MC5 Announce 'Kick Out the Jams' 50th Anniversary Tour

Former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer has announced a tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of the band's seminal debut album, Kick Out the Jams.

For the tour, Kramer will be joined by Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, King's X's Dug Pinnick, Fugazi's Brendan Canty and Zen Guerilla's Marcus Durant. The band will play Kick Out the Jams in its entirety, along with other MC5 classics. Though a full itinerary is still forthcoming, the group has announced that the tour will end with an October 27 show in the band's native Detroit.

“The message of the MC5 has always been the sense of possibilities: a new music, a new politics, a new lifestyle,” Kramer said in a statement. “Today, there is a corrupt regime in power, an endless war thousands of miles away, and uncontrollable violence wracking our country. It’s becoming less and less clear if we’re talking about 1968 or 2018. I’m now compelled to share this music I created with my brothers 50 years ago. My goal is that the audience leaves these concerts fueled by the positive and unifying power of rock music.”

“The MC5 were one of the few bands that I idolized growing up in DC," Canty added. "They had politics, chops, and unfathomable energy. They played protests, and made music that sounded like a celebration of the movement at the same time. They informed so many of us in the punk rock world. No matter where you heard it, hearing Kick out the Jams for the first time rewrote what you thought you knew of the Sixties, and a band's potential."

"It’s been great getting to know and play with Wayne," he continued. "He still can play like a motherfucker, and his politics are front and center. He is smart and righteous, and I’m happy to be in his army on this one.”

Kramer and drummer Dennis Thompson are the only surviving members of the band's classic, Kick Out the Jams-era lineup. Vocalist Rob Tyner died of a heart attack in 1991, guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith died of heart failure in 1994 and bassist Michael Davis died of liver failure in 2012.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.