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RT: The thing Is, people live inside the...

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RT: The thing Is, people live inside the game structure, and they're just not involved. They can't be involved, man, because they get the world in a little picture tube. Everything happens in there. So i f you haven't been in there, or if you haven 't come out of a speaker box on the radio, then you don 't exist. You dig. That's a pity, it's a sickening pity that it is, because musicians and artists, man, sometimes they die, people, sometimes they actually DIE. I mean, have a little compassion, people.

Have you ever dug the radio on 6 o'clock Sunday morning, man, all those religious shows? Or 8 o'clock Sunday night, on some of the smaller stations? That time is being used by those people turning out some little religious shows. But wouldn't there be a better chance that a human person could get ahold of that radio time and do some- thing with it--get together a real amazing together religious rock&roll music show? And TV time -- did you ever dig those Saturday morning cartoon shows? Some of them are so bogue, man, some of them are so senseless. Why couldn't we get some of that time and do something with it? I just wonder how possible that would be. Why don't some of our people get into that end of it, where we could see it and hear it on the media? I mean, our people are getting into the music thing, and really doing it, but you can 't hear it on the radio. So we have to start taking over the mass media, because that's where it's at- that's where the consensus of the people's thinking comes from. It's part of their lives. We just have to show them that there's more than what they already know. What you can understand is limitless.

JS: And you can't understand something unless you are able to stand under it. Let it fall down on you, wash over you. Everybody wants to "understand" what's going on without standing under it, and that's the trouble. They want somebody to tell them everything, without going through it themselves.

RT: What we need is a sort of well-rounded home, man. Because like, calling ourselves a community, that sort of thing, we need the mass media. Because like you've mentioned to me in the past, man, we've just handed out too many handbills. It's definitely not easy. But if we had some people who were together enough to put together some radio shows, some hip TV shows, I m sure that since we've already taken over the newspapers, we might as well hit them with all the barrels. We need people for the radio stations and the televisions, and all of that. If there's anybody out there who's got a radio station they would like to lend out, or give away, or if anybody would like to give a nonprofit organization some radio time, I'm sure we could arrange something very nice indeed.

JS: Well, you know you can get all of that, but you know what you have to do to get it. The point in getting your own thing is that you don 't have to do all that shit and you can still get what you want. Because the citizens seem to be looking to us for THE WORD, you know, for what 's happening, and they've just now discovered that we exist....

RT: Like last week (Laughter). And now that they know that the beatniks have got it...and the most beautiful thing about this is that it's happening all over the country, man, all at the same time. The country is coming. That 's beautiful, man. Because like two years ago I had absolutely no faith in the people of Detroit, or the people of America--I wanted the Russians to bomb them all right off the face of the earth, man, I wanted the whole world to explode, because everybody was a drag and I hated everything. All I loved was the music, man -- the music of the god. John Coltrane.

JS: "The music will see us through...."

RT: And it will, man, because we've already won. The music has always been the driving force behind everyone, man - the music, the music. Music is such a big part of American life today. Do you realize how much music there is to listen to? And it's all bullshit. It's too bad that it all couldn't be beautiful, because then we'd all be beautiful people. Because the people who hear the beauty of the music become softer. The people who hear the music throw off a little bit of their armor- because they know that the person who is singing the beautiful songs is without armor, you dig, so you have to drop yours to listen to it. And the people who listen to the music totally are the people who listen to good music all the time, real music all the time, and they know that the world is open, man, and that you don't have to wear armor. That's why I can 't conceive of the idea of any hippies that I know being violent at all, because they listen to too much good music for that.

JS: Right. Just like at the Love-In, you saw that the people who didn't have any trouble at all were the ones who were right there where the music was. The music was so out-of-sight that day.

RT: Because the music sustains and vitalizes them....

JS: Sets loose positive energy instead of negative energy. . . .

RT: The only people that cause any trouble are the people who can't hear you. ...just like you can't hear with a football helmet on...

JS: Or a banana in your ear....  

RT: Or whiskey in your head.

JS: All that stuff deadens your senses....  

RT: And that 's what the whole thing is all about -- if your senses are deadened, then your touch with outside reality is lessened, man. And the more In tune with your senses you are, the more REAL you are. And you have to be real to hear the music. And your senses have to be as sensitive as the music in order to hear it all. And to hear like that, you have to take the football helmet off, and your breastplate and armor and swords and everything-- throw it away! Because you have to be as free as the music to hear it.

JS: And the music will keep you there ...It's a beautiful circle.

RT: If you elect to hear the field of music, then that's all you can do-- you can't do anything else. You don't have anything else.

