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The Wayne Kramer Interview

Ian Fortnam,, April 2000

DETROIT, MICHIGAN’S Motor City 5 slicked their savage, sonic sedition with pure, high octane, rock ‘n’ roll rocket fuel. When they initially spat their fretboard ack-ack from the very depths of the American underground, in the revolutionary latter days of the 1960s, they positively redefined both radical chic and overdriven intensity.

Sonically, the 5 grafted avant-garde Sun Ra consciousness expansion onto the sacred, clarion riffs of Chuck Berry and politically, they allied themselves to the "dope, guns and fucking in the streets" manifesto of their manager John Sinclair’s notorious White Panther Party. They walked the attitude that the Rolling Stones only talked, they eschewed compromise of any colour and they were ultimately made to suffer for their inflexible principles of freedom.

Guitarist Wayne Kramer formed the MC5 in 1964 with Rob Tyner (vocals) and fellow fret-shredder Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith and remained at the band’s creative core until their dissolution in 1972. To celebrate the release of The Big Bang (Rhino Records’ definitive MC5 retrospective) we’ve decided to shoot the breeze with Wayne Kramer in Los Angeles to unravel some of the enduring legends that surround this quite extraordinary band. So strap yourselves in, Brothers and Sisters, for Brother Wayne is about to blind you with a dope, guns, death, jail and rock ‘n’ roll testimonial. So, once again it’s time to... KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHERFUCKERS!

Total word count of piece: 3951


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