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Michael Davis 2/2012

Michael DavisFebruary 17, 2012 – Michael Davis (MC5) was born June 5th 1943. Michael Davis (68) American bassist; he became the bassist for Detroit’s radical proto-punk band the MC5 in 1964. After dropping out of the fine arts program at Wayne State University, Davis became the bassist for the MC5 in 1964, replacing original bassist Pat Burrows when singer Rob Tyner and guitarist Wayne Kramer decided that they liked Davis’s style and wanted him in the band. He played on the band’s three original albums, including their debut Kick Out the Jams, and remained in the group until 1972.  Their first album “Kick Out the Jams” was released in 1969 and became an international hit.

Sometime in the mid-1970s, Davis spent time in Kentucky’s Lexington Federal Prison on a drug charge, where he was unexpectedly reunited with Wayne Kramer. Upon his release from prison, he joined the Ann Arbor-based art noise band Destroy All Monsters at the urging of friend Ron Asheton of The Stooges.

Davis spent seven years with Destroy All Monsters, penning the underground punk hits “Nobody Knows”, “Meet the Creeper”, “Little Boyfriend”, “Rocking The Cradle” and “Fast City” among others. The band recorded and released on Cherry Red Records, toured the U.K., and then broke up. Their music touched on elements of punk rock, psychedelic rock, heavy metal and noise rock with a heavy dose of performance art. They described their music as “anti-rock.” Destroy All Monsters never found mainstream success, but earned some notoriety due to members of notable rock groups The Stooges and MC5 who joined the group in various reincarnations.

Although Destroy All Monsters never recorded a proper album, Sonic Youth singer/guitarist Thurston Moore released a three compact disc compilation of the group’s music in 1994.

After time served with Destroy All Monsters Davis moved to Arizona, where he played in Blood Orange. In the spring of 2003, Davis reunited with fellow surviving MC5 members Wayne Kramer and Dennis Thompson to play a show at London’s 100 Club as part of a promotion for an MC5 inspired line of apparel for Levi Strauss Vintage Clothing. This spawned a 200 city world tour and a trip back into the studio to write new songs. Later he co-founded the group DKT-MC5 with former MC5 members Wayne Kramer on guitar and Dennis Thompson on drums, hence their band name.

Since the mid 70s Michael had spent more and more time with his love of painting. In 2011, one of his paintings titled “Black To Comm Sk8r Boys” appeared as the cover art for the Easy Action Records multi-media audio/DVD release from the 2009 sold- out performance by British rock superstars Primal Scream and the reunited surviving members of the MC5 at the Royal Festival Hall.

Following a serious motorcycle crash on a Los Angeles freeway in May 2006, Davis along with his wife Angela Davis, launched a non-profit organization called Music Is Revolution Foundation, dedicated to supporting music education programs in public schools.

Michael Davis was 68 years old when he died on 17 February 2012 from liver failure.

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