JS: You don 't need anything else.

RT: You don't want anything else. That 's why my people gave me a little static before I entered the music business, you know, but just a trifle. ...And I explained to them that I felt the music, and I had to have the music, and they realized that. They were surprisingly understanding, after they dug that. They were trying to keep me from evil influences, you know. They were as beautifully sincere as all parents are. The thing is that they understood when I told them that I had to have the music, when I showed them, they understood immediately, just as every young musician's people will have to understand. The parents are up tight because there's no economic security in the music business, but that 's what's groovy about it. It hips you to the variables. It doesn't have to be the way they say it does. You know, the security change is very important to a lot of people. The thing is, if you know you've got it, then there's your security. You try to tell your people that. My people fortunately understood that. I told them, "I got it, hey, you know, I've GOT IT, I don't care what it sounds like, I just gotta (CONTINUED ON PAGE 15)


do it." And that's your security right there. You know you've got it, so you're secure. It's as simple as that. You just go out there and do it. But you've got to DO IT to do it. And if you don't, then you're slighting not only yourself but the universe too, because the universe is telling you to do it. Every molecule of your body says DO IT, man, and your body can 't be wrong. If you don't do what your body says, then you're just constricting and torturing yourself.

JS: When do you think your music will be heard? Recording happenings, or things like that?

RT: The single is being heard now....

JS: Yes-- kids, call your radio station and tell them to play the BIG record- "I Can Only Give You Everything, " by the MC-5....

RT: A skin commercial for the MC-5....

JS: Do you have another record coming out soon?

RT: We'll shortly be recording again, I'm sure, because our managers have decreed it. They've mentioned that we should do it again. So I guess we'll do it.

JS: Are you thinking about an album?

RT: I'm always thinking about an album I want an album right now! J

JS: So do I!

RT: I want 4 or 5 of them.

JS: What about your management?

RT: Well, to clear that all up.... There is no hassIe, anyway. The thing is, a lot of nasty articles were written, but again, we were speaking from one side of the fence, and there's more to it than that. We all got together and we talked it all over, and we reached a beautiful agreement. As far as provisions go for the music-- which was all I was interested in anyway--we're totally and beautifully free to do anything we want. It was very gracious of them to do that, because very few would. Because a predominantly large amount of the business people of the world are just poor, scared people, and they're just scared of anything new and scared of anything that doesn't sound like, you know, the Beach Boys or whatever, because they got to GET THE MONEY, GET THE MONEY, GET THE MONEY, SUCCEED, SUCCEED, SUCCEED, get up there and GET IT GET IT GET IT. But we've got some people who have a little more respect for the music, and I think we're very fortunate to have people who are sensible enough not to want to detract from the musical level.

JS: Now i f you'll only get an album out.

RT: Oh, we'll get that, that 's no problem. I mean, from here on in, as far as our own personal music goes, that 's pretty much taken care of, and I'm very happy with the way things are going to be going. You see, the contract that we were going to sign, that was pretty much a standard general contract, and if you read the provisions outside of this game, you dig, it would sound a bit constricting. But they're talking about abstractions with vast sums of money like, ok, I'll be willing to take 10% of 3% split 5 ways from 17 billion dollars, you know, that's a lot of bread. I don't care about that anyway- that doesn't faze me a bit. It never has. That didn't stop me from getting into the music business in the first place, and it won 't keep me out of it now. You know. The most important thing about the music is the music, not how much it makes or whatever happens with it, but it's the music that counts, and that will always be my firm resolution and it always has been. I mean if I find myself shucking I'll just drop out completely.

JS: Which you won 't have to do....

RT: I hope not. Because I have some top secret plans that are going to take singing out there. . . .

JS: What about the symphonies you've been writing lately?

