Thursday, September 13, 2018


When people remember MC5/Sonic's Rendezvous Band guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, they usually remember that he is a legend of the Detroit rock music scene, but few know about his obscure roots to Lincoln County, West Virginia.

Smith, who died in 1994, was part of the MC5 (Motor City 5), a group that helped define the power rock side of the Motor City sound that rose in the latter part of the 1960s.

While mostly active through the mid-1960s through the late 1970s, the guitarist — who was honored during the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame class of 2018 induction ceremony — influenced generations of rock, punk and indie rock musicians.

“But he was more than the MC5,” his widow, the songwriter, poet Patti Smith explained. “He was a Detroit boy, but his roots, his connection with West Virginia, were very strong.”

Fred’s family came from Appalachia. His mother was the daughter of a coal-miner-turned-farmer who lived in Lincoln County. Fred’s father Dewey came from Kentucky.

The guitarist’s parents lived in Lincoln County, where in September 1948, he was born.

Fred was very young when his parents went north to Michigan to find work. Post-World War II, the auto industry was booming. Thousands migrated from the southern states to the north for work, and Fred grew up far away from the hills of West Virginia.

Read More Here  West Virginia Music Hall of Fame

2018 West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame Induction Vignette
Produced by Brainwrap Productions
Script by Mary Lee, Michael Lipton and Gavin Wissen
Narration by Larry Groce
Research Gavin Wissen

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Michael Fred and Dennis @West Park Ann Arbor

The melody is soft and lilting in direct contrast with the lyrics

When we recorded this song I remember how smooth the track went in the session. The vocals were done another time and Rob told me later how difficult it was for him to get that down pat. Over all one our best efforts.. D

People talkin 'bout solutions, over and over
'Bout how we need a revolution, over and over
I was talking 'bout ecology, over and over
'Bout how we'll be saved by technology, over and over
While the cat next door spends all his time
Trying to think up new antisocial crimes
I said no, I said hang on a minute now
I set let me outta here
I said no, no, no
People talking revolution, over and over
About a mass execution, over and over
Well I was working in a factory, over and over
Just trying to make it satisfactory, over and over
But all these inclinations toward manic frustration
I want my vaccination against castration
Vietnam, what a sexy war
Uncle Sam's a pimp, wants us to be whores,
I said no, I said I can't take much more of this
You better let me outta here
I said no, no, no
Oh you see I need a release for my frustration
Oh don't you see I can't hold my aggravation, no, no, no
I see people dyin', over and over
Why don't I sit around crying, over and over
I see people taking, over and over
Why don't I sit around waiting, over and over
The cop on the street wants us down on our knees
The president says we've got to have peace
The other cat says we need our liberation
The hippies telling us we're in the love generation
I said whoa, I said hang on a minute now
This can't go on much longer
I said whoa, whoa, whoa
Over and over, over and over
Over and over, over and over
Songwriters; Fred Sonic Smith
Over & Over lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Saturday, September 8, 2018


Jean-François Letellier‎
Happy Birthday , my Friend !!! ;-)
You're really the only one standing up!!! ;-)
And to stay right!!! ;-)
To keep the state of mind of the beginning!!! B-) B-) B-)
Without any compromise!!! ;-)
Authentic!!! B-) B-) B-)

Giglio Thibault Di Cori
Happy birthday 70 YEARS today 😉 Dennis Mgt legend Drummer from THE MC5 <3 br="">

Fix Pilot Happy birthday! I really appreciated meeting you at the MC5 exhibit in Lincoln Park a couple years ago. You are a deep and gracious man.

Joshua Jaggers Brilliance. MC5 are an inspiration to me. Thompson you rule! MC5 always and forever.

Don Dissension Much respect, Machinegun...happy birthday once again!!

Luis Accorsi Dennis, you are the "Real Article"! All the best this year and always.

John Rooney A very happy 70th Birthday to Dennis Mgt Thompson!

Tom Sailor HBD MGT! Keep on Rockin!

Noemi Munguia Tinker Happy Belated Birthday, Dennis from Texas

Jerry Quinlan Happy Belated Birthday, Dennis !!!

Bill Nuttle Happy Birthday Dennis

Charles Lawrence Happy Birthday!

