Motor City 5, also known as simply MC5, was an American rock group from Michigan.
The band formed in 1964 and was famous for its powerful live performances. Lemmy Kilmister, the late frontman of Motörhead, once said about MC5 that “there would be no Motörhead, no The Damned” without them, and that “they did it all first.” So, let’s check out one of those praised live performances.
Here’s how the members of MC5 rocked it live on TV in 1972.
The video was filmed in a TV studio.
With the instruments are all set, the members of MC5 step onstage. Every stage show done by MC5 was a spectacle, not only because of their music but also because of their choreographed dances and costumes. The power of those live performances inspired Elektra Records to issue the band’s first album as a live album—that’s how good they were.
Fortunately, this video offers a glimpse into just how talented they were!
Their hair is done up in an afro style, their costumes are shiny as ever, and their guitars have never sounded better.
In case someone doubted why this band is credited for inspiring many bands that came later, the video will take all those doubts away. Watching them get ready and get into it is just as amusing as watching them play!
As this video shows clearly, the ‘70s were really a different time.
That was an era when the Orange amplifier was in common use, when lip-syncing and special audio effects were a lot less common. There is an extraordinary charm in that simplicity! Before they begin to play, MC5 tunes their instruments and jokes around. The most hilarious moment was when Wayne Kramer began fixing his hair, and his colleagues were mocking him about it.
He laughs it off and leaves it just the way it was.
The chemistry and closeness between band members are undeniable.
We’re guessing that’s one of the reasons why they always sounded so good on stage together. Though it was a popular song back then, it remains just as popular today—in fact, it was even used in the 2004 movie “Childstar.”
Nat King Cole had a soul hit of the same name, and “Ramblin’ Rose” had many versions before Ted Taylor recorded one that struck MC5’s Wayne Kramer’s attention.
He explained his feelings on the song in an interview:
“I thought that’s a great song and I want to work this up with the band. I gave it a try.”
We’re glad he did because we have an awesome version to listen to. The whole song is a rock ‘n roll way of saying that love needs to be fed to grow, just like a rose.
Since the clip was posted, it has since earned more than two million YouTube views.
Videos like this one serve as a reminder that good quality music never dies.
It might get redone or retouched a bit, but an excellent song will remain in the hearts of the audience. Although they are not active anymore, the impact that MC5 had still echoes through the decades. Their shows will serve as a perpetual inspiration for how to perform in front of an audience. We can only say that MC5 managed to capture the essence of catchy rock and roll and left it for us to enjoy.
Check out the full performance by clicking on the link below:
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