Showing posts with label MC5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MC5. Show all posts



GREAT News from AP just came in today that the Cleveland Rock Hall of Fame has once again nominated the Mighty MC5!!

The number of punk fans who can ID an MC5 song that doesn't begin with a profanity-laden promise of jam-kicking-out is ever-dwindling, but they still feel Important -- one of the defining names of proto-punk -- and no one would be tremendously surprised to find out they'd been a down-ballot inductee a decade ago without anyone really noticing. The Stooges are already in and the New York Dolls haven't been nominated in 15 years, the MC5 seems like a solid pick here.

Legendary Drummer Dennis Thompson feels it is a great honor to be nominated with all the many greats of rock and roll history!

So all of you legions of MC5 fans get on all of your devices and let's share this story world wide... VOTE FOR THE MC5!!!!




 Dave West (RIP)

Sad news just in....Flint Sherwood Forest music promoter Dave West died at 6:29pm last night.

Dave West played a prominent role in supporting and promoting Flint area musicians during the early days of Michigan Rock & Roll and was particularly involved in our Sherwood Forest concerts.

Dave is best known as the inventor and developer of West Amplifiers, building and maintaining equipment for Grand Funk Railroad, which they used exclusively for many years, and supplying heavy duty sound systems for almost all of the major Michigan bands, including Bob Seger, Dick Wagner, Alice Cooper and the like, as well as dozens of local bands just getting it together. Services pending....



 destroy all monsters
Subscribe below
Shindig! Magazine Issue #45
submitted by Jon 'Mojo' Mills

“Motherfucker it’s comin’ out of your pay”

The genre breaking band DESTROY ALL MONSTERS featured a cast of Detroit deities including Mike Davis (The MC5) and Ron Asheton (The Stooges). COLIN BRYCE talks with them about art, noise and trees

The genre breaking band DESTROY ALL MONSTERS featured a cast of Detroit deities including Mike Davis (The MC5) and Ron Asheton (The Stooges). COLIN BRYCE talks with them about art, noise and trees

The Destroy All Monsters story began as an art project in around 1974 with the meeting of University Of Michigan (based in Ann Arbor) art students Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Carey Loren and front-person (most commonly known as) Niagara. Their love, respect and interest for all things trash, outside, artistic, unconventional, free, unfettered and noisy brought them together and paved the way for sonic excursions and sound treatments that should most probably be described as un-easy listening, or even – as a fitting tribute to their hero Godzilla – monstrous; unless of course you have an ear for that sort of thing. An artistic and musical mix up of Sun Ra (a Detroit area favourite), The Velvet Underground, Beefheart, comic books, Beardsley, Man Ray, countless B-movies (gangster, monster, exploitation) and a healthy distrust and distaste for authority and the mainstream and you’ll very nearly have a half-cup of the kool aid the Monsters were drinking.

After a close encounter at a one of their (very few) performances you may have found yourself in love with the bands mixture of cheap organs, effects, feedback, moaning, saxophone, violin, clanging, bashing, squealing, squalling and their interpretations of classics like ‘Nature Boy’ or even Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’. Alternately you may have wished you skipped dropping that second hit of purple micro-dot.

“The art collaboration was a group of us that jammed in a basement for about a year,” explains Niagara. “No one ever heard or saw us, except at a college art show. The earlier stuff was quirky and funny, in an anti-music way. We invented noise music, so they say.”

Hiawatha Bailey is a long-standing face on the Ann Arbor/Detroit scene, a close friend of the band who worked as road crew/sound man for Destroy All Monsters. As a performer in his own right he also shared many bills as a member of The Cult Heroes. He recalls seeing an early DAM show at the college: “It was kind of ’50s beatnik and way out in a way.”

It is after the departure of founder members Shaw and Kelley that Larry and Ben Miller joined the Monsters and helped to set off a newer, jazzier and refined approach to the art sonics of the earlier incarnation. But it was once former Stooges and MC5 members Ron Asheton and (a freshly released from prison) Mike Davis joined the gang that all bets were off and Destroy All Monsters became a more fully-fledged rock band with Niagara front and centre sipping on her (now legendary) can of Tab, her wild mane streaked and piled atop her head, and dressed in some of the finest mini-skirts, heels and leopard print brassieres the budget of an aspiring artist will allow.

