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The politics of MC5

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From the pen of HW Saxton in a recent post on Cooper’s recent comments.

To nitpick just a bit: The MC5 were not a political band. John Sinclair, the 5’s manager foisted his politics upon them.

He saw the band as a way of furthering HIS own political agenda regarding “The White Panther Party”. Also a good way to gain free publicity for his investment, Hence the MC5’s high profile gig at the 1968 DNC in Chicago.He was a businessman after all despite his leftist posturing.

Not much of the 5’s oeuvre delves into politics.I mean,their biggest po-litical statement on “Kick Out The Jams” is the great John Lee Hooker tune “Motor City Is Burning” written well before any of the band members could probably even spell politics.

A few of their tunes did touch on some political issues but not much more than any other group of the time. “Gotta Keep Movin'” from the “High Time” LP springs readily to mind as one example.

The group was much,much more concerned with putting on a good show,scoring with the ladies, driving around in their hot rods,jamming and partying.Typical stuff like that. Not any political posturing.

Having met Michael Davis(the ex-bassist for the MC5 & Destroy All Monsters)on several occasions and interviewing him once for a punk type ‘Zine back in the early 90’s,he confirmed all of this and more for me.

In regards to this post: I realize that music and politics have always been very
intertwined since the advent of recorded sounds up to this very day. That is all well and fine if that is what you like. Some artists have even mixed up the two quite well(DOA,Sex Pistols,Bob Marley, The DK’s,Clash,etc.)being both highly entertaining & enlightening to various degrees.

On a personal level however IMO,I truly feel that entertainers should be just entertainers and let the politicians be politicians.I like to enjoy music as an escape from the grim reality that is the political arena & vice-versa.

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