"THE LEGENDS OF THE MC-5" IS HISTORY IN THE MAKING !

It is time to TESTIFY!

 
 
" LEMMY, once a member of the British psychedelic rock band HAWKWIND, said he formed MOTORHEAD in 1975 with American sonic-boomers MC5 in mind. "For me, it was 'Kick Out the Jams' (in 1969)," he said. "At first, I didn't like the album, but it definitely grew on me. I always thought their second album ('Back in the USA') was much better. It was a good band, with a good approach, and that's what we were after"."
 
[ NOTE ALL QUOTES ARE TAKEN FROM THE SOURCES ]
 
KICKM---------------------C-------------- FIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OUTTHEJAMSM---- O ------- - -T-----H ----E -----R -- --- F--U--C-K-E-R    ! ! ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!!!!THE---------
JANUARY

Release of KICK OUT THE JAMS / MOTOR CITY IS BURNING 7"

John Sinclair:
The 'Brothers and Sisters' version was for AM and FM radio play, while the 'Motherfucker' version, the regular way we do it on stage, was recorded in concert ( the other was recorded in the afternoon with no one there, just for the 45 ) and meant for the album ...

Jerry Goodwin:
""Kick Out The Jams" in it's original version started out with "Kick out the jams... motherfucker. Believe me NO ONE played it until the "brother and sisters" version was released." (PS)

FEBRUARY

Release of KICK OUT THE JAMS 12"

Jac Holzman:
"We actually had 'Kick Out The Jams' in two version, one with "motherfucker," the other with "brothers and sisters." The single had "brothers and sisters." And with the album, stores could choose which version they preferred." (FTM)

"This was not enough, however, to placate Bill Gavin, a leading radio programming consultant who published a widely read weekly tip sheet. He urged programmers not to play even the "clean" version." (MH)

Bill Gavin:
"As i see it, stations who give airplay to the single risk public condemnation of encouraging sales of the album ... i view today's radio as responsible for insuring its listeners against undue offense." (MH - 4/19/1969 in Rolling Stone)

Jac Holzman:
"Somehow, Hudson's, the retailing gorilla of the heartland, got the wrong version and reacted with the fury of a Midwestern twister. They instantly cleansed their shelves of the record, which mightily pissed off the MC5 who took out an ad in the local underground paper, saying "FUCK HUDSONS," signed MC5, with a very visible Elektra logo, and sent me the bill! In retaliation, Hudson's purged not only MC5 but every other Elektra album ... I said to the MC5, "Hey, guys, you can't do that." They said, "Jac, we thought you were part of the revolution." I said, "I'm only interested in your music." (FTM)


26 Wednesday /
Plaster casting of the MC-5
Cynthia Plaster Caster was once summoned to Detroit to cast the entire MC-5 rock band and had to bring along a pick-up groupie who assured her she was well qualified to plate everybody. After eight hours of partying, everybody was ready to get down to business . . .
And suddenly the girl didn't know what plating meant after all. When it was explained to her, she flatly refused. But it wasn't that easy. "The boys wouldn't let her go untill she plated them" says Cynthia righteously. "After all, she was the one who led us to believe she would cooperate"."
Casting #00010: Dennis Thompson. Casting #00011: Wayne Kramer.

SPRING

Arnie Geller rereleases I CAN ONLY GIVE YOU EVERYTHING / I JUST DONíT KNOW 7" on AMG records.
" I JUST DON'T KNOW " is one new of the original session.


Creem magazine:
"In Detroit, everyone knows the 5, whether they like the band or not"

Fred Goodman:
"On the Spring day in 1969, Jon Landau was bound for Ann Arbor, Michigan, to produce an album by the group the MC5 for his friend and mentor Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records ... Jon Landau had no interest in (revolution), but he had argued succesfully to Wexler that the MC5 could be a commercial success. While many of the band's fans were drawn by the promise of adventure implicit in the White Panther Party's seductively subversive credo - "rock and roll, dope and fucking in the streets" - Landau was drawn by the raw energy and excitement of the band's live performances as well as their commercial potential. That was what he wanted to transfer onto record. As far as he could see, the band's political bent was hopelessly naive and served only to distract them from the business of making music. Indeed, the space for overtly political, radical performers was shrinking as the business grew. Unlike the MC5, Landau embraced the fact that making music was a business." (MH)

