It was a typical grey cloudy, rainy morning in Amsterdam. John Sinclair and I have finished our “ritual” morning poffergies eaten, New York Times collected and are on the tram traveling to the Noord, soon arriving at EI studios, a breaking edge-recording studio. The EI studio is the brainchild of Tim Edmond who greets us at the door. We are ushered among movable sound walls with miles of cable, neatly arranged to a modern recording studio, complete with all the immunities.
Steve “The Fly” Pratt talented musician, writer and arranger of the album, arrives shortly afterward to a cloud of thick smoke, as Sinclair gets his head right while smoking “White Widow.” Amsterdam’s world famous 420 Café has sponsored our head for the day.
It all becomes a little foggy, as Sinclair is led to a sound stage, a colorful soundproof booth, as cameras are set up, helping to record the moment, mic levels checked. I feel something magic is about to happen.
As if in a trance, John slips on his headphones and for the next few hours, something happens deeply channeled from years of history, surging and pouring from the tattered spiral manuscripts. Writings of poems, songs, deep memories of love, lost women, all spoken and re-spoken take followed by take. While all the time free styling to riffs of Charlie” Bird” Parker, John” Dizzie” Gillespie and Monk play into the headphones as John rhymes to the beat. John sometimes gets emotional reviewing writings from twenty years prior, dragging up a flood of memories. Sinclair lets it flow, flow it does. An epic session was taking place. A few breaks in the session, to adjust the head and rest the creative juices flowing from everyone present, the elevated and energetic mood was wafting through the room as the odor of burning ganja. After all, we are with a counterculture icon, and enjoy the moment as Steve Fly has been in the control room mixing to the headphones all the while. As the smoke clears with session over, we all pose for one final photo, have one last joint and walk into history.
Iron Man Records soon to be released album Mohawk has something fresh, and un-heard, with skillfully mixed and remixed tracks written and laid down by The Fly
While having not heard the final product, I did listen to a few out takes of the time and I think everyone is in for a treat from a couple Mokums A.K.A. Amsterdamers in the Mohawk album.
Maybe light up a “J” check it out the artwork by CHU and listen to a legend named Mr. John Sinclair. As John often laments “It’s all good.”
I was there.