Video: MC5 – Beat Club Recording Sessions: Bremen, Germany 1972
This footage is amazing. It’s from the weird time right after they had kicked out original bassist Michael Davis. They were in Europe promoting their third and final (and best) album, High Times, although they don’t play anything from that record in this clip, filmed for the German television show Beat-Club. They had been dumped by their record label, and their former manager John Sinclair was accusing them of being greedy junky sellouts. Things were not looking good for the Five. And yet…
Watch this footage!
Everything great about rock and roll is here on display. Sonic Smith’s furry hat, Machine Gun Thompson’s Norton Motorcycles t-shirt, Wayne Kramer’s dehydrated pastiness…I mean, come on! Even fill-in bassist Steve (“Steev”) Moorhouse looks cool. But nobody can get anywhere close to the glory of Rob Tyner with his fantastically crazy teeth, magnificent afro, and face dripping with sweat even before he counts in the band with his famous “Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!”
This nine-minute extended freakout version of their greatest hit (peaked at #82 in 1969) goes off into jazzy weirdness before coming back around again with Kramer and Smith intertwining guitar leads, getting as funkadelic in their own way as Eddie Hazel and Garry Shider.
They play five songs in total over two separate sessions (clearly differentiated by the new shirts in “Ramblin’ Rose” and “Black To Comm”). The total running time is under 30 minutes and although it would great to have even more, this is really enough to prove that the MC5 is still grossly underrated despite all the praise they get from people like us.
Continue reading Watch the MC5 kick out the jams in Germany in 1972
Video: Louder Than Love – The Grande Ballroom Story
This looks awesome. I love that the trailer uses the Bob Seger System‘s “Heavy Music.” De-fucking-troit!
The filmmakers’ Facebook page claims a release date of Summer 2010, but they also say they “have more scheduled interviews in early 2010,” so we’ll see. Let’s hope this one has better luck than the ill-fated MC5 documentary, A True Testimonial.
Check out flickr’s collection of recent rotted interior shots. It’s way beyond repair. Sad.
I must admit: I got very, very drunk Saturday night. I went to see a couple of local bands who are somehow associated with the Dandy Warhols and ended up mostly incoherent in the back of a cab stinking of gin and Voodoo Donuts. But just before everything went south (and maybe because of it) I saw my new favorite local band: 1776.
Comprised of four young dudes with tasty vintage gear and excellent hair, 1776 enthusiastically pulls from their influences the best kind of psychedelic rock that is as much MC5 as the Buffalo Springfield. Guitarist and vocalist Nigel Legerwood bangs away on a Danelectro 12-string while bassist Zach Whitton keeps the entire troupe anchored with Rick Danko-inspired bass lines and (again) a fantastic mop of hair.
Portland is home to many-a-psyche rock wannabe band who have probably spent too much time watching Dig! And not enough time listening to The Notorious Bird Brothers (I’m talking to you, The Upsidedown), but 1776 has clearly dug deeper and I’m excited to see how they freak out over time.
MP3: 1776 – “Too Much” (via The Portland Mercury)
1776: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, MySpace
Sorry, boys, she’s no longer available. According to the Detroit Free Press, Meg White is getting married. Who’s the lucky guy? Turns out it’s none other than Detroit rock royalty: Jackson Smith, son of Patti Smith and the MC5‘s Fred “Sonic” Smith.
Smith, who grew up in St. Clair Shores, was 12 when his father died in 1994. He moved with his mother two years later to New York City, returning to Michigan after high school and impressing local music fans with his intuitive guitar talent.
White and Smith, who became close last summer, are known around town as private but personable figures. They live together in White’s Detroit home, and got engaged several weeks ago.
Congratulations to the happy couple! The date is set for May 22 in Nashville. We’ll be watching the mailbox for our invitation.
Photo by Russ Turk for Glorious Noise, 2007.
Detroit Tango publishes the United States District Court’s Findings Of Fact And Conclusions Of Law (along with some pointed commentary) in the case that prevented the MC5 documentary, A True Testimonial, from being distributed.
The gist: the judge ruled in favor of the filmmakers.
The Honorable Andrew J. Guilford, United States District Judge, issued his ruling on March 31, 2007. My favorite “fact” is this one:
31. Defendants were first-time filmmakers who spent eight years of their lives trying to create a documentary film that would be historically truthful, a documentary that would celebrate the talent and creativity of the MC5 band, a documentary that would say something about the 60’s, and would say something about the present. They succeeded, and the film merits wide distribution for the enjoyment and edification of the masses.
I’ve seen the movie and I wholeheartedly agree with Judge Guilford: it deserves to be seen. Let’s hope everyone involved can set aside their differences and get this movie out to the people who need to see it. Hey Rhino, make it happen!
Continue reading MC5 Movie Lawsuit Resolved?
Awesome footage of the MC5 playing “Rambling Rose” at Tartar Field in 1970. Update: “Black To Comm” too!
Detroit Blog pokes around inside the rotting corpse of the Grande Ballroom (updated link) where the Stooges and the MC5 cut their teeth.
Like everyone who cares about real rock and roll, Glorious Noise loves the MC5. When it comes to good old sloppy punk rock, the MC5 pretty much wrote the book. Or at lease one of the early chapters. So when we missed the American leg of the first reunion tour of the surviving members (Wayne Kramer, Dennis Thompson and Michael Davis), we were disappointed. There was no other recourse than to fly to Europe to catch one of those dates. You gotta do what you gotta do.
Continue reading DKT/MC5 Electrifies the City of Lights
Justin Timberlake Wears the MC5 (and Wayne Kramer Likes It) – An Open Letter to Fans & Critics.