Danny Fields, (who also) urges Wexler to sign the band: "Jon convinced Jerry that the band got a raws deal at Elektra, that they were musically to be heard and potentially a hit-making and successful group. And that we would obliterate all this political baggage which came with them." (MH)

MARCH
Fred Goodman: "Gavin's wasn't the only industry voice raised against the record. Several large retail accounts, including Sam Goody and Handleman, refused to carry it ... Hudson's, Detroit's biggest downtown retailer, wouldn't stock the record ... Holzman went to Detroit to try to convince the MC5 to let him release an alternative, "clean" version of the album ... the band wasn't swayed ... Elektra went ahead and changed the album anyhow." (MH)

Dan Carlisle:
"Three Dog Night were in town to play the Grande Ballroom. During an interview they asked who else was on the bill. I said, Well, it's gonna be tough for you tonight, guys, it's the MC5. When they professed ignorance, i suggested we all go down to the gig a little early. I sat with them at the back of the Grande and watched as the 5's MC, Jesse Crawford, came out and gave his revolutionary harangue to bring the band on. Halfway through Ramblin' Rose the eyes of the California boys were bugging out and they ears were ringing. When Rob Tyner leaped from behind an amplifier and screamed, 'Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!' They blanched. The MC5 really stormed through their set that night. Toward the end, Jesse came back out and whipped up the crowd some more, telling them that no woman, no matter how fat or ugly, would be denied sexual pleasure in the MC5's dressing room after the show. Total craziness. The 5 played their closing piece [Black To Comm] and trashed the equipment. They completely used that audience up. Then Three Dog Night had to come with their little harmonies." (Mojo)

Self-financed promotional West Coast tour (March,7-22)

Billboard mag:
"NEW YORK - Elektra is changing a cut on its first MC5 album because of complaints about the lyrics ... the liner notes also contained the phrase which some merchandisers have found objectionable ... William Harvey, vice-president of Elektra, explained that new copies of the album would be available for dealers this week. These albums will contain the single version ... Harvey noted, that, despite some complaints, Elektra had received few returns of the set.
Handleman Co., Detroit's biggest rack jobber, has refused to handle the album, while Cadet, another Detroit jobber, recalled unsold albums from stores after learning of the lyric and liner note phrase. However, Armen Boladian, president of Detroit's Record Distributors Corp., reported the album had registred more than 20,000 sales in the Detroit area since its release last month, with most of these at full retail list." (BB 3/15/69)

Fred Goodman:
"There, they learned the local distributor had shipped his old stock back to Elektra in expectation of receiving the new version. Incensed at what they viewed as blatant censorship, fearful that their revolutionary fervor would be lampooned in the underground press, and upset that they had spent money to come to California only to find there weren't any albums to sell, the band lit into Holzman." (MH)

Billboard mag:
"Two versions of the MC5's album on Elektra are being made available to dealers, according to Jac Holzman ... The original version will continue to be sold as will a revised version" (BB 3/22/69)

Creem Mag:
"Reverses followed close on the heels of sucess. The East Coast tour degenerated into political name-calling and paranoia anf the West Coast tour was characterized by a marked lack of enthusiasm on the part of the few audiences they managed to play for. The Elektra album (...) didn't do much to change people's minds about the band: if you liked the Five for what you knew them to be you cherished the record as an artifact, though not as a creative triumph; if you were convinced in front that they were a bunch of Detroit punks, the album bore you out." (c2#4)
APRIL
5 Saturday / Publication of Lester Bangs ' review of 'Kick Out The Jams' in Rolling Stone magazine.

