Wayne Kramer Guitarist of the MC5

Wayne Kramer and his brilliant wife Margaret were in town this weekend for various programs.... I had a blast hanging out with Margaret and Justin McCormick of Modern Pirate.... They came out to meet me in Ypsilanti and we had a blast in Depot Town at my friend Linda French's Sidetrack pub and grill...

These Hill St houses were both so overgrown I almost drove right past them! We had a little guided tour (by Kimmer) around Ann Arbor we went to Parker Mill, U of M campus, The 2 Hill St Houses which were so over grown... We went up Liberty St, State St, S. University, and then to Hill St. After that we scooped up Singer Scott Morgan and went down to his favorite haunt "The 8 Ball". Had a glass of wine and we were all pretty tired by 10 pm... So we agreed to meet Friday in Detroit.

I had not heard of the Red Bull Music Academy but what a fabulous place. We'll go down and write more about this great Academy...

Robin Sommers and Margaret Kramer

Margaret invited me to see Wayne Kramer speak at the Red Bull Music Academy lecture series the following night which I was very happy to attend. It was a such great fun.... and such a huge part of rock history.

Wayne was such a smooth speaker and this seminar on his life in music was so entertaining he had students and adults standing in the aisles. He was abrupt and very very honest. I had heard a lot of similar stories from my friend Dennis Thompson but hearing Wayne's view was refreshingly different. I ended up sitting mostly on the sidelines with Margaret Kramer and Justin McCormick of Modern Pirate.

Kimmer did jump around the room with the video camera and still camera. Needed another set of hands... But the photos turned out pretty good.. THANKS MARGARET AND WAYNE!

Robin Sommers and Wayne

It was really great to hear yet another side of the vast MC5 story. Much more in depth and though I have worked with Dennis Thompson for many years... it added another dimension...

One of the most fantastic stories from back in the MC5 days was that Artist Robin Sommers and Wayne together got the idea of painting the American Flag on Wayne's guitar after seeing Pete Townshend's Union Jack guitar. So together they painted this custom American Flag Fender Stratocaster.

Robin enjoying his strat!

Fast forward a bunch of years and with a lot of work from Margaret Kramer... Fender finally launched this cool guitar. This process took about 4 years.

How cool it is the Kramer's immediately wanted to give one to original artist Detroiter Robin Sommers? I helped in a small way. Margaret needed Robin's contact info and I tracked it down for her....

Robin Sommers and Retrokimmer

My very favorite film of this year..... Wayne gives Robin his American Flag Strat and some entertaining guitar demos.....


E said...

Great job Kim love the srticle and pictures!


Bernadino Pavone said...

This is a great story Kim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hey Kim!
Great video, great blog. Wish I could have went to see that event, but I'm in poppa mode now.
Lets talk and hang hang out sometime soon.
Hope all is well.

DENNIS Z said...

Very cool. Love Wayne Kramer

Eric Ras said...

Yeah, last night downtown at in a suite on Congress St where he was taking part in a clinic open to the public along with others in the music business. It's been going on all week with different people. He was in Flint playing at the Machine shop about 2 weeks ago. Kim did you see my daughter there? She was there. Short redhead/blonde hair with dye in it at several places. You've seen pictures.