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Webisode: Interview with Wayne Kramer

120306-wayne-kramerOn this webisode we have Wayne Kramer from the band MC5 at the Grammy Museum at LA Live. Kramer was honored by being named one of the 100 greatest guitar players in Rolling Stone magazine. During the event at the museum they also featured the premier of the short documentary film. “The Beast and the Angel.” An official bio of Wayne Kramer career can be read below the video.

Webisode: Interview with Wayne Kramer

Wayne Kramer is a songwriter whose reputation writing music for film and television risks supplanting his legend as one of the world’s stellar guitarists. Wayne was a teenage greaser and leader of the MC5, widely recognized as the prototype for punk rock and heavy metal. Ironically, he was also the first to incorporate a nod to free jazz. In 1969, the MC5 released the incendiary album Kick Out The Jams on Elektra Records. After being dropped from Elektra due to “radical antics”, they released two albums on Atlantic Records: Back In The USA, produced by soon-to-be Bruce Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau; and the critically hailed High Time. Between world tours, Wayne scored Gold and The Living Theatre’s film production of Paradise Now.

Wayne spent 1976-1978 in Lexington Federal Penitentiary, where he was tutored by fellow inmate Charlie Parker’s trumpeter Red Rodney. It was Red who taught Wayne how to read music and the two formed a prison band. After release, Wayne co-wrote the acclaimed R&B musical The Last Words of Dutch Schultz with Mick Farren, then joined Don Was’ revolutionary acid funk band Was (Not Was) as the original guitarist. Wayne helped define the band’s sound through, of all things, the dance hit “Wheel Me Out”. In the 1980s in New York City, Wayne teamed up with the infamous Johnny Thunders for a short-lived, headline grabbing, punk rock group Gang War.

In 1994, Wayne moved to Los Angeles and signed with Epitaph Records. He recorded four records in as many years. He also produced and co-wrote the album Full Circle with former manager John Sinclair and produced a retrospective collection for Rhino Records entitled The Big Bang, and a punk compilation Beyond Cyberpunk.

Wayne has completed score for the third season of HBO’s East Bound & Down and the feature thriller Concrete Blondes as well as the acclaimed “zeitgeist” doc Let Fury Have The Hour. In 2012, he will write and produce original compositions for ShadowMachine’s stop-motion animation feature Hell & Back. Wayne scored the comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby for Sony Pictures, where his song “Edge of the Switchblade” also runs at the film’s end title credits. Wayne composed the score for HBO’s controversial feature length documentary Hacking Democracy, which also utilized “Something Broken in the Promised Land” as its title track. He wrote additional underscore for the feature film Daydreamer (Aron Paul) and he will compose the score for Nelson Algren, a documentary about the legendary Chicago writer, in 2013.

While completing score and narration for the PBS documentary The Narcotic Farm about America’s decades-long failed drug war — as well as its free jazz soundtrack album entitled Lexington — Wayne was featured on the release of Activision’s video game Guitar Hero: World Tour. Recent playing is featured on Marianne Faithfull’s new album and the TV series Why Not? With Shania Twain for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

On television, Wayne’s title theme for the Fox Sports program 5-4-3-2-1 was a bona fide hit and he now has many themes running on Fox including, Spotlight, In My Own Words and Under the Lights. Wayne composed the theme for E!’s hit series Split Ends as well as the “Unlabeled” commercial for Jim Beam. His songs have been featured in a wide array of TV shows and feature films Jackass, Judging Amy, Millenium, Almost Famous, Rock ’n’ Roll High School, I Shot Andy Warhol and Pump Up the Volume. His cues are heard in NFL, NBA and MLB Playoff events and Food Network productions. He has written over 1000 cues for network production music catalogs, including Fox, TelePictures, PostHaste and Bravo’s 2010 series Kell on Earth, among others.

Wayne launched MuscleTone Records in 2001. Its flagship release was his album Adult World. In 2003, he music-directed a performance for the DVD Sonic Revolution: A Celebration of the MC5. That 30-minute documentary and 60-minute concert ran as broadcast staples for BBC-4 (UK) and Trio Networks (USA).

Wayne is recognized nearly as often as a vigorous social activist. Along with wife Margaret Saadi Kramer and legendary British singer Billy Bragg, Wayne founded Jail Guitar Doors USA, a Los Angeles based 501(c)3 non-profit group that provides guitars for use in prisoner rehabilitation. Known as “the loudest charity on planet earth,” JGD-USA launched at Sing Sing Prison in Spring 2009 and has since intervened at over 25 adult and juvenile — both minimum security and maximum-security — facilities in the USA. Shepard Fairey donated the charity’s logo and board member Adam McKay’s company Funny or Die donated the design and programming of its interactive site. JGD-USA is currently building its Board of Directors.

 

 

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Michael Sandoval

Michael created MUSE/MUSE TV after a career in professional sports and journalism. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended Don Bosco Technical Institute in which he studied Electronics and Computer Science and California State University, Fullerton in which he graduated with a degree from the College of Communication in Journalism. He is a big Foo Fighters fan, loves Star Wars and loves photography. Member of the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society.

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