Wayne Kramer of MC5: My 10 Favorite Punk Things

MC5 lead guitarist and co-founder of the White Panther Party Wayne Kramer lists his 10 favorite punk things.

1. The Sonics. The sound of the electric guitar played at the velocity that punk is played at. It's about youthful enthusiasm, the original joy that's found in the sound of cheap electric guitar played full blast.

2. The defiance

3. The simplicity of playing chord structures in thirds and fifths

4. The energy. Break all the things down in the universe and that's what you get.

5. The political consciousness. Punk is about telling the truth. It's about how you feel about things. After all, even the slogan “Please Kill Me” is a political statement of disaffected, disenfranchised youth.

6. The lack of pretension. In pop music you have professional songwriters or people who aspire to be pros, writing what they think the kids are going to go for. Punks wrote shit right from the gut.

7. “Kick out the Jams” and the MC5. We came out of Detroit and didn't fit into either the West Coast hippie scene or the New York art rock scene. We represented high energy and self determination.

8. The Sex Pistols, with Glen Matlock. They had a rock-solid rhythm section, Steve Jones was an archetypal rock guitarist and Rotten knew that his job was to provoke, harass and entertain the audience. They were a great band and if they had broken out in any period during the history of rock they would have done well.

9. Bad Religion. They came up from the suburban streets, they found nothing they could relate too around them and reinvented things. They combine intelligence, power chords and aggression.

10. Rancid. They understand what punk represents, they are great songwriters and they play circles around any other punk musicians out there today.

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