This is my interview with ‘Machine Gun’ Dennis Thompson, former drummer of America’s greatest R & R band the MC5. I actually asked a lot more questions, and hopefully some of those will get answered down the road.


Q: Other than the MC5 material, what music of yours do you consider a career high?


A: The Secrets back in 1981. A trio, this was the best music, second only to The New order, and New Race actually quite proud of.. The tunes were energetic, happy, and we used three part harmonies on half the tunes. Unfortunately this music is unavailable at this time for release.


Q: Tell us about how you got started with music and playing drums?


A: My brother, my sister, and my mother all contributed to my playing a musical instrument. My mom sang, my sister played the piano, and my brother had numerous tres cool rock bands in the late 1950”s when I was 9-10 years old, and they would rehearse in our basement. Long story short, the drummers would leave their drums at our house and I would sneak downstairs and bang away. Got my first kit at six, but it wasn’t as good as my brother’s drummers kits. Our family would get together on holidays and play music together. Quite a unique and heart warming experience. My parents supported my musical career, all except for the sex and drugs part of it, ha, ha. I Got my first drum set when I was six years young. Been bangin’ away ever since…Man I wish they had video cameras back then.


Q: In your opinion what made the MC5 different then British rock bands from the era like the Stones?


A: We were Americans and we were living in the birthplace of rhythm and blues, soul, & rock n’ roll. Plus we studied all forms of jazz, and the above mentioned genre’s, and whenever we heard something we liked, we sorta incorporated it. Ha, ha….


Q: Do you have any upcoming musical plans?


A: Yes. Hopefully DKT/MC5 hits the road this spring and summer. If not, other projects are under way.


Q: Many believe that the MC5’s downfall was a laundry list of bad luck and bad decisions. Do you agree? How do you want the MC5 to be remembered?


A: Yes, that’s pretty much true, if you throw in the FBI, and police harassment. I like Wayne Kramer’s brief summation and that is we simply lost our spiritual connection to each other. 


Q: Any favorite artists? Do you like Niagra’s work from Detroit? Her music?


A: Too many to name here, but I love the John Coltrane Quartet music. Sorry I do not listen to Niagra’s music, but I really like her as a complete artist..


Q: What does the (non-musical) future hold for Machine Gun?


A: My own Television show.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights movie




H/T – to Retro Kimmer for setting this up.

2 Thoughts on “South DaCola music club w/ Machine Gun Dennis Thompson

  1. YW Scott! Thanks so much for the Machinegun posts.

  2. l3wis on March 17, 2009 at 6:33 am said:

    No problem, yah gotta get him to answer all my questions.

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