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Saturday, February 3, 2024

Wayne Kramer, who helped 'Kick Out the Jams,' has died


Wayne Kramer in 2018. Creative Commons photo by Frank Schwichtenberg, details here. 

Wayne Kramer of the band the MC5 have died. The New York Times article notes:

"Its debut, 'Kick Out the Jams,' a live set recorded at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1968, is considered one of the most influential albums of its era, and inspired generations of musicians, including the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and Queens of the Stone Age.

"Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine said on Instagram on Friday that Mr. Kramer and the MC5 'basically invented punk rock music'.”

The band had various connections to rock history. Fred "Sonic" Smith, the other guitarist, was married to Patti Smith, the writer and singer. John Sinclair served as the band's manager. 

But of course none of that is why I mention Mr. Kramer here. 

As the title of my post notes, "Kick out the Jams" is referenced in Illuminatus! That occurs in the first novel, when Joe Malik meets John Dillinger, and Dillinger explains that rock music is another way the Illuminati exert power:

Dillinger laughed. "Yes," he said. "I'm the president of Laughing Buddha Jesus Phallus Inc. You've seen them— 'If it's not an LBJP it's NOT an L.P.'?

"Laughing Buddha Jesus Phallus?" Joe exclaimed. "My God, you put out the best rock in the country! The only rock a man my age can listen to without wincing."

"Thanks," Dillinger said modestly. "Actually, the Illuminati own the companies that put out most of the rock. We started Laughing Buddha Jesus Phallus to counterattack. We were ignoring that front until they got the MC-5 to cut a disc called 'Kick Out The Jams' just to taunt us with old, bitter memories. So we came back with our own releases, and the next thing I knew I was making bales of money from it. We've also fed information, through third parties, to Christian Crusade in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so they could expose some of what the Illuminati are doing in the rock field. You've seen the Christian Crusade publications—Rhythm, Riots and Revolution, and Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, and so forth?"

In Illuminatus!, the Justified Ancients of Mummu were the first anarchists, the group battling the Illuminati. And the Christian Crusade was a genuine right wing church in Tulsa, where I grew up, and the publications John Dillinger cites are real books. I visited the church once and knew a kid at school who went there. 

1 comment:

Van Scott said...

I grew up in the Detroit area and seeing them perform live for the first time was one of the most powerful musical experiences of my life. They were definitely a band to be experienced live. Their recordings captured only a fraction of the intensity that they generated in person. Sad to hear this news.