Dennis Thompson, MC5 Drummer, Dead at 75

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The post Dennis Thompson, MC5 Drummer, Dead at 75 appeared first on Consequence.

MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson has died after complications from a heart attack. He was 75 years old.

As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Thompson passed away at a nursing home in Taylor, Michigan on Wednesday (May 8th), where he had been rehabilitating from a heart attack he suffered in April.

Nicknamed “Machine Gun” due to his fast, hard-hitting style of drumming, Thompson was the last surviving member of MC5, which will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the Musical Excellence category this fall.

Born in the Detroit area, Thompson picked up the drums when he was just nine years old. While still in high school, he joined a garage band called the Bounty Hunters alongside his friend and future MC5 bandmate Wayne Kramer on guitar.

Kramer co-founded MC5 with fellow guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith in 1963, with Thompson joining the group a few years later to fill out the classic lineup alongside vocalist Rob Tyner and bassist Michael Davis.

Thompson remained with MC5 through their first breakup in 1972, playing on the group’s only two studio albums, 1970’s Back in the USA and 1971’s High Time.

Despite never achieving mainstream success, MC5 had a tremendous impact on the Detroit rock scene, paving the way for bands like The Stooges and The White Stripes.

Outside of MC5, Thompson manned the kit for LA supergroup The New Order and Australia’s New Race (formed with Ron Asheton of The Stooges and members of Radio Birdman). He also drummed for The Motor City Bad Boys and The Secrets.

From 2003 to 2012, Thompson was in the offshoot band DKT/MC5 alongside fellow MC5 surviving members Michael Davis and Wayne Kramer.

Thompson’s death follows the passing of Kramer in February and MC5’s manager, John Sinclair, last month. Their deaths were preceded by Tyner in 1991, Smith in 1994, and Davis in 2012.

Dennis Thompson, MC5 Drummer, Dead at 75
Eddie Fu

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