Trip Start Dec 19, 2006
24Trip End Feb 22, 2007
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Today we're lamenting the loss of our leader, Soul Brother Number One, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Please Please Please himself, Ladies & Gentlemen, the One & Only JAMES BROWN. Marsh has assembled a dynamite program of the master's great recordings, and his principal telephone guest is his pal from South Carolina, a journalist and civil rights activist who was an intimate of the Godfather for many years. They report on the series of funerals held to mark our leader's passing, from the extravaganza at the Apollo Theatre attended by Marsh to the actual funeral service in the South witnessed by his correspondent.
Marsh is another character I've known for a long time. I think he was 16 when we first met in Detroit, a serious follower of the MC-5 and all of modern music and a prospective music writer who cut him musical teeth-as most of us do-working in a record shop, Barry Kramer's fabled Mixed Media installation at the corner of Cass & Palmer on the Wayne State University campus just north of downtown Detroit. (My remembrance is that Dave was on the Mixed Media staff along with the legendary Robin Sommers when I first knew him, but I could be wrong. I know I saw him there on a regular basis.)
Eventually Barry Kramer would cross over into artist management and music journalism, managing Mitch Ryder & Detroit and engineering Ryder's return to rock & roll with his magnificent album called Detroit, with the Mouse logo, stately auto & American flag design on the cover-one of the greatest, and most under-recognized, albums in the history of our music. If you can find the CD release, it has the bonus track of Ryder's unbelievably great performance of "Gimme Shelter" from an abortive Paramount Records 45 single release of 1972, when I had the honor of succeeding Kramer as Ryder's personal maanger.
The journalism venture was the feisty rock magazine called Creem, published from Kramer's quarters at 3939 (or either 3737) Cass Avenue, in the heart of what suburban Detroiters call the Cass Corridor, perhaps the most desolate and forbidding of the many desolate and forbidding former neighborhoods of the Motor City. Marsh was a driving force at Creem which, along with the MC-5, helped put the city on the musical map apart from its identification with Motown Records.
Marsh's face was one of the last things I saw before they dragged me out of the Recorders Court in Detroit on July 28, 1969 and took me to Jackson Prison in chains to begin serving my 9-1/2 to 10-year sentence for possession of two joints. Marsh and Bob "Righteous" Rudnick were at my trial every day, digesting the action and reporting to the world at large on WABX-FM each night. Rudnick even had a Panasonic cassette recorder strapped to his body and a microphone wired down his sleeve, capturing everything that went on in the courtroom for possible future use in our continuous struggles with the legal system.
After I got out of prison I wasn't too fashionable with most of the rock press, although John Lennon's coming to my rescue and helping spring me from prison was good for a few favorable mentions for a while. But as I remember it, Marsh and the Creem krewe had something of a bad reaction to the John Sinclair Freedom Rally and its results, recoiling from what they felt might be a pernicious mass manipulation of the people's thoughts and emotions to serve the seriously left-wing agenda of the revolutionaries of the White Panther Party who had organized and brought off this massive historic event and its immediate result in my release from prison three days later.
Of course the WPP took offense at these observations and I began (this is in 1972) a long period of unspoken estrangement with Dave Marsh that lasted well into the 1990s, when we met one day at SXSW in Austin TX as fellow members of a panel that was set up to discuss the David Thomas/Laurel Legler film MC5: A True Testimonial, then still in production but boasting an explosive 7-minute trailer that blew down the walls of the hall where it was shown and the minds of those packed to the walls for the screening.
It was great to see Marsh again after all those years, and somehow we couldn't seem to recall the actual cause of our mutual acrimony, so we agreed that it was good to be alive and in the same place for once, and we resolved to keep in touch. It's always a blessing when one can erase any sector of negativity in one's emotional center and bring things back into harmony following an elongated period of dysfunction, and the rekindling of my friendship with brother Marsh has been a blessing indeed.
That evening I ventured out with the slowly recovering Dr Dorothy and Jerry Poynton to a splendid little place on E 7 St called Jimmy's Restaurant. Reminiscent of the place I'd just been in Philly, Johnny Brenda's, we passed through a comfortable-looking and rather conventional dining area in an adjacent performance space that was like a perfect jewelbox of a place for music & verse. Our audience was sparse but the music was completely full, with Daniel Carter on tenor saxophone, clarinet & trumpet, Elliott Levin on tenor, the ineffable Doug Lunn (in town from Los Angeles and magically appearing on my radar just in time to join the band for the gig) on bass and our host, Dee Pop, producer of the Sunday evening advanced music series at Jimmy's, at the battery.
