Wayne Kramer of The MC5 Has Died Age 75: R.I.P.

Wayne Kramer, guitarist for Detroit proto-punk band The MC5 has died at age 75, leaving drummer Dennis Thompson as the last surviving member of this very influential band.

Kramer, along with Fred “Sonic” Smith, Rob Tyner, Michael Davis and Dennis Thompson formed the “Motor City 5” in 1963 but really hit their stride in 1968 as part of the same Detroit rock scene that produced The Stooges and The Rationals.

Signed to Elektra Records, they released their debut album, Kick Out The Jams, in 1969, a live album, recorded at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, that still demands to be heard 50+ years later.

After the band dissolved in the early 1970’s, Kramer was busted and incarcerated for selling drugs, spawning a “Free Wayne Kramer” movement by Patti Smith, who later married Wayne’s former bandmate Fred “Sonic” Smith. Kramer was released in 1979 and he has been musically active ever since.

Click here to read the 13th Floor interview with Wayne Kramer conducted by Ratso’s John Baker back in 2020. 

Click here to read more about the life and death of Wayne Kramer.