“Mike (Davis/MC5) and I were in together at Lexington,” recalls Hiawatha. “After I was released I ended up staying at a friend’s place at Whitmore Lake on about 100 acres... Mike came up there for New Year after being at his father’s place in Detroit... I had set up some space to play... More people ended up coming over and Ron told me about Niagara.” It was up at this property that the new high-energy version of Destroy All Monsters first began to get it together.

It is without doubt that the signing on of Ron Asheton and Mike Davis and their contributions musically brought Destroy All Monsters out of the artistic shadows and onto the much larger world stage. The increasing profile of all things “punk rock” and the influence of Asheton’s and Davis’s former bands on the new “punk” groups – even though their previous bands had only been broken up a few years at that point – allowed Destroy All Monsters to get their mugs in magazines like Creem, Rock Scene, Bomp and others. Asheton’s knack for a crafty, hypnotic riff and his experience working with one-of-a-kind front persons clearly also helped broaden Niagara’s often monochromatic vocal styling’s and appeal.

You could say that Ron and Mike brought a bit more “chrome” in general to the Destroy All Monsters camp (pun intended). As interesting as some of the ideas of the early DAM incarnation were they were still a group of young artists exploring and learning how to apply their chosen aesthetics. Nothing wrong of course with artistic experimentation and it certainly works for Destroy All Monsters on the early tracks like ‘From Edgar Cayce’ or ‘Silver Noise Kill Kill’.

Shindig! Magazine Issue #45
Jon 'Mojo' Mills



Some called the MC5 (for "Motor City Five," after their home base) the first '70s band of the '60s. The group's loud, hard, fast sound and violently antiestablishment ideology almost precisely prefigured much of punk rock. There was, however, one crucial difference: The MC5 truly believed in the power of rock & roll to change the world. The band first formed in high school and came to prominence in 1967–68 as the figureheads (or "house band") of John Sinclair's radical White Panther Party.

At concerts and happenings the band caused a sensation by wearing American flags and screaming revolutionary slogans laced with profanities. In 1968 the MC5 went with Sinclair to Chicago to play while the Democratic Convention was under way. Its debut LP (#30, 1969), recorded live in 1968, captured the band in typical raw, revved-up, radical form, and embroiled Elektra Records in controversy over the title tune's loud-and-clear shout "Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!"

Some stores refused to stock the album; in response, the MC5 took out strongly worded ads in underground papers and, to Elektra's further distress, plastered one offending store's windows with Elektra stationery on which was scrawled, "Fuck you." Elektra and the MC5 parted company shortly thereafter, but not before the band had cut another version of "Kick Out the Jams," with "brothers and sisters" substituted for the offending expletive. (It was available as a single and on some subsequent issues of the album, against the band's wishes.) READ MORE ON MACHINE GUN'S BLOG




Former Professor Mat Bartkowiak designed a university course featuring Detroit band The MC5. He wrote THE MC5 AND SOCIAL CHANGE: A STUDY IN ROCK AND REVOLUTION for that class. It is Dennis Thompson's person favorite of all the MC5 books out there...Mat has graciously signed on as a contributor for our DetRMag...and here is his first entry.....more to come

Author Mat Bartkowiak:

I was in college in the late 90s when I first heard the MC5. I don't know if this if the same for everyone, but that time was a heady one for me. I was really coming into my own sense of politics and defining my own world-view. I was young, I was amped, and I was ready to change the world.

It was in that context, that the MC5 first assaulted my eardrums. I had the intro to "Ramblin' Rose" by JC Crawford played first by my then my co-worker, Matt Conger at the record shop I was working in, and then he cut right over to "Kick Out the Jams."

There weren't any customers in that night, so he turned it up to eleven. That speech by Crawford asking the crowd if they were ready to testify and be a part of the solution, then to have someone in a recording from 1968 none-the-less scream "Kick Out the Jams, Motherfuckers!" and launch into the cacophony of that song...well, let's just say I was ready to turn myself loose on the world that night. I was converted.

