Who is Chicken John?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Chicken John Rinaldi is a self styled showman who is well known in the San Francisco Bay area, with a variety of careers to his credit. Chicken John has owned nightclubs, and performed with a number of punk rock bands through the years. His style is most often defined as eclectic, and his ironic sense of humor is considered one of his defining characteristics. Alternately praised as an artist and a con man, Chicken John announced his intention to declare himself as a candidate in the San Francisco Mayoral Race for 2007, against the popular incumbent, Gavin Newsom. Here is some background on Chicken John and his wildly varied career.

Not a great deal of public information is available about John Rinaldi. Growing up as the son of Victor and Patricia Rinaldi, Chicken John has hinted from time to time that he was interested in an esoteric approach to life early on. His popular nickname, according to some sources, came about because young John refused to fight bullies in his neighborhood. Later, as he entered the punk rock scene, the nickname stuck and helped form the basis of his stage persona.


Chicken John has been associated with a number of punk bands based in the Bay area over the years. Two of his more popular stints were with the Murder Junkies in the early 1990’s and his seven year association with the performance troupe Circus Redickuless. The one year spent with the Murder Junkies has been alternately praised and damned by Chicken John in various interviews over the years, and there appears to be some tension between John and the fans of the band.

While with Circus Redickuless, Chicken John toured extensively and worked with an ever changing roster of troupe members. After five national tours and hundreds of performances, Chicken John was ready to move on to a new project. By the dawn of the new century, Chicken John has begun to focus on other activities, such as running his web site and working as a mechanic. From time to time, he participates in various events around San Francisco.

Chicken John officially announced his candidacy for the office of mayor on 9 July 2007. Among his goals for the race is to firmly establish himself as the runner up in the race, behind incumbent Gavin Newsom. Among his platform issues are such local topics as the various issues that face artists living in San Francisco, and the promotion of alternative fuel options for use with all vehicles owned and operated by the city.


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