A number of leading UK DJs are set to perform for Howard Marks on Friday 27th February at the Kentish Town Forum in London.
Rob Da Bank from Bestival, Don Letts from BBC 6Music, Greg Wilson, Norman Jay and Dave Beer from Back To Basics are among the DJs who will be lining up alongside a succession of bands, singer/songwriters and poets at the benefit gig for the counter-culture hero — including punk poet John Cooper Clarke, acid house country & western reprobates Alabama 3, and Cerys Matthews, the former singer from Welsh indie band Catatonia.
It was revealed recently that Marks, whose autobiography Mr Nice dealt with his days as an international drug smuggler, has inoperable bowel cancer. The gig is to raise funds for his ongoing treatment, to set up a Mr Nice Foundation, and to pay for the completion of a documentary film about Howard’s life.
Howard, 69, has been a long-time campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis. During the 1980s he was responsible for a sizeable chunk of the UK’s cannabis importation — all achieved illegally. He had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines and 25 companies trading worldwide in order to launder money.
In the late 80s he was arrested, and spent seven years in a US jail before being released. He soon wrote his million-selling autobiography, Mr Nice, which was turned into a film starring Rhys Ifans.
On his release from jail in the mid-90s, Howard soon fell in with Welsh band Super Furry Animals, who wrote ‘Hanging With Howard Marks’ in tribute. He started DJing, rocking up at Manumission in Ibiza and various underground club events, and has also been involved in a number of albums — including one with underground techno kru Juttajaw.
Not surprisingly, members of the Super Furries are among the guest performers in what’s being billed as an evening of non-stop entertainment. Some very special guests are also promised.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.