The Covert War Against Rock - Alex Constantine (Feral Press)



An interesting little book which I stumbled across, the main thesis of which is that COINTELPRO is actively pursuing & eliminating prominent rock (as in 'rock 'n roll') artists. These artists were either active, or potentially active, political activists. I've been listening to rock music (broadly speaking) for 25+ years, and there were details in this book of which I was not aware.

A few examples:

Tupac Shakur was from a prominent Black Panther family in the 60's and 70's, and was receiving advice and following in the family tradition of black political activism prior to his very public execution. His first recorded song was, "Panther Power". He had hired numerous off-duty police to act as his bodyguards, yet somehow none of them were able to provide testimony or even attest that they had witnessed the slaying.

Peter Tosh & Bob Marley appear to have been 'taken out' at the direct behest of the CIA. Both had numerous death threats, and witnesses attributed Bob Marley's death to a pair of boots he was given by Carl Colby, son of the late CIA director William Colby. Both artists were extremely political and anti-establishment, within Jamaica and internationally.

Michael Hutchence (INXS) was also politically active, leaving his estate to Greenpeace and Amnesty International. The tabloid 'news' we were inundated with appears to be a classic COINTELPRO smear job, and overlooks the facts that his hand was broken, his face lacerated and lip split, and other signs of a severe beating at the time of his 'suicide'.

The book also addresses the better-known cases of John Lennon (Beatles), Brian Jones (the Rolling Stones), Jim Morrison (the Doors), Jimi Hendrix, Phil Ochs, etc., filling in details and highlighting how investigations either never occurred or were consistently stalled, and how witnesses or key individuals were subsequently removed or killed. At the very least, good questions are raised as to the accuracy of the popular accounts of these artists demise.

It is also interesting to read about their political activism, which in most cases I had never heard about --- even reading the lyrics of songs does not always provide the correct context to understand what they stood for or believed in, prior to their death.

Fair warning before purchasing and/or reading: this is not a well written book. It is footnoted, after a fashion, but I found items which begged for footnotes to be lacking them, and other items which were largely irrelevant to be well footnoted. The flow of the book is horrible at times, and the author dives down into details with little to no preparation for the reader. Finally, it assumes some basic knowledge of rock music which most Americans & Brits might have, but certainly not the rest of the world.

Having said that, it is the only book I am aware of which touches on this hypothesis. Would COINTELPRO attack popular rock artists? With music being the 3rd largest industry in the world I have little doubt, but the question is whether the author can make a compelling case for this or not. I would offer that Alex Constantine does raise some of the right questions, but desperately needed an editor prior to publication to firmly substantiate his hypothesis.

Estimated disinfo rating: very low
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