By DONNA BALANCIA
Wayne Kramer has put together and will tour a “supergroup,” of musicians to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MC5 album Kick Out the Jams.
The new band, called MC50, is comprised of MC5 founder Kramer, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Brendan Canty of Fugazi, Dug Pinnick of King’s X, and Marcus Durant of Zen Guerilla. The supergroup launches the U.S. tour in September and wraps Oct. 27 in Detroit, where the MC5 originated.
Kramer has also recruited the only other living member of the punk progenitors, drummer Dennis Thompson, who will come on board the tour for a few dates.
Kramer, who has been an influential figure in the counterculture revolution, has had his share of good and bad experiences in life. His band, MC5, was an originator of punk rock and he has been celebrated by generations of musicians for for his musical prowess.
He has been toying with the idea of putting together a supergroup, at one point considering a band with Mike Watt and Mike Doughty.
Kramer spent several years in prison for a harsh drug charge and The Clash wrote a song about his unfortunate troubles, called “Jail Guitar Doors.” Time in jail gave Kramer a new point of view and he went on to found the charity Jail Guitar Doors USA, a non-profit group that brings guitars and music into prisons. Last year, the group celebrated a milestone when it visited its 100th prison.
The tour coincides with Kramer’s upcoming autobiography, The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5 and My Life of Impossibilities.