is regrettably only the first half of the full recording, the other half of which remains lost in an ocean of badly indexed minidiscs. Fortunately, i made a transcription of the full recording, which was published at the Maybe Logic Quarterly magazine in 2008. However during the interview my disc space ran out, but we carried on talking for at least another 45 minutes. Hence my regret at getting half drunk. Some of the subject matter i recall from that chat included Saul Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner, David Bohm and the Physics Consciousness Research Institute. He commented at length on 9/11 describing a friends experiences in New York, and the high weirdness that day, and the days that followed. I talked about some of my musical projects, about Garaj Mahal, graffiti art, Ninjatune and my fascination with jazz and synchronicities connected to the music John Coltrane.

Robert Anton Wilson Meets Steve Fly

I was made to feel welcome during the 3-4 hour visit, and Bob did not whinge or complain once. I only felt him get slightly agitated during the interview after i blindly asked him a series of four readymade questions from somebody else, the last of which was “how do you plan to take physical action?” which, when i said it, sounded rather inappropriate for a man suffering from post polio syndrome most his life, and who uses a wheelchair to get around. It hit a small nerve, he coughed and raised his voice a little “I don’t mean to ball you out but, it’s just that i hear that kind of question a lot.” He went on to describe how he attends protests and gatherings when he can get a ride there, and contributes to Amnesty International.

In 2015 I was digging for a minidisc of DJ Fly material for use on my Fly By Night radio shows, produced for Radio Free Amsterdam. While sifting through the discs I noticed one with writing in light pencil that read: R.A.W 10th September 2002. I popped it into the player, and to my delight it was the first half of the interview. I edited and boosted the sound files to the best of my ability, and added a selection of music from friends and past collaborators, resulting in what you hear right here.

I uploaded two short excerpts from the interview to my Soundcloud account and was planning to release the other parts when a friend, Mark Sampson of Iron Man Records, stepped up. In March 2016 Mark kindly offered to master the audio and release it on his independent record label Iron Man Records. So the circle is complete and I hope you enjoy the words and music. Long live the optimists.

– Steve Fly, June 2016

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy

April 21, 2016

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle - Occupy 1600x1600

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy – Released on Iron Man Records, 23rd April, 2016.

All songs written and composed by Dr Marshmallow Cubicle (Pino and Pratt) lyrics by Steve Fly. All music recorded by Kasper at Kasper Studios 2010. Additional vocals, scratches and overdubs recorded and mixed by Tim Egmond at Ei-Complex studios, 2011/2012. Mastered by Simon Reeves at Framework Studios, Birmingham, March, 2016.

Vicente Pino – Guitars, Bass and Vocals
Steve Fly Pratt – Drums, Scratches
Miss Marshmallow – Vocals
Creature of Rebelmatic – Vocals (Let’s Go Get Em’)
Mark Sampson – Executive Producer
All Rights Reversed – Iron Man Records 2016

The band formed in Amsterdam 2007 and played at local venues and festivals, including The Nieuwe Anita, Cafe’ Batavia, The Buurvrouw, Magneet Festival, Queens Day, Pacific Parc West, The Pick Up Club, CCC, The Oki, Cafe Zen, Eddie The Eagle Museum, Blijburg.

Vicente Pino has played guitar since a young age coming up in Venezuela playing everything from thrash to Django Reinhardt. Since moving to settle in the Netherlands, Pino has played in dozens of bands, performing many hundreds of shows. As the co-founder of the beloved band ‘Supercity’, he has helped write and produce 2 albums, and remains the central axis of energy for the band. Another project, ‘Pino and the Bluebirds’ is well worth tracking down, and playing at high volume.

Steve Fly Pratt is a drummer and DJ, who met up with Vicente after moving to Amsterdam in 2007, thanks to a mutual friend. Fly wrote the lyrics to all the songs on this album, while the music was teased out between both of them, together with the priceless feedback from Tim Egmond at the controls.

