Fred "Sonic" Smith was one of the key architects of the Detroit High Energy rock sound as guitarist and co-founder of the legendary MC5.
He was born in West Virginia on September 13, 1949. During his early childhood, Smith's family moved to Detroit, MI,and at the age of 12 he began learning how to play guitar. By the time Smith was in junior high, he was good enough to be playing in a local band, where he met Wayne Kramer, a classmate who, like Smith, was playing British Invasion-influenced garage rock.
In 1964, Smith and Kramer joined up with another of Detroit's teenage rock enthusiasts, Rob Tyner, and they decided to form a band called MC5 (standing for "Motor City Five") and designed to make the group's name sound like a hot-rod club. With Michael Smith on bass and Dennis Thompson on drums, they soon evolved into one of the most powerful bands of their day.
In 1967, MC5's musical approach attracted the attention of poet and counterculture organizer John Sinclair, who became the group's manager and put a new emphasis on the band's previously subtextural political slant. In 1972, MC5 called it quits.
By 1976, he formed Sonic's Rendezvous Band, a Detroit supergroup that featured former Stooges drummer Scott Asheton and Up bassist Gary Rasmussen alongside Smith and Morgan. Sonic's Rendezvous was one of the finest and most electrifying American rock bands of their day, but given the bad reputation MC5 and the Stooges left upon the music industry, a band featuring members of both groups would prove to be a tough sell, and the group was never able to score the record deal they richly deserved. The only studio recording the band released was a self-distributed single of Smith's masterpiece "City Slang,"with the same song appearing on both sides (a stereo mix on the A-side, mono on the B-side).
In 1980, Fred and Patti Smith were married. Both Patti and Fred continued to write music together, and in 1986, Patti came out of retirement to record the album Dream of Life. Fred wrote much of the material in collaboration with Patti, played guitar on the album, and helped to produce the sessions.
Sadly, it would prove to be one of Fred's last major projects. In the late '80s, his health went into decline, and on November 9, 1994.Fred Sonic Smith died of heart failure in a Detroit hospital ironically, the same malady that took the life of MC5 vocalist Rob Tyner two years earlier.
PLAY IT LOUD !!!
(and as "saunterer" has written ...... when you don't have the money to record more than one song, all you have to do is to press it on both sides of your only single, show your middle finger to all the great rock 'n' roll bands and tell them to fuck off...)