Michael Davis, American bassist (MC5), died from liver failure he was 68
Michael Davis was an American bass guitarist, singer, songwriter and music producer, best known as a member of the MC5.
After dropping out of the fine arts program at Wayne State University, Davis became the bassist for the MC5 in 1964, replacing original bassist Pat Burrows when singer Rob Tyner and guitarist Wayne Kramer
decided that they liked Davis’s style and wanted him in the band. He
played on the band’s three original albums, including their debut Kick Out the Jams, and remained in the group until 1972.
Sometime in the mid-1970s, Davis spent time in Kentucky’s Lexington
Federal Prison on a drug charge, where he was unexpectedly reunited with
Destroy All Monsters
Davis spent seven years with Destroy All Monsters, penning the
underground punk hits “Nobody Knows”, “Meet the Creeper”, “Little
Boyfriend”, “Rocking The Cradle” and “Fast City” among others. The band
recorded and released on Cherry Red Records, toured the U.K., and then
Blood Orange and MC5 reunion
After Destroy All Monsters, Davis moved to Tucson, Arizona
where he played in Blood Orange with drummer Cory Barnes. When plans
for Blood Orange to depart for a European tour were shelved
indefinitely, Davis began playing with Rich Hopkins and Luminarios, the
latter taking him back into the studio to record several albums for
Germany’s Blue Rose Records. In the spring of 2003, Davis reunited with
fellow surviving members Wayne Kramer and Dennis Thompson to play a show at London’s 100 Club as part of a promotion for an MC5 inspired line of apparel for Levi Strauss Vintage Clothing. This spawned a 200 city world tour and a trip back into the studio to write new songs.
Music education project
Following a serious motorcycle crash on a Los Angeles freeway in May 2006, Davis along with his wife Angela Davis, launched a non-profit organization called The Music Is Revolution Foundation to support music education in public schools.
Volunteers Jake Cavaliere (The Lords of Altamont), Handsome Dick Manitoba (The Dictators), Steve Aoki (Dim Mak Records/Kid Millionaire), Pro-Skater Corey Duffel, Pennywise bassist Randy Bradbury and Obey Giant’s Shepard Fairey
work alongside Davis to raise funds and public awareness about the
ability of music education to increase cognitive ability and test
scores, reduce absenteeism and drop-out rates and to inspire a new
generation of future voters to learn about other cultures and other
times, develop greater understanding of the world around them, and
express themselves through music.
After the MC5 self-destructed in the early 1970s, Davis continued
exploration as a visual artist while serving time at the Lexington
Federal Correction Institution for a narcotics violation. During this
period, he was tasked with creating oversized abstract paintings for
permanent display in the prison’s Visitor Center and administrative
offices. Several years of immersion in life in the desert southwest and
world travels with various rock bands left Davis with the inspiration
and desire to return to his roots as a painter, studying art along the
way at The Armory Center For The Arts in Pasadena, California, the
University of Oregon, in Eugene, Oregon, and at Portland Community
College in Portland, Oregon and Butte Community College/California State
University, Chico in Chico, California.
In 2006 he collaborated with artist Chris Kro, pro skateboarder Corey
Duffel, and Foundation Skateboards to design a commemorative line of
skateboard decks and t-shirts.
In 2007, he collaborated with OBEY’s Shepard Fairey on a limited line of MC5:OBEY merchandise.
In 2009, his painting “White Panther/Big World” appeared on the Cleopatra Records release MC5: The Very Best of MC5.
In 2011, his painting titled “Black To Comm Sk8r Boys” appeared as
the cover art for the Easy Action Records multi-media audio/DVD release
from the 2009 sold- out performance by British rock superstars Primal
Scream and the reunited surviving members of the MC5 at the Royal
Festival Hall. This piece inspired a series of four additional
paintings, as well as a run of limited edition prints, all featuring the
Sk8tr Boys, this time against iconic Detroit backdrops.
On February 17, 2012, Davis died of liver failure at the age of 68. He was survived by his wife, four sons, and a daughter.
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