John Joseph (singer)

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John Joseph McGowan (born October 3, 1962) is a musician, author and Ironman triathlete from New York City, most famous for his work as the lead singer of the Cro-Mags in the 1980s, '90's up to the current Cro-Mag line-up in 2019 .[1]


McGowan was raised in foster care [2] and grew up on the streets of New York[citation needed]. As the lead singer, he joined the New York City hardcore punk band Cro-Mags in 1981 for six months until the band broke up and again from 1984 until 1987, taking over on vocals from Eric Casanova after Eric did two shows. He sang on a demo and wrote lyrics on their first, third, and fourth albums (The age of quarrel, Alpha omega, and Near death experience). He also sings lead on the Before the quarrel CD, essentially a reissue of the demo.

Before, during, and after his time in the Cro-Mags, McGowan served as a roadie for Bad Brains, and he sang background vocals on Antidote's Thou shalt not kill EP. He returned to the Cro-Mags briefly in the early to mid-1990s.

He also worked as a bike messenger in New York City from 1981 to 1991, and continues to cycle around the city today, often recording it for his social media.

McGowan has also sung for the bands Both Worlds, and Bloodclot. His autobiography, The evolution of a cro-magnon, published in 2007, details the major events in his life, including his extensive involvement with the hare krishnas, as well his experiences with the Cro-Mags.

Interviews with McGowan were featured in the 1999 documentary N.Y.H.C. as well as the 2006 documentary American hardcore. He has also done some voice acting, playing the hippo in the cartoon Three Thug Mice.[3] Since 2010, McGowan started competing in ironman competitions.[1]

McGowan is the author of the book Meat Is for Pussies, released in the early 2010 on vegan nutrition, training, and the healthy lifestyle. In 2018 he released a book called 'The P.M A. Effect' on the idea of positive mental attitude made popular by the punk band Bad Brains.

McGowan is a vegan. He was a vegetarian prior to becoming vegan.[4] He also lives a straight edge lifestyle but does not identify with its subculture.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b "Triathlon: From frontman to Ironman". Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  2. ^ Rogan, Joe. "Joe Rogan Experience #1152 - John Joseph". PowerfulJRE on youtube. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  3. ^ Marcus, Steve (2008-02-12), Three Thug Mice, retrieved 2016-09-25
  4. ^ Paul, Aubin (October 1, 2009). "John Joseph (Cro-Mags) announces "Meat Is For Pussies"". Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  5. ^ Ditch (October 9, 2008). "Interview with John Joseph – vocalist of The Cro-Mags". Pomona, California. Retrieved April 5, 2017. [...] I don’t put X’s on my hands but I’m straight edge all the fucking way. [...] I accepted the positivity, but like I said I don’t need to wear my shit like a badge. [...]
  6. ^ Conoley, Ben (August 11, 2008). "John Joseph (Cro-Mags)". Retrieved April 5, 2017. Straight edge, this and that. [...] I'm just saying, be yourself, I don't need a crew, I never needed a crew [...]

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