Wayne Kramer of MC5 Has Died At Age 75 - Noise11.com
Wayne Kramer Facebook profile pic

Wayne Kramer Facebook profile pic

Wayne Kramer of MC5 Has Died At Age 75

by Paul Cashmere on February 3, 2024

in News

Wayne Kramer, co-founder and guitarist for the legendary MC5, has died at the age of 75.

Wayne co-founded MC5 in Lincoln Park, Michigan with Rob Tyner and the late Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, husband of Patti Smith. Fred passed away in 1994.

The best known MC5 song was the punk classic ‘Kick Out The Jams’.

MC5 changed the dynamic for bands to come. Their direction was adopted by The Stooges who also went on to become an icons of the punk era.

MC5 only release two studio albums ‘Back In The USA’ in 1970 and ‘High Time’ in 1971. The title ‘Back In The USA’ was the inspiration for Bruce Springsteen to tile his album ‘Born in the USA’.

While MC5’s two album never cracked the chart their 1969 live album ‘Kick Out the Jams’ reached number 30 in the USA.

In 2018 Kramer formed MC50 to mark the 50th anniversary of the band. The band featured Kim Thayil of Soundgarden and Billy Gould of Faith No More. The band toured Australia in 2020 with Alice Cooper. Wayne also contributed to Alice’s 2021 album ‘Detroit Stories’.

In a statement Alice said, “Today we lost longtime friend – and sometimes collaborator – Wayne Kramer of the MC5. RIP.”

In 2008 Kramer was special guest of Rage Against The Machine Tent State Music Festival to End The War in Denver. Tom Morello said today, “Brother Wayne Kramer was the greatest man I’ve ever know. He possessed a one of a kind mixture of deep wisdom & profound compassion, beautiful empathy and tenacious conviction. His band the MC5 basically invented punk rock music and was the only act to not chicken out and performed for the rioting protestors at the 1968 Dem National Convention. I’m pretty sure every album I’ve ever worked on the rawest fastest track had the working title “MC5” (“Sleep Now In The Fire” for example). Wayne came through personal trials of fire with drugs and jail time and emerged a transformed soul who went on to save countless lives through his tireless acts of service. He and his incredible wife Margaret founded @jailguitardoorsusa which founds music programs in prisons as life changing effective rehabilitation. I’ve played with Wayne in prisons and watched him transform lives, he was just unbelievable. Wayne had a soft heart but was also Detroit tough as nails. A couple months ago (at 75 years old) Wayne beat the crap out an intruder in his home that menaced his family. And whenever any charity or union or human rights activist event was coming up Wayne would always heed the call. ALWAYS. From our “Frostbite And Freedom” performances during the Madison union uprising to Wayne “Chainsaw” Kramer knee deep in fire ants in the 9th Ward in New Orleans post-Katrina reclaiming living spaces for those affected. But mostly Wayne was a great friend, a beautiful comrade, and an older brother who helped me to forgive myself for making mistakes, take chances with my music, and never be afraid to help those in need. The countless lives he’s touch, healed, helped and saved will continue his spirit and legacy. He was like a non-Tom Joad. Whenever and wherever any of us kick out the jams, Brother Wayne will be right there with us.”

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