"At the time of their national round, the MC-5 are badly received on the West coast and they end up playing free at the Straight Theater (in the heart of Haight-Ashbury) in front of less than 200 people." (RS 4/19/69)

Fred Goodman:
"Back in Michigan several records retailers had been busted on obscenity charges for selling Kick Out The Jams. " (MH)

16 Wed. / Holtzman puts a term at the contract Elektra/MC5


"Kick Out The Jams had been a Top 30 album and managed to sell over 100,000 copies." (MH)

Fred Goodman:
"Fields berated Holzman as a hypocrite for not standing by the Five ... Holzman fired Fields." (MH)

Fred Goodman:
"The day the MC5 were given their release, Fields urged Kramer to call Landau and see if the critic could get his friend Jerry Wexler at Atlantic to sign the band.
MAY

Fred Goodman: "Landau was only too happy to make the call and act as the band's intermediary. "Look," he told Wexler, "I just got the word that the MC5 received an unconditional release from Elektra. Would you be interested in discussing it with them?" Landau also made it clear that he believed Wexler and Atlantic could succeed where Holzman and Elektra had failed." (MH)

6 Tuesday / MC5 *Ungano's*, New York

Hubert Saal: "They steam with sweat, they leap and stretch and spin as they play and sing. They even carry along a sort of flight engineer who adjusts their electronic amplifiers, hands out towels, passes around a water bucket and replaces frenetic drummer Dennis Thompson's sticks as he breaks them - ten, fifteen, twenty a set ... 'Call Me Animal', chants lead singer Rob Tyner, a plumpish blob of wild-haired libido. And the band makes happy pig noises as Tyner throws a handy "groupie" to the floor and exuberantly pretends to rape her. They play and chant with relish "Motor City Is Burning" and regard society as "The Human Being Lawnmower (Chop-chop-chop-chop-chop)" as they chant the litany or point the necks of their guitars at the audience like bayonets or machine guns." (NW 5/19/69)

Wayne Kramer:
"It is an energy thing. But we've changed. We learned you gotta control the energy. You should of seen us two years ago. People thought we were crazy. We were crazy, i guess. All that energy. I mean, we were like this (he shook his hands like a speed-freak) all the time ... About two years ago we reached a point where we thought we had gone as far as was possible - with this energy thing. And we stayed in the same bag for a long time; we didn't go anywhere. Then we realized that the energy has to be controlled." (CH 5/1/70)

Alice Polesky:
"I learned then why their gigs, which seem so chaotic, got such a great rsponse, instead of the response you think they might get. In spite of the energy which nener lets up but keeps on coming out, right at you - ZAP - ZAP - ZAP - you thoroughly enjoy yourself and don't get torn up. I understood what Wayne meant about controlled energy. Their sets are structured. Not calculated ... but structured, giving the audience enough leeway ti interact with them; ordered. Their timing is exquisite, and though they seem wanton, each set is carried off woth Swiss precision. I mean, like it's right on, however spontaneous it may seem, and very consciously so ... the set at Ungano's had just brought up my energy level." (CH 5/1/70)

Fred Kirby:
"The Detroit quintet overpowered its material to the delight of the large audience. Rhythms were strong; the sound was powerful. They're clearly one of the most exciting acts around ... MC5 started strong with "Tutti Frutti" and never let up. Rob Tyner must be one of the wildest lead vocalists around as he sang, shouted and conducted. This last seemed especially appropriate since many of the arrangements, besides amphatic beats, had sharp breaks, an effective device when used as well as this dynamic unit used them." (BB 5/17/69)

9 Friday / MC5 *Mitten Hall-Temple University*, Philadelphia - Show started at 8:30PM at Mitten Hall on the campus of Temple University. Tickets cost $2.50. The concert was presented by The Temple Free Press (the University Student Newspaper) -
Tom Sheehy, Historian from Philadelphia, USA: "In May of 1969 ... I saw four shows by The Who and one by The MC5 in the span of three weeks. They were the two loudest bands I ever saw! I practically lost my hearing that month!
Before the show, my friends and I were up front watching the opening act whose name I can't even recall. All of a sudden, my friend pointed out to me that standing a few feet away from us was Rob Tyner. He was also checking out the support act. He seemed very pensive and calm, and then all of a sudden, he disappeared.
When the MC5 took to the stage that evening, they looked like one pissed off bunch of guys. You didn't want to look at Rob Tyner for too long. He looked as if he would jump off the stage and beat the crap outta ya ! Their sound was deafening! It was almost SO loud, that you couldn't hear it! Only The Who & The Rolling Stones had a better mix of stage moves, and attitude in concert in 1969. An amazing performance, by an amazing band."

