( musicİ1972 by MC5 / filmİ2001 by Bob Levis / FILE SIZE 54Mo / zipped .AVI / tested with VLC free viewer )


In early February 1972, the MC5 were for the second time in England to play gigs promoted by the Buffalo Agency and founder of Radio Caroline and MC5's manager Ronan O'Rahilly.
MC5's Michael Davis quit the band five gigs later. His last one seemed to be at The Fox in Croydon (Feb.13) where the band was interviewed by Charles Shaar Murray for UK based magazine Cream. Fred was then wearing his famous "skin-tight super-hero costume in black and silver Lurex with 'S.S.' ."

Recording sessions for film soundtrack GOLD took place probably after Mike's departure (Feb.13) and before the move to France (Feb.17 to Feb.22).
The sessions were recorded in London. Ronan O'Rahilly played the scenes from the film GOLD to the band (the film was directed in 1968 by US filmmaker Bob Levis). Wayne Kramer played the bass on that occasion. Sound engineer was Henry Henroid.
GOLD, TRAIN MUSIC, INSIDE OUT were the 3 (known) songs the MC5 recorded.
Only TRAIN MUSIC and INSIDE OUT would appear on the soundtrack LP released on Mother Records in 1972.

By the end of 1972, GOLD was appearing at the Classic Cinema in London's Piccadilly Circus and was heavily promoted on Radio Caroline. In early 1973 GOLD has moved from the Classic Cinema to the Windmill Theatre, just behind Piccadilly Circus, in Windmill Street. See advertisement

Other MC5 songs performed in the film are FUTURE / NOW from their 3rd album High Time, the outro of SISTER ANNE (performed by the Salvation Army fanfare) used for the amusement park scene, and a short excerpt of what seems to be an alternate take of title track GOLD.
More details on the film below.

Enjoy the clip!



" It's always refreshing to stumble across an obscure, bizarre and baffling relic from the groovy late-60s, when coherence was at a minimum and radical ideas were happily embraced by open-minded viewers. This begins with an opening-credit montage that includes police brutality, dead Vietnamese children, JFK's assassination, Kent State, etc. - so I was expecting a heavy message flick. But instead, it offered up a hippie-hodgepodge of political metaphor, barely-baked philosophy, sing-a-longs, bizarre camerawork, tinted stock, solarization, split screen, and gratuitous sex scenes that makes you wonder if the cameraman was on peyote. In other words, "Yow!" In addition, this no-budget odyssey stars improvisational comedy legend Del Close, along with fellow member of San Francisco's The Committee, Gary Goodrow.
Its baffling story is set in an anachronistic Old West town (which contains electric guitars and miniskirts), with all of the townsfolk in search of precious gold! Along the way, they're attacked by modern-day soldiers and seduced by right-wing conspirators (led by a stick-in-the-mud referred to as "The Law," played by Goodrow). There's also a rigged election, trampled personal rights, evicted citizens, and "The Law" getting pissed whenever he spots nude flower children cavorting in the woods. No surprise, these elected-assholes feast on their power, by murdering anyone who represents freedom (or runs around in the nude) and by keeping all 'lawbreakers' in an animal pen.
Let's not forget a wild-eyed rebel (Del) who roams the countryside and is the only voice of reason. Oh, look, he's hauling a big-ass cross! Could it be any more obvious?! Eventually he teaches the jailed common folk Revolution 101 (including Molotov cocktails and guerrilla tactics), so they can rise up against their lowly oppressor, bulldoze their prison, fire off scrap-metal cannons, and to celebrate, everyone gets naked! Yep, there's always some excuse to strip off your clothes for an orgy or skinny dip.
The film was shot in 1968, in Northern California, but wasn't released theatrically (in London) until 1972, and didn't premiere in America until 1996(!), with director/producers Bob Levis and Bill Desloge credited as "organizers." Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most of the script was improvised on the spot. Since Close and Goodrow were both experts at double-talk, they're pretty amusing when left to their unique talents. Optical FX consultant Zoran Peristic later graduated to films like SUPERMAN and RETURN OF OZ, and there are evocative music contributions from Rambling Jack Elliot and Motor City 5. Full of good intentions and crude as hell, this is an indulgent, energetic, 90-minute burst of hoary symbolism and lovable counterculture craziness. No question, it looks like everyone had a blast filming it, and with the proper 'medication,' most viewers will too " - Shock Cinema (Fall-Winter 2002-03)

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" Like Hair, the film reflects the time when West Coast flower children were slowly evolving a rudimentary political consciousness. And so the loose plot centers on a baddie (in a Chicago gangster suit) who is at once a bent cop, a "fascist" thug, a corrupt politician, a capitalist and worst of all, a killjoy. Occasional witty perceptions (like the cop distracting the crowd with a busty stripper while eliminating the rival election candidate) are outweighed by the sheer vacuousness of the hippies, who lie around masturbating complacently in their compound while awaiting liberation. It's punishment park as pleasurama, clouded only by throwaway identifications of the lead characters with Nixon and Kennedy, Castro and Che. Yet ultimately the film's naivete is almost charming. Enough of the gags work, the sex is as innocent as the days when nudists played volleyball (though there are still fewer naked men than women), and the cast play like a hippie theatre commune on holiday. The makers (who prefer to be called "organizers" than directors) have edited it to a pace that keeps interest awake. In fact, in its quaint, very American way, the film survives as a piece of revolutionary baroque " - Tony Rayns , London

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" All is not gold that glitters, and the unexpected emergence of the 1972 underground indie comedy "Gold" is not exactly a glittery discovery. This small, strange film was never theatrically released and seems to have been laying around in oblivion before being dug up and given an overdue chance to shine by Bob Levis, who created the film with Bill Desloge (the men were billed as "organizers" in the credits).
"Gold" is basically an endless (or seemingly endless) stream of jokes, sight gags and caustic political commentary tied to the oddball plot of a crooked cop (improv comic Del Close, inexplicably dressed like an Al Capone-era gangster) who coerces a hippie ally (Garry Goodrow) into some sort of unclear plot involving a train full of flower children (some dressed in 19th century clothing) who are on their way to a field where gold has been discovered. There is also a pretty blonde woman who gets to take off her clothing every now and then; her exact function in the scheme of things is never quite clear, but the distraction created by her magnificent mammaries is more than welcome..."
[more] - Phil Hall (2003-04-20)

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I wish to acknowledge the help given me by SJEF KOLEN at and PHIL HALL at Film Threat

Francois / MC5 Gateway 2005