13 thoughts on “MC5 – Tonight”

  1. During the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising I had the good fortune to see Wayne Kramer kick out the jams with Tom Morello (who is a Wobbly) at a free solidarity concert for protesters just off the Capitol Square. Pretty memorable night.

  2. I have two good friends who filmed a great documentary about the MC5 with a lot of good buzz at the festival circuit. Right when it was going to get purchased and released, Wayne Kramer got dollar signs in his eyes and wouldn't release the music. Obviously I'm biased because of my relationship with the film makers but in my view, Wayne Kramer is a drug addled dick.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MC5:_A_True_Testimonial

    I have a copy of the DVD if anyone wants to see it sometime.

    1. That's unfortunate; I'm sorry your friends witnessed all their efforts being thwarted just as their film was taking off. A friend of mine just dedicated several years of her life to filming a documentary on Smart Studios (with Butch & Steve's blessing/cooperation). I can't imagine how she would've felt if something prevented her from releasing it at the eleventh hour.

      I don't know how I'd feel if I were an influential artist whose life's work didn't earn at a rate comparable to its significance, particularly if the people who published it skimmed off a substantial portion of whatever it did earn. (Where I'm at in my own artistic life, that nightmare sounds like an unreachable dream.) I'm glad I don't have substance abuse issues to contend with on top of that.

    2. Obviously, you are biased and your view is likely wrong, or at the very least misguided.

      My old pal Maureen (who used to play bass in an all-grrl punk band of some renown) and I reacquainted our friendship via Facebook some years back. When I first visited her page the first two friends who showed up on her list were Tom Morello and Wayne Kramer. Morello wasn't a surprise, they went to HS together in Libertyville, IL and I knew they were close. I met him on two different occasions when he visited MPLS (pre-Rage) and he was a very cool, smart, and down-to-earth guy. But Kramer? I fired off a message and asked how she knew Wayne.

      Turns out her video company had worked with him on Jail Guitar Doors, a project spearheaded by Billy Bragg and Wayne Kramer. Their group provides instruments to those who are using music as a means of achieving the rehabilitation of prison inmates. It was a project that Kramer felt a great affinity towards, as he spent two years in Leavenworth Prison in the 70's on drug charges. Back to the story, they hit it it off and became friends IRL. A big element of that friendship was rooted in their shared history of drug and alcohol abuse and the daily challenge of remaining sober. To my knowledge, he has been sober for over a decade. Maureen for 14 years. So calling him a drug-addled dick seems a bit harsh. Call him a dick if you must, but stop with the judgmental pearl clutching on his past habits. I know absolutely nothing about your pal's documentary, but I do know there are many sides to every story. Consider this a counterpoint to yours.

      Finishing my story about Maureen, though, she said "Wayne is a mensch. You should friend him. " I did but was told by fb that Wayne wasn't taking new friendships. I messaged Maux that fact and said it was no big deal. A few days later, I received a friend request from the former guitarist of the MC5. He also sent along a message saying that if Maureen Herman said we should be Facebook friends, then dammit, we ARE Facebook friends. He also wished me well in my artistic endeavors.

      1. Drug addled was probably uncalled for.

        And Wayne Kramer was a mensch. He let Dave and Laurel into his world, gave them access to a ton of band stuff, and was a big part in them creating a great movie. But when it came to nut cutting time he became completely uncooperative, threatening, and greedy. The courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed.

        Because of Wayne's actions Dave and Laurel were out of 10s of thousands of dollars of their own money. The movie probably would not have made them millionaires but if it had done even reasonably well (and based on early reviews it would have) who knows what other doors would have been open to them (and Wayne Kramer frankly).

        1. It certainly is unfortunate for your friends, as well as fans of the band and those interested in that fertile Detroit scene during a particularly turbulent era in US history.

    3. from what little I know of the film industry, "documentary" and "dollar signs" really don't go together.

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