Vicente and Steve Fly have worked together with their friend and poet John Sinclair, and initiated into the prestigious open ended ‘Blues Scholars’ an international collective of musicians who play together with John. The Amsterdam Blues Scholars recorded an album together in 2010. And they both joined with New Orleans pianist and composer Tom Worrel, and virtuoso bassist and composer Leslie Lopez to record ‘Let’s Go Get Em’ in 2011. In 2011 and 2012 The Blues Scholars performed as a part of the 24th and 25th High Times Cannabis Cup celebrations. All of which can be found on youtube.

Occupy is the first studio album by Steve Fly and Vicente Pino a.k.a Dr Marshmallow Cubicle. In 2009 DMC joined with vocalist Miss Marshmallow for live shows, and this Occupy album. She can be heard singing on Stop The Cuts, Bluezero and Thoughts.

The DMC duo follow an improvisational framework, always inventing and moving the music in perpetually new directions. Polyrhythmic drums kick out a scatter shot across the layers of analogue feedback, loops and roughneck guitar playing. A species of experimental breakbeat punk, DMC explore many tempos and harmonic environments on the fly.

Occupy captures the various influences in the band, noticeably drum and bass, funk metal, blues and jazz. Plus the name of the album captures the brief period in 2011 when for just a moment, seemingly, global citizens united under a movement to stand up the the big bully banks, major corporations and corrupt government. “Occupy your mind” encourages you to owning your own thoughts.

Special thanks: Vicente Pino, Tim Egmond, Mark Sampson, Miss Marshmallow, John Sinclair, Creature, Kasper, Chu, Saskia Smitt, Ivo Sprey, Leah Blits, Prop Anon, William Sutton, Daniel Bruggman, Dan Dewitte, Janne Svensson, Pim, Oscar Jan, Simon Reeves at Framework Studios.

DR MARSHMALLOW CUBICLE – OCCUPY
Total Running time (68.00 mins) 10 album tracks and 9 extras

1. Occupy

2. Stop The Cuts

3. Banksterdem

4. Law Of Acceleration

5. Silhouette

6. Thoughts

7. Let’s Go Get ‘Em [feat. Creature of Rebelmatic]

8. Bluzero

9. Lovebox

10. Coffeeshopalypse

11. Occupy [Instrumental]

12. Stop The Cuts [Instrumental]

13. Banksterdem [Instrumental]

14. Silhouette Taka

15. Let’s Go Get ‘Em

16. Thoughts [Instrumental]

17. Bluzero [Instrumental]

18. Lovebox [Instrumental]

19. The Law Of Acceleration

DMC Youtube Playlist
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3B69EE4E5EBE2716

FB Group
https://www.facebook.com/DOCTOR-MARSHMALLOW-CUBICLE-SYBLINGS-285448185020/

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

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/

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

John Sinclair – Mohawk CD released 24th March 2014

January 3, 2014

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album on 24th March 2014.
John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” cd
Released Monday 24th March 2014 by 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.

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

CHU talks about his artwork for John Sinclair – Mohawk here: http://www.schudio.co.uk/blog/2014/mohawk-by-john-sinclair/

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://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

John Sinclair – Mohawk CD released 24th March 2014

January 3, 2014

John Sinclair, the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album on 24th March 2014.
John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

John Sinclair – “Mohawk” cd
Released Monday 24th March 2014 by 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.

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

CHU talks about his artwork for John Sinclair – Mohawk here: http://www.schudio.co.uk/blog/2014/mohawk-by-john-sinclair/

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://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

John Sinclair – renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary…..

December 31, 2013

John Sinclair the renegade poet, scholar and cultural revolutionary releases his new album on Iron Man Records on Monday 24th March 2014.

While his work has continued in preparation for this, John found himself at Dial House, home of Crass members Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher in December. John wanted to work on some new recordings at Dial house with The Bermondsey Joyriders who in turn will be in Birmingham in coming months. After many years working hard in their respective fields, John finally had a chance to have a good chat with Penny. Discussions of music, art and the rest followed before Penny gave John a book of his latest poetry and its all John’s been reading for the past few days. John has also been working on a short video documentary about his new record of the same name called Mohawk and has completed a show for Radio Free Amsterdam remembering the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in Ann Arbor on 10th Dec 1971. Look out for John talking about how he first started working with MC5 and how it all ended in the next issue of Mojo and there should be an interesting piece in Uncut too on the subject of Jazz, Blues and all things John Sinclair.

