John LennonHoward Marks to host Freedom Rally Celebration in memory of John Lennon

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the John Sinclair Freedom Rally & his release from prison, the author, poet and activist announces a special one-off London show in memory of John Lennon with 'Mr Nice' Howard Marks and other special guests at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on Thursday 14th June.

John Sinclair managed the hard-edged proto-punk MC5 from 1966 through 1969. Under his guidance the band embraced the counter-culture revolutionary politics of the White Panther Party, founded in answer to the Black Panthers' call for white people to support their movement. Sinclair became a political prisoner in the early days of the 'War On Drugs' when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1969 after giving two joints of marijuana to an undercover narcotics officer.

This sentence inspired Abbie Hoffman to jump on the stage during The Who's performance at Woodstock to protest. It also sparked the landmark "Free John Now Rally" at Ann Arbor's Crisler Arena in December 1971. 


The event brought together a who's who of left-wing luminaries, including John Lennon (who recorded the song, "John Sinclair" on his Some Time in New York City album), Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, and speakers Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Three days after the rally, Sinclair was released from prison when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state's marijuana statutes were unconstitutional. 

John will also be joined by Howard Marks. Described by the press as 'The most sophisticated drugs baron of all time', Howard Marks is the writer of the best-selling autobiography Mr Nice and performs critically acclaimed one man shows, drawing on a wealth of experience ranging from growing up in South Wales and his time at Oxford University, to incarceration at America's toughest federal penitentiary. The event will include a Q&A with John Sinclair and Howard Marks, sets by special guests THE DEVIANTS feat founder members, Mick Farren, Russell Hunter and Duncan Sanderson, SONJA KRISTINA'S ACID FOLK, THE DIRTY STRANGERS, ROTTEN HILL GANG and BEATNIK YOUTH ORCHESTRA who will be performing the album of the same name for the first very first time. 

Thursday 14th June London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire 0844 477 2000

Tickets are £17.50 plus booking fees (£20 on night) and go onsale Friday 4th May at 9am / 0844 811 0051






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