John Sinclair

Album: Sometime in New York City (1972)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song was sung by Lennon to free a political activist named John Sinclair who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for giving an undercover female officer two marijuana joints. Lennon performed this song at a rally for Sinclair in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and two days later, Sinclair was released from prison. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kris - Mississauga, ON
  • John Sinclair was a Detroit poet, who before his arrest in 1969 managed the punk pioneering band MC5 for three years and lead the White Panther Party. After his release, he wrote articles for musical publications, promoted the legendary Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival and taught blues courses at Wayne State University. After moving to New Orleans in the early 1990s, he became a radio DJ and released several spoken word blues and jazz-oriented albums.

Comments: 4

  • Barry from New York, NcThe posthumously released album ACOUSTIC contains John's set at the 1971 John Sinclair rally. Short but sweet. Worth checking out.
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnWhat a sad pathetic injustice it was, what happened to John Sinclair---I praise John Lennon for having the guts to speak out about it!
  • Bob from Southfield, MiJohn Sinclair moved to New Orleans in the mid 80s but has returned to the Detroit area. He is still a popular figure around town making many appearances at jazz venues and poetry readings.
  • George from Calumet City, IlVery underrated song from the late, great John Lennon.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tony Banks of Genesis

Tony Banks of GenesisSongwriter Interviews

Genesis' key-man re-examines his solo career and the early days of music video.

Al Jourgensen of Ministry

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music Scene

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.

Steve Morse of Deep Purple

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.