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The Ed Sanders Archive

Friends

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Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg was a longtime friend and mentor to Ed Sanders. Ed recounts that “[o]ne of the big events in early ’64 was that I began to hang out with Ginsberg. When I was first exploring New York City in 1958 and 1959, I never thought in a cycle of centuries that I’d ever become friends with such a hero.” One early evening in their friendship, they went out drinking and Allen spoke of his experience with visions. Ed asked, “Are you having visions right now?” and Allen nodded “yes.” Ed continued, “Ah Sunflower, weary of time, I thought. I was drunk. I went with him to his new apartment. He patted the pillow, urging me to stay, but I decided not to make it with him.” Their friendship continued until Allen Ginsberg’s death.

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First of two-page list of names and addresses typed and annotated by Allen Ginsberg.

Written at the beginning of the Vietnam War, 1965. Typed on the top of the page: “Here’s a list of names addresses of some folk who might come to rescue if war’s declared. Pick & Cho[o]se who (in US) you send to. The foreign ones were just interested types.”

 

Letter to the Postmaster of the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office, in New York City, authorizing Ed to be given all of the mail for Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Julius Orlovsky, July 15, 1965.

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A carbon of Allen Ginsberg’s “Consulting I Ching Smoking Pot Listening to Fugs Sing Blake” with handwritten note to Ed, written at 6 a.m. October 12, 1966, “Wrote this in San Francisco this last June first time I heard the record.”

 

According to Ed, “I bought a bunch of daisies & handed them out. Allen Ginsberg holds some. Chicago August 1968.” Photo: Frank Losi.

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Allen Ginsberg’s note to Ed Sanders at Lyndon Johnson’s UnBirthday Party, Chicago, August 27, 1968.

“At the Big Lyndon Johnson UnBirthday Party in Chicago—6000 people on hand / Ginsberg’s voice had not returned / from his many hours / of chanting om / to quell the violence / so he passed me a note to read / to the audience.”

“Introduce me as Prague King of May—Ed—in my turn, you explain I lost my voice chanting Aum in park—so please you read my piece—then I’ll do 3 Minutes of Silence Mind consciousness & belly breathing.”

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Allen Ginsberg ALS to Ed Sanders, January 11,1966.

Ed was asked by Allen Ginsberg to be a trustee when he set up his Cherry Valley, New York, farm in 1966. In addition, to the legalities of asking for Ed’s signature as a trustee, Allen writes in the letter: “I’m OK—ready for tour. Have about 15 songs & 5 with harmonies now.”

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Allen Ginsberg pencil sketch of an artesian well for his Cherry Valley farm, October 10, 1969.

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Card from Allen Ginsberg to Ed, September 5, 1970.

Shards of Gawd (orig. Shards of Ra?) rc’d & read in 2 nights, georgeous [sic] extension of yr short prose/poetry Fuck You/ A Mag of Arts mad blurb invention -- Stylistically both as prose & mental politics it’s revolutionary Compassionate break-thru.”

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Two-page letter written to “Ed Sanders Y.I.P.” from Allen Ginsberg on Apple records stationery, June 28, 1972.

Allen sent an “obscure interview” that he had given, but he wanted Ed to share it with d.a. levy and Abbie Hoffman. On the second page, Allen reveals, “Oh, was suggested for mass U.S. politics by Lama Chogyam Trungpa—we’ve been talking it over.”

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Allen Ginsberg “September on Jessore Rd Blues Dirge,” 1972(?).

Ed wrote a note concerning these lyrics: “Allen Ginsberg 8-page “September on Jessore Rd” w/ handwritten lines [on verso of last page] for song ‘Going to San Diego’ [where the Republican convention was scheduled to occur in 1972] written for sessions with Bob Dylan.”

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First page of a five-page letter from Allen Ginsberg after receiving a copy of a recording of the Fugs, August 9, 1985.

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d. a. levy

Ed Sanders called his friend, d.a. levy, “one of the nation’s first Pot Martyrs, a Martyr of the Mimeograph Revolution, and a Martyr for the Right to Read Erotic Verse. ... [He] was like Jeremiah. He had the potential to be a great religious writer—a prophet.”

Items related to d.a. levy are in a box labeled “Box Ind-3 /d.a levy (1942–1968) American poet—letters, publications, biographic material. + Ode t[o] d.a levy (E.S.) 1992 + Glyph for d.a. levy (E.S.) 2006” and contains a wide assortment of correspondence sent to Ed Sanders from levy, as well as an extensive collection of levy publications.

