Wayne Kramer

Wayne Kramer is one of the most respected figures in rock 'n' roll, and that's saying a lot. Kramer was hugely responsible for helping to lay the foundations of punk through his band MC5, which he formed in 1965 with fellow guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith. MC5, as a pioneering brethren to the Stooges for driving the hard-edged Detroit rock movement, had enormous influence in the local community, in large part because of their role as house band for the legendary Grande Ballroom, and in much wider musical circles by their raw punk sound and leftwing radical politics.

Kramer played as Rage Against The Machine's special guest at the 2008 Democratic National Convention - an ironic turn of events, as the MC5 was the only to play at the DNC in Chicago in 1968. "The main difference, it seems to me, is that street demonstrations were actually a viable tactic in the 1960s in the anti-Vietnam and civil rights marches, but I honestly don't think they're so effective today. They serve a different purpose now," says Kramer. "[And] there were so many cameras everywhere [in Denver]. It's funny to think that the only footage we can find form the MC5's '68 performance is courtesy of the United States Department of Defense."

Wayne remains involved in music and politics today. He recently completed music and narration on the documentary "The Narcotic Farm," due for broadcast on PBS in late 2008. Vintage MC5 concerts, new concerts recordings and recent interviews with Wayne Kramer are all available on the Concert Vault.

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