JUNE

"The FBI's interest in the White Panthers, which had started in late 1968, remained minimal until the so-called "Ann Arbor Riots" of June 16-18, 1969, which featured three days of pitched battles between rock-throwing "freeks" and a massive contingent of riot-trained police. For FBI Director J.Edgar Hoover, who had been incensed by what he termed "filthy" and "obscene" lyrics by the MC-5, the mere presence of White Panthers at the riots was proof that they had coordinated the revolt. After reading reports on the riot, Hoover ordered that actions be taken to monitor, disrupt, and damage the WPP." (JAH)

7 Saturday /
Mike Davis has been charged with larceny from a building in Ann Arbor for leaving a drug store with an unpaid for pair of sunglasses. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Davis left the store to get money from people outside when the owner couldn't change a $100 bill Kramer had presented to pay for the glasses and other purchases. Kramer remained inside the store. The owner picked up a ball bat, grabbed Davis outside and kidnapped him to the basement of the store untill the police came (FE June 12-25).

Ron Asheton is asked to fill in for him (on Bass) and plays with the MC-5 this night at the *Eastown Theater Show* (also feat. Illinois Speed Press, The Stooges)
Ron Asheton: So we (Stooges) played and they asked me if i'd play bass, and we just did like, i didn't know songs, but we did like four songs, real long versions, a lotta playing for almost an hour. We did a couple blues things and we did "Looking At You", "Kick Out The Jams", stuff that i know. It was really fun, it was fun, it was a different feeling for me to hear the big double guitars, i was used to holding everything up myself, well, i had the bass, i could power down with it, but Wayne had a speaker, like we used to do, you'd have your speaker, then double up the stacks you'd have guitars, you'd have a little bit of everything. So i happened to have my ear, and i was used to it, didn't bother me at the time, but i guess double doses of me bein'...my ear when i'm playin' guitar and Wayne's...i got offstage and thought it's just a ringing but i couldn't hear out of this ear for about three days...it was like seriously heavy fingers, cotton, it was driving me nuts...i went woah!!! I'd pound on it, stick things in it, but it was fun, really did enjoy that, i was glad that i got to do that. (BTC #14)

Fred Goodman:
"After talking to Landau and Fields, Wexler signed the MC5 for $50,000, more than double what they had received from Elektra ... and he gives Landau the MC5 to produce ... The band members were ecstatic to have landed on their feet so lucratively. And they were hopeful that Landau's presence as producer would buy them some muscle in the rock press. To the band's amazement, Kick Out The Jams hadn't been a hit with underground critics, who had called them everything from poseurs to incompetent musicians. "It was gangster theoretics," says Sinclair, who figured Landau's status among other critics would produce a more sympathetic response: " 'Gee, Landau! This'll be great.'" (MH)

Signature of the contract with ATLANTIC.


Jon Landau:
The Elektra album told the truth about the MC5 ... in a lot of ways it was an accurate report. It was an excellent technical recording of what they did those nights and it betrayed the fact that they were not organized." (MH)

Rob Tyner:
"... our last album, unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of rock and roll on it. It was quote psychedelic unquote music on it, and we're now getting deep into a rock and roll theme, we're now writing rock and roll. It's closer to it than we've ever been and we really like it because rock and roll feels good when you play it. You feel good and the people listening to it feel good because they can dance to it. I doubt very strongly if you could dance to the first album. How can you dance to Starship ? What we're talking about is having a good time, getting down and going wild, getting involved in Motor City tokedowns and being crazy and dancing, but we realize that we weren't playing dancing music and people couldn't dance to it. They wound up sitting down, listening to it with their minds, and we feel that rock and roll should be listened to and responded to with the body. This doesn't mean in the metaphorical sense but in the literal sense. If it's rock and roll you want to shake your ass." (c2#4)
"The 5 are now based on a ten-acre hideout near Hamburg, Michigan ... they have now signed with Atlantic Records. The band will begin recording their next album at GM studios in Detroit this week and it should be released by mid-July." (FE June 12-25)

