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Meet The Author: Wayne Kramer

Wayne Kramer, as the leader of Detroit’s incendiary rock band The MC5, helped form the White Panther Party in solidarity with other organizations working for racial and economic equality during the Vietnam War, making him a target of the FBI’s counterintelligence program. After serving a federal prison term, he released ten solo albums. He is considered a pioneer of both punk rock and heavy metal, with Rolling Stone naming him one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. Alongside songwriter Billy Bragg, Kramer founded Jail Guitar Doors USA, a non-profit with a mission to help rehabilitate prison inmates by teaching them to express themselves positively through music.

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Praise

"Wayne Kramer's story is an incredible tale of rock 'n' roll redemption. The MC5 crystallized the '60s counterculture movement at its most volatile and basically invented punk rock music. But Wayne's life proved to be as chaotic as his groundbreaking guitar playing. Rogue, rascal, rebel, revolutionary, artist, addict, inmate, poet, prisoner, and now proud papa, Brother Wayne Kramer is one of the wisest people I know, and he has earned that wisdom the hard way. The world needs to know this man's story. Here it is."--Tom Morello, guitarist of Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage
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"Wayne Kramer is the biggest badass in rock 'n' roll. Period. And The Hard Stuff proves it. Between these covers is a story of survival, talent, madness, dope, guts, and a sheer, fearless commitment to bringing straight-up enlightenment to this fascist, prison-happy nation we happen to inhabit--even if it meant putting his own freedom, and his own unbelievably epic life, on the line. This just may be the best memoir of the year."--Jerry Stahl, author of I, Fatty and Permanent Midnight
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"A rollicking account...from his rough upbringing in post-war Detroit, to his transformation from greaser guitarist to rock 'n' roll revolutionary."—MOJO
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"Relives those energising days of the late '60s, when Detroit's MC5 mixed rock and revolution with free jazz and exceptional hair...An inspiring and redemptive tale."—Uncut
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"MC5 fans will relish the opportunity to hear Kramer's version of events from the band's history...The Hard Stuff's lesson is an inspirational one: no matter how far you fall, circumstances can arise which lead you to a better place. Plus it's just wildly entertaining."—Midnight to Six
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"A gritty rock memoir detailing a cult American band's fall from grace and its subsequent determination not to get up...Gripping and sobering...A manual of how not to be in a band."—Wanted Online
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"Often harrowing, sometimes hilarious and always compelling."—Buffalo News
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"The MC5 are the ultimate cult band: a rebellious group from late-1960s Detroit whose raw, proto-punk take on rock'n'roll influenced everyone from the Sex Pistols to Primal Scream. They never made it, though, and when you read this memoir by the guitarist and leader Wayne Kramer, you begin to see why. The Hard Stuff can be read as a manual of how not to become a rock star. Drugs, band feuds, jail and radical politics all combined to prevent stardom. This is a story of bad luck and bad behaviour in equal measure."—Times of London
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"He defied death, drugs and detention. Now MC5 legend Wayne Kramer has written an equally full-on memoir...Eye-opening...Wide-ranging...His journey from fatherless child to musical maverick to junkie to upstanding survivor reads like a history of the late 20th century."—The Observer
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"There's nothing like an autobiography when it comes to really digging deep. Kramer's The Hard Stuff does exactly that. It's simultaneously brutally honest, heartbreaking, hilarious, and life-affirming...It's a frankly wonderful read."—Detroit Metro Times
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Reader Reviews

The Hard Stuff

The Hard Stuff

Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities

The first memoir by Wayne Kramer, legendary guitarist and cofounder of quintessential Detroit proto-punk legends The MC5

In January 1969, before the world heard a note of their music, The MC5 was on the cover of Rolling Stone. The missing link between free jazz and punk rock, they were raw, primal, and, when things were clicking, absolutely unstoppable.

Led by legendary guitarist Wayne Kramer, The MC5 was a reflection of the times: exciting, sexy, violent, chaotic, and out of control, all but assuring their time in the spotlight would be short-lived. They toured the country, played with music legends, and had a rabid following, their music acting as the soundtrack to the blue collar youth movement springing up across the nation. Kramer wanted to redefine what a rock ‘n’ roll group was capable of, and there was power in reaching for that, but it was also a recipe for disaster, both personally and professionally. The band recorded three major label albums but, by 1972, it was all over.

Kramer’s story is (literally) a revolutionary one, but it’s also the deeply personal struggle of an addict and an artist, a rebel with a great tale to tell. The ’60s were not all peace and love, but Kramer shows that peace and love can be born out of turbulence and unrest. From the glory days of Detroit to the junk-sick streets of the East Village, from Key West to Nashville and sunny L.A., in and out of prison and on and off of drugs, his is the classic journeyman narrative, but with a twist: he’s here to remind us that revolution is always an option.
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Genre: Nonfiction / Music / Genres & Styles / Punk

On Sale: August 14th 2018

Price: $24.98

ISBN-13: 9781538712757