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

John Sinclair interviewed by Sensi Seeds 23rd Sept 2013

November 3, 2013

Sensi Seeds had the pleasure of interviewing the legendary cannabis activist, renegade poet, counter-culture giant and good friend of the Sensi Seeds family, John Sinclair. You will find the open-hearted, three part interview with John Sinclair on the Sensi Seeds blog
 http://sensiseeds.com/en/blog‬

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

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

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

John Sinclair – Mohawk CD release coming soon on Iron Man Records

October 29, 2013

John Sinclair - Mohawk front cover

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

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 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

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

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://stores.ebay.co.uk/Iron-Man-Shop

Steven James Pratt a.k.a Fly Agaric 23 (Steve Fly) Biography

March 7, 2013

Born April 15th 1976 in Wordsley, England, and grew up as a competitive swimmer into his teens when he came across Jazz music, speed Metal, hip-hop, drum and bass, and playing drums in a school band. This led to Steven developing his drumming and DJ skills over the next 20 years.

Steve Fly’s first ‘live’ gig was drumming with ‘Surgery’ at Thorns School in 1991, and went on to play with local Stourbridge garage punk band ‘Indigo Jane’ at such venues as J.B’s Dudley, The ‘Source’, ‘The Mitre’ in Stourbridge, and support for Babylon Zoo and Fret Blanket in Kidderminster.

In 1993 Steven briefly played with Kinver based band ‘Taxi’ and recorded and album together and supported vocalist ‘Sam Brown’ at the Robin Hood R n’B club. In 1994 Steve played drums for a short time with the Birmingham based ‘live’ drum & bass band ‘Plutonik’, featuring vocalist Chrissy Van Dyke.

In 1994 fly bought his first pair of turntables, and was instantly attracted to scratching and spinning vinyl, and began buying and playing a mixture of old Jazz, new electronica, drum & bass, break-beats and other soul/funk/jazz oddities. This led to him playing records with local DJ crew’s ‘Lowlife’ and ‘Lifted’ (94-2001) and by 1998 starting a successful ‘soul/jazz/funk/breaks’ night in and around Stourbridge called ‘Pass the peas’.  Other gigs included dj slots with Craig Fields and the ‘Nazareth’ DJ crew,  and gigs at the Q-club Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Wales, and the Glastonbury festival 2000.

In 1998 Fly Agaric was billed with Fuzz Townsend on the bill for Graffiti Bastards 2, an art and music exhibition featuring and produced by CHU. This collaboration led to fly travelling up to York, and Finsbury Park studio’s to record a ‘live’ drum track for the first full album from UK left-field hip-hop crew New Flesh. (Part2, Toastie Taylor, Juice Aleem, DJ Weston) The resulting track ‘Quantum Mechanix’ turned out to be fly’s first release, launched in 1999 on Big Dada Records 0013, and stands as a testament to alternative UK hip hop at the turn of the millennium.

In 1999, together with Indian composer Surrinder Sandhu, Steve played drums and turntables on three tracks recorded at Birmingham’s D.E.P international studios and that were subsequently pressed onto 200 10” vinyl discs, all of which were stamped with a rubber ink stamp depicting the ‘Mayan Tzolkin’. Out of 200 records I probably sold 2, but it has made 2000 people smile since.

On April 10th 2000 Fly travelled to America to hear Dr Robert Anton Wilson lecture, while on his visit he had a synchronistic meeting at ‘The Planetwork’ conference with virtuoso bassist and composer Kai Eckhardt. This led to a steady flow of collaborations and gigs across the US during the next  5 years,  most notably with Jazz Funk Jam band ‘Garaj Mahal’ featuring Kai, Fareed Haque, Eric Levy and Alan Hertz, since replaced by drummer Sean Rickman. Steve Fly can be heard playing turntables on 3 cuts from their album ‘Mondo Garaj (2001) and 3 cuts from ‘Blueberry Cave’ (2005). He performed over 30 live shows in more than 10 different states including the cities New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Oakland, L.A, Saint Louis and Santa Cruz. The band have received worldwide acclaim, reviews, and praise from fellow musicians and fans alike.
(see www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondo_Garaj  www.kaizone.com/Garajmahal/pages/storyoftheband.html)

Fly also performed as DJ with the Gregory James Band, and can be heard on the albums ‘Reincarnation’ and ‘Come to me’ the latter with Bassist Benny Rietveld (Miles Davis, Carlos Santana) and a large cast of heavyweight players: Deszon Claiborne, Celia Malheiros, Tom Coster, Rasaki Aladokun, Karl Perazzo, Rita Theis and poet Craig Easley. Steven performed with Gregory at Yoshi’s Jazz club in Oakland, and other venues in San Francisco (2000-2005).
(See www.gregoryjames.com/come-to-me)

Fly played in many other jams and musical configurations during his 5 years in America, notably with Alan Hertz and Friends, No Parking (Alan Hertz and Liam Hanrahan) A Modern Fairy Tale (with Kai Eckhardt) Geo Trio  (Eric Levy, Hertz and Bobby Vega) The Fareed Haque Band. And DJ fly shared the stage at festivals and shows with artists such as Ray White, Bernie Worrell, Leo Nocentelli, Brian Jordan, Reggie Watts, Robert Walters, Tal Morris, Carlos Washington, Al Howard, Rasaki Aladokun, Skerik, Benny Reitveld, Peter Horvak, and many others.
(see:  www.archive.org/details/GarajMahal  (Search DJ Fly Agaric 23)

In October 2005, Fly flew back to the UK and temporarily put down his drum sticks and records in favour of picking up his pen, partly due to the fact he had no drums or turntables in the UK and no shows were on the horizon. By early 2006 fly had been busy over the last year mixing, remixing and creating music using Reason and sample based music on his Mac-book, his first computer since an Atari 900, some samples of which can be heard at his soundcloud account here:

In March 2007 Steve Fly moved to Amsterdam where he settled into a new life there, writing and  working at the coffeeshop 420, that happens, by chance, to be the preferred coffeeshop, and poets residence of Poet/activist John Sinclair. Over the last six years John Sinclair has had a massive influence on Steve’s musical directions and output, plus on his writing and avid reading habits. Steve lived together ‘on and off’ for 3 years with John, and has toured England, Holland, and Germany as John’s drummer and co-pilot, featuring on several recordings and dozens of live shows with fellow Amsterdam blues scholars such as: Mark Ritsema, Leslie Lopez, Vicente Pino, and Tom Worrell from New Orleans.

Late August 2010, Steve Fly hosted some of the band in who were travelling from the recent 101 runners tour of Europe, including Tom Worrell, artist Frenchy, and John. Steve quickly seized the chance to record a session while Tom and John were in town, and with the help of some friends: Leslie Lopez, Larry Hayden, and Mau we managed to get two days of recordings that turned into the album ‘Let’s Go Get Em’ on No Cover Records (2011) with artwork by CHU and Frenchy.

On 1st March 2011 Fly visited John in London to record drums along with Youth, George Butler, Brian James, Angie Brown, Alan Clayton, for 3 cuts on the new Beatnik Youth album, out on Track Records.

Since 2009 Steve fly has also been jamming with guitarist Vicente Pino, and together they have performed over 50 shows mostly in and around Amsterdam, but as far afield as Ghent, Belgium, under the name Dr Marshmallow Cubicle. The duo now have three unreleased albums, (Marshy, Sod The Rich, John Sinclair and the Amsterdam Blues Scholars) they have over 50 ‘live’ videos available on youtube (flyagaric23 – playliists). Their unique improvised guitar and drum music has captured the imagination of many people, and they’ll return to the stage in spring 2013.

