Wayne Kramer, along with his band THE MC5, were on their to rock stardom. After three albums and a number of national and international tours his plans,and the bands, had been shattered.
I first met Wayne at an after show party, there was always a party, in a mutual friends house. Wayne had recently completed a two+ year sentence in federal prison. I was introduced as a "writer". This wasn't specifically true. I did write commercials but that was it. Wayne said "hey, you can write the notes on the album I'm gonna do". While I knew this wasn't true I was flattered none the less. In the short time I knew him I found him to be charming and quite the raconteur. MR. Kramer had his detractors but I always found him interesting. I later heard he was forming a band with former New York Doll/Heartbreaker Johnny Thunders. They ended up calling the band "Gang War"
Johnny Thunders was on his way. The teased haired guitarist was lead player for the hottest band in rock & roll "The New York Dolls". The bands second album was given a oddly prophetic title "Too Much to Soon"
After the break up of the "Dolls" and the formation and dissolution of a band called "The Heartbreak's" Johnny, now a heroin addict, moved to Detroit from New York.
One night while standing at the bar of a place called the Old Miami, located just off the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit I saw Thunders walking by. He was wearing a head scarf, a jacket that had once been fashionable but now was just shabby and a permanent scowl. He bumped in to me, turned snarled and stalked off. His eyes were dead and his face drawn and pock marked. It was the last time I would see Johnny.
To be continued
Vertical asked me to join his blog as a guest expert on "Nuggets" era music... Psychedelic, Garage and Fuzz. Are there others more qualified? You bet, but they weren't asked. He's also letting me write about anything I want… We'll see.
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