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After the Revolution: the Legacy of the MC5

Dave Marsh, Musician, November 1990

SOMEWHERE THERE exists an alternate universe in which the MC5 became the biggest band in history — bigger than the Beatles (their ambition), bigger than Chairman Mao (their manager's). A universe in which thousands of their direct descendants express the White Panther Party's three-point program — rock 'n' roll, dope and fucking in the streets — by accelerating social change through a musical fusion of Sun Ra, John Coltrane, the gutter-tongued rhythm and blues of Andre Williams and pre-psychedelic, non-nonviolent Anglo-rock glommed from the Who and Them.

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