RT: I've been writing some strange symphonies, yes. We 're hoping to put on a series of concerts in the near future, and we've been writing some symphonic pieces that we hope to perform in a quiet and dignified atmosphere. They couldn't really be done at a record hop, not at this point, so we 're looking for a new way to present them. The forms of the music... we'll keep on supplying the people with as much music as we can, you know, I mean as much music as is artistically feasible tor us, as far as havlng people dance and get sweaty, because that's what they're supposed to be doing anyway. That's why we do numbers like "Can't Explain" and "C.C. Rider" and "Tobacco Road"-- we want the people to dance, you know, that's an integral part of the music, to get people 's reactions to it, and if we see people doing beautiful movements to our music, then we have no recourse but to think that our music is beautiful. And sweating- sweating is very important, it lubricates the body- that's why you see me standing up there in a pool of sweat, I just sweat like crazy, because it makes me move so good. Just open the floodgates and let your body evaporate, That's fantastic. That's what it is-- just let your body evaporate. That's the best tribute that a person can give to a musician- just stand there in front of him and sweat to his music. You know, the music burns you up-burns all the fat off - just burns you lean. That's why we play the way we do, that's why I stand there in the middle of "Can't Explain" and scream "Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!" Like when we play at places like the Grande Ballroom- they have seats down in front where people just sit and watch the bands, and that's how it should be, I mean people should be at ease so that they don't have any body hangups, so they can sit down and just let their bodies disintegrate and just be a mind and an ear, you know, just listen to the music. Feel the music and watch It. But any more, man, I....if the audience doesn't vibrate back, if you don't play for an audience that vibrates strongly, then it'll either do one of two things to us: it'll either turn us off completely, or it'll shoot us to heights to try and make the audience vibrate back- because we know they can vibrate, we've felt them vibrate before--I mean I know all these people personally, I've walked up to them and talked to them and, you know, said things to them and said "Hi" to them and tried to get near them - because the people have to feel the music, you have to get down to a personal level with the people, make it a personal thing. Instead of being a radio-speaker-symbol for music... I'm not just music, I'm a human being and I 'm talking to you, each and every one of you. I'm not just singing some abstraction, I'm talking to you - making personal contact. You have to, in order to tune your music to the people.

JS: You take it out of a dramatic mode, which is what most "entertain- ment" is all about, and put it into a personal mode. What the young bands don't seem to realize is that if you get up there and sing somebody else's material, then you're just an actor, and you throw out the really human possibilities of music „ You hear bands do songs because they're hip, or on the charts, that's one thing... but like you told me about a song like "Tobacco Road," how that relates to specific concerns of yours, like your own concept of community and that whole change...or the way the Jefferson Airplane does It, you can feel that the song means something to them.

RT: I think the Airplane has the best version of that song, because it's got all the sadness in It. Now you take a lot of people, I don't think they realize what they're creating. Take a tune like "C.C."- think about "C.C. Rider"- when Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels do it, it's jumpin' and groovin' and drivin' hard and ballsy. . . .But you take that tune and write it down on a piece of paper, look at the words, scan it, see what they look like, and it's amazing, the meanings in there. But it's turned into such a horrendous thing- people just kept chanting the words over and over and it became so profound....

JS: Magic...

RT: Certainly-- magic. Magic's very important. I had a dream about the long-haired angels from outer space just as I wanted to get farther into the music. I began dreaming about angels, dig It, and that 's why I know the whole thing is divine. See, the angels come to earth in a ship, and the ship crashes and their instruments get smashed. The beautiful long-haired angel people from another world, I don't know where, they're just beautiful musical people.  Their culture is based on music just like ours is going to be, and so their people sent the best and most sensitive and most open of the musicians to show our people, to communicate with our people, and their instruments get smashed, right?  this all happened in my first dream.  And they found that they could play the musical instrument of this world, because...(CONTINUED ON PAGE 18)


JS: Because they were musicians...

RT: Right. And ever since, I've known that something strange is happening. The first tune I ever wrote was called "Long-Haired Angels Screaming." We haven't ever done it with the band. "On a thousand real stages/ throughout the land/ More than prophesied by the eyes of man/ Long-haired angels screaming in the night/ their amplified carols/ Try as you might/ you can 't get them off your mind/ don't ask me why/ They have voices piercing as the birds in the sky/ and the beasts on the land and the fish of the sea/ and you and your brothers and your sisters and me...." You dig? That was my first tune. And ever since then I've known that that's my vocation. I have to do it. Because the angels are here, man, they've entered human bodies. Maybe I'm not the same being I was - maybe the dreams took over, and maybe i'm an alien. That 's why the music happened, that 's where the music's coming from. Sun Ra tells you that, man, Sun Ra... you ask him if that 's what's happening, if that 's what happened to him, and he'll say "yes, possibly".... When he talks about leaving the planet, he means when he goes from this planet to the others as our ambassador. Right? As the ambassador who will state the mental and physiological condition of the people of earth. I sincerely believe that. And I want to play on the show with him.

Note: Robin Tyner and the MC-5 will be playing on the show with Sun Ra and his Myth-Science Arkestra when they come to Detroit Saturday June 10, for a concert in Upper DeRoy Auditorium on the WSU campus brought to you by Trans-Love Energies Unllmited and THE SUN. Watch for more details. Magic lights by the Magic Veil Light Co.