Wednesday, October 19, 2016

MC5 nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Detroit rock icons the MC5 have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s classic of 2017 (Photo courtesy of Elektra Records) 

By Gary Graff, The Oakland Press.

If all goes well, Detroit’s MC5 may be kicking out the jams at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony next April in Brooklyn.
The legendary rock band from Allen Park -- long considered one of the most significant snubs in the Rock Hall’s history -- is one of 19 acts on the ballot for the class of 2017. It’s the group’s second nomination, following a nod in 2003. Ballots are being mailed to voters now, and the public can also vote at
The inductees will be announced during early December.
Despite the group’s legacy as counter culture revolutionaries, guitarist Wayne Kramer, says he’d like to see the MC5 get its due from the music industry “establishment.” “It’s a good thing to be recognized for your work,” Kramer says by phone from Los Angeles, where he now resides. “I had a vision for the band when I started it, and being in a hall of fame was never part of it. “The band never achieved great commercial success and wealth and any of that, but I think our contribution was significant.”

Launched during 1964 in Lincoln Park, the MC5 released three albums -- the first a live set in 1969 titled after the enduring anthem “Kick Out The Jams” -- and were also controversial counter culture activists, performing in Chicago during the violent 1968 Democratic National Convention and serving as the house band for the White Panther Party founded by band manager John Sinclair.
“The music business was afraid of us and what we represented,” Kramer says. “What we represented was young people of our generation who ha serious concerns about a war that they could not justify, about people of color being treated differently than white people, about sexual mores that weren’t consistent with their humanity.
“These were subjects the music industry didn’t want to confront, so it was much easier to just band us from the radio and kick us off their record labels and hope that we would go away. But the fact that we were the tip of the spear for our generation didn’t go away, and the musicians themselves have been the ones that have continued to be the MC5’s champions, right up to today.”
Kramer and drummer Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson are the sole surviving members of the MC5’s original lineup. Singer Rob Tyner died in 1993, guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith passed away in 1994 and bassist Michael Davis died in 2012. Kramer says that the absence of his comrades would make an induction “bittersweet,” but he and Thompson will be happy to represent them that night.
“I talk to Dennis fairly regularly. We’re still close,” say Kramer, who’s working primarily with film music these days as well as his Jail Guitar Doors initiative to use music as a form of rehabilitation in correctional facilities, including in Saginaw. “I’m sure it would be very important to both of us. It wouldn’t be a bad thing.”
Other Rock Hall nominees this year include Pearl Jam, Jane`s Addiction, Journey, the J. Geils Band, Yes, the Zombies, Tupac Shakur, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Steppenwolf, the Cars and Krafwerk. More information about the Rock Hall and in the nominating process can be found at

(Head nod and thanks to Adam Brock for the tip. Cheers Bra')


Friday, September 30, 2016

'Danny Says' Documentary of Danny Fields feat. John Sinclair

Danny Says is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. Danny Says follows Fields from Phi Beta Kappa whiz-kid, to Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond.  Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, has turned out to have been prescient.  Danny Says is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant garde turning prophetic, as Fields looks to the next generation.  
Danny Says is largely crafted from over 250 hours of present-day interviews and items from Danny Fields’ immense archive (thousands of photographs, audio cassettes, ephemera). 
Interviews conducted for Danny Says (not necessarily starring): Michael Alago, Eric Andersen, Penny Arcade, Scott Asheton, Roberta Bayley, Jim Bessman, Susan Blonde, Justin Bond, Leee Black Childers, Judy Collins, Alice Cooper, Mike Diana, Myk Fisher, Danny Goldberg, Bob Gruen, Duncan Hannah, Steve Harris, Fayette Hauser, Kristian Hoffman, Jac Holzman, Billy James, Louis Edward Jordan, Larry Kaplan, Lenny Kaye, Wilson Kidde, Howie Klein, Wayne Kramer, Jon Landau, Richard Lloyd, John Lomax III, Pat Loud, Gary Lucas, Steve Mackay, Dick & Zoe Manitoba, Jim Marshall, Gillian McCain, Monte Melnick, John Cameron Mitchell, Paul Morrissey, Billy Name, David Neuman, David Peel, Dennis Peron,  Iggy Pop, Tommy Ramone, Randi Reisfeld, Jonathan Richman, Yvonne Ruskin, Natalie Schlossman, John Sinclair, Seymour Stein, Arturo Vega, Loudon Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Jann Wenner,  James Williamson, & Mary Woronov.
"Danny Says" is the title of a Ramones song written by Joey Ramone, a Phil Spector production from the End of the Century album. Danny Says is proud to be fiscally sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts and Artspire.
(Article to the left; Paul Nelson’s Confessions of a Company Freak, New York Scenes, 1969)


Monday, September 26, 2016

The Last love-in: Celebrating John Sinclair's 75th Birthday


Celebrating John Sinclair's 75th Birthday

A group of southeastern Michigan music professionals are throwing a 75th birthday bash for our beloved John Sinclair. The celebration will be held at a private home outside Ann Arbor. The date is October 1st, 2016. (John's actual birthday is October 2nd.) The goal is to be able to give John a check for a minimum of $75,000.

