Wayne Kramer, Punk Band MC5 Guitarist, Dead at 75

Musician Wayne Kramer of MC5 performs onstage during The Wild Honey Foundation, Lenny Kaye & Rhino Present, A 50th Anniversary All-Star Celebration Of The Nuggets Compilation Album at Alex Theatre on May 19, 2023, in Glendale, Calif.

Wayne Kramer, a guitarist and founding member of the punk band MC5, has died at age 75.

On Feb. 2, a statement posted to the musician's official Instagram account revealed the news of his death.

“Wayne Kramer passed away today peacefully from pancreatic cancer,” the statement read, alongside a photo of a younger Kramer performing. "He will be remembered for starting a revolution in music, culture, and kindness."

In 1965, Kramer co-founded a band in Detroit with bassist Michael Davis, rhythm guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, drummer Dennis Thompson and vocalist Rob Tyner.

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The Instagram announcement continued by directing those who wished to make a donation to support Kramer's nonprofit, Jail Guitar Doors.

The organization's website reads: "We go into the prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities all around this nation bringing with us the undeniable, UNIVERSAL POWER OF MUSIC to help our fellow imprisoned human beings onto the right track toward successful reentry."

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In a video shared by Jail Guitar Doors Instagram account, Kramer spoke about his nonprofit's mission and why he decided to found it.

"People that do time have thought of themselves as their crime. I want to change that so that they see themselves as an artist," he explained. "I watched over the years as more people just like me were going to prison for longer periods of time and worse conditions. And at a certain point, the citizen in me said, 'This isn't right.' And you know, I can't do everything. But I can do something."

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