1967 Steering Committe


67 Steering Committe was presented in January, 1967 by John Sinclair, Gary Grimshaw, Emil Bacilla, Rob Tyner, Allen Van Newkirk (Guerrilla newspaper) and Jim Semark ( Artists' Workshop) as a first attempt to bring together newspaper columnists, musicians and other artists so that they would be in an effective position of strengh in the "hip" community of Detroit - a brief episode that ended one month later, when John and Leni Sinclair and G.Grimshaw formed Trans-Love Energies Unlimited which was introduced as an extension of Artists Workshop and 67 Steering Commitee.
Trans-Love was a coalition of activists from the Workshop, LeMar, Guerrilla, 5th Estate, Mixed Media, Magic Veil Light Show, Plum Street, MC-5, Billy C & The Sunshine, designers, poets, screenwriters, photographers, printers, merchants and craftsmen.
Trans-Love Energies Unlimited produced rockíníroll concerts, light shows, books, pamphlets, posters, the newspaper Warren-Forest Sun (founded and published by Sinclair and Grimshaw) and was used as booking agency for the MC-5, Psychedelic Stooges and Billy C & the Sunshine.
Before that, 67 Steering Committe's first benefit concert - Guerrilla Lovefare - was cancelled due to January 24 big dope raid ; a total of 56 people were arrested including its activists.


". . . Stringfellow had been watching us very closely since i got out of DeHoCo . . . he put this pig named Kapagian on us full time . . . We didn't think too much about the police at all - we were too busy trying to get all this shit together and we were dropping acid one or two times a week on top of that, going to the Grande every weekend to dig the 5 (they were the houseband there) and be with the people, running the bookstore, trying to get the Workshop back together, and everything else - we heard about the rock and roll benefits they were putting on in San Francisco, so we decided to do the same thing in Detroit, and that was one of our major projects right then too . . .
So all of this was going on, and everything was getting farther out all the time, and the police were getting very freaked out behind it - they thought they were going to put a stop to us when they sent me to DeHoCo a year earlier, but now the whole fucking scene was getting out of hand and we were right in the middle of it, right? So they laid out this whole strategy for breaking up the expanding community before it could consolidate itself, and they carried it out right down the line. The snake Kapagian was sliming around on Plum Street and in the Warren-Forest neighborhood around Wayne, copping joints and matchboxes and half-lids and whatever he could get his hands on, and they picked the week before our first big benefit to pull their big raid off. Guerrilla Lovefare was supposed to go down at the Grande on January 29th, with poets, rock and roll bands, jazz groups, light shows, plenty of weed and acid, the most explosive gathering of freeks in Detroit's history - the posters were already out and everybody was talking about it when BAM! January 24th the shit hit the fan, 56 people were arrested all in one night, the papers came out with more campus dope raid headlines . . .
. . . Jim Semark & me put this band together, called the Downhome Tyrannosaurus of Despair, which was like a rock and roll space band . . . We were practising in the Workshop for the Guerrilla Lovefare benefit the night the bust came down - I think we had changed the name of the band to Detroit Edison White Light Company by that time - and "A Love Supreme" was blasting away when the pigs came to arrest us. I'll never forget that either! We told them we would go with them as soon as the tune was over, that's the kind of consciousness we were into at the time, right? The music is stronger than your guns, all that idealistic shit."
[Excerpt from John Sinclair's book "Guitar Army" © May,1970 / Summer,1971 by John Sinclair]


Gary Grimshaw's poster for January 29, 1967
"67 Steering Committe presents in Detroit

Original Print of Gary Grimshaw's poster provided by Mike Dixon


1967 Steering Committe
This is truly a new year. We have been preparing for 1967 all our lives, and we are ready for it now. The 1967 steering committee is a coalition of young enformed energies who live and work to make the world a human place for us all - - a place we can LIVE in , as a man lives in his home, or in his skin - - IS his skin. We feel equal with the universe and with this city, at one with them, and would have this unity spread throughout our lives, to move toward a human universe .

The 1967 steering committee exists as an agent of the Sun -- to bring people light and colour, as a natural function. To illuminate them, and bring them together . One of the committee's jobs will be to produce a benefit at least once a month which will bring together artists and audience in a totally positive context, to help raise money for needy members of the community . The committee's first such event will take place Sunday, January 29th, at the Grande Ballroom - a benefit for GUERRILLA. In February a benefit for the newly formed Detroit LEMAR will be held, and for March plans are being made to benefit the San Francisco Zen temple community, who have just purchased (made a down payment toward) 106 acres of land in the Sur, to be used for meditation and community living.

Another function of the committee, will be realized through weekly Sunday afternoon communal dinners at the artists workshop, beginning with a modest feast in honour of the John Coltrane and Andrew Hill Bands, who will be visiting Detroit at that time. This IS one world now, at least we can make it so as we will. The human community extends itself though men , wherever they are, as their spirit and flesh demand it.

In the Spring of the Year when all life rises up again, the 1967 Steering committee will issue a call for a mid west conference on consciousness expansion, and a call for a continental congress in the summer will likewise be made, whereby we all can declare ourselves members of a new nation firmly based on human need and spirit.

The 1967 steering committee wants a new civilization, and is working toward one.

We are only one manifestation of the new spirit in Detroit, and we NEED a new civilization . And we will have it. We love you.

Emil Bacilla
Gary Grimshaw
Jim Semark
John SinClair
Robin Tyner
Alan Van Newkirk


GUERRILLA LOVEFARE Dance Concert To Benefit Guerrilla
SPIKEDRIVERS , MC5 , Livonia Tool & Die Company , Detroit Edison White Light Company , Lyman Woodward Ensemble , Joseph Jarman / English - Spangler Jazz Unit , POETS: Bill Hutton , Allen Van Newkirk , Jim Semark , Jerry Younkins , John Sinclair , Art Rosch , Don Mose , and many others human beings , LIGHT SHOW by The High Society and the Bulging Eyeballs Of Guatama , Sunday Jan.29 , 4-12 pm , Grande Ballroom , Grand River at Beverly , one block south of Joy , You must be 17 & prove it , Admission $2.50 , For a new civilization , Poster by Grimshaw , Warlock Studio


More details on the Guerrilla Lovefare poster at helmsman@lava.net

Thanks to Mike Dixon.