Marc’s Prison Concert Performance

Marc and Jodie, May 30th 2011Marc and Jodie, May 30th 2011Saturday July 2nd: I’m so pleased with the prison concert performance by our band “Stuck”! It was 99 degrees out, and flies landed on my nose on four occasions. One time a fly walked up my left arm to my wrist for about two extraordinarily long minutes during a song and I still was able not to be distracted – whew! That sucker would not fly away; I almost thought it might be diggin’ the music. I worked up a real sweat, especially as the afternoon went on.

We got to play much longer than anticipated. We started playing our set of 8 songs at 11:40am and played to 1:00pm, then played the set again from 1:15pm to 2:45pm, almost three hours in the heat outside, and it turned out wonderful! I only lost my way on our first go at Johnny B. Goode, so missed about six measures until I realized where we were. Considering we played every song twice (16 in total), I am feeling really pleased with it.

Terry the leader guitarist, and Grizz, the vocalist and rhythm guitarist, were excellent and said I did fine. In fact, as I performed the afternoon version of Johnny B. Goode the band, without letting me know in advance, doubled the tempo to eight eighth notes from four quarter notes a measure in the last two choruses – a furious pace for me, that they said was my official initiation into the band, and I passed, as I kept up successfully, immediately detecting their mischievousness. Perspiration drops fell on my glasses during that frenetic finale, but I carried on. What a great day for me!!!!!!!

Three hours performing live and loud in a rock and roll band, 45 days after picking up a bass guitar for the first time, and 54 days after picking up a guitar (any musical instrument, for that matter) for the first time in my life. Those four- to five-hour a day practices paid off. I’m so content inside having done it well enough to get the approval of my fellow inmates, and my bandmates whom have 30 years (Grizz), 24 years (Terry), and eight years (Sap, the drummer) experience respectively.

The songs performed were:

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream – 5 minutes
Tightrope – Stevie Ray Vaughan – 7 minutes
Voodoo Child – Hendrix – 18 minute version
Star Spangled Banner – Hendrix – 7 minutes
All Along the Watchtower – Hendrix – 10 minute version
Red House – Hendrix – 18 minute version
Little Wing – Hendrix – 12 minute version
Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry – 9 minute version

As the bassist, my job was to keep up the bass lines, mostly while Terry the lead guitarist did these fabulous virtuoso solos in each song, which were amazing and delighted the audience, and Grizz sang vocals and played rhythm guitar. So I can definitely say my first ever music performance was a tremendously satisfying experience, and nice and long too.

I love playing in a band, especially one with great musicians to mentor me! It’s like a fantasy come true. I’m so gratified Grizz and Terry are happy with my performance and dedication. Yay! for me. I can’t believe I’m in a band! Thanks for everyone’s encouragement!!!! I’m going to relax the next two days. Jodie visits Sunday and Monday, and I’m excited about that!!!

Marc in Yazoo Prison, May 2011Marc in Yazoo Prison, May 2011For our next concert on the Labor Day weekend, I am already practicing the bass notes to Purple Haze by Hendrix, Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, and White Room by Cream. We’ll also be playing Ramble On (Zeppelin), Wind Cries Mary (Hendrix), Black Magic Woman (Santana), Born Under a Bad Sign (Cream), Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits), and Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who).

Those nine songs will be added to our current repertoire of eight songs to have 16 or 17 songs to play on the Labor Day weekend. Other possibilities are My Head’s In Mississippi by ZZ Top (my favourite ZZ Top song), Turn The Page (by Bob Seger/Metallica), and White Rabbit (by Jefferson Airplane). Sultans of Swing and Won’t Get Fooled Again are fairly complicated, so they may be replaced by others in the “maybe” column if I have too much difficulty with them. But I hope to learn them and be able to play them competently.

All members of the band spend hours a day learning these new songs, together and separately. Our previous drummer, Sap, a very nice guy I enjoyed playing with, agreed to become part of a reggae band but it seems they aren’t coming together, so now we’ve already got a new drummer and that means Sap might be bandless. Damian, our new drummer, is coming along nicely learning the eight songs we’ve already performed, and he is learning the new set list also.

Currently I am reading a biography of Texas blues musicians, and Stevie Ray Vaughan specifically, called Roadhouse Blues. I’m also studying music theory and harmony, learning to read music, understand music theory and how it all works. I passed my GED tests with the highest marks in the class in all subjects, getting close to perfect in all 5 areas. But the tests are shockingly easy, at least for a 53 year old like me who has excellent memory retention.

I have not written any letters to my correspondents, and I feel bad about that, but I spend up to five hours every day practicing the bass, another two to three hours on music theory, and haven’t made time for letter writing. I do appreciate hearing from people, though, as it distracts from the repetitive routines inside prison, so send letters to me at the address posted at www.FreeMarc.ca. Thanks for your support!

Marc Emery

MARC EMERY #40252-086
FCI YAZOO CITY – MEDIUM E-1
P.O. BOX 5888
YAZOO CITY, MS
39194

Marc Emery
Marc Emery

Marc Emery is a Canadian cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and politician. Known to his fans as the Prince of Pot, Emery has been a notable advocate of international cannabis policy reform for decades. Marc is the founding publisher of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV.

Comments

23 Comments

  1. the 81 on

    got nuthin good to say?dont say shit,as you can see 99% of the comments here are for the positive,on marcs behalf,hes made strides for something he belives in,i know him personally and a fuckload of people love and respect him,as i,aside from dicklicks like you,no body gives a shit about your negative banter

  2. curtis hall on

    hey marc youve got balls and balls are enough,we are all behind you in canada,you probably dont remember me?but you and i had are picture together at the store on hasteings with the bong ??? you autographed a couple of mags,im the guy from sault ste.marie robs friend,anyway wanted to refresh your mind,my email is up there you need ask?i will do wat i can,im here in anyway i can b,supported you then,i do now,you know the yankee gov.if it aint war or there rippin the people or makin a buck,then its against the law,even more when you got the people behind you,they dont like that,they like there sheeple,but they are transparent,all crooks are,ther evil and NUTHIN short,you b well my friend do well get out and they can kiss your ass good-bye,all my best marc be well curtis

  3. Benjamin on

    Good points.

  4. Benjamin on

    But do you really need years of prison and possibility of rape?
    What about too many carbs? Should we ‘prescribe’ prison time for those that overeat and risk their lives? Remember, cardiovascular disease kills more than AIDS, Suicide, Cancer, and car wrecks COMBINED.

    How many has pot killed?

  5. Benjamin on

    Stay strong, this will soon be over and keep up the blog and positive outlook.
    Thanks for the post.

  6. Chris R on

    Fuck You Dutchman

  7. Chris R on

    Nice to see that Marc’s health is improving. Learning new things like music will help him avoid what I call “Groundhog day brain”. You know when doing the same routine over and over can make you feel fuzzy and detached. Plus with him being middle aged it will help him avoid dementia and other cognitive diseases in 20 years. He just looks less stressed which says a lot in prison.
    Jodie you look pretty as always, I would say more but your married so that is as much as I feel comfortable saying. Hope both of you stay in good spirits, -Chris R-

  8. Anonymous on

    YOU ARE A FOOL,WHO HAS GIVEN THE DUTCH A BAD NAME.

  9. knowa on

    I have worked in private prison and seen how much better State and Federal prison operate. It was so bad that 60 people that trained for six weeks and quit after a short time some within minutes. It was far more dangerous in the privet prison than the state run facility. We made $8.00 hr. they made $14.00 hr. Ours was a really old facility and needed many repairs and upgrade it was dangerous to both guards and inmates. The turn over rate was problem matic you needed guards that could work with the inmates and be fare and respected. I was always breaking up fight and even got punched out myself a few time you could not show fear or you were gone. So yes Marc dose look much healthier Maybe its southern cooking with collards and greens or just a disciplined life much like boot camp in the military. I am glad to know that Marc has had an opportunity to a diversion of music, some thing that in my correspondence with Marc we have talked about,which Marc had missed at DRJ. There are penal institution that are human and those that are dysfunctional and inhumane. Swamp water to drink, food that was of the poorest quality. None of the guards that I worked with would eat the food, 64 people to a room and userpic fees for phone use and things not to mention the slave wages. Private prison are a business for profit and in business the only way to in cress profits is to increase sales or reduce cost so that means arrest more people and cut food cost and get more work out of the 13cents an hour slave labor. Don’t forget Marc was targeted for political reason, the wind is changing and the Prohibition industrial complex is running scared.

  10. Brett LeMay on

    First point, Mr Emery hasn’t been a political prisoner for several months, it’s been a year and then some. The fact that you still view smoking marijuana as “Drug Abuse”, yet have the audacity to post here, is a bit of a conundrum to me. We the people of Marc Emery’s court, do not view smoking pot as drug abuse. I am fairly certain that I speak for most of us when I say that, you are spitting regurgitated propaganda from your oral cavity. An oral cavity that would have a very full dance card in prison, based on your ignorant comments.

