Dennis Thompson, MC5 drummer and last surviving member, has died

Dennis Thompson, drummer for MC5 and last surviving member of the influential protopunk icons, has died at age 75. According to The Detroit Free Press, Thompson died at MediLodge of Taylor where he had been recovering from a heart attack in April.

Born in Detroit in 1948, Thompson began playing drums at age nine and joined MC5 in 1968, where his hard-hitting, rapid-fire style got him the nickname “Machine Gun.” His playing was essential to MC5’s sound — as heard on their classic 1969 album Kick Out the Jams — which was a huge influence on punk, metal and rock in general.  The band broke up in 1972 and Thompson played in a variety of other groups afterwards, including hard rock supergroup The New Order (which included Stooges’ Ron Asheton). He reconnected with Wayne Kramer and the other surviving members of MC5 for as DKT/MC5 which played from 2003 – 2012. More recently he worked on a new MC5 album that was announced with a 2023 release but still hasn’t come out.

Rest easy, Dennis.

MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer died in February of this year.

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