DVD Reviews

The MC5 – A True Testimonial

(Snowball Entertainment)
Director: David C. Thomas

This fine DVD documentary right here is the complete story of one of the worlds most innovative rock bands to ever bless this earth.

Detroit in the 1960’s catered only for the family that worked in the automobile industry. America at the time was under strict government control, life was becoming boring and youth culture started to rise above the demanding authorities and formed bands.

The MC5 in particular had an edge to them that made them stand out amongst the rest. They were unique in the way they delivered a new form of rock and roll that screeched its way in to bedrooms across the world, they had a sound that almost single handedly inspired the punk movement of the late 70’s and more to the point, they gave attitude out by the truck load and never took any shit from no one.

Once merged with the managerial services of local political activist John Sinclair who had formed the radical left wing “White Panther” party, the band caused controversy wherever they went with their music which alerted authorities leading up to the concern of the FBI and a barrage of police oppression that eventually saw Sinclair locked up for 10 years for possession of 2 spliffs of weed. The band went through their own drug problems and eventually split in 1972 just after living for a while in the UK where they managed to record ‘High Time’.

“The MC5 A True Testimonial” took 7 years to put together and takes you through the highs and lows of the entire journey that saw the band go from record company backing to nothing in a short amount of time, with words from band members Wayne Kramer, Michael Davis, Rob Tyner, Dennis Thompson and Fred “Sonic” Smith. It is an uplifting account of rebellion and a quest for freedom against all odds but also focuses on the demise of what MC5 once had. It tackles the feeling that 5 people have created to produce such a powerful message whilst race riots, the Vietnam War, censorship and political unrest permanently surrounded them and i can tell you straight up that it’s an incredible story!

So many bands have taken influence from the MC5, namely Iggy Pop and the Stooges who were their “little brother band“, Motorhead, The Ramones and the ‘grunge’ scene that exploded in the early 90’s with Nirvana, Mudhoney and many others. Once you discover the history of this band you will realise how much of an importance The MC5 once were and still are today.

You should try and find yourself a copy of this film online; it’s not easy to get hold of but its one of the best documentaries you will ever see, I guarantee that it will definitely make you “Kick Out the Jams Muthafucker!”