Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lincoln Park secures permanent MC5 collection

Lincoln Park secures permanent MC5 collection

By Jessica Strachan

After a wildly successful summer bringing back the sounds of the MC5 and kicking out the jams 50 years later, the 1960s rock legends now have a permanent display inside the Lincoln Park Historical Museum.

Museum Curator Jeff Day said nearly 80 percent of the retrospective pieces from the summer long exhibit commemorating the 50th year of MC5 have been returned to their owners, but a few key pieces will remain as a permanent fixture.

“So many people came forward to share their MC5-related memorabilia (and) so many great pieces that had been collected from up to five decades ago,” Day said about the exhibit that drew more than 1,000 visitors during normal hours each Wednesday and Saturday. "It was amazing and certainly generous of these folks to share with us and with the community at large. I think it speaks to the continued popularity of the MC5 and the amount of love that still exists for this ground-breaking band.”

Lincoln Park was the hometown of four of the band’s members: vocalist Rob Tyner, lead guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred “Sonic” Smith, and drummer Dennis Thompson, who let the band practice at his childhood home on Green Street.

Bassist Michael Davis, a native Detroiter, was attending Wayne State University when he joined the band in 1965 and they went on to make their mark in rock history.

The MC5 retrospective exhibition included an MC5 tribute concert held opening weekend, featuring “Machine Gun” Thompson once again behind the drum kit. The museum received hundreds of pieces, including photographs, album art, costume items and fan memorabilia to put on the display through Labor Day.

The backdrop of the exhibit was a black and white 9-foot-long poster of the band members' faces created in 1971 by Redford resident Robert Gutzeit, then a 17-year-old student at Thurston High School, which will be a highlight of the permanent collection, Day said.

The poster was based on a photograph by Leni Sinclair, renowned photographer of the musicians, who took part in the 50th celebration in Lincoln Park.

Sinclair donated several photographs of the band from their musical heyday, which also will be part of the permanent collection.

Along with other memorabilia and recordings, several original concert posters by artist Gary Grimshaw and early photos from Emil Bacilla — both Lincoln Park natives and high school friends with Rob Tyner — round out the permanent collection.

To kick off the permanent collection of the MC5 on display at the Lincoln Park Historical Museum, special guest speaker and writer Alana Paluszewski will present the program, “Before the Revolution: The MC5’s Downriver Years” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, discussing the band’s association with early business manager Ann Marston of Wyandotte, who was celebrated as a national champion archer and Miss Michigan in the 1950s.

Paluszewski also will sign copies of her biography, “Shooting Star: The Amazing Life of Ann Marston.”

The Lincoln Park Historical Museum, 1335 Southfield Road, is open 1-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. For more information, call 313-386-3137 or visit www.lphistorical.org.



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