RE: Two questions (multiple posts)
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 12:20:11 -0400

From: (

It was my understanding from my Motherfucker friends (as opposed to my
motherfucker enemies) that the name had two reasons for existence:
1. The press would not print it.
2. it was the only demand they would make of the establishment.

In a message dated 10/11/97 7:45:28 AM, you wrote:

>What is the source of the "Up against the wall, motherfucker
About l966-7 a group of anarchists in the lower eastside of NYC was called
Up Against the Wall Motherfucker. Some of the group lived communally.

up against the wall motherfucker
this is a stickup

phrase was picked up by mark rudd i believe

the lone deranger


The MC5 (Motor City 5 from Detroit) had an earlier song called the same
thing. Derived from police treatment of suspects.


Gerald A. Higgins, Ph.D.
Vice President

CIEMED, Inc. Center for Information-Enhanced Medicine Johns Hopkins University National University of Singapore ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(4) From: "Jeff A. Hale" <>

Didn't Mark Rudd exclaim this during the Columbia insurrection in 1968? Later, of course, the Motherfuckers of NYC became infamous.

One historical tidbit of Motherfuckers lore:

In 1968 the Detroit "revolutionary" rock band MC-5 (managed by John Sinclair of White Panther fame) burst onto the national music scene with a live debut album and a killer single "Kick Out The Jams." During a New York tour (late '68 or early '69 I think), the band played the Fillmore East. Apparently, the "Up Against The Wall Motherfuckers" decided they wanted to take the stage to conduct some decidedly inflammatory political rap. The MC-5 and Sinclair, themselves political rockers capable of rhetorical bombast, were more than willing. Well, "hip capitalist" Bill Graham got pretty pissed, as the crowd almost rioted (something about finding pigs to kill).

As a result, Bill Graham had the MC-5 boycotted at the Fillmore West and elsewhere. Elektra Records first demanded cleaned up versions of the album (Sinclair's rantings on the inside cover were removed), then the single ("kick out the jams, motherfucker" was replaced with "kick out the jams, brothers and sisters" [argh!]), then dropped the MC-5. All of this can't be put on the Motherfuckers/Graham incident however, as the FBI was working on Elektra by early 1969. Revolutionary rock may be profitable, but one can't piss off J. Edgar (and risk having him tear his red dress in a rage!).

Hereafter (like at Woodstock, where the White Panthers were all but shunned by "movement" types), the MC-5 and White Panthers were linked with the Motherfuckers. Later (1970-71) the New York White Panthers allied with the Young Lords and Motherfuckers to make demands of the rock promoters of the Randall's Island Festival -- documented in the movie "Free."

Jeff Hale Santa Fe