Wayne Kramer in the ’90s.

The bone-rattling guitarist helped set a revolutionary path for expression in 6-string-based music, while drawing on the cultural explosion of the ’60s and elevating its promise for future generations.

Poet, author, patriot, rebel, felon, jailbird-turned-prison-reformer, and—most important—part of the twin-guitar engine of the influential rock band the MC5, Wayne Kramer died on February 2, at age 75, leaving a gap in the world of activist musicianship and a tear in the fabric of American music history. The cause was pancreatic cancer.

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