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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Godspeed Michael Davis, 1943 - 2012

I learned today at 6 AM that my friend, the influential Detroit rock n roll pioneer, Michael Davis, best remembered as the bassist for the MC5, passed away on Friday. I was at work, and people were beginning to arrive, so I wasn't able to grab my MC5 cd from my car and blast "Kick Out the Jams, motherfucker" in his honor... so I did it all the way on my drive home, and I'm doing it now.

All day long, I've been remembering Michael and the wonderful times I spent with him and his wife, Angela and their sons at their California home, all the times he rocked me... because once the surviving MC5 members re-formed and started touring, there was nothing that would stop me from seeing them play - starting from their opening night in Detroit, to Central Park in my at-the-time home town of NYC, and any and everywhere in between.

Michael Davis believed in the power of music and his love and belief were inspiring. As a young man, he was at the forefront of turbulent times when music was revolution. Decades later, he formed a foundation called Music Is Revolution that helped bring needed funds to schools that wanted to keep their music programs going.

As one of the inadvertent founders of American punk rock, Michael never lost sight of the DIY, just do it punk attitude. As he grew up, so did his humanity. Sure, Michael matured, grew up to be a responsible dad and such, but he never ever lost sight of that revolutionary punk ethos that fueled his music and his art.

Godspeed, Michael Davis, on your next journey... reunited with many of your Detroit fellows... I miss you profoundly. Big Love to Angela and your boys.

Michael Davis / MC5

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