Rock and Revolution with MC5 and the White Panther Party
By John Sinclair
With introduction by Michael Simmons
35th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
* First time in print since 1972
* 40 additional photographs
* Includes 18-track CD with rare recordings
“Guitar Army was our manual for revolt. It’s a rainbow-colored Howl, still resonating today with the singular value of idealism.”
Guitar Army is the incendiary book that proclaimed “Rock and Roll is a Weapon of Cultural Revolution” for young, revved-up readers in 1972. Author John Sinclair spearheaded the leftist revolutionary vanguard White Panther Party and managed the Detroit rock band MC5, leading them from the ferment of the Detroit riots to the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, where the band played minutes before police clubbed antiwar demonstrators.
In October of 1970, the FBI referred to the White Panthers as “potentially the largest and most dangerous of revolutionary organizations in the United States.” However, just three years earlier, the group’s leaders hosted a “Love-In” on Detroit’s Belle Isle, presided over by Sinclair, whom the Detroit News proclaimed “High Priest of the Detroit hippies.” In 1970 he was arrested and sentenced to 9 ½ to 10 years for giving an undercover officer two marijuana joints. Sinclair then became the most celebrated political prisoner of the original war on drugs. After 18 months in prison, John Lennon, Allen Ginsberg, Stevie Wonder, Phil Ochs, and others demanded his freedom with a televised benefit concert attended by 15,000 people. Three days later, Sinclair was released.
Guitar Army chronicles these years of revolution through Sinclair’s “street writings” and prison writings, with over 80 photographs, illustrations, concert flyers and comics from the period. This 35th anniversary edition of Guitar Army includes two dozen previously unpublished period photographs, recent writings from John Sinclair, and an introduction from Michael Simmons that leads the reader through the revolutionary times to Sinclair’s life today. Author John Sinclair is the still-charging embodiment of a dazzlingly optimistic time in which change felt necessary and possible.
A bonus CD contains rare recordings of MC5 and other Detroit-area revolutionary bands, Allen Ginsberg, Black Panther Bobby Seale on the White Panthers, and original White Panther Party meetings.
6 x 9 in, 360 pages, CD attached, ISBN 978-1-934170-007, $22.95
Pub date: May 2007
JOHN SINCLAIR HITS LOS ANGELES….
THURSDAY, APRIL 26 – DETROIT POETS SOUND OFF! – ART SHARE LA. 801 EAST 4th PLACE – LA, CA 90013 – 213-687-4278
John Sinclair will reunite with brother Motor City poetry-&-music bards M.L. Liebler and Ron Allen for an evening of high-energy music & verse at Artshare Theater in downtown LA at 8:00 pm Thursday, April 26. Sinclair’s Detroit Artists Workshop put poetry on the map in the Motor City in the 1960s. Poet-playwright Ron Allen was a founder of Horizons in Poetry, the collective that revived public poetry in Detroit in the 1970s & 80s. M.L. Liebler, leader of the Magic Poetry Band, has been a major force in the Detroit poetry movement for the 1990s and 2000s. This will be a very special reunion for all three participants and a real treat for modern poetry lovers who like some music with their verse—a rare opportunity to witness the Detroit Sound at its finest.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27 – BEYOND BAROQUE – AN HISTORIC EVENING! – THE GUITAR ARMY RE-LAUNCH PARTY, PANEL, PERFORMANCE
BEYOND BAROQUE – 681 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 – 310-822-3006 – 7:30 PM
JOHN SINCLAIR and FRIENDS – GUITAR ARMY, with ADAM PARFREY, WAYNE KRAMER, DR. CHARLES MOORE, M. L. LIEBLER, PUN PLAMONDON, MICHAEL SIMMONS, a PANEL and PERFORMANCE
Also present for a panel rap will be WAYNE KRAMER (renowned solo artist & MC5 guitarist), PUN PLAMONDON (author & White Panther vet), M. L. LIEBLER (Detroit poet & poetry organizer), DR. CHARLES MOORE (divine musician), and MICHAEL SIMMONS (hyphenated revolutionary & introduction specialist).
Saturday, APRIL 28 – WAYNE KRAMER with special guest JOHN SINCLAIR
HOTEL CAFE – 1623 1/2 N. Cahuenga Blvd. LA 90028 – 10 to 11 PM – http://www.hotelcafe.com
Avant-Rock legend Wayne Kramer headlines and will be joined by special guest John Sinclair, along with Doug Lunn (bass), Dr. Charles Moore (trumpet), Ralph “Buzzy” Jones (saxophone), Phil Ranelin (trombone), and others.
4) Sunday, APRIL 29 – LA Times Book Festival of Books – GUITAR ARMY Book Signing with John Sinclair
1 pm – UCLA – http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks/
5) TUESDAY, MAY 1 – MAYDAY! (of course!) – Official Release party for Guitar Army – Appearance & signing with John Sinclair at…
La Luz de Jesus – 7 pm – 4633 Hollywood Blvd – Los Angeles, CA 90027 – (323) 666-7667 – www.laluzdejesus.com
See here for full schedule: www.guitararmy.org