According to Ed Sanders, “It all began with the Marijuana Newsletter. I sent a copy to d.a. on April 19, 1965, he sent a postcard to LeMar: ‘Please put me on your mailing list & I will sign petitions … wd distribute the Marijuana Report if I could afford.’ d.a. jumped to the cause with the same tenacity that had glued him to the letterpress. He thought he’d bring the legalization campaign to Cleveland, and he started the Marrahwanna Newsletter (later the Marrahwanna Quarterly), after which he became one of the first of the 1960s Pot Martyrs—joining Ken Kesey, Tim Leary, John Sinclair, and many others. The police put him on its list.”

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d.a. levy, ALS to Ed Sanders, 2 pages, 1964.

d.a. levy wrote: “am gambling that i will live long enough to do it and i’ll have the paper and i’d like to ask you if wd consider sending me 20 short poems … but if you want a bk done—i’ll do it—the wilder the poems—the more I enjoy printing them and thus better printing job.”

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d.a levy postcard to Ed Sanders, assumed to be from 1965.

“Ho—Ed sent you 5 copies of King Lord 2nd printing (only 98 copies) [Ed Sanders’ book published by levy’s Renegade Press]. Enclosed Pot Papers—experienced another death—got rolled for $1.25 by three terrified spade kids in cleveland little harlem a couple of days ago— a very sad happening—out of a jack dostoyevsky Kerouac bk.”

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d.a. levy, TLS to Ed Sanders, 2 pages, January 12, 1965, sent in an envelope marked “urgent.”

“i have no words ..when on paper i think perhaps i am loosing everything or leaving everything via negation behind … as with drugs..but I don’t take drugs anymore or haven’t for a long time….”

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Original d.a. levy collage, signed and dated 1965.

 

d.a. levy, Farewell the Floating Cunt, Renegade Press, 1964.

This copy of Farewell the Floating Cunt was one of the books confiscated by the police during their 1966 raid on the Peace Eye Bookstore. The yellow police evidence label remains on the book.

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Note laid into levy’s Prose: On Poetry in Wholesale Education & Culture System, 1968.

levy writes: “this was printed last night—please read it if you get a chance to breathe—a different bag—john scott just got two years in the county workhouse [levy and Scott had been arrested for contributing to the delinquency of two minors by reading and distributing literature] & we cant do a damn thing except wait send the motherfuckers bent love rays.”

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“If you think you’re a poet — prove it” flyer, The Gate, Cleveland, Ohio, March 25, 1966.

The flyer is for an open reading organized by d.a. levy at The Gate in Cleveland, ending with levy “disguised as an arab taxi-camel driver” reading his poems.

 

d.a. levy’s Marrahwanna Newsletter, no. 1, [1966].

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Print by Thom Szuter with note typed and signed by levy (1968?).

“cannot possible send yu manuscript in time & thot I should let you know/ everyday for the next two weeks are shot/ my trial has been detained again / best of luck & many prayers for you.” The Fugs joined Allen Ginsberg on May 13, 1967, for a benefit for d.a.’s defense fund in the basement of Trinity Cathedral.

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d.a. levy’s The Beginning of Sunny Dawn, Ghostflower Press, 1968.

Inscribed by levy to Ed on the cover: “Ed Sanders eats little girls for breakfast & they turn on like neon lites.”

 

d.a. levy, Suburban Monastery Death Poem, Zero Edition, 1968.

Inscribed on the cover to Ed: “to ed sanders KOSHER musical ✡ joint for Peace.”

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Flyer, “Wanted by the Heads for the Rape of the Cleveland Underground Burt J. Miller.”

Miller was the head of the Cleveland Narcotics Bureau and responsible for the raid of Jim Lowell’s bookstore and d.a. levy’s books and press in 1967.

 

“A glyph for d.a.—tormented by Right Wing Sleaze,” 2006.

Original collage created by Ed Sanders on a Cleveland newspaper ad in tribute to his friend d.a. levy.

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Card from r.j.s. (Robert J. Sigmund) to Ed Sanders, February 20, 1967.

Cleveland poet r.j.s., friend of and often collaborator with d.a. levy, wrote: “Ed can u be part of sum ‘other culture’ what is the other culture all bout? -- strange / yes like how can they stop us when they don’t even know whats happening???”

