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MC5*: A True Testimonial (2002)

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Credited cast:
Michael Davis Michael Davis ... Himself (as MC5)
Wayne Kramer ... Himself (as MC5)
Fred 'Sonic' Smith Fred 'Sonic' Smith ... Himself (as MC5)
Dennis Thompson Dennis Thompson ... Himself (as MC5)
Rob Tyner Rob Tyner ... Himself (as MC5)


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Release Date:

5 March 2004 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Rob Tyner: I was watching TV the other night, and they had these guys from Indonesia, and
[the anthropologists]
Rob Tyner: said "You guys have a lot of parties and stuff; stay up all night and chew drugs, and dance on logs, and walk in the fire and do all this stuff, you know". And like, the guys said "Of course we have to have decent festivals! We do this so that our souls will be happy; so that our souls dont get mad at us, fly away to the gods and we'll die"
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Featured in Danny Says (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

'So now... I offer you, brothers, a TESTIMONIAL, I offer you THE M-C-5!!'
21 August 2004 | by hectomatic999See all my reviews

This long overdue documentary tells the (abridged) tale of one of the most threatening and dangerous bands ever to grace the American music scene. Sporting the level of desperation only recognized by true cast-out socially degenerate miscreants, The MC5 proved over their short existence that even the most lost and hopeless souls will have a voice.

And it's a voice that absolutely refuses to be ignored.

While still widely hailed in the underground scene as the 'Grandfathers of Punk Rock' (though often just mentioned as a footnote to Iggy Pop and the Stooges, a band that would never have existed had it not been for the MC5), few people know much of the history that has earned The 5 such acclaim.

This film aspires to correct that little disparity.

From their humble Lincoln Park, MI beginning (where working in an auto factory was 'a birthright') to their ironic coup de grâce (back in the Grande Ballroom, the same theater that gained them what little notoriety they achieved during their being), 'A True Testimonial' manages to seamlessly reinforce the urgency of the music with the urgency of day-to-day life in Detroit at that time. Here we stretch from a bunch of high school kids playing VFW halls to a slightly older band so associated with the threat of a 'revolution' that the FBI actually videotapes their performance at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Later, we see the band's first album rejected from a prominent Detroit department store because of 'objectionable content' (kinda like Wal-Mart does now, 35 years later). The band's reaction is true and the rest is another glorious chapter of rock n roll history.

This film is above all a classic example of the connection (and, more importantly, the discrepancy) between rock n roll and political activeness. Differences between the band and the management (not to mention the band members themselves) ultimately over-power the spirit that brought the MC5 into existence in the first place.

8.5 out of 10

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