Michael Davis, bassist for proto-punk icons The MC5 has died at the age of 68.
Davis was pronounced dead on Friday after having been in the Enloe Medical Center in Chico, CA for weeks battling liver disease. The official cause of death is liver failure.
The MC5 formed in 1964 with Davis joining a year later. Their aggressive style is often cited as a major influence for the punk movement that would follow almost a decade later thanks to their songs tackling issues such as the civil rights movement and financial equality, the latter of which would still be relevant almost fifty years later with the “Occupy” movement.
After the death of Rob Tyner and Fred “Sonic” Smith in the 90s, the MC5 remained silent for a while, but reformed in 2004 as DKT-MC5 (the DKT stood for Davis, Kramer, Thompson – the remaining three members).
Davis had spent time in prison on narcotics charges and had had trouble with heroin in the 60s leading him to be kicked out of the band at one point.
In 2006 he founded the Music Is Revolution Foundation, which supports music education in public schools.
He is survived by his wife Angela, their three sons and a daughter from a previous marriage.
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Not familiar with the MC5? Prepare to have your ears blown off: