730 shows in 365 days...if you please
730 show's in 365 days. Homage to John Sinclair and Radio Free Amsterdam.
The hardest working poet in show business
Maybe the hardest working radio DJ and producer on earth?
A marijuana smoking walking encyclopaedia of music and culture,
the good stuff, the street marrow.
730 shows shared with a world wide web of thirsty ears
And starving brains. 730 Shows of a unique intuitive design
And precise execution, a depth unfathomed
By many DJ's these days (2011)
Over Automated, predictable, pre-programed'
Classic slop. Enough already.
Thank goodness for John and his world record breaking
Output of consistent quality music, and thank goodness
He keeps smoking that reefer and finding extraordinary
Musical inspirations and sharing them.
A John Sinclair radio ballad for all. 730 of em'
Radio Free Amsterdam represents a shadow side
To American culture, (that strange bird)
And by default Global perspectives often eclipsed in Europe.
RFA is a 'live' portal to many great American's
Without the usual mainstream trappings and trimmings
The ads and the fads of American culture;
Trickled in drips and can's to the rest of the world by the closely guarded
Monoliths of media and sales. Fuck them.
I ask the question:
What other radio DJ's have travelled so extensively
And produced but 'half' the amount of quality shows
John Sinclair has made, played and relayed to your head?
Moving like a one man nation of music, an Indian nation
from city to city, country to country,
Eyes and mind blazing, a true burner, one of the one's, you dig.
Lap-toppling the System, carrying his humble bag of essentials.
Living with the music and with the musicians, passing the flames
Fast Forwarding the work of his associates and friends,
Paying tribute to friends who pass over to the great gig in the sky
Rewinding their lives and our lives through the music.
Coltrane, Monk, Bird, Satch', the greats, you got it.
In the best way imaginable, Radio performance by example
With a 'Monkish' team of associates, some
Starving to keep the music alive, and the peeps' fed with culture.
Detroit and Amsterdam and London are
Breathing together like a herd of mammals,
But thinking different, synthesized by John Sinclair.
Thousands of artists and tens of thousands of songs,
And countless miles detailed, recalled and contextualized
New music that holds the spirit of the old.
I see John's unique compositional art and crafts of
'On-the-fly' Radio production, and I've heard some shows
More than six times each, the flurry of editing,
Removing unwanted silence, making it COHERE
Fine--watchmaker--adjustments to the 'head clock time'
Usually coming in around 59 minutes, 59 seconds.
John's shows have a beginning, middle and an ending,
Voila! each show exhibits internal continuity
Twinned with the music with the host's experience with
That of his guests, an info' rich listening experience
Unparalleled, in my humble opinion, in its relentless originality
And experiential scope; due in most part to John's worldly experiences
And of course to his helpful friends. Special thanks to Larry Hayden!
Like with all the arts; the closer attention you pay
The more you are rewarded with the micro-subtleties
Subtle jokes, gems and timeless treasures revealing
Deeper insights into the world-views of the artist, creator.
To listen or read for yourself and then make-up
Your own MIND is the best advice I can give,
However here I wish to wax lyrical on the interlinking
"Interstellar” pathways using radio, poetry, and travel,
If you please.
Like an album telling its tale, each show gives
An opportunity to take the listener on a journey;
Historical, anthropological, epistemological, but without
Them fancy words.
John's radio shows often program the music
And the talking in a special way,
Easy to overlook if you’re not dialled into the track titles
The artist names and the segues that produce, in me...
An exciting feeling of radiance, beauty and harmony.
A closely related set of exhibits; maybe a personal recollection,
An unreleased demo, some lost gem from the vault,
So many fresh cuts, they make any Butcher weep.
I recall our outward bound trips together
To craft shows and perform, interview and record 'live':
The Ei-complex, the Fiery Tongues festival (Ruigoord Amsterdam)
The Bonded Warehouse (Stourbridge U.K)
The Headpress bunker (London) and countless shows
At the 420 Cafe, Cafe the Zen and eat at Joe's restaurant
(Amsterdam); my current home.
In September of this year (2010) I was fortunate
To be invited to play and record with some friends of John's
From New Orleans who stopped off in Amsterdam
On the final leg of a Euro-tour as the 101 Runner's.
Chris Jones, Tom Worrell, and local Amsterdam Blues Scholars:
Leslie Lopez, Vincente Pino, and I played a live show at the 420 cafe'
And during that week captured two days’ worth of studio recordings
From Zen Studio's in Amsterdam East.
These sessions can be heard cycled into John's shows
Thanks to a fast and friendly file sharing operation he got.
The project is dubbed 'John Sinclair and his International Blues scholars'
'Let’s Go Get Em' has already been featured on the album
'spirit bear rebellion'
The combination of the 'live' show, the 'studio' tracks,
And other songs, all fixed up with John's segues binds well
When you know a little of where and when
And how each part was crafted.
Just two weeks ago I was invited by John to join him
At a recording session in London with producer 'Youth'
The session included George Butler on drums,
Al Clayton and Brian James on guitars,
Youth on bass and John Sinclair on the mic',
Plus other special guests.
Tentatively titled Beatnik Youth,
The session features straight ahead rock and roll
Excursions into some of John's tracks,
skilfully arranged by 'Youth'
To highlight once 'hidden' themes
(e.g.; vamping on 'Ain't nobody's business')
A new chorus to put a whole new take on the tune.
I played percussion and some
'out there' free kit-drumming, adding
Some colour and contour to the jazz-punk
Rock project that seriously Kicks large holes in speakers.
Once again John roared his ass-off on the mic'
And gave every piece of energy he had,
Arms raised above his head, howling at the mic,
And barely two hours later he's already
Engineering another radio show,
And on and on and on.
These recollections are only a small slice
Of John's activities in Europe.
In America John has been playing
And recording and writing and making shit happen
At a similar pace and intensity, i.e.; like a small country.
But, due to the fact that I'm not there
I can't really report back on the details first hand, like this.
However at www.detroitlife313.com and
www.radiofreeamsterdam.com and www.johnsinmclair.us
You can read and listen for yourself.
On closing I would like to add that John operates
From the goodness of his heart and without payment,
Therefore any donations you can make to him
And to his foundation would be of great help
Making this shared multimedia vehicle
Continue to blossom.
--Steve Fly Agaric.
Special thanks to Larry Hayden, Joeri Pffifer, Sidney Daniels, Hank, The John Sinclair Foundation, 420 cafe', Mau and Cafe' The Zen, Hempshopper, The Dolphins, Headpress, Cannabis College, Eat at Joe's, Mark Ritsma, Detroit Life Radio 313, Salto World FM, Adam and Hash Bash, The Unabonger, The Global John Sinclair Blues Scholars,