The Detroit late 60s Proto-Punk Scene – extract from Rock routes – A book on Rock Music by Opher Goodwin

Everything you need to know about Rock Music.

The Detroit late 60s Proto-Punk Scene

The surge of Underground activity that swept through the East Coast in the late 60s engulfed Detroit City and gave rise to a branch of music that was to have a big effect on the later development of Rock Music. The brash Garage Punk of the mid 1960s was further adapted to form an extremely violent, weird and political genre of music. The two bands responsible for this were the MC5 and Iggy Pop and the Stooges.

Neither of them surged to the forefront of popularity or break any commercial records but both of them achieved cult followings that were to prove very important to the development of the New York New Wave in the 1970s and the British Punk movement.

The MC5 started as a heavy band who were tied in to John Sinclair’s White Panther Party and thus extremely political from the outset. Their first album was called ‘Kick out the Jams’. It was a live album which caused a great deal of controversy because of the line ‘Kick out the Jams Motherfuckers’ shouted out at the beginning of the song. Many record shops refused to stock it. These shops soon found themselves the victim of a window sticker’s campaign. The stickers read ‘Fuck You’ and contained the MC5 logo. The music was loud, fast and explosive. It set the trend for future developments.

Iggy Pop & the Stooges were formed by Iggy after he left a local Garage Band called the Iguanas (Hence Iggy). He formed the band out of a bunch of friends who could barely play. Iggy focussed on developing his image of total depravity and the band set about building its reputation as being the most demented act in Rock. Iggy would slash hi body with broken glass, smash glasses and perform oral sex with the bottle while the bands produced a loud heavy chorded backing that set them up as a major cult band.


Artist Stand out tracks
Iggy Pop & the Stooges Search & destroy

The passenger

No fun

I wanna be your dog

Fun house

Gimme danger

Raw power

MC5 Kick out the Jams

Come together

The American Ruse

The human being lawnmower

Skunk (sonically speaking)

Everything you ever wanted to know about Rock Music!
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Opher Goodwin

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