Fred Goodman:
"Arriving in Ann Arbor, Jon discovered that a lot had changed since Halloween recording of Kick Out The Jams. As a result of growing friction between the band and other members of Trans-Love, particulary between the band's girlfriends and the other women in the commune, the MC5 had moved into their own farmhouse in nearby Hamburg, Michigan ... Tensions were also developing between the band and Sinclair, who was facing yet another (his third) drug trial ... Fields and Landau were not interested in Sinclair's problems. Their job was to transform the MC5 into a viable act for Atlantic." (MH)

Jon Landau:
"They're beginning to ask what i think is a legitimate question, 'What is (Sinclair) he doing for us? He is our manager, right? We require a professional manager. We are a professional rock and roll band. There are certain things that have to be done that are not being done.' I was involved in the discussions, naturally. The weight of my comments were, in general, that John was not functioning as their manager and that this had to be dealt with. I didn't propose what the solution was at this stage, but i simply offered that as an observation." (MH)

John Sinclair:
"I kept hoping they would wake up one day and realize what was going down. They never did. In fact, they kept going further in the other direction. As the band got more national publicity and exposure, the industry people started getting to them more and more, it seemed, trying to convince them that they would have to give up their 'political', revolutionary stance altogether if they planned to make it big in the biz. This fit right in with their own fears - that they had worked this long and this hard only to be denied their rightful position as a S*T*A*R band because their manager hed mis-led them and had got them to do all the wrong things ... and they began to plot their break from me." (VV)

Michael Davis:
"We basically fired them at Landau's urging, 'These people are dragging your ass down. You guys got something going, and you do it this way, we make a product that's correct. You gotta get rid of all these freeloaders.' Basically he said, 'Sinclair's fucking out of his mind, he's a fucking nut, and all these people around him are a bunch of parasites. Time to clean house.' The way it went down was fairly rude." (FOusa)

JULY
July, 4&5 - Saugatuck Pop Festival No.2 - "John Lee (Hooker) and Wayne spent a pleasant afternoon together in Saugatuck. Hooker complimented the 5 on "Motor City Is Burning" and suggested they take-on "Boom-Boom". Wayne thought it was a far-out idea." (CRvol2#3)

Fred Goodman:
"The band invited Sinclair out to their house but just couldn't bring themselves to put their cards on the table. It devolved into a typical MC5/John Sinclair/White Panther powwow where a lot of dope was smoked and nothing was accomplished ... On the Eve of Sinclair's court date they held another meeting and this time included David Newman, a music business accountant Landau and Fields had brought in. the band told Sinclair that they were unwilling to pay him 20 percent because they needed money to pay a new manager and a booking agent. Instead, they offered 15 percent of their concert earnings, 20 percent of any Elektra royalties, and nothing from the Atlantic payments, saying Sinclair had played no part in its procurement (Fields, however, got a 10 percent finder's fee of $5,000). When Sinclair resisted the proposal, the band offered to pay him 5 percent of all income instead .... "what do you think of all this?" Sinclair asked Landau. He was possibly on his way to prison, the band was deserting him, and he wondered what role Landau had played in this sudden change of heart ... "I think what's happening is that the band is recognizing that they are an individual entity," replied Landau. "As much as they sympathize with what you're doing, they recognize that they've got their won goals, their own desires, and that your relationship with them is based on your providing thel with a service for which they're paying you. And what i think they're trying to tell you - which i agree with them about - is that they are reevaluating your contribution to this whole thing and they're saying "This is how much it's worth.' " (MH)

John Sinclair:
"It was traumatic. Newman looks in and just says, 'Man, these people are ripping you off. All this money is going to these people in Trans-Love and you don't even live there anymore.' This was a situation that had existed for maybe thirty days! For two and a half years we took care of them and they were working for $125 a night. The Trans-Love people they maligned so much were people who loved the band." (MH)
"Sinclair rejected both offers."

