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Michael Davis, bassist for the proto-punk band MC5 died on Friday 17, at the age of 68. Davis died of liver failure; he was hospitalized at the Enloe Medical Center in Chico, CA, about one month ago for a liver disease. Davis leaves his wife, Angela Davis, three sons and a daughter.
Michael Davis joined the revolutionary band MC5 in 1964, replacing the band’s original bass player, Pat Burrows. In order to join the band, Davis dropped out of Wayne State University, where he had been attending a program in Fine Arts. He played in all the three studio albums MC5 recorded, including their debut record, ‘Kick Out The Jams’, released by Elektra Records in 1969.
MC5 band is categorized as one of the pioneers of the punk movement in the USA. Their lyrics were characterized by strong political and anti-racist identification, while their musical style swept from garage rock to hard rock. Davis left the band in 1972, and then reunited with the surviving members in 2003 for live performances.
After MC5 split up in 1972, Davis co-founded the art rock band Destroy All Monsters, together with his friend Ron Asheton of The Stooges. Although they never recorded a proper studio album, Destroy All Monsters became, through live performances, an influential band in the Detroit area. Davis remained with the band for seven years.
Michael Davis also carried on his painting work; he restarted studying art at several institutes, and collaborated with a variety of artists along the years. He also worked as a music producer.
After a dangerous motorcycle accident in May 2006, where he injured his back, Michael Davis and his wife Angela started the non-profit Music Is Revolution Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to support music education in public schools and raise awareness about the importance music education covers for cognitive abilities, understanding and cultural knowledge.