Q & A – John Baine aka poet/musician/activist Attila the Stockbroker

3 mn read

John Baine, known by his stage name Attila the Stockbroker, is an English punk poet, multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter. He performs solo and as the leader of the band Barnstormer 1649, who combine early music and punk. He has performed over 3,800 concerts, published eight books of poems, an autobiography (which itself has 38 poems in it) and in 2021 his Collected Works spanning 40 years. He has released over forty recordings (albums and singles). He is at present on tour.

What is your age?


Where do you live?
Southwick, West Sussex

What do you do?
Attila the Stockbroker – disestablished 1980. Performance poet, dub poet, singer-songwriter, early music meets punk band leader (Barnstormer 1649), composer, journalist, writer, social commentator, political activist, festival organiser, 80 plus gigs a year, cycle loads, massive BHA football fan.

Nearly 4000 gigs in 24 countries, eight poetry books, an autobiography, collected works of my poetry, and about 30 CDs/LPs/singles.
All my stuff is available at attilathestockbroker.bandcamp.com
and to listen to it on Spotify here.
I write a lot about current events at facebook.com/attilathestockbroker

Tell us what it’s like to be your age?
I feel the same as at any other age except – for instance- when I have done 12 gigs in 13 days in 4 countries by a train carrying a load of merch, I feel more tired than I used to.

What do you have now that you didn’t have at 25?
I am much better at everything. When I was 24, I was on the front cover of Melody Maker, all over the press, TV etc and touted as ‘this year’s thing’ even though 50% of my stuff was crap. Now I am less fashionable than horseshit in media terms but have a really good following for my work …because it has had forty years to improve. If you like what I am about, it has never been better. I am having the time of my life.

What about sex and relationships?
I am in a wonderful marriage with Robina, my equal, the other half of me, nearly 25 years together, 22 married. I am monogamous (unfashionable in some rock n roll circles I know) and very happy. We are both very lucky.

How free do you feel?
I have lived for 40 years entirely on my own terms doing what I love. But I live in a country with the most corrupt, venal, selfish government in its entire history, where people freeze and starve, greed is celebrated and ‘too clever by half’ is a term of abuse.

What are you proud of?
My marriage to Robina – we have been through a lot and come out triumphant.

What keeps you inspired?
Life! And Robina, Bolan, Laibach, BHAFC…

When are you happiest?
The moment I get into bed with Robina at night and her naked breasts enfold me.

And where does your creativity go?

I am writing and composing for about three hours, every day.

What’s your philosophy of living?
Take control of everything in your life, do what you want, but make sure it benefits others – and do what your wife asks you

And dying?

To have absolutely no regrets when I go. I never thought I would reach this age, especially when diagnosed with bladder cancer seven years ago, but I am still here and it is the happiest time of my life in personal terms. I rage against the injustice I see around me still…

Are you still dreaming?

I have fulfilled most of my personal dreams. I dream of a world where press barons, multinationals and greedy, pinched faced humans in general are side-lined and everyone can fulfil their true potential. And Brighton & Hove Albion are in the top six of the Premier League so…

What was a recent outrageous action of yours?
Ask Robina. She’s got a list.

My lively and interactive Facebook presence is https://www.facebook.com/attilathestockbroker

’40 Years In Rhyme’, my new dub poetry album, ‘Heart On My Sleeve’, my Collected Works poetry book and loads more books/CDS/vinyl


Also Instagram @attilathestockbroker and Twitter @atilatstokbroka

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