Tuesday, June 17, 2014

John Sinclair - Fireside Chat


1 comment:

  1. 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, accompanied by various performances around Europe. One such show at the Barbican in London reunited his otherworldly and “gruffly exhortatory recitations” with the Sun Ra Arkestra, who he had originally booked alongside the MC5 at a now-legendary concert at Detroit’s Community ArtsAuditorium in 1967. Sinclair is a notable long time supporter of Sun Ra, and made an appearance in Don Letts’ documentary Brother From Another Planet.



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