JOHN WILCOCK: Thelonious Monk's Heroin Arrest

The John Wilcock comic returns with the story of Thelonious Monk's heroin arrest, followed by John's personal memory of seeing Monk play at the Five Spot.

Supplemental material:

1) COUNTERPUNCH on "Out Walked Monk" by Jeffrey St. Clair

2) JAZZ TIMES on "The Cabaret Card and Jazz"

3) NPR on "Unearthing Unknown Monk, Coltrane Recording" (Audio discussing the Five Spot performances at 4 minutes)

From an ongoing interview and biography of John Wilcock, a prolific editor and publisher of 1960's underground newspapers.



  1. Said it before, saying it again: these are great. Just wish they were a dozen panels longer! And that I had access to a million of them! RIGHT THIS SECOND!

  2. Now that I’m staring 60 square in the face, there are days when I think, “Damn; too old.” And then I’ll listen to the crowd and the music on Discovery–Live at the Five Spot and think, “Damn; not old enough.”

  3. Listening to Thelonious Monk is the closest anyone gets to hearing an alien tongue–his melodies are gorgeous and beyond our comprehension, but his music holds an internal logic that always seems just out of your reach.

  4. He might have been innocent of the heroin possession charge, but he WAS guilty of driving a nice car while black. That’s a serious charge, right there.

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