TRIBUTE: Wayne Kramer

by 24britishtvFeb. 3, 2024, 3 p.m. 20
-

“Wayne S Kramer. Peace be with you. April 30 1948 – February 2 2024.”

The announcement was made on Wayne Kramer’s Instagram page yesterday. The co-founder of the highly influential and politically charged Detroit rock band the MC5 had died at the age of 75.

A native of the Chicago city, Wayne Kramer formed the MC5 (short for Motor City Five) in 1963 with his friend and fellow guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith. The two men were subsequently joined by Rob Tyner (vocals), Michael Davis (bass) and Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson (drums) to create the classic line-up of that band. They became the resident “house band” at Detroit’s famous Grande Ballroom and quickly built up a strong reputation for their incendiary live performances. They were managed until 1969 by John Sinclair a radical left-wing writer and co-founder of the White Panther Party – an organisation that promoted freedom, justice, and education, along with “dope, guns, and fucking in the streets” – values that underpinned the MC5’s outlook on life and their powerful revolutionary approach to music.

With their brutal two-chord riffing and hard-hitting politicised lyrics, the MC5’s first three albums – Kick Out The Jams, Back in the USA, and High Time (released in consecutive years between 1969-71) – laid down a template for what would eventually become punk music.

Amidst a backdrop of commercial failure, bankruptcy, and drug misuse, the MC5 broke up in 1972. In 1975, Wayne Kramer was jailed for four years for drug dealing. Following his release from prison he guested with the Detroit art-funk band Was (Not Was), became an occasional player on the New York underground scene, before drifting out of musical sight for much of the ‘80s.



Wayne Kramer re-emerged musically in the early 1990s, signing to the punk rock label Epitaph Records which served to ignite his solo career. Rob Tyner and Fred Smith had both died during the ‘90s but in 2001 Kramer, alongside Michael Davis and Dennis Thompson and a rotating cast of others – including at various times Ian Astbury of The Cult and Motörhead’s Lemmy – toured extensively playing the music of the MC5.

In December 2006 I had the great fortune and immense pleasure of catching an iteration of that version of the MC5 – with guest vocalists Mark Arm from Mudhoney and The Bellrays’ lead singer, Lisa Kekaula – tear through a blisteringly white-hot set which opened with a coruscating cover of Jerry Lee Lewis’s ‘Ramblin’ Rose’ and ended about 15 songs later with an equally incandescent ‘The American Ruse.’

Main photo of Wayne Kramer taken at Glastonbury Festival on 29th June 2013.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Digne scores winner as Villa snatch victory at Luton

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 8 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Report and reaction: Brentford 2 Chelsea 2

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 8 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Match Report | Bristol City 0-1 Cardiff City | Cardiff

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 7 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

2024 Bahrain Grand Prix

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 7 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

How to watch Newcastle vs Wolves

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 7 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Liverpool 1-0 Nottingham Forest (2 Mar, 2024) Game Analysis - (UK)

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 7 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

F1 Bahrain GP: Verstappen dominates in Red Bull 1-2

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 6 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Surging Fulham hammer Brighton

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 6 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Why is Victoria Beckham using crutches at her Paris Fashion Week show?

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 6 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Brit Awards 2024 live: Latest updates as stars arrive on red carpet

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 6 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

LISTEN: Live Commentary Of Everton v West Ham

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 4 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Live Blog: Tottenham v Crystal Palace - News

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 4 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Aaron Bushnell was my friend. May he never be forgotten | Levi Pierpont

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 4 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

TEAM NEWS: TOWN vs LEEDS UNITED

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 3 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Mick Fleetwood names Fleetwood Mac's "most important period"

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 3 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Sam Eggington beaten in European title bout

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 11 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Iris Apfel: US fashion designer dies aged 102

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 9 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Is This the Most Lavish Wedding of All Time?

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 9 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Anna's Thinking Cap: What Napoleon read in Egypt

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 3 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Fleetwood Mac's 25 greatest songs, ranked

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 2 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Anant Ambani's Star-Studded Indian Billionaire Pre-Wedding

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, 1 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

The Debrief by Aramco: Bahrain GP

by 24britishtvMarch 2, 2024, midnight2