By Fly Adaric 23
Conspiracy Theory leaked into this world when John and I were sipping on some good tea, and i came to realize we could produce and publish a digital album with a relatively small cash payment to cover the digital publishing costs, so we struck up a deal there and then at the Sensi Palace, back in July 2012. Co-conspiring to bring new music and information into the public sphere like an audio coup d'etat, aimed at over throwing the outer heads of the Illuminati who infest the music industry, as any Bircher, Knight of Malta or Bonesman would say.
We had been discussing a vinyl pressing project of some rare Sinclair sizzlers for some years, and this selection of tasty tunes displays some of those covert musical operations that one day we hope will actually be pressed up.
The mind altering scope and geographical extent of the music gyrating upon this album illustrates how far John has traveled, and is traveling, extruding a treasure trail of classified recordings made with hundreds of fine musicians, playing the music in thousands of unique forms, millions of notes, billions of vibrations.
Conspiracy Theory, the album, inverts the paranoia equation and provides a musical antidote (telenoia) to large scale conspiratorial activity. MUSIC IS A WEAPON! And amplifies its power through sharing and diverse open expression, music and poetry glued together in a special way, and in a rich selection of diverse musical environments.
Having lived through the JFK, MLK and the Dr King assassinations, the Vietnam war, Operation Cointelpro, the Bay of Pigs thing, Reaganomics, two Gulf wars, 911 and the War on Terror, John Sinclair and his phalanx of writing, activism, spoken words and music conspire here, right where you are sitting now, to communicate an alternative world of arts that inspires one to rethink history and rethink a strategy for cultural evolution.
An album of music and multimedia is one such strategy for change, a prospiracy that flips the concept of a centralized global government and private covert organization on its head. Instead we have an individual with his decentralized global strategy, publishing in plain sight—a prospiracy to share powerful and diverse musical vibrations.
A conjunction of entities, vibrational beings, sonic movements, auspicious meetings, breathing together, unified in song, blended melody, secret keys, forgotten melody, operation counterpoint, musicians in orbit, a crossroads of artists in sync, conspiring with music.
The following cuts might be considered some of the lost tapes from John Sinclair, tunes that escaped the public ear like Operation Paperclip, now sitting together, awaiting your ears, brains and meat puppets to activate the dormant wordsound powers.
—Steve "Fly Agaric 23" Pratt
Wednesday 14th November 2012
By John Sinclair
“Joining forces in artistic expression is mutually inspiring and makes you stronger and more creative when you are alone, giving your work extra resonance and luster.”
Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac
Poetry is a solitary art. You make it by yourself, in the most intimate of circumstances, and deliver it to the page and to the stage in your own voice.
But once composed, my own poems find their completion when they are set—deliberately or spontaneously—to music and performed together with musical collaborators of almost infinite variety.
I think of this process as a vast artistic conspiracy wherein my verses are surrounded and uplifted by the contributions of my myriad co-conspirators in an endless quest to make these works heard as they were intended in their composition.
As a poet who travels far & wide in the course of delivering my works to the public, and as a friendly guy who enjoys the company of musicians of many stripes, I have the privilege of meeting & performing with all sorts of characters all over the western world who are open to poetry & music collaborations and have access to stages & studios where these collaborations may be realized.
This album collects 19 such instant musical conspiracies recorded over the past 19 years in venues from New Orleans & suburban Detroit to New York City, Cincinnati, Clarksdale Mississippi, Fayetteville Arkansas, and Covington Louisiana to London, Paris, Utrecht and Amsterdam.
“Ain’t Nobody’s Business” is from my recent collaboration with the London bassist and producer called Youth and a gang of musicians of his choosing led by Alan Clayton of the Dirty Strangers with the great George Butler on drums. The track was recorded in 2011 at Kingston University outside London where Youth was serving as producer in residence. A different take is on our album Beatnik Youth.
“Friday the 13th” is one of my most durable odes, first recorded at this concert in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cincinnati in January 1994 with pianist Ed Moss & his 8-piece Society Jazz Orchestra backing the poem with Ed’s composition “A Doleful Tear.” It appeared on the Schoolkids Records album If I Could Be With You.
“It’s All Good” is the “radio mix” of my “hit” number recorded with the Dutch rappers & producers LangeFrans & Baas B at their D-Men Studio in suburban Diemen in November 2002 and released at the Cannabis Cup that year on a CD called KnockOut that was commissioned by Michael Veling, proprietor of the 420 Café where I sit typing right now.
