An excerpt from a VH-1 book, "Behind the Music/1968" by Wayne Robins, 2000 Pocket Books
As it was, from the protest-oriented folksinger community only Phil Ochs showed up in Chicago. And MC5 was the only big rock band there. MC5 stood for Motor City Five. Detroit, with its legacy of union activism and power, was one of the few places in America where blue-collar youth lined up on the side of stoned activism.
"It was kind of standard operating procedure for the MC5 to play at political events, rallies, or antiwar protests," Wayne Kramer, one of the band's guitarists, said. "We heard there was going to be a Festival of Life in Chicago. Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman were good friends with John Sinclair, our manager, and so they said, 'we're going to have an alternative to the Democratic Convention' - [which] we viewed as the Festival of Death.
"We knew it was probably going to be creepy as far as the Chicago Police Department went. We were pretty battle-hardened veterans ourselves. We had been in a bunch of riot situations with the Detroit Police Department, with the Oakland County we kind of knew what to expect. This wasn't a big secret that these forces were going to meet here and there, there was going to be a clash."
Kramer also recalls that the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company were supposed to be coming to Chicago. Whether it was ever true of just yippie hype from the beginning hardly matters.
But Kramer understood where these other bands were coming from--or, not coming from. "I think, in all fairness, they were afraid of the Chicago Police Department. They were afraid of what was going to happen. For the MC5, you know, it was kind of normal for us. We were young, and we were ambitious, and we were committed, and you know, we were arrogant. We were crazy and we were right."

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