In this segment of World Café, host David Dye interviews Wayne Kramer, one of the founding members of the radical rock band MC5. Kramer critically reflects on his life in Detroit in the 1960s and how the declining car market led to an increase in unemployment, poverty, and the drug trade. He also examines his own participation in criminal activity and the time he spent in prison due to cocaine convictions.
Kramer further discusses how his involvement in the criminal justice system helped to inspire the song “Jail Guitar Doors” by the Clash, which later motivated English singer songwriter Billy Bragg to form a nonprofit aptly named after the song. The nonprofit Jail Guitar Doors works to educate and empower inmates through music, as well as educate the public about prison issues and solutions. In 2009, Billy Bragg and Wayne Kramer partnered to open Jail Guitar Doors USA to continue this effort in the United States. Click here to learn more about how you can help out this great nonprofit.
Danielle McDonald, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Criminal Justice
Department of Political Science, Criminal Justice & Organizational Leadership
Northern Kentucky University