Putting two people in conversation on stage can either be hit or a resounding miss. However, couple two living and legendary activists, raconteurs and ex-cons together and you have the ingredients for a fascinating interaction that sounds like it should go on for a week, never mind one hour.
During 2012, as part of a UK tour called 'Breathin' Air' and for the first time in front of live audiences, nuclear physicist, philosopher, ex-Secret Service member and one-time (and imprisoned) drug-trafficker Howard Marks will be chatting to author, poet, activist, band-manager and one-time (and also imprisoned) political revolutionary John Sinclair. With a track record between them that includes being sentenced to 25 years in a federal penitentiary (Marks) and introducing the world to one of the most controversial and colourful garage-rock bands ever (Sinclair - the band was MC5), there is certainly plenty of ground to cover.
John Sinclair's past turned from being a small-town DJ into a radical activist who campaigned for various rights, including humanitarian and narcotic causes. He and MC5 formed the anti-racist lobby, the White Panther Party (as a nod to helping out the Black Panther Party) in the '60s, as well as upsetting the FBI in the process. Which is kind of where Howard Marks comes in as a suitable companion on these exclusive shows - he's also been in a spot of bother with the CIA, MI6, IRA and probably MFI, given half the chance. Both are proven orators who are worthy of your attention, regardless of your opinions on drug laws etc.
You can catch the pair at this year's Udderbelly on London's South Bank on 16th May (prices average around £12.50), or you can see them in the north and Scotland in June, including Hull, Glasgow and Edinburgh (around £10 upwards).
Later in June on the 14th, Marks and Sinclair head back to London for a far bigger show at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. This concert is in celebration of 40 years since the founding of the John Sinclair Freedom rally and movement and will also feature guests such as Youth, Sonja Kristina, The Dirty Strangers, The Deviants and the Beatnik Youth Orchestra. Tickets for this show cost £17.50.