John Joseph Returns: The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, Overcoming Insurmountable Obstacles & The Transformative Power of PMA

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“No matter what you can climb out of any hole. No matter how far in the depths of hell you are. I’ve been down there, but I was willing to climb out of that that and surround myself with positive people. That’s the thing — the association we keep.

John Joseph    


Back by popular demand, my good friend, podcast favorite and provacateur-at-large John Joseph returns for an unprecedented 5th appearance on the show to share more of his extraordinary story. A story that lays bare the indelible power of the human spirit to face and transcend unimaginable, seemingly insurmountable obstacles and ultimately transform one’s life wholesale.

If you’re a longtime listener, Johnny Bloodclot needs no introduction. For the uninitiated, John is a sui generis 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.

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Conceived and raised in abuse, deprived of opportunity and left to his own devices, John turned to violence and drugs on the rough and tumble streets of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1970’s. It’s a path that predictably led to violence, crime, addiction and incarceration. Spending his teens as a drug mule led to a series of unsavory foster care homes, culminating in 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., John began to explore not just his musicianship, but his spirituality.  It’s a journey that birthed the Cro-Mags – one of the era’s most iconic and influential hardcore punk bands. Later, he found his spiritual salvation living in a Hare Krishna monastery, birthing a life-long love of meditation, yoga, the vegan lifestyle, racing Ironman triathlons, and most importantly, his profound devotion to service.

Renown for his straight talk, no BS approach to living and the power of PMA — positive mental attitude — John continues to tour as frontman for both Cro-Mags and his new band Bloodclot. He also just released a 2nd edition of his memoir Evolution of a Cro-Magnon and is the author of nutrition primer Meat Is For Pussies, with a foreword by yours truly.

A man who truly walks his talk, every conversation with John leaves me better than before. Today’s conversation proves that just when I think we’ve covered it all, new layers emerge. So even if you’ve enjoyed all of John’s previous appearances on the podcast, this episode will find you riveted by a stream of mind-blowing, never previously told stories that are certain to incite, provoke, educate and inspire.

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.

I love this conversation. But I love John even more. Here’s to my brother from another mother.

Peace + Plants,

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P.S. – If you are new to the show and intrigued by John, do yourself a favor and check out his previous appearances on the show, starting with RRP 41. One of the most powerful podcasts I have ever published, it’s a beautiful documentation of an incredible life. When you’re done with that, dial up RRP 66RRP 95 and RRP 223. Thank me later.

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Thanks to this week’s sponsors:

22 Days Nutrition: the 100% plant-based, 100% USDA certified organic nutrition products and meal delivery platform designed to meet the needs of your healthy, active life. For 10% off all products (including the meal delivery) and free shipping, visit 22daysnutrition.com/richroll and use promo code RICHROLL at checkout.

Quip: Your one stop solution for oral health! Buy a quip toothbrush from $25 and get up to $5 off your first refill pack by visiting getquip.com/ROLL and using promo code “ROLL” during checkout.

SHOW NOTES

Connect With John: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Get the second edition printing of “The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon” updated with new chapters!

PRE-ORDER John’s latest release from Bloodclot – (“Up In Arms”), out July 14th on Metal Blade Records.  Featuring Joseph on vocals, Todd Youth on guitar, Joey Castillo on drums and Nick Oliveri on bass.

Also check out: Meat Is for Pussies: A How-To Guide for Dudes Who Want to Get Fit, Kick Ass, and Take Names*

Background, Context & Reference:

Notable People Discussed:

  • Cro-Mags: (JJ’s former band) One of the era’s most iconic and influential hardcore punk bands
  • Henry Rollins: Musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, motivational speaker, television and radio host, spoken word artist, comedian, and activist
  • Ian Norrington: Bodyguard specializing in the music/entertainment industry
  • Robert McKee: Famed screenwriting & creative writing instructor
  • Bad Brains: Hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. Widely regarded as among the pioneers of the hardcore punk rock scene
  • The Untouchables: Late 70’s / early 80’s Washington D.C. area  hardcore punk rock band
  • The Teen Idles: 1079 /80 D.C. area punk rock group with (future) members of Minor Threat
  • Sex Pistols: Legendary English punk rock band formed in London in 1975
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Legendary alternative rock/funk/punk rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering, show notes and interstitial music; Shawn Patterson for graphics. Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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