With the recent news of activist and poet John Sinclair, famous as being a martyr for the cannabis culture, passing away, we must take a look back at when he and his band came to Kalamazoo a year before Woodstock.

That is he could’ve come to Kalamazoo when his band MC5 headlined a festival out here. Sinclair was the manager for MC5 from 1966 through 1969 and they played all over the place. There have been many legendary bands that have come to Kalamazoo to perform at some of the oddest venues. There is an entire list of oddball shows that have taken place in Kalamazoo here, like B.B. King, playing at the Gilmore Brothers Auto Park, and people like Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash playing at Central High School back in 1968.

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Before Woodstock would blow up, a gritty band from Detroit MC5, and quite possibly their manager, the late John Sinclair would make their way to West Michigan and headline the Kalamazoo pop festival on October 26, 1968.

I tried looking for the setlist from that night, but the setlist website does not indicate what songs were performed that night. What is said, is there is a long-lost venue in Kalamazoo.

Who Remembers The Kalamazoo Venue...Crazy Horse?

When MC5 played the show it was at a venue called Crazy Horse, which was very popular in the 60s and 70s. The Concert Database places its original location at 5845 S. 12th Street in Portage, where the Bullfrogs & Butterflies Christian Learning Center & Preschool is today. One thing is for sure, the impact of MC5 has touched many bands' lives, and they are a staple band of Michigan.

No one knows for sure if John Sinclair traveled with them to Kalamazoo, but something tells me he would’ve fit in over here. Rest easy, sir.

John Sinclair's death comes exactly 2 months after founding MC5 member Wayne Kramer's death on February 2nd.

The Craziest Concerts To Ever Take Place In Kalamazoo

Whether it's the venue or the performer, these stick out as the most odd and wild shows in Kalamazoo history.

The Colorful Adventure of Finding Traverse City's Hippy Tree

Gallery Credit: TSM Mark Frankhouse


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