On this day in 1991 MC5 frontman Rob Tyner died of a heart attack at the age of 46.
Tyner, the loudest howling voice in the revolutionary protopunk five piece, was found near his home in the suburb of Berkley, Michigan. He was slumped behind the wheel of his car, not breathing and with an irregular pulse. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
Fellow MC5 bandmate Wayne Kramer kept it no secret the band was regularly using copious amounts of cocaine during its hay day in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
Tyner’s voice and stage presence is matchless; “Kick Out The Jams” (the song) is arguably one of the most recognizable punk songs because of his erratic and preacher-like intro, “And right now, it’s time to, KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER******S!!!”
The MC5 put out three full-length albums between 1969 and 1971: Kick Out The Jams, Back In The USA and High Time. After the band split, Tyner went on to work with Eddie & The Hotrods, releasing the 7-inch “‘Till the Night Is Gone (Let’s Rock) / Flipside Rock” in 1977. In 1990, Tyner had plans to promote a solo album titled Blood Brothers but never got the chance.
In 1992, the band reunited after Tyner’s death and performed as a four-piece as a tribute to the late singer.
Roughly a decade later, the surviving MC5 members toured as “DKT/MC5” — which stood for the their last names: (Michael) Davis, Kramer and (Dennis) Thompson. (Fred “Sonic” Smith died in 1994 from heart failure).
Today, all that is left is Kramer, Thompson and the memory of one of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll bands of all-time.
Davis passed away in 2012.
-Chris Coyle, KZOK