Brothers and sisters – get ready to testify! The MC5’s Wayne Kramer has not only opened his own YouTube channel, he’s also been uploading remastered live footage of the legendary rockers from 1968 (the Democratic National Convention in Chicago), 1970 (the explosive Tartar Field show) and 1972 (a club date in Paris). Sadly, no new footage of The MC5’s 1972 footage of their Beat Club performance in Bremen, Germany, in 1972 has surfaced but we live in hope.
The MC5 are the very stuff of legend and one of the most influential bands to have emerged from the United States in the late 1960s. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1964 by singer Rob Tyner, guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson, The MC5’s left-wing politics, alignment with the White Panther movement and blistering music led the way to punk rock a decade later. They were also instrumental in getting The Stooges signed to Elektra.
Kramer joined YouTube on May 22 and his self-description on the page reads: “Dad. Guitarist. Composer. Activist. Born in Detroit. Lives in Los Angeles. This is Wayne Kramer’s official YouTube page.”
This is the first time that the MC5’s rare live footage has been given an audio clean up. As evidenced by the Tartar Field footage which you can see below, The MC5 are on absolutely devastating form as they detonate classic cuts such as ‘Ramblin’ Rose’ and ‘Kick Out The Jams’.
Quite was this all adds up to is anybody guess. The MC5 released three albums – ‘Kick Out The Jams’ (1969), ‘Back In The USA’ (1970) and ‘High Time’ (1971) – and all of them are long overdue the re-mastering and repackaging treatment. The albums proved highly influential with artists such as Lemmy, The Clash and The White Stripes among many others all doffing their caps to The MC5. If re-issues are on the way then it’s time to get excited.