Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Kick Out The Jams Motherfunsters!
Holy mother of God, if this footage of MC5 playing a university campus (in daylight, always a tough gig, I reckon) doesn't fire you up for a tough Wednesday then I truly don't know what will. It was filmed in a field in their home town of Detroit on 19 July, 1970
See Brother Wayne Kramer wring the neck of his guitar and sing Ramblin Rose is a strangulated soprano, shimmying like James Brown sneaking up on a golden egg-laying goose, then shaking his arse at the crowd, before rocking, in time with Fred 'Sonic' Smith like oil-pumps in the Texas fields.
That's all before lead singer Rob Tyner explodes, looking like a 50-year-old Noddy Holder with an afro, and slays the audience with the legendary Kick Out The Jams. The crowd are stunned by the visual and aural onslaught. And it stays just the right side of heavy rock for my tastes.
And look at the crowd! Wild freaks, White Panthers, Black Panthers, someone who looks like Rick Moranis air guitaring next to the Marshal stack, before eating an apple and drinking a jug of milk. It makes my hair stand on end, but not as much as Tyner's (who died at the age of 46 in 1991).
I'm going out on a limb now, but this could be the greatest recording of a live rock performance I've ever seen (though Iggy Pop at the 1970 Cincinnatti Pop Festival - MidWest, same year, a coincidence? - is totally wild too). Sit down with something strong, and if you don't love this, I'll give you your money back. G