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Claude Pélieu

Ed Sanders became friends with Claude Pélieu after he published, in association with City Lights, Pélieu’s Automatic Pilot in early 1965. Ed had already been a friend of Pélieu’s wife, translator and artist Mary Beach. (She also translated Sanders’ novel Shards of God into French.) According to Ed Sanders, “Pélieu was one of the outstanding collagists of the era.”

In his 2001 catalog essay for an exhibition of work by Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach, Thurston Moore said Pélieu’s collages reflected “real life both delightful and deadly, horrible and high, jazzed and disjointed, jinxed and holy … The Art and writings of Mary Beach and Claude Pélieu remain as visionary grace, codes and mirrors to spark song as revolution” (Thurston Moore essay in Claude Pélieu and Mary Beach, 2001. JMc & GHB Editions, 2007).

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Portrait of Claude Pélieu, n.d.

 

Chano Pozo / Claude Pélieu, Collaged letter / poem, 1986(?).

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Photo of Claude Pélieu, 1968.

This photo was laid in a folder with the American Wet Dream manuscript submitted to Ed Sanders to be published by Fuck You Press. A note with the photo in Pélieu’s hand: “Pix, blow up in black & white—Freako Pelieu at May [Mary?] Pop Art Home S-Fo, 1968 …”

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Le Comite d’Acton Universitaire (Vincennes) Paris, “What Does Xenakis Represent?” [1968(?)].

Marked as “Bulletin From Nowhere—Tract #1.” With note on bottom: “— OK Ed mimeo—100 copies—MAIL & distribution.”

There were only three issues of Claude Pélieu’s The Bulletin from Nothing published in 1965. Contributors to those issues included Antonin Artaud, Ed Sanders, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William Burroughs, and Bob Kaufman. Manuscripts in the archive point to an unrealized fourth issue that was being compiled.

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Unpublished table of contents page from Bulletin from Nothing, no. 1, 1965.

 

Ed Sanders and Peter Orlovsky’s original collage contribution to Bulletin from Nothing, no. 2.

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Antonin Artaud, “Tutuguri.” Translated by Mary Beach. Typescript with many corrections by hand. Inscribed to Ed Sanders.

 

 

Claude Pélieu, “Blue Velvet Eternity & Blue Velvet Underground --- Argument for Julian Beck: The Vast Light of Blood—L.S.D. 25 Part Two.”

First page of a twelve-page manuscript with a note to Ed Sanders from Mary Beach on the last page.

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Collage on the back of a book cover for Claude Pélieu’s Whistling Down the Wire, 1978. Inscribed to Ed and Miriam Sanders from Pélieu.

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Front and back of collaged card sent by Claude Pélieu to Ed Sanders, February 16, 1982.

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Front and back of collaged card sent by Claude Pélieu to Ed Sanders, April 19, 1987.

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Note from Claude Pélieu to Ed Sanders accompanying 25 boards with collaged comics (one of which is shown below).

“Eddie boy, forget the French Italian insane babble, and rewrite the captions—one day we’ll publish it somewhere—OK, So long Cl.” The project was never realized.

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One of twenty-five comics and other items collaged on boards sent to Ed Sanders for a potential collaboration.

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Front and back of postcard sent to Ed Sanders by Claude Pélieu, August 1981.

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Mary Beach, “The Elastic Banana.” Typescript.

 

Original Claude Pélieu collage created from the 1967 Life cover featuring Ed Sanders. Inscribed on verso by Claude Pélieu to Ed, March 1967.

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Envelope that contained the original Fruit Cup pasteups given to Ed Sanders.

Fruit Cup, no. zero, was a one-shot magazine edited and published by Mary Beach. Contributors included William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jean Jacques Lebel, Ed Sanders, Wallace Berman, Carl Weissner, Liam O’Gallagher, and Charles Plymell.

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Fruit Cup collage.

 

Fruit Cup collage.

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Left and above: Fruit Cup collage.

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Claude Pélieu, “Hallucinex.” Cover of a 17-page typescript with many corrections by hand.

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Front and back of letter from Mary Beach and Claude Pélieu to Ed Sanders, January 5, 1971.

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Left and above: Front and back of collaged postcard from Claude Pélieu to Ed Sanders, April 1981.

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Claude Pélieu, “I’m By Claude Pelieu.” Recording of “Throbs / Nouvelles Brives / Entre les Lignes—Dec. 1964 San Francisco.” 5-3/4 inch audio tape in original collage box.

