In Memoriam: MC5 Bassist Michael Davis

Michael DavisMichael Davis, the bassist best known for his work with the band MC5, has died of liver failure, his wife announced yesterday. The bassist died at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California on Friday, following a month of treatment for liver disease. He was 68.

MC5, whose name was short for “Motor City Five” was formed in 1964 in Lincoln Park, Michigan. Pat Burrows was the original bassist with the group, but singer Rob Tyner and guitarist Wayne Kramer preferred Davis’ style and asked him to join.

The band went on to become part of the hardcore musical revolution of the 1960’s that started in the midwest. Author Mathew Bartkowiak described MC5 as “the proud forefathers of banned albums and censored lyrics and liner notes,” in his book, The MC5 and Social Change: A Study in Rock and Revolution.

MC5 broke up in 1972, but later reformed in 2004. Singer Handsome Dick Manitoba replaced Tyner, who passed away in 1991.

Davis suffered a serious back injury following a motorcycle crash in 2006. He and his wife Angela launched the Music Is Revolution Foundation, a non-profit organization in support of music education in public schools.

Our thoughts are with the Davis family and friends of the bassist.

RIP, Michael.

Photo by Leni Sinclair.

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  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael and working on several of his basses a few years back. Very nice man. RIP.