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  1. #1
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    Wayne Kramer of MC5 passed away

    https://www.freep.com/story/entertai...s/72456851007/

    Listening to radio in Detroit in the 60s and 70s, I was an occasional channel-hopper. My three mainstays were WJLB 1400AM, WCHB 1440AM and CKLW 800AM. On some occasions I would scan the FM dial, where I heard all sorts of crazy stuff.
    One time while listening to an FM station, I heard "kick out the jams M-Fers" by the MC5. I was in the bed, under the covers listening to my transistor radio with an earplug. To say I was shocked is an understatement, I was 9-10 years old. I would have got a whipping if my parents had heard it. I thought it was the craziest thing I've ever heard. I didn't tell anyone I heard it.
    I hope that Ralph or someone who was older than me at the time can comment on the MC5.

  2. #2
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    I heard the awful news about The MC5's Wayne Kramer's death yesterday. I was too young when they first came out with "Kick Out The Jams" in 1969 to appreciate them. However, I checked their work out years later and picked up a 'best of' CD by the group. With apologies to Rare Earth, I feel that they were the Best Rock Band to come out of Detroit at the time. Here's a clip of them Live from 1970 [Rest In Power & Peace Wayne Kramer].


  3. #3
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    This clip [from about 3 years ago] is a good summary of The MC5 and their impact on the music world.


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    A 2018 interview with MC5's Wayne Kramer from RollingStone.com:

    Wayne Kramer Looks Back at the MC5 and His Wild Life


    Wayne Kramer, who died Feb. 2 at the age of 75, lived a truly rock ní roll life, from his gloriously unhinged guitar playing with influential proto-punk revolutionaries MC5 to a prison term, years of addiction, and a musical comeback in the Nineties. In this 2018 interview, previously available only in audio form on our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, he looked back at all of it.

    Read full article here-
    Wayne Kramer Looks Back at the MC5 and His Wild Life [rollingstone.com]

  5. #5
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    Sting, I can go one better Then simply comment on the lyrics.. The vocals to the song were done at Tera Shirma. I happened to be in the control room at the time and couldn't believe what I was hearing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Sting, I can go one better Then simply comment on the lyrics.. The vocals to the song were done at Tera Shirma. I happened to be in the control room at the time and couldn't believe what I was hearing.
    Wow!! I didn't know that MC5 did vocals for "Kick Out The Jams" at Tera Shirma [then again, overdubs for Live Albums is standard operating procedure]. As we know, that song got them in trouble for it's profane introduction and led to the end of their brief association with Elektra Records.

  7. #7
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    The J.L. Hudson Co, a major player in Detroit department stores, would no longer carry the band's records because of the offensive lyrics. Hudsons was a major record outlet at the time. So the band took out a full page ad in one of Detroit's underground newspapers which simply said "Fuc@ Hudsons" Bye bye contract.

    At first I criticized the band for that, calling it a foolish act totally void of any business sense. But after I thought about it I had to give them major props for the act. They had to know what the consequences could be but stood up for themselves anyway.

    After all these years, the name, MC5. is still a revered name in Detroit Rock and Roll, so they did something right.
    Last edited by ralpht; 02-04-2024 at 06:50 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    The J.L. Hudson Co, a major player in Detroit department stores, would no longer carry the band's records because of the offensive lyrics. Hudsons was a major record outlet at the time. So the band took out a full page ad in one of Detroit's underground newspapers which simply said "Fuc@ Hudsons" Bye bye contract.

    At first I criticized the band for that, calling it a foolish act totally void of any business sense. But after I thought about it I had to give them major props for the act. They had to know what the consequences could be but stood up for themselves anyway.

    After all these years, the name, MC5. is still a revered name in Detroit Rock and Roll, so they did something right.
    Agreed! Question for Ralph; did The MC5 do any other recordings at Tera Shirma Studios for their Back In The U.S.A. or High Time LPs?

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    Eddie, from what I am able to remember, I don't think the MC5 did any more recording at Tera Shirma. Of course, after the Hudsons incident they were quite toxic, so how much studio activity took place I have no idea.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Eddie, from what I am able to remember, I don't think the MC5 did any more recording at Tera Shirma. Of course, after the Hudsons incident they were quite toxic, so how much studio activity took place I have no idea.
    I understand. Along with the controversy with Hudsons Department Store, The MC5 was toxic for their brief association with the White Panthers [and their leader John Sinclair]. Also, the final albums on Atlantic didn't sell so they were dropped by the company.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Ralph!
    I remember reading that Hudson's and the other stores refused to stock the MC5's records. I also remember that Rob Tyner was the first white man I saw with an afro, that was shocking. In my 9 year old way of thinking, I thought Ohh-wee, they're in trouble! Years later I saw a retrospective of the counter-culture years of the 60's and early 70's and finally saw them on TV. They were wild, but real soulful.

  12. #12
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    From UltimateClassicRock.com-

    Bob Ezrin: New MC5 Album is ‘Masterful Testament to Wayne Kramer’

    Bob Ezrin paid tribute to Wayne Kramer – his friend of over 50 years – and said the upcoming final MC5 album, Heavy Lifting, was a fitting tribute to the late band leader.
    The record had originally been scheduled for release in 2022, complete with contributions from Tom Morello, Slash, William DuVall, Vernon Reid and others. Weeks before his death on February 2, Kramer said the record features “everyone and yours truly, all bashin’ away on electric guitars.” He added: “That’s my goal – to overload the guitar.”
    In a new statement given to Classic Rock, producer Ezrin said it had been a “privilege and an honor” to work with Kramer over the years. “When I came to Pontiac, MI from Toronto in 1970 to work with the Alice Cooper band, the MC5 were already legendary as a kick-ass punk-funk, hard rock band, as revolutionaries and as some of the very best players and performers in the region,” he said.

    “And that was saying something because Detroit was exploding with talent at the time both in R&B and in Rock. They were already stars then - having had a hit single with ‘Kick Out The Jams.’ They were headliners.”
    He continued: “Wayne was a force of nature. A soul man in a rock ’n’ roll body, lean and slinky – a dancing, whirling profusion of hair and hipness who also happened to be one of the best guitar players any of us had ever heard. I looked up to him. I wanted to be on the same bus he was on.”
    When the pair eventually worked together decades later, Ezrin said, Kramer “had less hair, but no less soul or fire, and a special humanity about him; a warmth and generosity of spirit that made being in the room with him feel like going home.”
    The producer couldn’t help falling in love with the guitarist, who’d “developed a purpose and mission that embodied the finest essence of service to others.” He added: “Brother Wayne is in my heart and will remain there forever. He was the best of us; pure of spirit and intention.

    Wayne Kramer ‘Changed and Saved Lives’

    “He changed and saved lives with his devotion to justice and to raising up those of us who needed it the most – both through music and also through activism, guidance and mentorship.”
    Turning to the album, Ezrin admitted he didn’t have a release date to share, but confirmed: “It’s coming. Of that I am certain.” He described the work as “a masterful testament to Wayne’s brilliance as a writer, a player and an arranger. It’s a snapshot of a guitar man at the height of his powers.
    “We poured our hearts into the project along with all the amazing musicians who contributed to it… Our mantra in the making of the record was ‘We Are All MC5.’ And now, with Wayne’s passing, I know we all feel a responsibility to make sure that his work is heard and he is celebrated.”

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