sinclair in 2003
is John Sinclair?
An excerpt from "John Lennon"
by Ray Coleman: "John Sinclair, a left-wing writer had been jailed for possessing
two joints of marijuana in 1969, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono attended a benefit
rally at Ann Arbor in 1971, Michigan which resulted in Sinclair being freed on
bail within three days after serving two years of his sentence.
left-wing personalities, e.g. Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, were a part of the
Village life for John Lennon: "I'd just arrived in New York and all these
people, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, David Peel, they were right on the corner
when I was going out for a walk in the Village. It was that kind of community.
I loved it."
From The Wire / Jan. 2003: John
Yoko Ono & John Lennon / Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins
this one of John and Yoko's inventions? Is that Two Virgins?
Ah, OK. Boy, it's been 30 years since I listened to this."
Wire: "You dedicated a chapter to it in your book of street/prison writings,
JS: "I just thought that them appearing
naked on the front was the greatest fucking thing anybody had ever done with an
album. Especially Lennon. It was like Jesus Christ taking off his robe and having
a joint, it was just exhilarating."
The Wire: "Were
you an admirer of Yoko Ono as well?"
JS: "I was
into Yoko Ono before she knew Lennon. Most people didn't know who she was, to
them she was just some weird older Japanese chick who was taking him away from
The Wire: "They supported your cause
while you were in prison."
JS: "Very much, they
came and played at my rally and I got out of prison three days later. Jerry Rubin
suggested that they come to Ann Arbor. They came and played and it just turned
my whole thing completely around, because we had been fighting for two and half
years to get me out of prison and convince the authorities that my cause was just.
These guys came to play for me and I was released. From the minute they announced
that John Lennon was coming to Ann Arbor to play for John Sinclair, the whole
complexion of the opposition changed."
The Wire: "Lennon
was also treated very badly by the US authorities wasn't he?"
"Very badly, and what we learned in retrospect was that it was because of
his association with us. The whole scrutiny of Lennon by government came as a
result of him coming to Ann Arbor. We met several times afterwards. We were going
to do a big tour together in 72 that was based on this model of a freedom rally
we had. It would have involved all kinds of different music, together with community
and national activists speaking like Bobby Seale, poets like Allen Ginsberg, folk
singers like Phil Ochs, black artists like Archie Shepp and Stevie Wonder; and
Lennon loved this. With this tour we wanted to follow Nixon around when he was
up for re-election in 72 and haunt him. It would end up outside of San Diego with
this three day free rock festival. Although we never did this, they changed the
Republican convention from San Diego to Miami. We were very flattered by that.
That's when they started putting the pressure on Lennon, and eventually they drove
him half crazy with that shit."
Sinclair's photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono / Second photo