Here they are the first and best radical political rock band in history! THE MC5!
When I was 14 and living in the deep south, I came up to Ypsilanti, MI for a visit. My cousin grabbed me shut the door to her family room so her Mom and Dad wouldn't hear...Kick out the Jams! The first song to effectively fling that cuss word at ya! Radical!
We thought it was too cool. I remember everything about the first moment I heard these guys play. I was too young to get in the Grande Ballroom where they used to play alot.
They hung out in Ann Arbor with the Hill (YIP) house and I ran into them there a few times but being so young I kept a really low profile. This group was high energy especially Dennis Machine Gun Thompson the drummer. My personal favorite. He hasn't changed one bit either in the passing decades. Well except he is straight now.
Well I know there is a ton of past political problems this group encountered and still is.. I will put this link to their history and you can read ALL about it HEREThe MC5 (Motor City Five) was an American hard rock band formed in Lincoln Park, Michigan in 1964 and active until 1972. Their music also included blues-rock, psychedelic rock, rock & roll and garage rock. "Crystallizing the counterculture movement at its most volatile and threatening," their far left political ties and anti-establishment lyrics and music would serve as a prototype for later punk rock musicians. The band consisted of Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith (guitars) Michael Davis (bass), Rob Tyner (vocals), and Dennis Thompson (drums).
MC5 had a promising beginning which earned them a cover appearance on Rolling Stone magazine in 1968 even before their debut album was recorded. They developed a reputation for energetic live performances, one of which was recorded as the critically acclaimed Kick Out The Jams. Their career was ultimately short-lived, though within just a few years of their dissolution, the MC5 were often cited as one of the most important American hard rock groups of their era: their three albums are regarded as classics. Their song "Kick Out the Jams" is widely covered.
Fast forward to 2003. I took my kid and her little buddies to the lake for a relaxing day at the beach. While floating around with my hot pink noodle a lovely blonde lady floated up on a raft. She had never seen a "noodle" before so I gladly demonstrated all the cool things you can do with this cool beach invention.
We began chatting about who we were and what we did for a living. I mentioned that I used to be a show promoter and worked at Cobo Hall in Detroit a lot. She brightened up and said hey you need to meet my husband! Ok who is your husband??
Machine Gun Thompson from the MC5! Cool! Where is he? She said he's right up there on the beach under that tree! So I went up and met Denny as a grownup! Den and I hit off as we are both ADD and kinda out there. HYPER yeah!
Denny told me about the film that had just been filmed about the MC5 and told me how great this film (The MC5: A True Testimonial) was going to be. It was being screened at the Toronto Film Festival at the time. I asked him to please let me know when it might come to Detroit! I wanted to go see that movie!
Unless you grew up around the Motor City during the 60's you just wouldn't understand what this movie was like. But here is some info on the Movie
I think this picture was taken at the after party, I have it from somewhere anyway, here is Denny and a pal: Looks like the Magic Stick upstairs.
After the show I got a poster, autograph, and my ticket stub and had them framed. See Denny in the middle? (he's the cute one and he signed his chest for me!)
Sadly there was a problem with money/the producers/band and the film was never released. There may be news and I'll hear about it pretty quick if it is available.
Here is Den's response to that situation HERE
All we can do is hope that one day it will be available for DVD
Lucky U!! we used to see a Ton of great Shows in Detroit*
My 1st was Alvin Lee + 10 Years After at Cobo + 10cc opened up*
saw Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople who opened for The Kinks*
I think we even saw Tommy Hearns win the Title their against Vilomar Fernandez!! Wow!!
saw Iggy Pop at the Motor City Roller Rink + The Ramones + The Fall*
went to Bookies a bit - my friend was more into the Punk scene - Buzzcocks etc*
oh god Todd Rundgren + Robert Palmer + Talking Heads + J Geils Band + Springsteen + Supertramp
Detroit Rocks + so do U Kimmer!!
Thanks Bill! Now I have to do a post on all the shows and people I've met! I am jealous you saw the KINKS!!! I am doing a bit on Niagara soon. I did a page on her on Mackyplanet.Com you can see it here:
From My pal Marko the drummer of the DC Hawks My friend gave me the MC5 doc...on dvd its pretty cool!! Did you know I lived next door to Rob Tyner in Birmingham in1972? Its funny cause my house is in the documentary.He liked my drumming and he knew I grew up playing in Detroit cause he said I used a lot of cymbal work like on the motown stuff.I used ta help him work on his car in his driveway and he would give me tips on playing.Pretty cool guy!!
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