MC5 kick out Elektra

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Fifth Estate # 78, May 1-14, 1969

The MC5 have always had the policy of kicking out all of the jams so it should come as no surprise that the Ann Arbor based group has severed their contract with Elektra Records.

“At this point we’re totally unsatisfied and unhappy with the way things have been going with Elektra,” said Wayne Kramer, MC5 lead guitarist. “They’re far and away the hippest record company, but they don’t even know what we’re talking about.”

The problem revolves around the inclusion of the word “motherfucker” on a song and in the liner notes written by the group’s manager John Sinclair.

According to Jac Holzman, Elektra’s president, 70% of the company’s retail outlets refuse to handle the album even though it has sold well over 100,000 copies.

Many retail sellers have suffered harassment by local officials. In Royal Oak, The Gas Co. is being charged with selling obscene material (the album) to a minor and several other area stores have run afoul of local police.

Elektra then released another version of the album minus the “motherfucker” and without Sinclair’s liner notes and without the group’s permission.

“We had no say in it,” says Kramer, who thinks that Elektra’s compromised the band simply to make money. “You can’t eat money,” he says, “can’t smoke it and get high, can’t fuck it.”

So the boys are shopping around for a new label and we should have the information on the switch in our next issue.

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