Photo courtesy of Leni Sinclair

It was that sense of pure rebellion and total energy that I carried with me for years. The White Panther stories that I vaguely attached to the band only pushed that further.

It wasn't until I started digging into the research that I found that the band became a sort of lighting rod for discussions of authenticity and rebellion during the band's life and since.

Their music was seen by some as a huge ruse; others thought the pulse of rebellion in rock and roll had not only been found but that it was pumping like it was on amphetamines. You could take it or leave was usable. The same possibility for multiple readings and uses went for the stakeholders themselves, too.

About Author Mat Bartkowiak:

Before accepting a position in the private sector with Nelson-Jameson, Inc. in 2014, Mathew J. Bartkowiak was an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County. Bartkowiak received his Ph.D. from the Department of American Studies at Michigan State University, his M.A. from Bowling Green State University, and his B.A. from UW-Green Bay. His fourth book, his second co-authored with Yuya Kiuchi of Michigan State University, examines music in counterculture film (due from McFarland in 2015).



The Mutants at Bookie's Club 870, 1978. 
Photo Deanne Nichols

Scott Campbell
March 10, 2014
The Detroit original rock scene had fallen on hard times in the 70's. In the mid-60's, Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger, The Amboy Dukes, The Rationals, The MC5, and numerous other bands got record deals and radio airplay. By the mid-70's, new Detroit acts were frozen out of airplay with the death of underground radio and record labels weren't signing. A band could earn a living playing five 45 minute sets per night but they had to be AOL radio rock hits. Typically, a band would get a song list from the bar owner and NO original songs were allowed.

By early 1977, new bands such as The Sillies, The Romantics, and a new MC5 fronted by original singer Rob Tyner were looking for anywhere to play original sets of their own music. The Sillies rented The Kramer Theater on Michigan Avenue east of Livernois to do a real concert with themselves in between the new MC5 and an opening set by Destroy All Monsters with Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton and original MC5 bassist Michael Davis. The show drew 1,000 people but most of the money was mysteriously missing from the till, leaving Sillies founder Scott Campbell $1,000 in the hole.

Much as bars were a step down from theater concerts, a nightclub that would host original concerts in the style of NYC's Max's Kansas City or the Whiskey A Go Go in LA was needed for Detroit. The trick was finding a place and making it successful.




Other times we made some terrible mistakes. No one can ever accuse us of not exploring the possibilities though. This is our legacy, as I see it.

I have done many things since the breakup of the group. I did stints with Sirius Trixon & The Motor City Bad Boys, lived in Hollywood and played in the original New Order with Ron Asheton of the Stooges and Dave Gilbert of the Rockets. I did a tour in 1981 with the New Race with Ron Asheton & Deniz Tek of Radio Birdman fame. The last pro tour was in 1998 with Wayne Kramer, Scott Morgan , Deniz Tek and Gary Rasmussen as Dodge Main and with DKT/MC5.

I have programmed and set up CNC machining centers making different prototype parts for everything to the Sidewinder Missile bracket for the F-15 Eagle fighter jet, to the turret gear rack for the M1-A1 Abrams tanks that went to the Persian Gulf War in 1990.

I re-designed the full size animatronic robot animals on the stage at Major Magic’s All Star Pizza Review, co-produced the music and programmed their movements. I was commissioned to hire everybody from machinists, welders, and seamstresses to build, clothe, assemble, and install four more complete stage set-ups of 12 different characters in four other franchise locations in the country.

The last 12 years I have been working hard and fast writing two books simultaneously. Book number one’s working title, “An American Night in The Round”, is a full length novel which I refer to as a cross between satire and speculative fiction. Twelve years in the making, I hope to finish this tome in a year or two.

Book number two is currently titled, “A Walk in The Woods”, and is a generous collection of short stories, philosophical musings, and inspirational essays documenting my spiritual journey, and commenting on the struggles of life in Modern America. Currently in the editing stage, this book should be available for publishing by in 2010 I hope. I will also publish a book of blog posts in a year or so.