 

Claude Pélieu, “Paranoia,” with multiple dates on back of the box—July 1964 and 1965–7.

Ed Sanders has simply noted it as 1960s. 5-3/4 inch audio tape in original collage box.

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Claude Pélieu, “Target #12,” 1982. Original drawing, inscribed on back to Ed Sanders.

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Claude Pélieu, “The Last Electrified Minute,” January/February, 1969. “Telegram-Poems,” 9-page typescript.

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Claude Pélieu note to Ed Sanders written on a Western Union Telegram form, February 20, 1965.

“Claude can only talk in code now! Stop—if pass—send some FY—Automatic Pilot wishes you Merry Xmas, Happy Easter & what about St. Pat? Yom Kippur a good case of clap etc. etc.”

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William Burroughs. Typescript for “Composite Text” that appeared in Bulletin from Nothing, No. 1.

 

Ed Sanders, Flyer for exhibition of Claude Pélieu’s glyphic art at the Peace Eye Bookstore, March 28, 1969. Designed and printed by Sanders at Peace Eye.

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Photo taken by Ed Sanders of Mary Beach, Miriam Sanders, Claude Pélieu, and Deirdre Sanders at Pélieu’s opening at Peace Eye, March 28, 1969.

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Mary Beach and Claude Pélieu aerogram, March 1972.

“[C]ome to see us freako…Burroughs says ‘hello’, he’s OK…say hello to Ted Joe Katzpuke & al.”

 

Ed Sanders wrote these notes after visiting his ailing friend Claude Pélieu, August 30, 2002. Pélieu died only months later.

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John Sinclair

Poet and political activist John Sinclair became good friends with Ed Sanders beginning in the 1960s, both sharing similar concerns, causes, and outlooks. Although Ed had been aware of John for some time, it wasn’t until John brought the Fugs to play at Wayne State University in 1967 that they actually met. John began the second LeMar (Committee to Legalize Marijuana) chapter in Detroit (d.a. levy set up the first in Cleveland). Ed was an ongoing supporter of co-founder Sinclair's Detroit Artists’ Workshop (DAW) press, allowing the Workshop to freely reprint The Fugs Songbook, which became a DAW bestseller.

When John was arrested in 1969 for giving two joints to an undercover police officer, Ed’s essay about Sinclair as “The Christ of Marijuana” was published in The East Village Other. His long 1971 investigative poem, “The Entrapment of John Sinclair,” published in the LA Free Press, is credited with recruiting John Lennon’s involvement in the “Free John Sinclair!” cause.

The Ed Sanders Archive contains a rich assortment of publications, ephemera, and correspondence related to John Sinclair.

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Artists’ Worksheet, no. 1. Feb 14, 1965.

The first issue of the Artists’ Worksheet was published three months after the Detroit Artists Workshop began and was signed by Jim Semark.

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Three postcards from 1965 sent to Ed Sanders by John Sinclair.

John’s postcard from April 8, 1965, says: “Dear Ed Sanders--I still haven’t heard a goddam thing from you abt FUCK YOU or anything, whats up? Also Sent you some bread for some FUCK YOUs &aint got them neither. FUCK YOU. Also please give letter to Peter [see below] or read it yrself or both. We are int. in starting LE-MAR chpter here, also distr. MARIJUANA NEWSLETTER, can you cats send some, we will even pay for postage.”

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TLS from John Sinclair to Peter Orlovsky, March 29, 1965.

John’s letter to Peter strongly voices his support for the activities of LeMar. He asks for copies of the “Le-Mar Newsletter” and for information on beginning a chapter in Detroit.

 

John Sinclair, “the Billy Bradshinkel blues.” Signed manuscript, March 16, 1965.

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John Sinclair, The Poem for Warner Stringfellow, Artists’ Workshop Press, 1966.

 

“KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHERFUCKER!” 1968.

A six-page press release from Trans-Love Energies on the travails of the MC5.

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“Lady Justice Sodomized,” supplement to the Ann Arbor Sun, July 18, 1967. Inscribed by “Trans-Love Energies.”

“Lady Justice Sodomized” tells of the arrest and conviction of The Sun’s editor for “displaying an obscene drawing” with an “Egyptian peace eye symbol” that looked like it was lifted from Ed Sanders.

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John Sinclair, Meditations: A Suite for John Coltrane, Artists’ Workshop Press, 1968. Front and back covers.

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John Sinclair, TLS to Ed Sanders, July 10, 1968.

