Most music fans will know Detroit for Motown, but never forget the city’s importance to American punk music. Iggy & the Stooges abandoned the 60’s colorful, flower power pop for cutthroat, unforgiving rock. At the same time, the R&B infused MC5 (Motor City 5) finally gave protest music a threatening voice, leaving the acoustic guitars at home. Two tracks into their 1969 classic debut, the volatile singer Rob Tyner belts, “Kick out the jams, motherfucker!”, a call to arms for political music. From there, punk was only a matter of time.
By the end of the 1990’s, singer Tyner and guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith passed away. On Friday, we unfortunately lost Bassist Michael Davis, another key part of this highly influential group. Within the band, he was seen as a backbone, a steady, solid musician who held everything together amidst the aggressive flash. Davis also played with the outfit Destroy All Monsters following the disbanding of MC5. Davis passed away due to liver failure at the age of 68. He was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2005, which he attributed to a past of drug and alcohol abuse. The punk icon is survived by his wife, three sons, and daughter.