“Sparkplug” is my edit of a tribute to guitarist Melvin Sparks recorded with a trombone player & pianist I can remember only as Mike and my pals Clay Windham on bass and Jack Dempsey on drums at a 2006 session in the Next Edition Studio in the north of Amsterdam.
“criss cross” was written for my wife Penny in January 2005 and recorded in Amsterdam three days later with producer & keyboardist Jan van Weirengen at his studio in De Pijp where LangeFrans took me to contribute to Jan’s album project. I don’t know if the album was ever released but the hopeful prophecy of the verse was not to be realized and my wife & I split up a few months later.
“monk’s dream” was recorded by Don Was one night in 2008 at a little studio in Ferndale MI for his internet television channel called Wasmopolitan with Luis Resto on piano. The ode to Tyree Guyton’s massive public artwork called The Heidelberg Project was commissioned by the artist and first delivered at Ty’s formal dedication of the Project site on the east side of Detroit 20 years earlier, in May 1988.
“like a blessed baby lamb” is a poem from 1965 written after an Archie Shepp performance on Savoy Records and recorded with the great Philadelphia reedman Elliott Levin—one of my most favorite collaborators—in the recording studio at Touro College in Manhattan in 2007 as part of a student producer’s class project.
“but beautiful” is a duet with bassist Clay Windham on a poem to Billie Holiday recorded just outside of Amsterdam at Clay’s make-shift Easter Hill studio in an anti-squat office building in Holendrecht while Mark Ritsema & I were recording our album criss cross in January 2005.
“when you dance” > “dance of the infidels” are two poems set at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965 and recorded in Paris with guitarist Gilles Riberolles experimenting with tape loops on a Sunday afternoon in June 2008 at the Starski Studios.
“double dealing” is a poem from my early courtship of my wife Penny written in 1982 and recorded early in 2011 with the North Mississippi Hill Country guitarist David Kimbrough and his drummer Artemis at a little studio called East Hill outside of Fayetteville Arkansas following a presentation David & I made at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.
If poems were 45s “when will the blues leave”—inspired by an Ornette Coleman performance on Contemporary Records—would be the B side of “double dealing.” This elaborate recording that sets the poem against their number called “Minnie Minnoux” was made in 2009 by the Dutch band called Alquin at an Amsterdam studio near Vondelpark for their album Sailors & Sinners at the request of the composer & lead singer, Michel Van Dyck, whom I know through our mutual friend, the poet & painter Ted Jackson. Let me offer my enduring thanks to both of these gentlemen for putting me up at their respective pads in a couple of tight situations.
“Sweet & Lovely” is an ode to my sweetheart Soul Lucille written in Genoa & Detroit in 2008, completed in Amsterdam in 2010 and recorded in the fall of 2011 in Covington, Louisiana at an impromptu session with Carlo Ditto and reedman Steve Allen at Carlo’s Orleans Records studio across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans.
“Lock & Key” is a collaboration with Alan Clayton & his band Dirty Strangers, recorded by Alan in his woodshed studio in Shepherd’s Bush and remixed & produced for release by Youth. Al wrote the song & choruses for the tune and gave it to me to put a poem in the verse spaces. I chose a poem from 1982 called “blues to you” from the Homage to john Coltrane suite to go with the rhythm, sense and intent of Al’s song. Released as a Track Records single to coincide with the British elections in May 2010, the song had no impact on the election whatsoever.
“The Shadow Knows” is a rare recording that sets an early poem from 1965 within the Leiber-Stoller composition for the Coasters sung by guitarist Bill Lynn on stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1996 with my New Orleans band of Blues Scholars—a great aggregation that featured James Andrews, Corey Henry, Andy Galbiati and Richard Theodore in the horn section, Lucky Joe on bass, Mike Voelker on drums and Rockin’ Jake on harmonica.
“in walked bud” is a poem from my elongated work in verse centered on Thelonious Monk called always know: a book of monk that is beautifully supported here by my guitarist from Rotterdam, Mark Ritsema, in a performance we made for the Crime Jazz series at Vrije Vloer in Utrecht in November 2001. A different version appears on our album criss cross from 2005.
“pannonica” is another work from the Monk oeuvre that was recorded with Vicente Pino on guitar & Steve The Fly on drums at the EI Studio complex in Amsterdam early in 2010. A different version adding the guitars & bass of Laith Al-Saadi will appear on our 2013 album Smells Like Sulfur Here on Ironman Records out of Birmingham, England.
