Michael Davis, bassist with rock band MC5

LOS ANGELES — Michael Davis, the bassist of influential late-1960s rock band MC5, has died of liver failure, his wife said Saturday. He was 68.

Mr. Davis died at Enloe Medical Center in Chico Friday afternoon after a monthlong hospitalization for liver disease, said Angela Davis.

Born on June 5, 1943, the bassist gained attention in the revolutionary Detroit band MC5 and later played in a version of the group called DKT-MC5 with former MC5 members Wayne Kramer on guitar and Dennis Thompson on drums.


The original MC5 rose to prominence from 1964 to 1972, making waves with incendiary antiestablishment lyrics and a blistering early-punk sound. The group’s first album, “Kick Out the Jams,’’ was released in 1969.

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A sought-after bassist and also producer, Mr. Davis was planning to be in Belgium this week recording with punk rock musician Sonny Vincent, Angela Davis said.

Mr. Davis had a scare in 2006 when he injured his back in a motorcycle accident on a Southern California freeway. He later cofounded the nonprofit Music Is Revolution Foundation, dedicated to supporting music education programs in public schools.

In the last few years, Mr. Davis also returned to a love of painting, fostered when he first studied fine arts at Wayne State University in Michigan. He dropped out of the program in 1964 to play music, but started studying art again recently in Oregon and California, with the intention of finishing his bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Davis leaves their three sons and a daughter from a previous marriage. Memorial plans were pending, said Angela Davis.