    Mr Emery’s health has not been restored by staying in prison, it has been endangered and attacked by it. Are you aware that he contracted MRSA while incarcerated? There is no health care in a US prison, they are run by for profit corporations and broken governments. The fact that he appears healthy and strong has everything to do with his resilience. He has adapted to a harsh environment through his strength of character and ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

    If Federal Prisons are so good for your health, I would love to see you go do a couple of years in one. People like you disgust me, with your double digit IQ’s! You are farting out your mouth! Using an alias because you know deep down inside that you are an a@$hole. I put my real name on this reply, I put my real email address, and I would put my real phone number here if I weren’t so worried about spammers getting it. You hide behind an alias and attempt to remain anonymous. I have been inside and had to serve six months for “crime” of growing a plant and it is sheep people like you that are the engine, driving this industry of misery. Your ignorant opinions are appalling.

    Good Day Sir,

    Brett C LeMay
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Find me on Facebook if you dare, you english as a second language, wanna be, know it all, pawn of the machine, chicken [email protected] hick!

  11. Anonymous on

    Yes, indeed. Your reference to political criminals running our countries pretty much sums it up.

  12. Lee Eisenstein on

    Music is one of life’s great joys. God bless you, Mark!

  13. Anonymous on

    Lab rat? 187 on u pig. Drugs are prolific In prison. U obviously nEver read about the king of pot, He only smoked before sex and I public, and only 1 bong rip. I’m sure if he wanted you can get high or shoot heroin…. The prison gAngs with lifers have nothing but drugs and pruno. They get high everyday, and pass piss tests by drinking lots of water. If anything the prince abides because he is lawful, U pig are unlawful and should be put to death as albeit macht frei

  14. Dutchman on

    We clearly notice several months away from drug abuse has improved considerably the health and mind of the Prince of Pot. Gone are his huge eyebags, scowling mouth and rambling angry speech. Jail may be a terrible place but if it can wean a 53 year old man from drug habit, who was unwilling to do that task himself, maybe, sadly to say – the jail experience has brought. His health wa not restored because he received a few more apples to eat, it was improved because he stopped smoking huge cones all day.. bong hits, line whatever he was overindulging to the point of self poisoning ceased abruptly. Stopping feeling sorry for himself and getting on with his life was also very good. If he returns to massive pot smoking when he is freed in several years, we will watch him go downhill once again. A good laboratory rat is the Prince of Pot..He shows us all that moderation in all things is not essential. not just some philosophy from an old book

  15. Anonymous on

    Your not looking any worse for wear Mark, your an inspiration to us all.
    How someone like could have ended up in jail really disturbs me.
    How many other great minds that we know nothing about are in jail while we have political criminals running our countries.
    I really hope change comes soon.

  16. Anonymous on

    your soo right marc is a really tough…i don’t know how he coped…why do they make such a big deal about that country club in guantanamo or those places they kept the jews in during ww2 when emery has to suffer through what he has here in the usa

  17. Jake Witmer on

    I think Marc Emery is one of the most benevolent human beings on Earth. I hope he weathers these dark days well. The coming Singularity needs Marc Emery. It is a damning indictment of our unlawful legal system that he is in prison. Please, make it through safely, and regain your (relative) freedom, Marc!!!

    The people who put Marc in prison should be ashamed of themselves. Obama should be ashamed of himself, that he has not pardoned Marc. The only damned reason why Obama was elected was to ease the boot off of our necks, and he behaves like George W. Bush as soon as he has a little power.

    A shout out to all of our brothers and sisters who are wrongfully imprisoned. Google “Fully Informed Jury Association” for a way to keep your family members and friends out of prison.

  18. Anonymous on

    Nice to see that Marc finally has reasonable prison conditions, after the hell hole they sent him to first. That was pretty dirty of the US Justice Department. I still can hardly believe that actually happened in America in 2011. Those were dark times. Now Marc is looking better and is finding interesting things to occupy his time and learning new skills. It will be hard for anybody to outdo Marc in prison stories anyway, unless they were in Nam and were held in a bamboo cage. Marc has endured the worst America had to give him. He got over his whiney vegan phase pretty quickly in the D-Ray. It wasn’t his biggest concern anymore when he was getting stung by venomous spiders in a 64 man dorm full of Mexicans. Just surviving for the next 24 hours became somehow more important than getting gluten free toast and tofu, when all there was is gruel with rocks and debris in it and yellow water with god-knows-what in it. Why ask for the vegetarian menu when they won’t even give you the safe water menu?

  19. Shari Goen on

    You can sure see the sparkle in her eyes…you can almost feel the love there. It’s so great to see them together..:)