Man, that was some beautiful music! Dr. Dorothy was particularly happy to be back on the stand with her favorite musician, brother Daniel Carter, and comrade Elliott Levin played the perfect foil, with the rhythm section twisting and flowing all under and around them. I'm praying to receive a copy of the recording made that night and when I do, dear friends, I'll play it for you. That was an uplifting experience in every way-musically, emotionally, spiritually-and I'd like to appreciate everybody who participated.
I'm sure there was a healthy portion of our regular audience that couldn't attend our show at Jimmy's because they were instead at Saint Peter's Church in midtown to celebrate the life and art of the great saxophonist Dewey Redman at Sunday night's memorial concert that brought together an incredible congregation of musicians and friends of the beloved Redman, including announced performers Baikida Carroll, Cameron Brown, Charles Eubanks, Charlie Haden, Geri Allen, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Leroy Jenkins, Mark Helias, Pheeroan AkLaff, Sheila Jordan, Ted Daniel and many others.
Dewey Redman's accomplishments as a musician and composer are widely known, but here is some data from Wikipedia:
Dewey was born Walter Redman in Fort Worth TX on May 17, 1931 and died in Brooklyn of liver failure on September 2, 2006. He was best known for his collaborations with Ornette Coleman, with whom he performed in his Fort Worth high school marching band. Later he was featured on tenor saxophone as a member of Coleman's ensemble from 1968 to 1972. Redman doubled on alto saxophone, played the Chinese suona (which he called a musette) and on rare occasions played the clarinet.
Redman attended Prairie View A&M University in Texas. He was a member of Keith Jarrett's American Quartet (1971-1976), the Liberation Music Orchestra and-with bassist Charlie Haden, trumpet player Don Cherry and drummer Ed Blackwell-of the collective called Old And New Dreams.
Redman established himself as one of the outstanding tenor saxophonists of his generation with a dozen recordings under his own name, including The Ear of the Behearer (Impulse!, 1973), Coincide (Impulse!, 1974), Living on the Edge (Black Saint, 1989) and In London (Palmetto, 1996).
Though generally associated with free jazz, Redman's melodic tenor playing always conveyed a deep understanding of blues and had strong ties to the post-bop mainstream. Redman's live shows were as likely to feature standards and ballads as the more atonal improvisations for which he was known.
Redman was the subject of Daniel Berman's award-winning documentary film Dewey Time (2001). His son Joshua Redman is the well-known jazz tenor saxophonist.
The John Sinclair Show #117 will be podcasted from www.Radio FreeAmsterdam.com tomorrow, Monday, January 8. Here it is now at
The John Sinclair Radio Show #117
420 Cafe, Amsterdam
Thursday, November 23, 2006 @ 7:45-8:45 pm [CC-0605]
Our traditional Thanksgiving show at the 420 Café this year is a "live" performance by Mark Ritsema and myself presented in its entirety as the 5th episode of our 2006 Cannabis Cup coverage. Mark & I have just released our new CD, cross cross, a selection of poems from always know: a book of monk that was set to music by Mark Ritsema and recorded with his guitar at Easter Hill Studios in Holendrecht by Clay Windham on the first two days of 2005. Adam Brook and I have released the album as a Big Chief Product (CD-0008) and Mark and I have been playing dates in Italy and Amsterdam to support its release. Here's what it sounded like on Thanksgiving night.
 John Sinclair Introduction
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: spiritual > consequences > blues to you
 Comments > John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: 21 Days in Jail
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: Cross Road Blues
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: Ain't Nobody's Bizness
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: My Buddy
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: the Screamers
 Comments by John Sinclair & Michael Veling
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: everything happens to me
 John Sinclair: remember
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: functional
 John Sinclair: consecutive seconds
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: monk in orbit
 John Sinclair: bluehawk
 John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema: in walked bud
Hosted by John Sinclair for Radio Free Amsterdam
Produced, Engineered, & Recorded by Larry Hayden
Edited & Assembled by John Sinclair
Mastered & Posted by Henk Botwinik
Executive Producer: Larry Hayden
Sponsored by Eat at Jo's at The Melkweg, SuperDude, & the 420 Cafe
Special thanks to Mark Ritsema, Adam Brook, Michael & Diana Veling & the great staff at the 420 Café: William, Martin, AnneMarie, Clelia & the gang,
©(P) 2006 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.
Podcasted by www.RadioFreeAmsterdam.com @ January 8, 2006
February 17, 2007