“Fulani Journey” is the only substantive piece I’ve ever improvised for a recording since my work in verse is otherwise entirely text-based composition. I had been interviewing the Senegalese singer & guitarist Gulel Kumba at his home in Oxford, Mississippi concerning his personal journey and the history of his people, the Fulanis of Africa, while preparing for a recording session with Gulel’s band Afrissippi at Jimbo Mathis’s New Africa Studio in the Alcazar Hotel in Clarksdale, but I didn’t have time to compose the text before the session commenced and improvised the story in front of the band while the 1’s and 0’s were rolling.
“Jelly Roll Blues” is a duet with pianist Jon Milan of Detroit’s Brakemen recorded in 2003 at the recording studio in the basement of his house in Dearborn where my pal—and Milan’s musical partner—Rick Pinkerton of the late lamented Music Menu in Greektown took me to contribute to the Brakemen’s album 14 Songs by Milan & Pinkerton.
“Goodbye” is a paean to my friend & musical favorite Theodore Roosevelt “Hound Dog” Taylor written upon his passing in 1975 and recorded with guitarist Howard Glazer & the EL 34s in a basement studio in Ferndale early in 2010 for Howard’s album Wired For Sound. Hound Dog Taylor was heard to say at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival in 1973: “John Sinclair—he’s natural born and tryin’ to lay it down for you, honey!” That made me just about as happy as I’ve ever been, to paraphrase Miles Davis, “with my clothes on.”
There’s a lot more collaborations where these came from, but that’s all there is for this album. I’d love to have some music here I’ve made with David Amram, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, James Andrews, the Kudzu Kings, Jimbo Mathus, Little Milton, Showtime Johnny Evans & Martin “Little Tino” Gross and a host of others but stay tuned: who knows what’s coming next?
“If you remain honest and dedicated to what you dream to set out to do, you can lift people’s spirits and make the world a better place through your work.”
Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac
November 14, 2012
© 2012 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.
 Ain't Nobody's Bizness John Sinclair & Youth London: Beatnik Youth CD (3:36)
 Friday the 13th/A Doleful Tear John Sinclair & Ed Moss Society Jazz Orchestra
Cincinnati: If I Could Be With You CD (4:40)
 It's All Good John Sinclair with LangeFrans & Baas B Amsterdam: KnockOut CD (4:39)
 Sparkplug John Sinclair with Michael & The Cats Amsterdam Noord: Next Episode Studio (2:38)
 criss cross John Sinclair & Jan van Weirengen Amsterdam Pijp: Jan van Weirengen Studio (2:57)
 monk's dream John Sinclair & Luis Resto Ferndale MI: Wasmopolian Session (4:11)
 like a blessed baby lamb John Sinclair & Clay Windham Amsterdam ZuidOost: Easter Hill Studios (1:25)
 but beautiful John Sinclair & Elliot Levin New York City: Touro College Studios (1:17)
 when you dance > dance of the infidels John Sinclair & Gilles Riberolles Paris: Starski Studios (3:53)
 double dealing John Sinclair & David Kimbrough Fayetteville AR: East Hill Studios (3:14)
 when will the blues leave/Minnie Minnoux John Sinclair & Alquin Amsterdam: Sailors And Sinners CD (2:41)
 Sweet & Lovely John Sinclair & Carlo Ditta Covington LA: Orleans Records Studio (2:38)
 Lock & Key John Sinclair & Dirty Strangers London: Track Records Single (3:53)
 The Shadow Knows John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (3:15)
 in walked bud John Sinclair & Mark Ritsema Utrecht: Crime Jazz @ Vrije Vloer (7:50)
 pannonica John Sinclair & His Vipers Amsterdam: EI Complex (2:27)
 Fulani Journey John Sinclair & Afrissippi Clarksdale MS: Fulani Journey CD (9:12)
 Jelly Roll Blues John Sinclair & Jon Milan Dearborn MI: The Brakemen CD (1:57)
 Goodbye John Sinclair & Howard Glazer Ferndale MI: Wired For Sound CD (3:26)
PRODUCED BY JOHN SINCLAIR
Production credits:  Youth  Steve Gebhardt & Ron Esposito  LangeFrans & Baas B  Can’t Remember  Jan van Weirengen  Don Was  Clay Windham  Elliott Levin  Gilles Riberolles  David Kimbrough  Alquin  Carlo Ditto  John Sinclair  Mark Riitsema  Steve Pratt  Justin Showah  Jon Milan & Rick Pinkerton  Howard Glazer
© 2012 The John Sinclair Foundation