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OUTLAW AND THE COUNTERCULTURE

Larry Love, Alabama 3’s front man, recently had the privilege of working with some very inspiring and influential figures from the world of  the counterculture when they visited him at the band’s studio at Brixton’s Jamm.  Together they played The Blues and recorded a brand new 20 minute drum n bass track.

First and foremost, there was John Sinclair - Detroit poet, one-time manager of the band MC5, publisher of radical 60’s underground newspaper ‘The Fifth Estate’ and leader of the White Panther Party.

The White Panthers were a far left, anti-racist, white-American political collective founded in 1968 to support and mirror the work of The Black Panthers.

Their founders defined their aims as ‘fighting for a clean planet and the freeing of political prisoners’ as well as advocating ‘rock 'n roll, dope, sex in the streets and the abolishing of capitalism.’

In November 1968, Fifth Estate published the 'White Panther State/meant'. This manifesto, in emulation of the Black Panthers, ended with a ten-point program:

    * Full endorsement and support of Black Panther Party's 10-Point Program
    * Total assault on the culture by any means necessary
    * Free exchange of energy and materials
    * Free food, clothes, housing, dope, music, bodies, medical care
    * Free access to information media
    * Free time and space for all humans
    * Free all schools and all structures from corporate rule
    * Free all prisoners everywhere
    * Free all soldiers at once
    * Free the people from their 'leaders'


In 1969 John Sinclair was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison after giving two joints of marijuana to an undercover narcotics officer. This sentence sparked the landmark ‘Free John Now Rally’ December 1971, headlined by John Lennon and  Stevie Wonder amongst many others. Three days after the rally, Sinclair was released from prison.

Also present at this meeting was another figure head from the counter-culture, the renowned English music journalist, Charles Shaar Murray.

His first experience in journalism came in 1970 when he was asked to contribute to the satirical magazine Oz. In particular, he contributed to the notorious Schoolkids OZ issue, and was involved in the consequent obscenity trial.

He then wrote for IT (International Times), before decamping to the New Musical Express in 1972 for which he wrote until around 1986, following which he wrote for numerous other publications including Q magazine, and Mojo.  Murray is author of  books about the Blues, John Lee Hooker, Jimi Hendrix, and David Bowie, to name but a few.

He also plays a mean blues guitar.

Read his article about John Sinclair in Times Online.

At Outlaw this Saturday (April 4th) at Jamm you can witness a rerun of this historic cultural event as John Sinclair on vocals, Charles Shaar Murray on slide guitar and Buffalo Bill on Harmonica join Larry for a 20 minute blues and drum n bass set! We’re hoping John will also join forces with Alabama 3 Acoustic and Unplugged later in the evening.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  They will be playing live at midnight.  This Saturday.  Don’t miss it!


(studio images by miss diagnosed)  

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