25 Friday / J.Sinclair is condemned to 9 Ĺ years of prison for the charge of possession of marijuana

John Sinclair:
"They left me there. I never got a penny, they didn't buy me a carton of cigarettes. My wife was pregnant, the pjone got shut off, all of that. They never did anything to help ... You guys wanted to be bigger than the Beatles and i wanted you to be bigger than Chairman Mao." (MH)

"As Landau and the band began recording at East Detroit's GM Studios, the producer made an unsettling discovery. Bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson couldn't play their parts." (MH)
Wayne Kramer: "At one point he suggested bringing in [bassist] Jerry Jemmott. Anyway, we went around and around with it. Everyone learned his part note by note." (MH)

Dennis Thompson:
"Landau didn't want Michael (Davis) to play bass on the album, he wanted to bring in a bass player from Nashville"

"Landau was really inflexible because he had never produced a record before so he was learning too," says Davis, who wondered if he was up to handling the pressure." (MH)
John Sinclair: "Landau liked the Five, until he got into the studio and started breaking down tracks and listening to them and said, 'Hey , these guys can't play.' Well, there was a Gestalt, a whole thing. Any one of them would have been relatively mediocre talent. Together they were something different. They fit together and made something that was much bigger than the talent involved." (MH)
AUGUST
Jon Landau on MC5's album Back In The USA : "I would say that we're about 2/3 to 3/4 done. The album is programmed on two sides; not that there's gonna be a lot of segues and a lot of made up stories. But one side of the album's entitle 'Teenage Lust,' and most of the songs on it relate to that general them. The songs include Call Me Animal, Tonight, a Fred Smith composition to be used for the single, Teenage Lust and Tutti Frutti. Tutti Frutti will open that side ( and will feature the piano playing of Lyman Woodard".)
On the other side, the 'American Ruse' side, obviously dealing with the most infamous ruse of them all, you have Back In The USA, High School, The Human Being Lawnmower (chop chop chop), American Ruse, and a new song being written by Fred Smith entitled Shakin' Street. Ten songs. Possibly there'll be eleven songs; there's the possibility of a little surprise. In line with whole contemporary rock and roll approach, the longest song on the album is just over three minutes. It's unlikely anything on the album would be even three and a half minutes long.
The album will be a rock and roll album, but it won't be one of those albums that'll be pretendin' that it was recorded 20 years ago by a bunch of people. We try and retain some of the spirit of that, but to transpose or make more contemporary the notion of rock and roll. Turn it into rock and roll 1969, 1970, so that when we have on the album Tutti Frutti, it ain't an attempt to revive or to emulate in any way the magnificence of Little Richard's Tutti Frutti - one of the outstanding records in the history of the world - but is rather an attempt to take the song and retain the energy and certain dimensions of the song, but to put it into a contemporary context. It's five young Lincoln Parkian lads, filled with energy, youthful vitality and so forth, and they do it different. It's just different.
I relate to rock and roll a lot more than i relate to a political thing as such. I think that rock and roll in a lot of ways is bigger than that. And i think that the album really is an attempt to get that absolute essential quality of rock and roll. It's an attempt to break past all the artifacts and the pretensions and just an attempt to generate and create a rock and roll feeling as its most basic." (Creem Aug.31, 1969)
OCTOBER

Ray DeMotte: "In 1969 or 1970 in Ann Arbor , Michigan a 14 year old boy, mature for his age was invited to a hall for a dance, and assuming like junior high dances dressed casually, expecting a few bands, a few girls maybe, and some semi-commercial top 40 music with maybe a few progressive influences here and there. From several blocks away the bass guitar rumbled, and closer the sounds increased until they quietened down. Paid the fee, entered to see everly colour of the universe in lights, on shirts, a crowded hall brimming with expectation... and a wall of amps, then the MC5 appeared. Ripping along like a speed train that keeps going faster and faster the sound enveloped the room, everyone inside themseleves went faster and faster, and when Starship played, it was like a sound the could conquer the earth, and it was no longer loud because it was part of you. Younger and older, pop, blues or rock fans, junior high, high school, college, form Michigan or from beyond, moving to the same beat electrifying your brain. I have been to many concerts the intervening 32 years, with the possible exception of a few Stooges or Slade concerts, nothing could match the Mc5 in its prime. Elemental, powerful, exciting. Many bands say play their albums loud, but MC5's live album has to be played at maximum volume to even get a glimpse of the power of this band live. They played a "slow" song which I danced to with the first girl I ever made love to, Christine, older than me but with all the feminine promise a boy could dream of, maybe the song was I Put a Spell on You. For a moment I caught the eye of Wayne Kramer, he nodded as though he knew all that would happen, and the magic of his guitar set the stage for a special night. A new world, a new sound, for a moment it seemed MC5 could conquer the world, alas not to be, alas one of the greatest bands in rock would fade away very quickly, like a supernova it burst upon the world - but what a time."