Perhaps no one has had more of an impact on Michigan's music scene than John Sinclair, from the Detroit Artists Workshop, the Grande Ballroom, managing The MC-5, producing and recording the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festivals and all those he is still influencing today.

John has been dealing with rigors of diabetes for some time. The disease has cost him physically and making a living has been difficult. He’s very excited at the prospect of this event and would like the proceeds to go to his own John Sinclair Foundation which currently pays his living expenses in Amsterdam. 100% of the event’s proceeds will go to John Sinclair. There will be a strict accounting and a tax consultant may be employed.

Organizers involved are: Robert Jr. Whitall, Big City Rhythm & Blues magazine; John Carver of Second Chance and the Nectarine Ballroom; Dennis Hayes, Attorney At Law; Mike Griffin of Brainstorm Graphics, IDOZ, and Garden Fresh; Steve Wild of Grace & Wild Studios and Ringside Productions; Third Coast Compassion Center of Ypsilanti; and Depot Town Dispensary. All event promoters are donating their services.



An intimate House Party for John Sinclair's 75th Birthday

6200 Geddes Road

Saturday, October 1st

VIP refreshments/party favors: 4-6PM

Music: 7:00 pm-Midnight

Musical Director Don Was with the Detroit Blues Scholars featuring Tino Gross, Jeff "Baby" Grand, Johnny Evans, and Phil Hale plus special guests Harmonica Shah, Larry McCray, Laith Al Saadi, Mary Ramirez, and 
very special guests Bettye LaVette & her band
plus DJ Linda Lexy

“It’s Time For Us To Take Care Of John"

$75 for the musical event & poster
$175 food, music & signed poster& 1 VIP passes
$275 food, music & signed poster & 2 VIP passes
$750 food, music, & signed poster, book, CD & 4 VIP passes

Net proceeds go to the John Sinclair Foundation

Tickets Available In Advance—Reserve Yours Now!

or Cash Only at the Gate

BYOB and lawn chair

For More Information;


Contact: Robert Jr Whitall-248-761-7284

John Sinclair at 75: A Birthday Celebration - October 2nd.

The Detroit Artists Workshop and friends present a public recital on the occasion of John Sinclair’s seventy-fifth birthday celebration. The event will be held at the Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth Street in Detroit on Sunday, October 2nd from 2-5 pm. Suggested donation of $10 at the door. 

This 75th celebration of Detroit poet John Sinclair will feature music and poetry under the direction of Ron English and RJ Spangler. The Detroit Artists Workshop Band will include bandleader Ron English on guitar, John Dana on double bass, RJ Spangler & Alan Colding on drums and Issa Abramaleem on percussion with special guest Wendell Harrison on tenor saxophone.

Poets will include John Sinclair, Bill Harris, Ron English, George Tysh, Robin Eichele, ML Liebler, and Melba Joyce Boyd. Most of these poets and musicians have shared stages in Detroit together for more than 50 years, starting at the Detroit Artists Workshop at 1252 West Forest in 1964.

For questions please call Cary Loren 248-968-1190

Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St, Detroit, MI 48202 Phone: 313.831.1250


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The John Sinclair Foundation - Indiegogo Crowd-Fund Campaign

Coming soon on September 23rd - 2016.

The John Sinclair Foundation:

"The purpose of the John Sinclair Foundation is to insure the preservation of the creative works of John Sinclair, to make them available to the public and for posterity, and to support the artistic and cultural projects of John Sinclair including and the Bohemian Embassy in Amsterdam."
Please share the 'coming soon' link and nudge the others to sign up for the newsletter, for full of details and previews of his latest albums, books, posters, gigs, interviews and radio shows.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Interview with Marshall Allen

Sun Ra Commander Marshall Allen

Marshall Allen is 92 years young and remains as sharp as the notes that explode from his alto saxophone. The Kentucky native joined the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra in 1958 and has been steering the ship ever since his mentor (and the band’s namesake) died in 1993. Sun Ra, of course, remains one of the most innovative and enigmatic artists who ever lived.
While Duke Ellington and Count Basie became global royalty, Sun Ra – born Herman Poole Blount in Alabama, 1914 (or on Saturn during an unspecified millennium, take your pick) – cloaked himself in the name and imagery of the Egyptian god of rays. Endless albums such as The Nubians of Plutonia (1966),Space is the Place (1972), and Celestial Love (1982) outline an astro and Afrocentric philosophy inextricably linking the black experience to the spaceways.

The Arkestra touches down locally this Saturday for RAS Day, the third annual festival lovingly reared by married hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm. The family-friendly day celebrates the vibrant, diverse, and creative community that the pair of Chaka and Qi Dada have cultivated since arriving locally in 2010. Allen and the Arkestra constitute an intergalactic get for Riders, RAS Day, and Austin itself.

Read the interview here:


Friday, August 19, 2016

Radio Free Amsterdam - Latest shows August 2016