Steven recently signed an album deal with Iron Man Records to produce the latest John Sinclair album due for release this summer. It features fly on drums, brushes, turntables, Cello, and production along with his star engineer Tim Egmond (Senior Modulator). The album titled ‘Mohawk’ is fly’s interpretation of John’s poems that are all taken from a suite dedicated to Thelonious Monk, and that feature tales of Be-Bop, Bird, Dizzy and Monk. The album will be crafted and designed in collaboration with Graffiti legend CHU, and together with Iron Man Records we are poised to release a total new audio/visual experience, nicely tying together the John Sinclair/Steve Fly synergy produced over the previous few years.

Steven James Pratt a.k.a Fly Agaric 23 (Steve Fly) Biography

March 7, 2013

Born April 15th 1976 in Wordsley, England, and grew up as a competitive swimmer into his teens when he came across Jazz music, speed Metal, hip-hop, drum and bass, and playing drums in a school band. This led to Steven developing his drumming and DJ skills over the next 20 years.

Steve Fly’s first ‘live’ gig was drumming with ‘Surgery’ at Thorns School in 1991, and went on to play with local Stourbridge garage punk band ‘Indigo Jane’ at such venues as J.B’s Dudley, The ‘Source’, ‘The Mitre’ in Stourbridge, and support for Babylon Zoo and Fret Blanket in Kidderminster.

In 1993 Steven briefly played with Kinver based band ‘Taxi’ and recorded and album together and supported vocalist ‘Sam Brown’ at the Robin Hood R n’B club. In 1994 Steve played drums for a short time with the Birmingham based ‘live’ drum & bass band ‘Plutonik’, featuring vocalist Chrissy Van Dyke.

In 1994 fly bought his first pair of turntables, and was instantly attracted to scratching and spinning vinyl, and began buying and playing a mixture of old Jazz, new electronica, drum & bass, break-beats and other soul/funk/jazz oddities. This led to him playing records with local DJ crew’s ‘Lowlife’ and ‘Lifted’ (94-2001) and by 1998 starting a successful ‘soul/jazz/funk/breaks’ night in and around Stourbridge called ‘Pass the peas’.  Other gigs included dj slots with Craig Fields and the ‘Nazareth’ DJ crew,  and gigs at the Q-club Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Wales, and the Glastonbury festival 2000.

In 1998 Fly Agaric was billed with Fuzz Townsend on the bill for Graffiti Bastards 2, an art and music exhibition featuring and produced by CHU. This collaboration led to fly travelling up to York, and Finsbury Park studio’s to record a ‘live’ drum track for the first full album from UK left-field hip-hop crew New Flesh. (Part2, Toastie Taylor, Juice Aleem, DJ Weston) The resulting track ‘Quantum Mechanix’ turned out to be fly’s first release, launched in 1999 on Big Dada Records 0013, and stands as a testament to alternative UK hip hop at the turn of the millennium.

In 1999, together with Indian composer Surrinder Sandhu, Steve played drums and turntables on three tracks recorded at Birmingham’s D.E.P international studios and that were subsequently pressed onto 200 10” vinyl discs, all of which were stamped with a rubber ink stamp depicting the ‘Mayan Tzolkin’. Out of 200 records I probably sold 2, but it has made 2000 people smile since.

On April 10th 2000 Fly travelled to America to hear Dr Robert Anton Wilson lecture, while on his visit he had a synchronistic meeting at ‘The Planetwork’ conference with virtuoso bassist and composer Kai Eckhardt. This led to a steady flow of collaborations and gigs across the US during the next  5 years,  most notably with Jazz Funk Jam band ‘Garaj Mahal’ featuring Kai, Fareed Haque, Eric Levy and Alan Hertz, since replaced by drummer Sean Rickman. Steve Fly can be heard playing turntables on 3 cuts from their album ‘Mondo Garaj (2001) and 3 cuts from ‘Blueberry Cave’ (2005). He performed over 30 live shows in more than 10 different states including the cities New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Oakland, L.A, Saint Louis and Santa Cruz. The band have received worldwide acclaim, reviews, and praise from fellow musicians and fans alike.
(see www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondo_Garaj  www.kaizone.com/Garajmahal/pages/storyoftheband.html)

