02. Stranger In The House
03. It's Never Enough
04. Something Broken In The Promised Land
05. Take Your Clothes Off
06. Down On The Ground
07. Junkie Romance
09. Count Time
10. No Easy Way Out
11. Crack In The Universe
12. So Long, Hank
13. Kick Out The Jams
14. Bomb Day In
Soon to come...
LLMF was produced by Jason Roberts and Wayne Kramer.
Executive producer: David Was
Recorded live by Jason Roberts at The Mint, Los Angeles, Ca on three consecutive Tuesdays: 2/24/98, 3/3/98, 3/10/98.
Mixed by Jason Roberts at The Lab, Silverlake, CA
Digitally edited by Jason Roberts at Hollywood Interactive, Sherman Oaks, CA
Assistant: Rick O'Neill
Mastered by Geoff Sykes at John Golden Mastering, Ventura, CA
Photography: William Nettles
Back Cover Photo: Adam Williams
Rhythm section portrait by Lakeside Lounge photo booth, NYC
CD design: Margaret Saadi, William Nettles
Wayne Kramer's publishing is administered for the world by Westbeach Music (BMI). David Was is published by EMI (ASCAP). Mick Farren is published by LeoSong (BMI) administered by Copyright Management (BMI). "Kick Out The Jams" written by the MC5 and published by Warner Chappell Music (BMI). Doug Lunn's basses are made by ZON Guitars.
Kudos: Anthony Belanger, Tony Scarpa and Mauro Rubbi at Cole Rehearsal; Jed Ojeda and the rterrific staff at the Mint; Mick Farren; Epitaph Team Kramer; Erurotaph Team Kramer; Masahiro Hidaka at Smash Corp; Mick Webster and Neville Hartley-Hunt; Joe Hurley; John Sinclair; Legs McNeil; Gillian McCain; Dawn Manners; Bill Adler; Atty. Edward T. Saadi; George Saadi; Jodi "LawGirl" Sax; Michael Simmons; Steve Bloom; Andy Somers and Val Wolfe; Brad Strickland at KORG; George Wendt; Sean Beresford at Mesa/Boogie; Stewart Teggart; Laura Tyson at Roland Corp; Randall Wixen; our friends Dave Thomas and Laurel Legler at Future/Now Films; and to my sweetheart, my wife Marjorie
Wayne Kramer is managed by Margaret Saadi at Muscle Music.
US Rel. Date: 01/01/1999
EU Rel. Date: 01/01/1999
Today you've got former White Panther party guru John "Blind Lemon" Sinclair now harmlessly thwacking a beat-up acoustic guitar at the local internet café, James Kunen has vanished into obscurity, Abbie Hoffman's reduced to useless bones in a box, and former radical Jerry Rubin's now a dead yuppie lawyer. We could use a still- breathing, confrontational '60s radical or two in the '90s, right? Stir some shit up. Tell us the truth about our mystified asses. Lucky for us, Mr. Kramer, stubborn wise-ass crank that he is, refuses to let his ingrained militancy and idealism die-- however unfashionable those qualities may be amidst all the indie rock self- pity and French- fried escapist pop flourishing nowadays.
But let's get to the main issue here: Citizen Wayne and his brand new live album, LLMF. Kramer's only other solo live offering (apart from his work with the MC5) was the much- hyped but ultimately disappointing 1982 made- in- junkie- heaven duet of Kramer and Johnny Thunders entitled Gang War. It really wasn't until Epitaph put out Kramer's 1994 scorcher The Hard Stuff, that the road to career recovery began.
But the appeal of LLMF doesn't lie so much in any radical improvements on the recorded output as much as in Kramer's balls- out guitar virtuosity: his awesome stylistic range encompasses bluesy leads, whirling dervish free- jazz runs, punk- metal power- chording, and burly funk- inflected licks, among other more obscure touches. Believe it or not, kiddos, this fella is one of the last truly great guitar "heroes" still plugging away (gee, remember guitar heroes?). He's one of a select few guitar gods who isn't withered and useless in their old age, dead, or long since replaced by a machine. Conventional musical terminology can't really do justice to his tone and attack. Larger than life urban sounds come to mind-- the shriek of a subway car skidding on its tracks, a jackhammer pounding a city street, wailing police sirens, etc.
Of course, LLMF isn't a perfect album by any means. The cautionary tale of "Junkie Romance" plods, and never really settles into its groove like the original recording; "So Long Hank" is a dragging, stop- start elegy of sorts for booze poet Charles Bukowski. There's also some self- glorifying nostalgia: "Down on the Ground" recounts in detail the MC5's infamous drug- addled gig at the riotous 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Kramer does love the sound of his own voice a tad too much-- dig all that measured elocution of his proletariat- free verse on "Poison" and "Bomb Day in Paris." Some of this experiemental spoken word- type stuff hits its mark, other times it just sounds stilted and awkward.
But the true beauty of this record is that Kramer proves he can still rock with the best of 'em. "Bad Seed" from 1994's The Hard Stuff and "Stranger in the House" from 1997's Don "Walk the Dinosuar" Was- produced Citizen Wayne are equally strong as (and in some cases, even stronger than) their original versions. The blistering social commentary and tales from the dark side of the American Dream in "Something Broken in the Promised Land" and "Crack in the Universe" also translate live with brutal clarity. And "Count Time" is a tight James Brown- influenced funk workout about the day- to- day misgivings of life in the Big House and the myth of criminal "rehabilitation."
Kramer has gone from a street thug to a legendary MC5 guitarist, back to a street thug, then to a convict. Now, finally, he's turned around and become a formidable solo artist. Yep, Mr. Kramer's done some hard time and gained valuable wisdom to pass on to today's young folk. I mean, it's not exactly James Brown's Live at the Apollo, but as you'll see, LLMF does have it's own undeniable moments of timeless perfection.
Average Fan Rating: 0.00