John wrote to Ed, who was the “music coordinator” for the Yippies gathering at the 1968 Democratic Convention, vouching that the MC5 would be in Chicago and that he was “pretty sure the UP and the Psychedelic Stooges will make it too.” However, the MC5 were the only rock band that showed up and were able to play in Lincoln Park. Ed had arranged for the band’s power with the Chicago Park District.

 

Gary Grimshaw, “Wanted!! For Mass Rape of the New Spirit of Detroit,” ca. 1966. Trans-Love Energies poster.

Vahan “Louie” Kapegian was the undercover police officer who busted John Sinclair for giving him two joints after joining (under cover) the Detroit LeMar chapter.

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TLS from John Sinclair to “Ed Sanders L.A.M.F.” Sent from Marquette Prison, November 5, 1969.

John had listed his relation to Ed as “friend & brother.” Among other things Sinclair asks: “If you have these books in your store could you send them to me from there: Call Me Ishmael, by the big O; Barbary Shore, by Norman Mailer; Richard Farina’s book Been Down so Long…; and anything by David Meltzer, especially ORF and those books in that series, also Barbara for some poon thrills in my cell. By Sam Abrams. Meltzer’s books are really far out--I got copies from Peace Eye this spring but I never had a chance to finish them.”

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John Sinclair, “Letters from Prison,” Sept. 23, [1970].

First page of 8-page letter written by John Sinclair while in prison, distributed to his friends and supporters.

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John Giorno, “Release 3: John Sinclair Day January 24, 1970.”

Press release by John Giorno on Youth International Party letterhead (with the White Panther logo) for a nationwide day to benefit The John Sinclair Defense Fund on the third year of John’s arrest and the sixth month of his imprisonment.

“On January 24th, we want you to focus your energy on freeing John Sinclair.”

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TLS from Leni Sinclair to Ed Sanders, February 6, 1970.

“The other thing that I wanted to ask you is whether there is a complete bibliography of Charles Olson’s books anywhere. Maybe you could compile one with just the major works. We want to publish it and distribute it thru the Y.I.P. News Service. We’re thinking of printing up the Human Universe essay and possibly ‘Apollonius of Tyana’ as Y.I.P. pamphlets.”

 

Rainbow News Service, no. 1, December 4, 1971.

In 1971, while John Sinclair was in prison, the White Panther Party changed its name to the Rainbow People’s Party.

 

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Schedule for the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, Crisler Arena, University of Michigan, December 10, 1971.

Ed Sanders read from his long investigative poem “The Entrapment of John Sinclair” to 15,000 people at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in Ann Arbor: “If John Sinclair / were a thug / selling heroin to grade-school children / and paying bribes to police and public officials / he’d be a free man today ….”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono finally arrived around 3 a.m., and the rally broke up around 3:30 a.m. Sinclair was released from prison three days after the rally.

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Ed Sanders, “Data Sheet,” December 10, 1969, with some of Ed’s notes on the John Sinclair rally.

 

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Spain Rodriguez

In his “Salute to Spain Rodriguez” (December 2012), Ed Sanders writes:

“I collected about 50 pieces of Spain’s art, including comic panels, designs for benefits, an original 1966 EVO front page layout, various drawings, and even a group of preliminary drawings and sketches for his comics. They are a cherished part of my archive. Also, in my garage in Woodstock, after all these decades, is Spain’s red and yellow Peace Eye Bookstore sign from early ’68!”

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Spain Rodriguez, “Tha-Brak,” 1968. Original ink drawing.

According to Ed Sanders in his “Salute to Spain Rodriguez”: “I sponsored a book party for Abbie Hoffman’s just-published Revolution for the Hell of It on November 22, 1968. Spain provided a ‘Thrabrak!’ [sic] image for a design I put up in the Peace Eye Bookstore window that evening.”

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Spain Rodriguez, “Ape Rape: An Exhibition of Lower East Side Comic Art.” Approx. 5 1/2 x 9 inches.

Original artwork for opening night flyer, November 7, 1968. The flyer was printed by Ed Sanders at Peace Eye.

 

Spain Rodriguez, “Wash Me,” 1968. 17-1/2 x 22-1/2 inches. One of a series of posters designed by Spain and printed by Ed for Peace Eye.

 

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Spain Rodriguez, original drawing that was to be included in the abandoned final issue of Fuck You/ A Magazine of the Arts.

 

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Spain Rodriguez sketch pad, June 1968. Approx 50 sheets.

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