Friday, October 31, 2014
Four high school buddies and I skipped our last few classes so we could get to the Grande early. The MC5 were recording a live album! We had to be there! We got to the club probably 3 or 4 in the afternoon. No one around. We hung at the front door till it opened and then grabbed some seats right up front. I was the youngest of the group, not yet 16, and I had been to a few concerts already (Unrelated Segments, Rationals) but it was the MC5 that I wanted to see most.
I had heard about the high energy, total shows, the assault on the ears, the eyes, the soul. I was convinced it would be a monumental experience, and I wasn't wrong. It changed my life. It may sound cliche, but it's true. From the moment Jesse began to speak till the last bit of feedback faded away I was transfixed. You guys were so tight, so clean and yet so wild, so free.
Even today when I put on the record I am back at the Grande, watching Wayne and Sonic trade riffs and solos, hearing Rob tell me the Truth of the Universe, feeling Mike's bass underneath it all, and you playing at breakneck speed but never losing the energy.
It was a magical night. I have seen a lot of groups in 46 years, performers that have become famous, respected, idolized and put into a "Hall of Fame", but every show gets compared to that night and no one has ever matched it. Oct. 30,1968. Zenta New Year. And I got a free poster and my face on the album cover. Thank you Dennis. Kick Out the Jams, Motherfuckers and Stay Alive with the MC5!
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Fred Sonic Smith, Dennis Thomspon, Mike Davis, Rob Tyner, Wayne Kramer
46th Anniversary of the MC5's live recording
Kick Out The Jams October 30th, 1968
WOW!!! 46 YEARS AGO!!!
I was just 20 years young when we did this. Man oh man, I just watched our DVD "Sonic Revolution" before I wrote this piece.
The energy and feelings of those two nights of playing our live album in front of 3000 rabid MC5 fans is still with me. It was two of the best nights of my entire life. Sincerely.
MC5 photo: Robert Matheu
Anyhoo, today is the 46th anniversary of when 5 rebellious young immortals in their own collective minds were blessed to jump on that stage and REALLY BRING IT!
We were either whacked out of our minds to record our first album live or it was a stroke of genius. In the home team's dressing room, (ours always) the feeling wasn't electric, it was special forces nuclear.
MC5 Fred and Dennis photo by Tom Weschler
Finally the biz had found us and it was up to us to prove to the world we were the best fucking live performing band in the world at that point in time. Yeah, that's right...!
I was anxious, I was excited, I was also slightly scared. I had smoked myself into pirate mode and was so spring loaded to get on stage and do it already. We've only been waiting for this moment for four years and we knew in our souls the time was right to play our guts out till we collapsed in sweat, laughter and love.
I remember playing so hard I had created three blood blisters on my hands , while breaking at least five 5b sticks. We jump on the stage, check our tuning and slam into "Ramblin' Rose" right after Jesse Crawford's legendary intro. "You 've got five seconds brothers and sisters"(most of you know the rest).
No pause, Rob takes us into KOTJ--MF and I 've already lost the first pound of sweat! The crowd roars like they were at the Roman Coliseum. Still no rest and right into "Come Together" a song that wears me out as it is such a bad to the bone pounder. That's why "Motor City Is Burning is next, to give young Dennis a breather.
We were in a surreal dream state I will never, ever forget in my life -- never---The bonus was we got to do it again on Saturday night as well. Friends, I don't have the words to tell you how over the top overwhelming these two night's were... I don't...
I'm a very blessed man to have been a member of that swat team known as the MC5, and I deeply thank each and every one of you who were there those sweaty nights for cheering us on, for buying this album and helping launch us worldwide.
Now we can take this powerful loving music to the masses. Stay positive people. After all, I am still here...ha ha and that in itself is a testament to the power and strength of this music!!!
Kick Out The Jams Mother Fucker's and "Stay alive with the MC5!"
Excelsior( To rise on high)
Dennis "Machine Gun" Thompson
Monday, October 27, 2014
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