Monday, December 1, 2008
Michael Davis MC5 Evolutionist of the Month
MC5 "Come Together" live NYC March 1969
Michael Davis (born 5 June 1943 in Detroit, Michigan) is a bass guitarist, singer, songwriter and music producer.
He replaced original MC5 bassist Pat Burrows when singer Rob Tyner and guitarist Wayne Kramer decided that they liked Davis' style and wanted him in the band.
* Michael Davis, bass,
* Wayne Kramer, guitar,
* Fred "Sonic" Smith, guitar,
* Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson, drums, and
* Rob Tyner, vocals, .
Together they were the hardcore of the late 1960s musical revolution that began in the American Midwest. Formed in the fall of 1965, the MC5 created an explosive sound that put them at the forefront of the radical social and political scene in their native Detroit.
The MC5 are the proud forefathers of banned albums and censored lyrics and liner notes. As a result of this and their irreverence and anti-government messages, they brought on the ire of concert promoters and the police.
Davis spent seven years with Destroy All Monsters, penning the underground punk hits "Nobody Knows", "Meet the Creeper" ,"Little Boyfriend", "Rocking The Cradle" and "Fast City" among others. The band recorded and released on Cherry Red Records, toured the U.K., and then broke up.
Davis then moved to Arizona, where he played in Blood Orange, and then Rich Hopkins and Luminarios, the latter taking him back in to the studio to record several albums for Germany's Blue Rose Records. In the spring of 2003, Davis reunited with fellow surviving members Wayne Kramer and Dennis Thompson to play a show at London's legendary 100 Club as part of a promotion for an MC5 inspired line of apparel for Levi Strauss Vintage Clothing. This spawned a 200 city world tour and a trip back into the studio to write new songs.
Following a serious motorcycle crash on a Los Angeles freeway in May 2006, Davis along with his wife Angela Davis, launched a non-profit organization called the Music Is Revolution Foundation to support music education in public schools.
Volunteers Jake Cavaliere (The Lords of Altamont), Handsome Dick Manitoba (The Dictators), Steve Aoki (Dim Mak Records/Kid Millionaire), Pro-Skater Corey Duffel, Pennywise bassist Randy Bradbury and Obey Giant's Shepard Fairey work alongside Davis. Their goal is to raise funds and to increase public awareness about the values of music education.
Few people realize how music has been proven to increase cognitive ability and test scores, reduce absenteeism and drop-out rates, Music education also helps people be more tolerant toward those who are "different". Musicians and performing "stars" have often been eccentric, misunderstood, and victims of violence and deception.
Music is Revolution Foundation hopes to inspire a new generation of future voters to learn about other cultures and other times, develop greater understanding of the world around them, and express themselves through music.
After all, as a general rule, it's better for young people to join a band than a gang. Suicidal kids have described being snapped out of their depression, and their acute sense of total isolation, when they hear some punk band sing about the exact same shit he or she's going through.
When you discover that ancient, classical, and modern composers and music performers share many of the same feelings, dreams, and struggles, across both history and geography, you're bound to feel much better.
Davis also produces records for garage and punk bands, including The Mothers Anger (on Dionysus Records), the Lords of Altamont, Dollhouse, Tokyo Sex Destruction, and OJM. Mike Davis produces records for The Lords Of Altamont, and on August 20th, 2007 joined The Lords Of Altamont as their new bassist. He currently lives in Oregon.
It is my great honor to welcome Michael Davis as the Evolutionionist of the month for December and deliver this interview to all his friends ands fans. Very few people ever show as much dedicated love for art and music as Michael has. Those who have known him have truly been blessed.
Now, KICK OUT THE JAMS MOTHER FUCKER!!!
with Michael Davis
NYC PUNK ROCK EVOLUTION FOUNDATION: What are you proudest of...?
MICHAEL DAVIS: In my music career, creating something totally unique and original.
NYC PUNK: Any regrets?
MICHAEL: Hundreds, but that’s water under the bridge. You can’t redo what’s already happened.
NYC PUNK: What do you still look to accomplish?
MICHAEL: Art; my painting career is just beginning again. I’m juiced to show what I can do with a brush and canvas. I was at Wayne State University on a fine arts scholarship when I dropped out of school to join the MC5. It’s cool to be back at the easel.
NYC PUNK: Any advice to the young artists?
MICHAEL: Keep your eye on your own ideals. Don’t let fashion dictate. Everyone is waiting to see what has never been seen.
NYC PUNK: Any thoughts on the government bailouts?
MICHAEL: I certainly wouldn’t want to see our way of life destroyed completely. So, there are traditions that are dear to me, but where excesses have ruled, we need to get a grip. Of course if the government wants to bail me out, then I am all for it.
NYC PUNK: I understand that you are trying to help bailout school music programs. How is that going?
MICHAEL: Slow. I wish I could wave a magic wand over the system and show people how important it is for a kid to experience music. It might be the greatest healing force we could hope for. Music reaches beyond racism, sexism, and discriminatory thinking. It creates pure freedom and joy. We share it or keep it to ourselves. It has value on all levels. My dream is to have a regular Lollapalooza or Ozzfest type tour, the M.I.R. Caravan, to raise the money to help all of the teachers who have applied for mini-grants. Think of how much good we could do.
NYC PUNK: Who or what is the love of your life----
MICHAEL: Me. Or let me say this; I love my life, and that gives me a good platform to love everything else.
NYC PUNK: Name one Instrument, one 8-track, one kind of food, you'd want to have on a deserted island.
MICHALE: An acoustic guitar, Supertramp’s "Breakfast in America" [album], and New York Pizza. When does the ship sail?
NYC PUNK: Who was the coolest musician you ever knew?
MICHAEL: That’s easy; Fred “Sonic” Smith.
NYC PUNK: Who do you miss the most?
MICHAEL: My parents. It’s funny because when they were alive, I was in a hurry to get away from them. Now that they are gone, I can’t tell them what I’m thinking.
NYC PUNK: What was the lowest point in your life?
MICHAEL: The day I learned my daughter had died from an overdose.
NYC PUNK: What was the highest point in your life---
MICHAEL: My wife telling me YES.
NYC PUNK: Thank you so much Michael for all you have done. And we wish you all the best in your future endeavors. You truly are an evolutionist.
MC5 "Looking At You" live 1970