Thursday, March 22, 2012

MACHINEGUN'S TRIBUTE FOR MICHAEL DAVIS

Michael Davis June 5, 1943 – February 17, 2012

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”

Mahatma Ghandi


MGT Christian LaCroix Wm Duvall Mike Davis Adam Pearson

I’d like to impart a direct quote from Michael on his music...

"I remember being aware while it was happening, how much power I possessed in what I was doing...that I could literally project my feelings and reach everybody in the room, and how it felt,” he told the Free Press in 2003. “It was like a subconscious conversation, almost telepathically projecting the power of the moment to everybody in the place."

Right on my brother…

I am still in a state of shock over the passing of my good friend and lifelong colleague Michael Davis. As the bass player and drummer of the MC5, we were the rhythm team of a very complicated band. I can tell you this, Mike was a great friend and mentor. I miss him dearly.


Mike and Dennis in France July 2011

Our last DKT/MC5 concert was with the Stooges in Cluses, France in July, 2011. Mike had to use crutches because a bone break was healing slowly. I had his back for five days and watched him to make sure he would not take a spill. We really got to know each other during this period. He gave me a t-shirt from Mike and Angela Davis' “Music is Revolution” foundation and asked would I wear it on stage? I said of course and how was I ever to know I would not ever see him again after this trip? Heartbreaking …


Mike and Dennis

In the early years I had a nickname for him. It was Miguel DuBois, the lover. He attracted all the beautiful girls as he was a very handsome, suave and debonair man. I was a little jealous although I did quite okay in the female department myself. When we roomed together on the road many was the time I had to make myself disappear for awhile if you catch my drift.


MC5 rehearsal

Back in the day, the MC5 were honored to share the stage with Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and this list just keeps going on and on. Some would say we were lucky, but Mike would probably tell you we were in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

The following Michael Davis Interview is from the Detroit Rocks Project film. Mike's footage provided by director Ron Perry as a Memorial for Mike....




We also did a few silly things together like the time we drove in a Volkswagen Beetle to St. Louis for a show. I was hanging out at Mike’s place and he failed to tell me about the car we were about to drive 600 miles in. There was no heater and there was a huge hole in the front floorboard and this is smack dab in the dead of winter.

I was pissed! And cold! “Are you nuts Michael?” “Why didn’t you tell me about this?” I was livid for the first twenty miles, and then I was a popsicle…

Another time we had to drive to Miami for a show or two and I told Mike that this time I was driving. He said, “You mean the Corvette”? I said “Damn straight, I remember St. Louis!” This drive was a riot and I’m pretty sure we averaged 100 mph all the way there and back.


We used to hang out at the Stooges Funhouse from time to time. We always had a great time with plenty of laughs to go around. Later in life we both wound up playing in different bands with Ron Asheton. After the MC5 broke up, Mike, Fred Smith, and I started a trio named Ascension. We tried inviting Wayne and Rob to join, but they both had their own reality going on.

Well, time passes and we find ourselves in 2003. Mike and I were called from London on a proposal, then Wayne Kramer and Margaret Saadi-Kramer crafted a sweet deal with the Levi-Strauss company. It was to be a celebration of the music of the MC5 with special guest stars to help us out and a dvd (Sonic Revolution) to market afterwards. Mike and I used to talk on the phone before this gig many times as we both figured it to be a dream come true. The show was at the 100 Club in London.


Tight room but jammed to the rafters. With help from Nicke (Royale) Andersson, Lemmy Kilmister, Dave Vanian, Dr. Charles Moore, Buzz Johnson, Lisa Kekaula we opened with Skunk and the night became a surreal explosion of good feelings and great fun. Mike was ecstatic…


Mike Davis Mark Arm Dennis Thompson Deniz Tek Wayne Kramer

In 2004, we began an eight year run of major and minor tours covering North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and just about every country in Europe. Michael loved getting back with the guys and we had superb times together.

Many stars in their own right sat in with us and special thanks from Mike to Gilby Clark, Dr. Deniz Tek, Adam Pearson, Dick Manitoba, Mark Arm, Lisa Kekaula, and Evan Dando, as these were the folks who fleshed out the rest of the band at different times throughout the touring years as DKT/MC5.


Mike and Angela Davis

Michael was so blessed to be married to Angela Davis, as she was the light of his life. They loved each other unconditionally. Mike proved to be a truly dedicated and loving husband and father to Ursula Rane, Aljoshua, Sinjin and Gabriel for many, many years.


Adam Pearson Wm Duvall Dennis Thompson Mike Davis Wayne Kramer

He was an honest, insightful maverick and had that wry wit and sense of humor that befuddled so many folks at times. He spoke what he felt and could stare you straight in the eye, even if he was rippin’ on you.

In closing, thank you Michael for being my friend and confidante throughout this tumultuous life and musical journey. Your music was inspiring and thanks again for keeping me down to earth as best as you could. Patrice and I will miss you every day my good friend.

Your prayers for Angela, Michael, and their family have and will be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all who have expressed your condolences to myself, Wayne, and to the entire Davis family.


With much love and respect, Goodbye Mike...
Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson,
KOTJ

“But what is happiness except the simple harmony
between a man and the life he leads?”

“Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow;
don't walk behind me, I may not lead;
walk beside me, and just be my friend.”

Camus


Donate to Mike's Foundation Here

5 comments:

Hurlco said...

That was a very moving tribute Dennis that encapsulates and reflects the passion, fury and life of Mike Davis. He was one of a kind--never to be replaced. Rest in peace mi hermano.

Fast Film said...

Your words will help people remember the life and the music. Thank you.
-Heather

Dave Davis said...

I sure hope the film gets out in its entirety....I gotta say, I am saddened that I did not get to see Mike this summer as we had planned (tentatively) but I was thrilled to hear him say he had discovered that the MC5 was something bigger and more profound than he had realized previous to your tours through 2011. I used to sit all night and talk to him about HIM and what he meant to a 23 year old (in 1982 when we were in the band The Rite) and he'd cringe. He did not want to really talk about it. I'm so glad he felt that historical place he fills for all time in Rock!! That gift was one he deserved and that you all deserve in spades. God Bless ya Machinegun....Keep Kickin' 'em Out!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dennis. I wish I had more to say, but when it comes to my dad I get all choked up and lose my words. Just wanted Thank you. Love, Ursula Davis

Anonymous said...

Thanks for remembering MG, Mike was an awesome player, he really had that bottom down pat. Was listening to the DKT/MC5 Black to Comm CD, man the bottom he holds on American Ruse is too good. You guys sure were in touch. True music to my ears my friend. God Bless you and MD....I alwys refer to him as "Thunder" Davis I read someone called him that. He was Thunder from Heaven. KOTJ Tom

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