DETROIT – Wayne Kramer, a prominent guitarist and co-founder of the popular Detroit rock group, MC5, returned to the city and spoke with Local 4 about his passion for a Detroit program.
Kramer started the program, Jail Guitar Doors, which helps inmates serving long sentences by giving them a chance to play music.
The program's website describes itself as a "nonprofit organization providing musical instruments and mentorship to help rehabilitate prisoners through the transformative power of music."
Kramer recently spoke with Local 4 photojournalist Alex Atwell while MC5 was in town for the 50th anniversary tour.
"If we don't do something to help people change for the better, the experience of prison life itself will change them for the worse," Kramer said.
Here's more information about the program from the website:
"In 1978, The Clash released the song, 'Jail Guitar Doors.' The song tells the story of the imprisonment of their fellow musician Wayne Kramer. In 2007, to honor the life of Clash founder, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg launches an initiative in England to provide musical equipment used to rehabilitate inmates serving time in Her Majesty’s Prisons in the United Kingdom. His initiative is named for that very same song, 'Jail Guitar Doors.' In 2009, Wayne Kramer partners with Billy Bragg to found Jail Guitar Doors USA. Together, their combined effort continues the mission for prisoners in America. The circle is unbroken."
You can help support the program here.
Kramer has a history of political activism, and he shared his thoughts on the current political climate. You can hear his comments below.