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 law and order by keeping Sinclair in prison – for the tenth time – October 3oth 1971, chanted, written and played by Allen Ginsberg, for prayer for John Sinclair. Om namah shivaya.”
For more on the 1971 Free John Sinclair movement – see here.
See also our posting here
And some recent John-in- performance live – at Otto’s Shrunken Head, New York City, last year, Louisiana Music Factory, March 2014, and in London (Canary Wharf, Spiegeltent), only last month – Happy Birthday, John!