Fly also performed as DJ with the Gregory James Band, and can be heard on the albums ‘Reincarnation’ and ‘Come to me’ the latter with Bassist Benny Rietveld (Miles Davis, Carlos Santana) and a large cast of heavyweight players: Deszon Claiborne, Celia Malheiros, Tom Coster, Rasaki Aladokun, Karl Perazzo, Rita Theis and poet Craig Easley. Steven performed with Gregory at Yoshi’s Jazz club in Oakland, and other venues in San Francisco (2000-2005).
(See www.gregoryjames.com/come-to-me)

Fly played in many other jams and musical configurations during his 5 years in America, notably with Alan Hertz and Friends, No Parking (Alan Hertz and Liam Hanrahan) A Modern Fairy Tale (with Kai Eckhardt) Geo Trio  (Eric Levy, Hertz and Bobby Vega) The Fareed Haque Band. And DJ fly shared the stage at festivals and shows with artists such as Ray White, Bernie Worrell, Leo Nocentelli, Brian Jordan, Reggie Watts, Robert Walters, Tal Morris, Carlos Washington, Al Howard, Rasaki Aladokun, Skerik, Benny Reitveld, Peter Horvak, and many others.
(see:  www.archive.org/details/GarajMahal  (Search DJ Fly Agaric 23)

In October 2005, Fly flew back to the UK and temporarily put down his drum sticks and records in favour of picking up his pen, partly due to the fact he had no drums or turntables in the UK and no shows were on the horizon. By early 2006 fly had been busy over the last year mixing, remixing and creating music using Reason and sample based music on his Mac-book, his first computer since an Atari 900, some samples of which can be heard at his soundcloud account here:

In March 2007 Steve Fly moved to Amsterdam where he settled into a new life there, writing and  working at the coffeeshop 420, that happens, by chance, to be the preferred coffeeshop, and poets residence of Poet/activist John Sinclair. Over the last six years John Sinclair has had a massive influence on Steve’s musical directions and output, plus on his writing and avid reading habits. Steve lived together ‘on and off’ for 3 years with John, and has toured England, Holland, and Germany as John’s drummer and co-pilot, featuring on several recordings and dozens of live shows with fellow Amsterdam blues scholars such as: Mark Ritsema, Leslie Lopez, Vicente Pino, and Tom Worrell from New Orleans.

Late August 2010, Steve Fly hosted some of the band in who were travelling from the recent 101 runners tour of Europe, including Tom Worrell, artist Frenchy, and John. Steve quickly seized the chance to record a session while Tom and John were in town, and with the help of some friends: Leslie Lopez, Larry Hayden, and Mau we managed to get two days of recordings that turned into the album ‘Let’s Go Get Em’ on No Cover Records (2011) with artwork by CHU and Frenchy.

On 1st March 2011 Fly visited John in London to record drums along with Youth, George Butler, Brian James, Angie Brown, Alan Clayton, for 3 cuts on the new Beatnik Youth album, out on Track Records.

Since 2009 Steve fly has also been jamming with guitarist Vicente Pino, and together they have performed over 50 shows mostly in and around Amsterdam, but as far afield as Ghent, Belgium, under the name Dr Marshmallow Cubicle. The duo now have three unreleased albums, (Marshy, Sod The Rich, John Sinclair and the Amsterdam Blues Scholars) they have over 50 ‘live’ videos available on youtube (flyagaric23 – playliists). Their unique improvised guitar and drum music has captured the imagination of many people, and they’ll return to the stage in spring 2013.

Steven recently signed an album deal with Iron Man Records to produce the latest John Sinclair album due for release this summer. It features fly on drums, brushes, turntables, Cello, and production along with his star engineer Tim Egmond (Senior Modulator). The album titled ‘Mohawk’ is fly’s interpretation of John’s poems that are all taken from a suite dedicated to Thelonious Monk, and that feature tales of Be-Bop, Bird, Dizzy and Monk. The album will be crafted and designed in collaboration with Graffiti legend CHU, and together with Iron Man Records we are poised to release a total new audio/visual experience, nicely tying together the John Sinclair/Steve Fly synergy produced over the previous few years.