And last but not least I started my own production company named MGT Multi-Media LLC. and am looking forward to releasing my first solo music CD next year if time permits. We will be a full range media company. More on this later.

So in summary, I should hope the legacy of the MC5 is that of inspiring and encouraging exploration, using your imagination, and having the fortitude to pursue your hearts ambition.

A legacy of bold pursuit of all things possible and to stand tall for what is right, even if the price seems high.

In closing there is only one thing left to say and that is: “Let me be who I am…and let me “Kick out the Jams! Mother F**ker’s!

“Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.” Mel Brooks

Thank you to the fans after 45 years for keeping the 5 alive....

Rest in Peace my brothers

Rob Tyner
Fred Smith
Michael Davis




Written by RetroKimmer

I did some work for the Death Band when they first reunited in 2009. I made their first blog page and taught them a bit about social networking. They took it from there and have done a fantastic job..There is a documentary about them.. A Band Called Death. Death was the first black punk band in Detroit in 1974.

Back in 2009, I played their music for Dennis Thompson and he really liked it but had never heard of them...I often wondered what Wayne thought of them.

Just now I saw a deleted scene from the Death Band documentary and Wayne Kramer says it very well..(as usual!)...

Retrokimmer is a successful writer, show promoter and new media agent. Kimmer’s blog,, is about pop culture and it’s retro evolution into today’s hottest trends. She loves blogging about music, art, scandals, crime, stars, books, history and more...




We had just completed the recording of our first album in the recording studio. Jon Landau produced this album “Back In The USA”, our second record. Jon ran a very tight ship. He virtually changed our lifestyle. We had moved again, this time from Ann Arbor to a small, mainly German farming town by the name of Hamburg, MI.

Quiet and most rural, we gave ourselves some room from the party crowd and all the traffic in general. We needed the change of scenery. Jon was a music writer for Rolling Stone and we were his second recording project ever. He had us running laps around the house and eating a low fat, high protein diet. He also tried his best to run a no drinking and drugging regimen as well. We rehearsed like men possessed and that was a good thing. I have to say now in perfect 20-20 hindsight, that what Jon did for us was actually quite beneficial in many ways.

I was not into this guy at all. I used to call him a Fascist and an amateur. I wanted a professional producer with a proven track record, but once again the powers that be overruled me again. I felt he was anal retentive and was driven to total perfection partly because of his lack of experience, so he overcompensated.

The tunes were too tinny sounding and lacked punch. The music lacked that fullness that we were known for. There was no improvising. We may have overdone that on the first album. I felt very strongly about this. Jon’s heart was 100% in the right place. He wanted a hit single from this band and he knew we needed to change to accomplish this. We confused our fan base. (More on this period later folks.)

The songs were also all 3 minutes long or shorter, and this flew in the face of our first album, KOTJ, where the songs were on average 4-7 minutes long. In retrospect, we did need to clean up the timing and the tightness of the tracks. I will be the first to admit this.

I had to play to a metronome and we layered the tracks as opposed to playing as a group. This felt alien to me. I adapted to this format in a short time, but I still did not like it. Now, years later, many of our fans think it was our best album out of the three. We could have done a hell of a lot better with a pro, but would we have been as tight? I doubt it. All in all, as a result, what you see and hear on the tapes of the Tartar Field performance is a direct result of that conditioning.

Now I think everything is as it should’ve been, because that is the way life comes at you. So here you have it, the first time we played the new tunes off “Back in the USA” or what many people call “The White Album”. We did this in front of a large audience at Tartar Field, Wayne State University, mine and Michael Davis’ alma mater.

Remember that this band was always evolving, we never stood still, and this chapter is just as different as the one before it, and the one that followed it (the High Time Period). “Gotta Keep Movin”, my, oh my…wait till I tell you of the Jac Holzman and Elektra period!

The drama is even better…MGT

MC5 playing Looking At You live at Tartar Field 
on Wayne State University Campus in Detroit on 
July 19th, 1970 TURN YOUR VOLUME UP NOW!