Dan Latella:
"The MC5 were definitely the most exciting band I ever saw and I've seen them all. Fred Sonic Smith and Wayne Kramer were like marionettes as they moved around the stage doing flips and playing guitars in perfect unison like a double barrel shotgun to your brain. An amazing stage act they had with the American flags draped on the amps and wall. When I saw the Clash use the English flag in the same manner I definitely got it. The s ongs they played were mostly from the second watered down but still excellent album. In live performance you saw what a great album Back in the USA is. How they transformed Let me try from a slow dance song into a blazing powerhouse was magical. This show still stays in my memory as one of the greatest things I've ever experienced and there is really no way I can explain how that high school auditorium turned into a rockin Starship. They were from a place beyond this Earth's boundaries where you leave knowing your life would never be so good again and very few of the people you will ever meet will know what you know. Seeing the MC5 made me aware the same way John Paul Jones's bass taught me about sex. And soon 1969 ended and things never were quite as good again with Heroine fucking everything and everyone up. But for a while the whole world really did feel like energy heaven. They really were that good!" (MC5 at Westfield High School, NJ)

4 Saturday / Article in Rolling Stone: one of these respected underground journalists, Miller Francis Jr, would have declared that album KICK OUT THE JAMS was a disaster.

15 Wednesday / Release of TONIGHT / LOOKING AT YOU
7"

25 Saturday / MC5 at Narragansett's First Tribal Rock Festival, Boston Garden, Boston, MA
Tom Brinkmann: "I had come to see the MC5, who were the first of the kick-off bands, second being Mr. Winter whom I also liked, then of course the main attraction for most, Led Zeppelin, whose first album was the only one that had been released at the time. As we were waiting for the show to start we couldn't help but notice the group of bikers in the last couple rows of floor seats directly in front of us, all wearing their colours. Memory doesn't serve me as to what club it was, but it was not the Hell's Angels as stated in the Boston Herald Tribune a day or so later.
The MC5 finally came out and kicked out the jams with a loud and fast sound that got you moving. Rob Tyner, with characteristically permed Afro, was bouncing all over the stage to the boogie beat! My friend had brought a small Brownie Instamatic-type camera along, and was taking some photos (which I never saw and don't even know if any ever came out). We were both MC5 fans, but me more so than him. I got their first album after hearing it at another friend's house. The copy I had heard belonged to my friend's older brother, and it had the infamous "motherfucker" line uncensored. By the time I bought my copy, the line had been changed to "brothers and sisters". I also heard you could steam off the inside fold-out sleeve where the original liner notes had been pasted over and censored - which I promptly did. Lo and Behold! It was true and it worked! not only did I become a member of the White Panther Party (at 14), but also subscribed to the Ann Arbor Argus which was the local underground paper from Michigan and mouth organ for the WPP and MC5.
During the MC5's set they "passed the hat" so to speak, for the John Sinclair Legal Defence Fund and the WPP in general, while playing their "Pledge Song" that can be heard on the Power Trip CD. They also played songs from their up-coming LP Back In The USA. I was a happy camper! They could have played Johnny's and Led Zep's sets as well and it would still have been fine by me." (HDP) more...

NOVEMBER
Sundog: "When they come on and get in the middle of a song Robin Tyner, the main singer of the band, will sometimes drop back and Wayne Kramer and Fred Smith, the two guitarists, will come forward and stand parallel about 6 feet apart and do parallel actions.
Fred Smith may be wearing his white suit with the high-button coat and will look mean as he plays mean and Wayne Kramer on the left side may wear his tight black suit with his purple ruffled shirt billowing out between the black lapels and he'll look and play mean also although he has wild, puffy, curly hair and Fred has straight, stringy hair.
They both may come up and look to the left, hold the guitars at a certain same angle and begin to bend over backwards in unison, doing a split, which they may have a little bit of trouble with, but then they'll jump up, turn, rocketing their fingers up the frets all the time looking mean together, machine-gunning each other with their instruments and playing music that is recognizable as coming from the ozone, if you recognize it at all." (BT11/69)
 
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Sources & Credits: HERE

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