On April 5 at 7:30 in the p.m., we get to host John Joseph presenting the second edition of his classic autobio The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon. This guy is hardcore everything: veganism, Ironman Triathlons, music (yeah – this is the guy from the Cro-Mags), writing, and service to folks in need. Here’s a preview…
Eric Larkin – What was the first music you heard that really affected you?
John Joseph – Black Sabbath Paranoid in 1974.
EL – We did a four-part series of books about punk. (The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon is on there.) We did the same for hip hop. I’m fascinated that those two hugely influential families of music happened at almost the same time in almost the same place (mid-70s, NYC). It was a dual mushroom cloud of art, music, style, culture, that fell out in different directions, went around the world and still seems vital. Any thoughts on why then, why NYC, etc.?
JJ – Funny you mention this. Not only was I going to punk clubs in 1977, but in 1978 I was locked up in the Bronx at Spofford Correctional Facility and got to hear the first incarnations of hip-hop. Later, I performed at clubs in NYC and worked at hip hop clubs doing security. I always loved both genres because both represented the streets, the culture and the angst of NYC. New York back then was very dangerous but also very creative. It gave birth to both scenes for that reason.
EL – You still do music with the legendary Cro-Mags. You mentor at-risk youths & adults. You eat vegan, train in the martial arts and for Ironman triathlons. You have adapted The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon for the screen, and have other book & film projects in the works. How do you keep all those plates spinning? Does PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) have a lot to do with it?
JJ – PMA is everything! I do what I do because of it. I’m writing a book as we speak on how to use PMA as a tool in life to get where you want to be and also to deal with adversity. I still tour with the Cro-Mags, but also have a new record coming out in July with a new band called Bloodclot – it’s members of Queens of the Stone Age and others. Everything I do though, I try and do with a positive mindset.
EL – What are some of your other projects on the horizon?
JJ – Writing a film, a TV pilot, touring, two Ironmans this year. Dropping a cookbook, book on PMA. Filming some more cooking stuff with Vice TV. Also looking to always help others – i.e. feeding the needy in NYC, racing for charity. I help a boy with a brain tumor and raise money for his family during Ironman races. Yeah, I’m kinda’ busy – ha ha
EL – What martial arts have you trained in, and how has that affected you?
JJ – I trained in karate, boxing, wrestling. Well, for one, it got me through some crazy shit on the streets of NYC – but it’s also a meditation. I do it to stay centered as I do yoga as well.
EL – Are there any books that have been particularly influential on you? What are you reading lately?
JJ – Reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, Robert McKee’s Story, Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese? and a lot of The Vedas (Bhagavad Gita – As it Is/ Srimad Bhagavatam) by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Wow – who knew hardcore could be so damn healthy?! Come get your attitude positively adjusted by John Joseph, a dude who’s walking the walk. We’ll see you Wednesday night, April 5 at 7:30.