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John Joseph - Meat Is For Pussies

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Vegan Ironman and Punk Icon

Few people started out in an environment as unforgiving as hardcore punk legend John Joseph. He came up HARD‚ learned the lessons of the streets‚ and survived extreme violence. Yet he clawed his way out, inch-by-inch, to find his salvation in punk. John went on to form The Cro-Mags, the now-legendary hardcore band who would gift to the world a groundbreaking fusion of thrash metal and punk.

His is NOT a story for the faint-hearted. Beaten, starved and molested in foster homes, John Joseph was a drugs mule for heroin dealers on New York’s meanest streets at the age of 14. He was shot, stabbed, survived gangland hits and saw people murdered before his eyes.

The PMA Effect

In our conversation John Joseph gives a no-holds-barred account of New York’s punk underground during the genre’s golden age of hard drugs, non-stop violence and incredible music.

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John pulls no punches in this moving, frank and, at times, deeply funny interview.

In this episode John Joseph and I talk about:

  • His years as an ass-kicking Hare Krishna warrior monk
  • Surviving betrayal by those closest to you
  • The importance of a positive mental attitude (PMA)
  • The evolution of the vegan scene from a pioneering lifestyle choice to a community dominated by “douchebags”
  • Honouring your chosen craft with old school discipline
  • How Donald Trump put the rage back in punk
  • How SEAL coaching got him across the finishing line of an Ironman race on zero sleep
  • How meditation and martial arts saved him from self-destruction

Chapters

00:00 | Trailer
02:15 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode
04:47 | Brian’s introduction
05:26 | Incredible London music scene different to New York
10:15 | Abusive and violent childhood in New York City leads to a dangerous drug scene
19:57 | Whatever hell we were going through, music was the salvation
23:23 | A time-bomb waiting to go off is conclusion of his Navy SEAL psychological test
28:38 | No band could ever touch the Bad Brains in a live performance
31:21 | AWOL, fighting for his life in New York, in need of healing
44:15 | Facing racial hatred down south and how John got his nickname Bloodclot
47:27 | How a crazy, drug dealing, scrapping in street guy comes to front a band
50:25 | Honour the music, study your craft; learning a lot from Robert McKee before writing his story
51:35 | It was hard in Evolution of a Cro-Magnon to write openly about abuse he suffered as a child
53:21 | Forsaking drugs and alcohol for eating raw foods and being a fighting Hari Krishna monk
1:00:53 | The hot girl on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii: would applying PMA have changed John’s future
1:02:47 | Return to NY punk scene then realising corruption existing within the Hari Krishna movement
1:08:41 | Why he had to live in crazy, lawless Alphabet City, NY
1:12:21 | Insane stunts at Cro-Mag performances, his lifestyle giving authenticity to song lyrics
1:16:49 | “My history is of being betrayed, so when betrayal happens something inside me breaks”
1:26:21 | Descent to rock bottom, constantly running from the cops with wealthy girlfriend
1:43:53 | Below rock bottom in a crack house
1:44:00 | How and who gave the focus to climbing out of the hell
1:48:21 | John’s life now and his relationship with fellow vegans
1:53:58 | Competing the Ironman races
1:56:00 | “The mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy”
2:01:31 | What will John being doing in five years-time
2:02:14 | Success secrets
2:02:49 | Is John ready for the ultimate test
2:07:51 | What keeps John away at night
2:08:07 | Advice to the twenty-year old John Joseph
2:10:00 | Best advice ever received
2:11:41 | Advice to the young person listening
2:14:36 | Brian’s summing up.

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