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The MC5: How the Jams Were Kicked Out!

John Sinclair, ZigZag, July 1977

In Britain, the MC5 are now far more popular than they ever were in their heyday – a fact which has prompted the recent re-release of their first two albums, Kick Out The Jams! (first issued in Jan 1969) and Back In The USA (January 1970).

Back in Detroit, vocalist Rob Tyner is currently fronting a brand new MC5, and by the time you read this, may even be in this country on a promotional visit.

During late 1969 and early 1970, former manager of the MC5 JOHN SINCLAIR, then just beginning a ten year prison sentence for marijuana possession (left), wrote several letters to Zigzag. We used to send copies of the mag to his cell, and he would write back these lengthy tracts about his involvement with the MC5 and the Detroit underground scene.

What follows is Sinclair's account of the rise of the MC5, excerpted and pieced together from those letters.

Total word count of piece: 7679


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