** Deniz Tek has done SO much to promote Detroit Rock n Roll 
around this planet! Dr. Tek is our legend piece today......***

Deniz Tek is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter and a founding member of Australian rock group Radio Birdman. He has played in many of the underground rock bands of the 1970s including Australian bands The Visitors, and New Race but is most known for exerting his burning Detroit style guitar influence over the punk rock genre in Australia.


Tek was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He spent 1967 in Sydney, Australia with his family and was greatly attracted to the Australian landscape, moving there permanently in 1972 to begin his medical studies at University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Dr. Deniz Tek is a trained ER doctor and ex-navy flight surgeon who currently splits his time working in emergency departments in hospitals in NSW, Australia and Hawaii, USA while still taking time to record and tour.

In the late '60s Ann Arbor became somewhat of a nexus for rock music, hosting festivals which drew performers from all around the world such as Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Captain Beefheart, and a personal favorite of Tek's, The Rolling Stones.

Tek was heavily influenced by the underground scene of Ann Arbor, which included bands such as The MC5, The Stooges, The Rationals, Frost, Mitch Ryder, Carnal Kitchen with Steve Mackay, The Up, SRC plus jazz greats Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef.

IN 1972 when Deniz moved to Australia he took his love of Detroit Rock n roll with him introducing thousands of young Aussies to our favorite music and taught them about our corridor to the City I 94...

1974-78 Tek proceeded to form a new band with long time friend Rob Younger, with the addition of Chris "Klondike" Masuak, Warwick Gilbert, Pip Hoyle and Ron Keeley, and called themselves Radio Birdman, after a misheard Stooges lyric.

The Radio Birdman sound was unconventional and raw... it echoed the Motor City influences of Tek's youth. 

Birdman are often attributed with the initiation of the Australian indie rock scene, as after being repeatedly rejected from various clubs and bars in the Sydney area, Birdman took it upon themselves to record and release their first recording Burn My Eye, and distribute it out the back of the band members' station wagons.

Radio Birdman began a world tour in 1977 traveling to England and playing a few shows around London as well as recording their second album Living Eyes, until in 1978 the band broke up mid-tour.


Retro Kimmer



DETROIT — “The Lively Spot,” hosted by CKLW deejay Tom Shannon, bowed here on CKLW-TV (channel 9) on Monday, September 30, replacing the Robin Seymour “Swingin’ Time” show. The show was aired 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday when it will be known as “The Tom Shannon Show"

Elmer Jasper, director of programming for CKLW-TV, predictrd Shannon would become a great favorite of Detroit young people on TV. Shannon joined CKLW in 1964. A song-writer, he wrote the 1963 hit, "Wild Weekend" was by the Rebels, aka the Rockin' Rebels.. He also wrote “Soul Clappin’,” a local hit  in Detroit on the radio charts, was performed by the Buena Vistas on the Marquee record label.




01_The Woolies - Who Do You Love (Detroit, 1966)
02_Bob Seger & The Last Heard - East Side Story (Detroit, 1966)
03_The Rationals - Respect (Ann Arbor, 1966)
04_MC5 - Looking At You (Detroit, 1968)
05_The Unrelated Segments - Where You Gonna Go? (Detroit, 1967)
06_The Shy Guys - We Gotta Go (Oak Park, 1966)
07_Underdogs - Love's Gone Bad (Grosse Pointe, 1966)
08_Terry Knight & The Pack - What's On Your Mind? (Flint, 1966)
09_The Human Beings - Because I Love Her (Detroit, 1965)
10_MC5 - Borderline (Detroit, 1968)
11_The Tidal Waves - Farmer John (Roseville, 1966)
12_Bob Seger & The Last Heard - Persecution Smith (Detroit, 1966)
13_? & The Mysterians - Can't Get Enough of You Baby (Flint, 1967)
14_Southbound Freeway - Psychedelic Used Car Lot Blues (Detroit, 1967)
15_The Rationals - Sing (Ann Arbor, 1967)
16_The Wanted - In the Midnight Hour (Detroit, 1966)
17_The Rationals - Leavin' Here (Ann Arbor, 1966)
18_The Bob Seger System - Lookin' Back (Detroit, 1971)
19_MC5 - I Can Only Give You Everything (Detroit, 1966)
20_The Amboy Dukes - You Talk Sunshine, I Breathe Fire (Detroit, 1968)
21_Underdogs - The Man In the Glass (Grosse Pointe, 1965)
22_MC5 - One of the Guys (Detroit, 1966)
23_Bob Seger & The Last Heard - Chain Smokin' (Detroit, 1966)
24_Dr. Jack Van Impe - An Important Message (Troy, 1966)
25_Bob Seger & The Last Heard - Heavy Music, Pt. 1& 2 (Detroit, 1967)
26_The Rationals - I Need You (Ann Arbor, 1967)
27_MC5 - I Just Don't Know (Detroit, 1966)
28_Tim Tam & The Turn-Ons - Wait a Minute (Allen Park, 1965)
29_Ormandy - Good Day (Lansing, 1970)
30_The Beach Bums (Bob Seger)- Ballad of the Yellow Beret (Detroit, 1966)



