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Iconic Counterculture Activist Dies In Detroit After Long Illness



John Sinclair

John Sinclair, who was a noted Detroit-based poet best known for his participation in the counterculture movement of the 1960s, has died at the age of 82. Sinclair was a beloved figure of the counterculture movement.

He reportedly passed away after battling a long illness. The activist released more than 24 albums over the years, including “Thelonious Volume 1: A Book of Monk,” “It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader,” and others.

In an unbelievable twist of fate, Beatles lead singer John Lennon actually wrote a song about Sinclair after he was arrested in 1969 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of marijuana.

In response to Sinclair’s arrest and sentencing, the Beatles legend John Lennon wrote a song entitled ‘John Sinclair’ in protest. In December of 1971, after serving nearly three years, Sinclair was released when the Michigan Supreme Court deemed his sentence cruel and unusual punishment.

In a 2014 interview with The Guardian Sinclair told reporters that he was proud to be part of the counterculture movement, saying, “I was part of the revolution, and that’s what authoritarian states do to revolutionaries. So it was part of my job. I accepted it.”

Sinclair remained a pro-legalization of marijuana activist until the day that he died. The State of Michigan, today, has legalized marijuana. You could say that Sinclair was completely successful in his quest to make America more free.

Freddie Blue Goodrich posted the following remembrance of Sinclair,

Fare thee well poet, activist and DJ John Sinclair. During my years at WWOZ John and I shared laughs and great conversations. He could be deep and thoughtful. He also possessed a childlike curiosity and playfulness. Most of all he wanted the least of us to get a fair shake.

Freddie Blue Goodrich

Glenn David Andrews, a longtime friend of Sinclair, posted the following message about his death,

My dear friend since 1993 we travelled to Amsterdam Several trip with you my dear friend God Bless you Rest In Peace John Sinclair!!!!! It’s very smoky in Heaven tonight

Glenn David Andrews
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