Michael Davis - bass; Wayne Kramer - guitar, vocals; Dennis Thompson - drums; Lisa Cocolla - vocals; Nicke Royale Andersson - guitar; Handsome Dick Manitoba - vocals; Charles Moore - horns; Buzzy Jones - horns
This show is the third of three performances archived by DKT at Wolfgang's Vault. This set has a number of songs not found in the other performances, most notably the closer, "I Want You Right Now." An outgrowth of a one-off reunion of the classic '60s hard rock band, the MC5, which occurred at the Club 100 in London in 2003, the band features the surviving members of that band, along with some incredible supplemental players.
Opening with the band's standard kick-off, "Rambling Rose," they quickly slide into "Shaking Street" (as good as anything released by the Flamin' Groovies) and follow it with high-powered versions of "Tonight," "Sister Anne," "Call Me Animal," "Come Together," "Over And Over" (originally written about the Vietnam War but just as relevant today with the Iraq War), and of course, "Kick Out The Jams."
DKT is what is left from the original politically-charged, hard rock group the MC5 after they reunited in 2003. The band name comes from the first letter of the three remaining members' last names—Davis, Kramer, and Thompson. Two of the key members of the band, guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith and singer Rob Tyner, had already passed away, and the group used a myriad of contemporary artist fans to fill in on lead vocals and guitar when they did the filmed reunion at the Club 100 in London in 2003. Among them:
Nicke Andersson of The Hellacopters (filing in for Fred "Sonic" Smith), and a collection of singers—Evan Dando of The Lemonheads, David Vanian of the Damned, Kate O'Brien, Lemmy of Motörhead, and Ian Astbury of the Cult, all handling Tyner's vocal parts.
When the group decided to resume a steady diet of touring in 2004, they settled on a lineup that included Andersson on guitar and Johnny Walker on vocals. He was replaced in 2005 by Handsome Dick Manitoba (former vocalists for the Dictators). Female vocalist Lisa Cocolla also joins them on several songs including the kickin' blues track, "Motor City's Burning," and the hard rockin' classics, "Looking At You" and "Shakin' Street."
The MC5 began in the mid-'60s as an outgrowth of garage bands that included Fred Sonic Smith and Wayne Kramer (two high school guitarist pals). By the time they had become the MC5, they had added bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson. Last to join was a charismatic vocalist named Robert Derminer. Having been a key member of Detroit's left-wing arts community, Derminer determined he needed to be in a rock 'n' roll band if he wanted to get his ideas across to the public. He changed his image and changed his name to Rob Tyner (named after jazz pianist McCoy Tyner). The group was named the Motor City 5, which soon became the MC5.
MC5 aligned itself with a radical rock manager named John Sinclair, who formed a political activist group called the White Panthers. He was also a major anti-Vietnam War activist, and the first rock industry insider to openly campaign for the legalization of marijuana. They also made headlines by performing a free concert for protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. They toured with Big Brother & The Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), and Cream, among others.
The band soon built a following as one of the hottest live acts in Detroit. In 1968, they signed on as the first hard rock group on Elektra Records, and released the now legendary Kick Out The Jams album (since their live show was so acclaimed, the label decided to have the band's debut record captured on stage rather than in a studio). The record, released in January 1969, was highly political and contained numerous obscenities. When it was banned by a number of retail outlets, Elektra dropped the band.
They were picked up Atlantic Records in 1971, but by then they had fallen out with radical manager John Sinclair and toned down their political slant. They became more of a straight-ahead rock band, with rough edges that clearly inspired the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. Despite rave reviews, Atlantic failed to get the MC5 on American radio stations and dropped them after their third LP. By then, the band was heavily into drugs, and soon fell apart.
Some of the members went to jail on drug charges, some took normal day jobs, and Fred Smith went solo and married rock singer Patti Smith. Singer Rob Tyner became a record producer. After the untimely deaths of Smith and Tyner, interest in the band was renewed. The 2003 reunion in London proved to the remaining members that there was still a sizable audience for the music of this historic rock band.