Joel Brodsky created this infamous MC5 album cover using one camera! That is miraculous considering the techniques used today. Like the MC5 Joel was way ahead of his time....

Joel Brodsky

Following a brief stint in the Army he worked as an assistant for one of New York’s top fashion photographers where he learned about commercial photography. Married and with his first child, in 1967 he opened his own studio where he shot his first photos that were used on an album. His fourth cover shooting for “The Doors” was part of a package that got nominated for a Grammy, (it was the first of nine covers he did for the group) and gave him access to many other record companies. 

In a time when the cover art was the only visual representation of their artists for the record buying public, Brodsky’s style helped to create an image for many diverse performers; from The MC5 to Aretha Franklin to Judy Collins, from Iggy Pop to Isaac Hayes and Country Joe & the Fish to Gladys Knight & The Pips.

Jim Morrison by Joel Brodsky

Joel's most famous images were of the Doors and in particular the shirtless Jim Morrison. Joel and the Doors article HERE  Joel Brodsky's full bio HERE  1939-2007 RIP  

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joel Brodsky graduated from Syracuse University in 1961 where he took his first and only course in photography. After graduation he worked at a local camera store acquiring the cameras he used when he went into business. 

Among the last of his album photo sessions was the first Kiss cover in 1975. Altogether he shot well over 400 covers in that eight year period, and was also the advertising agency for six different labels. Later he worked for many commercial clients including: Revlon, Avon, Dupont, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.   
 Iggy Pop by Joel Brodsky  

Joel shot some of the most iconic images of my generation and I am happy to share this story with my readers. Thank you Heather (Fast Film) for sending me the great Joel video...



I am totally blown to super nova smithereens. The really flabbergasted, slack-jawed and drooling kind of blown away. I was just surfing and dinkin’ around on the net and just for kicks I typed in “All Kick Out The Jams” on Youtube. I looked at the number of results on the top of the webpage and said to myself. “This can’t be!” there were 1,440 results! “What the f**k!”

Silverchair, Blue Oyster Cult, Pearl Jam, Presidents Of The USA, Rage Against The Machine, The Hellacopters, Monster Magnet, Jeff Buckley, Bad Brains and hundreds of others. I actually got tired of watching so many cover versions of the song, I had to come back next morning and check out a few hundred more! Just kidding…

Honestly though, I am flattered to the nine’s. I can’t even begin to tell you how great it feels to know I was involved in co-writing a world wide ROCK anthem. I really liked Presidents of the USA, Silverchair, Hellacopters, and Rage’s versions, but truth be told the deeper I went in, there were so many damn fine versions by so many young and not so young bands. I didn’t recognize the names of so many that took the effort and time to film themselves playing our song.

What an honor!

I am flattered beyond belief, but mostly I am sincerely humbled by this phenomenon. Thank you everybody for Kickin’ Them Out. I never would have dreamed when we first started playing this song way back in 1968 that it would be so dear to so many people’s hearts in the 21st century.

WOW! Once again, I want to thank all the bands and all the listeners out there. This rockin’ universe never ceases to amaze me!

Very Gratefully Yours,

Of Course... The Original...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...