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The Hard Stuff

Dope, Crime, the MC5, and My Life of Impossibilities
Narrated by: Wayne Kramer
Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)
Regular price: $28.50
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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Wayne Kramer (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

"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)

What members say

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Hard stuff indeed

Great book, very honest and well told. Wayne has lived it all and here to tell his story. A lot of lessons learned along the way and I fell like I learned something as well. Highly recommended.

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Hard stuff is easy listening

I enjoyed hearing the 1st hand stories of Wayne & MC5. As someone from the Midwest and an employee at KLOS, a rock station in LA I've heard second and third hand versions of these stories. Now you have an opportunity to hear them 1st hand from a living legend and hard rock pioneer. Lemmy Kilmister used to say he wanted to create his version of the MC5 in Motorhead. Listening to Wayne Kramer's story you can see where that hard Detroit sound that inspired so many others came from. Also the passion he has to help those incarcerated better themselves with jail guitar doors USA.

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So honest and open.

Wayne Kramer holds nothing back in this brutally honest look into his unique journey through years of hard rocking and harder living. His story is inspiring, entertaining, tragic and triumphant.

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Historic fall from grace

Very interesting depiction of a stepping stone in rock history as well as a depiction of how a person afflicted with addiction deals with life under those terms.