Simon De La Mer Yes man. The MC5 still stand at the top of the pile in my humble opinion. I don't see contemporary band kicking out ANY JAMS at all. Is no one angry anymore. Are we all so bored?

‎Murli Pareek‎ Wish you a very very happy birthday sir

Douglas Q. Phase Happy Birthday to the great Dennis Machinegun Thompson of the Mc5!

‎Butch Ford‎ Happy Birthday Dennis! Many, many more!! Blessings from the Middle Kingdom!!!

Eric Davidson Happy Birthday to one bad MF, MC5 drummer, Dennis Machinegun Thompson!

Peter Colpack Happy 70th Dennis Machinegun Thompson!!!!!!!! I'm sending my Love and {{{GoodVibes}}} from Bean Town

Evan Rock Richards Superb! Wishing you the happiest of Birthdays. Thank you for the fantastic music, much love & respect from Melbourne, Australia

Maureen Lynn Gaubatz Happy birthday 🎂

Marco Berard
Happy birthday Machinegun!!

Alison Manders A belated Happy Birthday, MGT. 😘

Debbie Compton Happy birthday!!!

Peter Magnusson
Happy B day Dennis Machinegun Thompson The best drummer!

Billy Kerns Rock royalty.

Joey Image · Happy birthday greetings D!

The Flower Children Of Tomorrow Happy 70th Birthday Dennis Machinegun Thompson!!!!!!!!!

‎Simon Carbonell‎  FELICIDADES DENNIS!!!

Rob Basso Happy 70th Birthday to Dennis Machinegun Thompson!!!!

Johnny Bee Badanjek Hanging with Dennis (Machine Gun) Thompson from The MC5 at The People's Arts Festival back in the day, at The Russell Industrial Center! Kick out art people! Hot damn! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DENNIS!!

Josh Strain Happy B-Day , Dennis Machinegun Thompson !! Still KICKIN' OUT THE JAMS , MOFOS !!

Jason MacDonald Happy 70'th Dennis Thompson. Have a good one my friend.

The Eye Happy Birthday, Dennis!

Pete Plesmid Hope it was A Fun Day Dennis =)

Mark Barrows Happy Birthday!..Machine..Gun..Thompson! Have a Great Day..And a wicked Nite!!✊👌✌!!!

David Clark Happy birthday Machine Gun from all of us here in New Zealand

Abby Ward Happiest of Dayz to you Dennis !!!!

MeMe King Happy, happy birthday, Dennis! :-)

Roberto Calabrò Happy Birthday, Machine Gun!

Nick Wieszkowiak Happy birthday dennis

Fred Tiensivu Yes happy birthday!

Pamela Sherock Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 2, 2018


Some of the best songs I ever played drums on with the MC5...totally progressive and brand new cut in England...these songswere ahead of their time...
Fred lead and rhythm guitar, Wayne on bass/piano, Rob vocals, and myself drums no Mike Davis. Dennis Thompson

Freak Flag Recordings
Published on Sep 2, 2018

After hunting this down for years I finally found the Gold Soundtrack that is known to contain the final studio recordings of the MC5.

Oddly enough the MC5 song "Gold" doesn't even appear on the LP which is a shame because it is personally one of my favourite MC5 songs and may have been a glimpse of what "Live on Saturn" (the proposed 4th LP) could have sounded like. What we are treated to instead are two free form jam instrumental workouts.

Also worth noting is that the version of the song Gold used in the actual film is a different mix, has an extra verse and is quicker in tempo. The Babes In Arms version of the same song is itself referred to as a "special edit" according to the Babes in Arms sleeve notes. It would be great to see a 10" of this one day with both versions of Gold, Train Music and Inside Out.

The tracklisting on the Purity Accuracy boxset has "Train Music" but this is actually "Gold" inaccurrately titled (pardon the pun!)

00:00 Gold - "special edit" from the Babes In Arms LP / Boxset - Not on the soundtrack
03:05 Train Music - from the soundtrack LP
08:08 Inside Out - from soundtrack LP
11:27 Gold - "alt mix" from the film - Not on the soundtrack LP




This song was written by Rob Tyner and myself in the band house in Detroit. Becky was sitting in the corner and Rob was at his drafting table. I used to visit Rob a lot and he was always working on some songs. Very productive time for Tyner 1968-69.

