Monday, October 25, 2010

John Sinclair Freedom Rally: rare 1971 rock concert for your viewing pleasure

from DangerousMinds

Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally, directed by Steve Gebhardt is a filmed document of the John Sinclair benefit concert held in 1971.

John Sinclair managed the MC5 and was the founder of The White Panther Party. His uncompromising radical political stance made him a target of the U.S. government. He was busted in a sting operation for selling two joints to undercover cops. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Musicians, politicians, artists and friends organized a rally to bring attention to Sinclair’s unjust sentence. It worked. Three days after the rally, Sinclair was released from prison when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state’s marijuana statutes were unconstitutional.

Ten For Two was produced by John and Yoko, who also perform in it, and features Allen Ginsberg, Phil Ochs, Leni Sinclair, David Peel, Jerry Rubin, Ed Sanders, Bob Seger, Archie Shepp, Bobby Seale, The Steve Miller Band, Commander Cody, Stevie Wonder and more.

The rally was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. John and Yoko came on at 3 a.m.

Why hasn’t this been released on DVD? Rumor has it that Yoko owns the rights to the film and won’t release it. In the meantime, this funky video is all I’ve been able to get access to.

Here’s an in-depth article on the concert here.

Part 1 kicks in at the 15 second point.

I'd like to add John Sinclair's "Guitar Army" is an incredible book from the man during the era. And his wife Leni shot some of the greatest band portraits of the MC5, I proudly own one.

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