Re: MC5/RA (Long!)

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#1 Sat, 1994-07-16 09:35
Alastair Dickson
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Re: MC5/RA (Long!)

A few footnotes to Dan Sullivan's interesting message:

On the lyrics to the MC5/Ra "Starship":

"Starship, starship, take me where I want to go"

is close to the much later

"UFO, Take me where I want to go"

just a different mode of transport!

Ra's "On a clear day, We stand there and look farther than the ordinary mind can see" also cropped up in a chapter heading for the Chicago surrealist- trotskyist Franklin Rosemont's "Andre Breton and the First Principles of Surrealism" published by Pluto Press in 1978. (Pluto also distributed a postcard of this quote, attributed to Ra.)

Sinclair says, "...We had been into John Coltrane and Archie Shepp and Sun Ra...and we had like an elitist attitude" towards rock music. The turning point for him was "when Cecil Taylor turned me on to the [Beatles'] Revolver album." Shortly thereafter he met and began working with the MC5.<

I seem to recall a review around 1980 of tapes of the early MC5 doing Coltrane pieces (Rob Tyner, after all, having acquired his stage name from there), which would have been an interesting trajectory towards heavy metal!

And I'll just mention that one aspect of the Detroit radicalism snapshotted on "Kick Out The Jams", the magazine "Fifth Estate", is still going, although nowadays an anarcho-anti-civilisation project.