Sonically Speaking, a Tale of Revolution and Rock'n'roll
Callwood interviews the band's surviving members and close associates to create a compelling firsthand picture of the MC5's history and its music. He introduces readers to the band's original members, Rob Tyner, Wayne Kramer, Fred "Sonic" Smith, Michael Davis, and Dennis Thompson, and links the power of the MC5 phenomenon to its early days as the raucous house band of Detroit's legendary Grande Ballroom. Callwood also traces the MC5's revolutionary political bent through their relationship with friend—and later, manager—John Sinclair, their firsthand experience of the 1967 Detroit riots, and the formation of Sinclair's White Panther Party. Callwood surveys the three classic albums that came out of the band's blend of political protest and hard driving rock 'n' roll, and he details the later projects of the ex-MC5 members, including Sonic's Rendezvous Band, the influential art-punk band Destroy All Monsters, and Wayne Kramer's solo recordings. He also recounts their personal struggles with drugs, incarceration, and estrangement from one another, as well as the untimely deaths of Smith and Tyner in the 1990s.
With the remaining members of the MC5 still making music and coming off a hugely successful string of performances as the DKT/MC5 in the last decade, Callwood proves that the band's story and their music are as intriguing and relevant as ever. Anyone interested in musical history, Detroit rock 'n' roll, or American popular culture of the 1960s and beyond will appreciate this candid and fascinating look at the MC5, which was originally published in the UK and is available for the first time in the US in this updated version.
About the Author
"Callwood has done a great job of providing an excellent rendition of an amazing story, and it's high time too."—Paul Raggity, Rock Sound
"The MC5's story has all the elements of a great rock biography, and author Brett Callwood has done a stupendous job in Sonically Speaking of bringing that story to life."
"Brett Callwood's new book spills the beans with firsthand interviews and an enthusiastic take on their incredible career, from revolution and imprisonment, to drugs, death, and glorious reformation."—Jo Kendall, Kerrang!
"Sincere and straightforward."—Iggy Pop, is an American rock musician
"Brett Callwood has written-and written well-the long-awaited definitive biography of the MC5, nailing down the important information in the correct order, paying close attention to the actual facts, as opposed to accepted myths and legends, and telling the true story of the MC5 from beginning to end. If I enjoyed it this much, how you think you're gonna like it?"—John Sinclair, former MC5 manager
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