Wayne Kramer of the MC5, Opinions on Noname & Otis Rush

As the lead guitarist of the groundbreaking political rock band the MC5, Wayne Kramer experienced both the highs of recognition and the sting of defeat. Jim and Greg talk with Kramer 50 years after the band's iconic debut Kick Out the Jams. They chat about his new memoir, the '60s Detroit rock scene and discuss his experiences with overcoming drug abuse and jail time. Jim and Greg will also review the new album from hip hop artist Noname and pay tribute to the late Chicago blues legend Otis Rush.

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Otis Rush

Blues musician Otis Rush was as noted for his guitar prowess as his vocal stylings. Credited as one of the architects of the West Side style of Chicago Blues, Rush's guitar solos would later inspire legends like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Rush was also the inspiration for one of Lester Bangs's last great pieces of writing:“Otis Rush Mugged By An Iceberg,”which is required reading in Jim's college courses. Greg says his earliest recorded work, a series of singles in the late 1950's for the Cobra record label in Chicago, would have been enough to cement his legacy as a legendary guitarist. Despite being a world-famous musician, Rush worked blue collar jobs to earn a living for many years. He died September 29, 2018 at 84 years old.


Noname Room 25

Noname is a rapper whose poetic roots shine on her debut studio album, Room 25. According to Greg, each listen to the album reveals new meaning. Jim notes that though this is the 26 year old rapper's first studio album, she's given us material for years through her many collaborations with other young artists out of the new Chicago school of hip-hop, including Chance The Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, and Saba, as well as through her well-received first mixtape, Telefone. This album finds her collaborating with up-and-comer Phoelix on production which, according to Greg, results in a 1990s East Coast hip hop sound. Jim adds that the vibe of the record is also reminiscent of artists like Common and D'Angelo (he notes that D'Angelo even gets a shoutout on the track "Don't Forget About Me." Room 25 marks a coming of age for Noname, and for both Jim and Greg, it proves that Noname is among the most exciting female voices in hip hop today.


Wayne Kramer of the MC5


It's been 50 years this month since the Detroit rock band the MC5 recorded their debut album live, Kick Out the Jams! This week, our guest is MC5 guitarist and solo artist Wayne Kramer, author of the new autobiography The Hard Stuff. The MC5 were known for its political lyrics, energetic onstage charisma and punk attitude. The band influenced artists like The Clash, The Ramones and Rage Against the Machine. Since the breakup of the MC5 in 1972, Wayne has put out some great solo records and found success as a film and television composer. Kramer talks with Jim and Greg about the political music he was making in the MC5, the Detroit rock scene and about the thrill of performing live. He also discusses how he overcame his drug and alcohol addictions and what he learned from his two year stint in prison.

Featured Songs

  1. Otis Rush, I Can't Quit You Baby, I Can't Quit You Baby (single), Cobra, 1956
  2. Otis Rush, Double Trouble, Double Trouble (single), Cobra, 1958
  3. Noname, Window (feat. Phoelix), Room 25, self-released, 2018
  4. Noname, no name (feat. Yaw and Adam Ness), Room 25, self-released, 2018
  5. Common, 6th Sense (feat. Bilal), Like Water For Chocolate, MCA, 2000
  6. D'Angelo, Me and Those Dreamin' Eyes of Mine, Brown Sugar, EMI, 1995
  7. Noname, Don't Forget About Me, Room 25, self-released, 2018
  8. Noname, Regal, Room 25, self-released, 2018
  9. Otis Rush, My Love Will Never Die, My Love Will Never Die (single), Cobra, 1957
  10. MC5, Kick Out the Jams, Kick Out the James, Elektra, 1969
  11. MC5, Motor City Is Burning, Kick Out the James, Elektra, 1969
  12. MC5, Ramblin' Rose, Kick Out the James, Elektra, 1969
  13. MC5, The American Ruse, Back in the USA, Atlantic, 1970
  14. MC5, Rocket Reducer N. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa), Kick Out the James, Elektra, 1969
  15. MC5, Gotta Keep Movin', Back in the USA, Atlantic, 1970
  16. MC5, Sister Anne, High Time, Atlantic, 1971
  17. Wayne Kramer, Poison, The Hard Stuff, Epitaph, 1995
  18. MC5, Starship, Kick Out the James, Elektra, 1969
  19. The Stooges, Search and Destroy, Raw Power, Columbia, 1973
  20. Ted Nugent, Cat Scratch Fever, Cat Scratch Fever, Epic, 1977
  21. Wayne Kramer, Crack in the Universe, The Hard Stuff, Epitaph, 1995
  22. MC5, Looking At You, Back in the USA, Atlantic, 1970
  23. MC5, Future/Now, High Time, Atlantic, 1971
  24. MC5, Let Me Try, Back in the USA, Atlantic, 1970
  25. Ness Nite, Tightrope, Dream Girl, POW Recordings, 2018
  26. Madonna, Hung Up, Confessions on a Dance Floor, Warner Bros, 2005
  27. Billy Bragg, Sexuality, Don't Try This at Home, Elektra, 1991
  28. Boogie Down Productions, The Bridge Is Over, Criminal Minded, B-Boy, 1987
  29. John Lennon, How Do You Sleep, Imagine, Apple, 1971