David Weiss (aka David Was) on MC5's Wayne Kramer: 'He Had a Heart of Gold'

February 03, 2024, 4:00 PM

Wayne Kramer, founding member of the Detroit rock band, MC5, died Friday from pancreatic cancer at age 75, according to a post on his Instagram page. Rolling Stone referred to him as one of rock's greatest guitarists. The band was best known for its song, "Kick Out the Jams."

Native Metro Detroiter David Weiss, aka David Was of the band Was (Not Was), wrote part of this post on Facebook and the rest in an instant message to Deadline Detroit. He resides in California.

By David Weiss

Wayne Kramer

Wayne was a friend, collaborator, co-conspirator and hometown hero.

"Kick Out the Jams" was a call to action, a gob in the eye of authority and a high school era anthem for suburban Detroit, wannabe anarcho-syndicalists like myself and a few others. He played on our first record and appeared at our first NYC gig at the Mudd Club.

He had a heart of gold, a quicksilver laugh and a wicked way with a nuke-powered guitar. He was an OG long before it was even a category, like Jean Genet a very lovable criminal, a six-string Belmondo and a harmless tough guy.

I introduced Wayne to the world of digital, cut and paste music production, years before Pro Tools became the industry standard.

David Weiss aka David Was

He came over to my place in Los Angeles with a digital audio tape of him rehearsing with a drummer for about an hour and a half and I told him, just leave that tape behind with me if you could.

In a week I had edited choice bits of the guitar/drum sketches into what later became his album, "Citizen Wayne," which I also named!

WK called my methodology "David Was's Veg-o-matic" production style. I gave a copy to Chris Carter of "The X-Files" and he licensed the track "Stranger in the House" for his other show, "Millennium," racking up a nice 25 grand payday for the two of us!

Give 'em hell, WK...

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