Stopped by one night and Rob forever in an efferescent mood, smiling ear to ear, hands me a joint and says "check this out!"

"Dennis you know how songs are all verse chorus bridge then verse chorus and out"? "This format is boring isn't it Dennis?" I replied, "Yeah kinda." Rob then showed me something brand new...

The lyrics were 3/4 finished, and the song was about the US Army Draft. The song became Human Being Lawnmower...

Rob wanted me to think in a new format. He sang me a line while playing drums with his hands on his thighs. Then he told me that this song will played as an ensemble orchestral piece.

Rob asked me if I could drum just to his lyrics and ignore the bass and guitars. He said take your cues for your accents from the vocal line.  My accents were to run underneath his vocal to really make the lyrics pop!

The Human Being Lawnmower was symbolic of a machine chopping up young soldiers and turning them into cannon fodder. It took some rehearsing but after due diligence it became a very cool finished song.

All you rockers out there, this is one of the most classic methods of the lyricist and the drummer together creating a song.. Did this with Rob On Kick Out the Jams, Future Now, and Starship. More to come about working with Fred...

Human Being Lawnmower

Lyrics/Rob Tyner

Can you hear me?
Hope you can
Listen here closely
You'll understand
There's an ancient race of killer apes
They use the thigh bone

Millimeter by millimeter
Millimeter by millimeter

Six times hot as the sun
Didn't mean to hurt anyone
Didn't mean to hurt anyone

Sorry, sorry, yeah
Don't try to force them
To help them
Do what they do

So they'll hunt and they'll hound you
chase and surround you
till you're standing before 
the human being lawnmower
chop chop chop chop...

Saturday, August 25, 2018


Ascension: Dennis Thompson Michael Davis and Fred Sonic Smith

The MC5 split on 31st Dec 1972 and Ascension was formed in the months after. Ascension, consisted of Fred "Sonic" Smith, Dennis Thompson, Michael Davis and John Hefty, played this show in 1973.

Machinegun: After the MC5 broke up, about six months later, I was living in Detroit. Fred and I were hanging together a lot and we began Ascension, named after Coltrane's legendary song. Ascension meaning to rise from the ashes so to speak.. 

We rehearsed in my attic in an old-fashioned two-story brick house, the old well-built ones in Detroit.

Well, we put out the word to Rob and WK, "Would you like to join our band?" They both declined. Read More

Fred "Sonic" Smith - Guitar / Vocals
Dennis "Machine Gun" Thompson - Drums
Michael Davis - Vocals / Keys
John Hefti - Bass

01. Summer Cannibals
02. Get Ready
03. Vulva
04. Mean So Much
05. Undertow
06. Gotta Keep Movin'

But we did make an attempt to put the band (MC5) back together. The three of us were up in that attic rehearsing and sweating to death in 100° temps. We were all in great physical shape and drug free.

Unfortunately the band only played a few gigs and then we all moved on to other bands. Ron Asheton, Jimmy Recca and I formed NEW ORDER and Fred formed Sonic's Rendezvous with our pals Scott Morgan, Scott Asheton and Gary Rasmussen.

Michael Davis Fred Sonic Smith Ascension Time photo: DK Shirley

In his spoken intro to one of the pieces, Smith expresses some of the bitterness he and his bandmates felt in the wake of the Five's implosion: "A few years ago we did a thing called the MC5.

A lot of people talked about it when it was happening and they said we were doomed, just because we did what we thought was right for us. I never did believe we were doomed, I mean, it was just someone's words...because music lives on if you keep lovin' it."  Fred Sonic Smith

Read more Ken Shimamoto

We still love it Fred kotj -D

Sunday, July 22, 2018


This one-of-a-kind reference investigates the music and the musicians that set the popular trends of the last half century in America.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


The MC5 was founded on the notion that rules are to be broken and the 5 could change the world with their music.

"We were the undisputed heavyweights of Detroit in 1966 bar none, and I was proud to be a part of this squad. Damn proud"…Dennis Machinegun Thompson

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...