My man Scott McLemee roars back from his writer’s rest with righteous revolutionary rock!* Ladies and gentlemen, the MC5!
Obligatory warning for the easily offended: there are naughty words.
At some point (not today) it would be worth writing about one of the more interesting chapters of rock history — how the MC5, a rock band that made the Rolling Stones sound like Edith Piaf, was briefly associated with John Sinclair and the White Panther Party, a militant hippie commune that believed it could bring about revolution by means of “rock and roll, dope, and fucking in the streets.” The MC5 ended up parting company with the WPP, which subsequently tried to fashion a new “Guitar Army” by enlisting the services of the Up. (By the way, has anyone heard their album, “Killer Up”? I need to find a copy . . .)
Here’s an image from John Sinclair’s Guitar Army, one of the most interesting countercultural publications from the utopian late-1960s-early-1970s years. (It isn’t in print, but you can still find copies on Ebay.**) This image (by Gary Grimshaw, a wonderful rock-poster artist) somehow tells you most of what you need to know about the WPP’s brand of revolution-through-culture. They’re offing the pig . . . with rock’n’roll!
*It is my hope that James Ellroy’s soon-to-be-released (?) final volume of the American Underworld trilogy will not read like this sentence. Those of you who bought Destination: Morgue! know what I’m talking about.
**UPDATE: It IS in print!