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John Joseph Wants You To Wake The F*ck Up

By April 17, 2016January 26th, 2024No Comments

“Avoidance of bad food and interactions with shitty people is the key to happiness.”

John Joseph

Back by popular demand, John Joseph — legendary New York hardcore punk icon and Cro-Mags’ frontman — returns for a 4th appearance on the RRP to do what he does best: incite, provoke, educate and entertain.

If you’re a longtime listener of the show, Johnny Bloodclot needs no introduction — he’s my most popular guest to date.

For the uninitiated, John is a true American original. The very definition of hardcore. A survivor. A spiritual warrior spouting straight talk directly from the streets of the Lower East Side with one singular, driving purpose:

getting people to wake the f&*k up.

Conceived and raised in abuse, deprived of opportunity and left to his own devices, John turned to violence and drugs to make his way in the world. It’s a path that predictably led to violence, crime, addiction and incarceration. His teen years spent as a drug mule, he graduated from foster care to unimaginably horrific stints in juvenile detention. Then things went downhill. To avoid long-term incarceration, he enlisted in the Navy, only to go AWOL after a fight.

Fleeing the law and rudderless, John found redemption in the hardcore punk rock scene flourishing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the early 1980’s. Taken in by the Bad Brains’ frontman H.R. — a devotee of Rastafari — John began to explore not just his musicianship, but his spirituality as well.  It’s a journey that birthed the Cro-Mags— one of the era’s most iconic and influential hardcore punk bands —  and later led to life in a Hare Krishna monastery, where he found his spiritual salvation and developed a life-long love of meditation, yoga, the vegan lifestyle, racing Ironman triathlons, and most importantly, his profound devotion to service.

This guys walks his talk.

I urge the newcomer to check out John’s first appearance on the show. One of the most powerful podcasts I have ever published, RRP 41 is a beautiful documentation of an incredible life. When you’re done with that, dial up RRP 66 & RRP 95. Then turn your attention to Meat Is For Pussies*. I’m proud of the foreword I wrote for John’s book and it’s a fun, easy read — especially for the skeptical male who continues to harbor the misinformed idea that giving up animal products equates to an abandonment of masculine identity.

Today’s conversation picks up where we last left off. Specific topics include:

  • recapping John’s background
  • his transition to a vegan lifestyle
  • his punk rock detox
  • the evolution of a storyteller
  • the explosion of art & culture in 1970’s NYC
  • the ironman bug
  • helping at-risk kids through education & mentorship
  • the power of PMA (positive mental attitude)
  • the Big Pharma domino effect
  • combating vegan elitism

This October, John is headed to Kona — racing the Ironman World Championships to raise funds and awareness for the Children’s Tumor Foundation and in particular, his young friend “Alexander The Great” Owens, who suffers from neurofibromatosis. To get involved, contribute to his fundraising campaign HERE; run with him in the Cro-Mags’ NYHC 10K & 5K Tumor Stomp  in NYC on May 4; or see him play at the F*ck Tumors Hardcore Benefit on May 29 at NYC’s Highline Ballroom.

I’m proud to call John one of my closest friends and I sincerely hope you enjoy this special exchange.

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: John drops more f-bombs in this conversation than I could count. John is John, and editing was out of the question. So if you’re queasy about foul language, consider yourself warned and make sure the kiddos are out of earshot.

Peace + Plants,


Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher

Thanks to photographer Ray Lego for the running image of John.

Thanks to this week’s sponsors:

Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.


Connect With John: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

John’s band Bloodclot has returned featuring Joseph on vocals, Todd Youth on guitar, Joey Castillo on drums and Phil Caivano on bass. Their album will release later this year in September.

Read John’s Books: 

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed:

  • Henry Rollins: musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, motivational speaker, television and radio host, spoken word artist, comedian, and activist
  • Dave Grohl: rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer
  • Patty Jenkins: film director and screenwriter
  • Robert McKee: famed screenwriting & creative writing instructor
  • Terence Winter: writer and producer of television and film, known best for writing The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl
  • Ian Norrington: bodyguard specializing in the music/entertainment industry

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production and interstitial music (plus a new tweak on the theme!); Chris Swan for production assistance; Shawn Patterson for his graphic wizardry; and Ana Leimma for the original theme music.

*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

The Plantpower Way  is available at these fine retailers!

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  IndieBound  |  Penguin

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