*Poster by Carl Lundgren*
This summer rock music legends MC5 (The Motor City Five) will be honored with a 50-year retrospective exhibit and concert in their Detroit-area hometown of Lincoln Park, Michigan at the Lincoln Park Historical Museum. An open reception will be held July 11th with a concert July 12th. The exhibit will run through Labor Day, September 7th, with regular museum hours Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1:00 to 6:00 P.M. Admission to all events is free though donations to the Lincoln Park Historical Society are encouraged.
Emerging from metro Detroit’s fertile local garage rock scene of the 1960s, the MC5 launched themselves from the blue-collar town of Lincoln Park in 1965. Their career as a band ended in 1973. In between there were major label record deals, critical acclaim, world-wide tours and an ever-growing legacy and cultural relevancy that has outlived most of the band itself. Consisting of Rob Tyner (Derminer) (1944-1991) on lead vocals, Fred "Sonic" Smith (1949-1994) and Wayne Kramer (Kambes) (born 1948) on dueling lead guitars, Dennis "Machine Gun" Thompson (Tomich) (born 1948) on drums, and Michael Davis (1943-2012) on bass guitar, the group eventually recorded three studio albums and released several collector item 45 rpm vinyl record singles.
Their iconic, self-professed mantra and single, "Kick Out The Jams”, albums on both Atlantic and Elektra, and a devastating live show born in and around Lincoln Park and raised on the stage of Russ Gibb’s famed Grande Ballroom, where they regularly shared the bill with local legends Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, Iggy and the Stooges, and other Detroit-bred bands, helped land The Five on tours and concert bills with international rock royalty including The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Cream, The Yardbirds, and The Mothers of Invention. Moreover, high-profile gigs like their legendary performance in the face of, or perhaps in tandem with, a rioting mob at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago helped catapult the band’s high intensity image and aggressive political stance into the international consciousness. Subsequent European tours by The MC5 helped plant the seeds of high-energy rebellion that would manifest as the English punk scene of the mid 1970's. It is both their early roots and the lasting influence of The MC5 that will be honored and recognized this July 11th and 12th.
On Saturday, July 11th from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. a public reception will be held for the opening of the Exhibit “50 Years of the MC5” at the Historical Museum, housed in the city’s Depression–era post office building. The exhibit highlights iconic photos of the group taken by Detroit photographer Leni Sinclair and Lincoln Park-raised Emil Bacilla; original psychedelic posters by Carl Lundgren, and Gary Grimshaw, another Lincoln Park-bred lad; band memorabilia, including personal artifacts from the Derminer/Tyner family; and rare band-related artifacts from local collectors.
On Sunday, July 12th from 2:00 to 6:00 P.M. a concert and picnic will be held at the Lincoln Park Band Shell in Memorial Park on Fort Street at London. The historic band shell, built in 1955, is one of the earliest sites where the MC5 played. Bands schedule to perform include Timmy’s Organism, Rocket 455 and Chatoyant.
Former band members Wayne Kramer and Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson have been invited to attend, as have the families of those members who have passed on, Rob Tyner, Fred “Sonic” Smith and Michael Davis. While Kramer is unable to attend, Thompson will be in attendance at both the Saturday and Sunday events. During the afternoon concert, a “Key to the City” will be presented by Lincoln Park Mayor Tom Karnes to each band member or family in recognition of the homegrown musical brilliance the MC5 shared with the world. Food vendors will be on site at the park as well as picnic baskets encouraged.
The Lincoln Park Historical Museum is located at 1335 Southfield Rd, Lincoln Park, MI 48146
The Lincoln Park Band Shell in Memorial Park is located at 3240 Ferris Ave, Lincoln Park, MI 48146
Both days events are free to the public.
*Photo by : Leni Sinclair*