In memory of Michael Davis, bassist of MC5 and Destroy All Monsters, who passed away on Friday at the age of '68. Godspeed...
February 19, 2012

Michael Davis, bassist of the legendary and influential '60s Detroit quintet MC5, and later of Ann Arbor's Destroy All Monsters, passed away on Friday at the age of 68.

As the bassist of MC5, Davis was a rock, keeping a steady rhythm as all hell broke out around him on stage, vocalist Rob Tyner preening as guitarists Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith traded leads and drummer Dennis Thompson flailed and filled with flourish. The band flamed out young in a haze of of drugs, and Davis found himself in federal prison on a narcotics rap. Instead of biding his time in the pen, Davis took to the brushes again (he'd dropped out of Wayne State University's fine arts program in '64 to join MC5)- the artwork of the album cover featured on the Amazon link here is Davis' painting.

MC5 are remembered not only for their high-energy music, but also their radical left politics, guided in their heyday by White Panther Party co-founder John Sinclair. Davis continued his own activism throughout his life, launching the Music Is Revolution foundation- which supports education with and through music in public schools- with his wife, Angela, in 2006.

There are two ways, I think, to celebrate Davis' life- listen, passively, to the music he made, or get active, and support Music Is Revolution with some donations (they need not be strictly monetary) here.

Godspeed, Mike.

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