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He recorded with and produced punk rock bands throughout his 10 years on New York's Lower East Side, including the notorious singer GG Allin.
In 1979, he joined the acid funk band Was (Not Was) as their first guitarist. Kramer plays on the single "Wheel Me Out". He makes a guest appearance again on their 2008 release "Boo!" on Ryko Records.
Kramer, along with the other surviving members of MC5, reformed in 1991 in a memorial concert to raise money for the family of former lead singer Robin Tyner, who died from a heart attack.
In 1994, Kramer signed to Brett Gurewitz's punk rock label Epitaph Records and began a solo career. He released solo records, including 1995's self-produced The Hard Stuff, which features the band Claw Hammer on most songs, along with appearances from members of The Melvins and The Vandals. In 1996 he released Dangerous Madness. In 1997, he released Citizen Wayne, co-produced by David Was. In 1999, he released the live record LLMF. In 2002, he released the studio album Adult World.
In 2001, Kramer and his wife and manager Margaret Saadi Kramer launched MuscleTone Records, an independent label. MuscleTone and Levi's Clothing partnered to produce a live performance featuring the surviving members and guests Ian Astbury, Dave Vanian and Lemmy, which they filmed at London's 100 Club for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. The event generated worldwide press coverage and prompted a world tour. The tour spanned several years and included dates in Europe, America, Australia, South America and Japan. They have performed together on and off since then with a variety of guests.
Kramer also recorded as bassist on the song "Inside Job" for the grunge band Mudhoney for the album he produced, Beyond CyberPunk. In 2006 he was interviewed for the VH1 show The Drug Years and has been interviewed for nearly a dozen programs about the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots in Chicago, for recovery and addiction in rock and roll, and programs about social justice issues.
On August 27, 2008, Kramer made a special guest appearance at political-rock band Rage Against the Machine's protest concert, at the Tent State Music Festival to End the War, in Denver, Colorado during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He joined them on stage and gave a speech, followed by a joint performance of Kick Out the Jams.
On November 8, 2008, Kramer made a special guest appearance at progressive-rock band Coheed and Cambria's Neverender event in Hollywood, California. He was brought out during the encore act to perform with the band to Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released", and added a third guitar part during the solos of Coheed's song, "Welcome Home."
On May 1, 2009 Kramer attended a sold- out benefit where he was honored for his work with the nonprofit Road Recovery at NYC's Nokia Theatre. The following day, on May 2, 2009 he along with fellow musicians Tom Morello, Jerry Cantrell, Billy Bragg, Perry Farrell, Gilby Clarke and Don Was among others, played for inmates at Sing Sing prison.
Guitar Gallows Bio Information - Wayne Kramer
Wayne Kramer (born April 30, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and film and TV composer.
Kramer came to prominence as a teenager in 1967 as a co-founder of the Detroit rock group MC5 (Motor City 5), a group known for their powerful live performances and radical left-wing political stance. The MC5 broke up amidst drug abuse and personal problems, leading to several fallow years for Kramer, who battled drug addiction before returning to an active recording and performing schedule in the '90s.
Rolling Stone recognizes Kramer as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.
The MC5 often played at Detroit's famous Grande Ballroom and was managed by John Sinclair, a radical left-wing writer and co-founder of the White Panther Party, until 1970 when Jon Landau took over creative management of the group. After MC5's demise, Kramer spent several years committing crimes and battling drug addictions.
In 1975, he was caught selling cocaine to undercover federal agents and went to prison for over two years at the Lexington Federal Prison in Lexington, Kentucky. While incarcerated he met Red Rodney, the American jazz trumpeter who had played with Charlie Parker's quintet. They played together in the institution's Sunday chapel.
Upon his release from prison, he moved to New York City and briefly teamed up with Johnny Thunders. They formed the band Gang War.
Kramer also spent much of the 1980s working as a carpenter in the city, where he co-wrote and regularly performed the R&B musical "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz" with Mick Farren at Tramps, among other NY clubs.