MC5 members to tour!

MC5 members to tour!

The three remaining members of the legendary MC5 are going on tour. Plus a DVD of a reunion concert they did in 2003, along with rare stuff from the MC5 days, will be released shortly.

What can I say? I grew up along with the MC5 during the tumultuous sixties. They got busted, I got busted. They got tear-gassed at demos, I got tear-gassed at demos. I never met them then, but we were definitely fellow travelers.

I bought their first album, Kick Out The Jams, when it was released, and it remains one of the most astounding records ever. Dee-troit rock and roll bands always had a rep for high energy. The Five took that to whole new levels. Plus, they were political, very political. Their van was firebombed, the police tracked them relentlessly, they did a song about the Detroit riots called “Motor City is Burning”, with the classic, incendiary (in more ways than one) line, “Just might strike a match for freedom myself”. They played outside in the park at the ’68 Democratic Convention where the police rioted (that was the official judgment of the investigating panel, it was a “police riot”), and with John Sinclair, founded the White Panther Party.

Most of all they were a great rock band. And with the Velvet Underground and Stooges, they were precursors to punk rock and influenced many bands, both punk and metal.

From their press release:

The MC5 were indisputably one of the most influential rock bands of all time, though only three years elapsed between their ridiculously controversial debut Kick Out The Jams and their demise in 1972. Over thirty years later, surviving founding members Wayne Kramer (guitar), Dennis Thompson (drums) and Michael Davis (bass) came together in March 2003 for a show at London’s famed 100 Club. Joining them were guests including Motorhead’s Lemmy, The Damned’s Dave Vanian, Ian Astbury and The Hellacopters’ Nicke Royale.

Now, that legendary concert—along with never-before-seen footage including an original master tape transfer of Leni and John Sinclair’s promotional video Kick Out The Jams, interviews, archival footage, home movies and old videos with brand new commentary by the Davis, Kramer and Thompson—is captured on a forthcoming DVD Sonic Revolution: A Celebration of the MC5, to hit stores July 6. The DVD even includes U.S. Dept. of Defense footage of the MC5, taken from the government’s investigation of the notorious rock group during 1968’s Democratic National Convention.

In celebration of both their music and their legacy, DKT/MC5 will begin a worldwide tour this June that includes a stop in their hometown of Detroit as well as Japan, Australia, Canada and Europe, in addition to major cities across most of North America. As they did in London last year, they will be joined by a rotating cast of guest musicians, making each show a singular celebration of the work of the MC5.

Their tour website is up, bare bones now, much content coming soon, I’m sure.

The MC5 Gateway has an amazing amount of info.

Wayne Kramer has a record label, Muscletone Records, in LA, and has released a number of excellent CDs the past several years. Dennis Thompson and Michael Davis are also active musicians.

And 31 years later in 2003 when they reunited and played the 100 Club in London.

“They rip the 100 Club to shreds with a force 50 gale of everything you love about rock n’ roll.” —NME

In other words, they still got it.