If you were to sift through the DNA of Rock n Roll and look for a gene that was strongly linked to that which we call Punk Rock, you would find something called The MC5. The MC5 were a rock band that pushed the limits of hard rock in the late 1960’s. For lack of a better description the MC5 shocked the living shit out of the establishment with its hardcore style. The group was extremely political even for a rock band of the 1960’s. They went as far as creating their own radical anarchist faction and called it “The White Panthers”
The White Panthers Manifesto
- Full endorsement and support of the Black Panther Party’s 10-point program-platform
- Total assault on the culture by any means necessary, including rock and roll, dope, and fucking in the streets.
- Free exchange of energy and materials—we demand the end of money!
- Free food, clothes, housing, dope, music, bodies, medical care—everything free for every body!
- Free access to information media—free the technology from the greed creeps!
- Free all schools and all structures from corporate rule—turn the buildings over to the people at once!
- Free time & space for all humans—dissolve all unnatural boundaries!
- Free all prisoners everywhere—they are our comrades!
- Free all soldiers at once—no more conscripted armies!
- Free the people from their phony “leaders”—everyone must be a leader—freedom means free every one! All Power to the People
The band released Kick Out the Jams in 1969. The MC5 was so hot in popularity that they graced the cover of “Rolling Stone Magazine.” The album was extremely controversial for a lyric “Kick Out the Jams Motherfuckers.” Suprisingly this hindered radio play.
John Sinclair, Manager of the MC5 was arrested and sentenced to 10 years for selling 2 marijuana joints to an undercover narcotics agent. Ouch! The band had a grueling live tour campaign that led them to pure exhaustion. Lead singer Rob Tyner would tote an unloaded rifle on stage. The band would fake an actual assassination of Tyner, where an unseen sniper would fire rounds during their performance and Tyner would collapse on stage. Drugs and enter-conflict led to the original MC5 breaking up in 1972.