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Farewell: Wayne Kramer Remembers Charles Moore

Ex-MC5 guitarist and Detroit trumpeter were longtime collaborators

Charles Moore

Inner-city Detroit in the 1960s was a hotbed of artistic possibilities. The intelligentsia of New York, Los Angeles, London or Paris never thought anything of cultural value could be happening in Detroit. “They make cars there,” was the joke. But the reality on the ground was that in this tough, grey, highly polarized social environment, the cultural breakthroughs were magnificent.

Not only was there the long, rich history of jazz in Detroit, there were a lot of new things emerging in our ghetto neighborhood near Wayne State University. This was the home of the Artists Workshop, founded by John Sinclair and trumpeter Charles Moore along with a gang of motor city maniac poets and artists. It was there, in 1967, that I first met Charles through Sinclair, who became my mentor and the manager of the MC5. He and Charles were best friends. Charles and I clicked and that began what turned out to be a 47-year musical collaboration. As time went on, Charles and I became better friends and worked together on MC5 records and live performances.

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