Fred “Sonic” Smith (born on November 14, 1954) is an American musician and singer-songwriter who has been a co-founder of the band The Fugs and writer for more than three decades. Smith was known as one of America’s greatest underground musicians in the 1970s and 1980s; he had a late start to his career due to substance abuse problems which culminated into two stints in prison by 2003. He emerged from obscurity with his 2005 memoir We Ate Our Own, detailing how he went through multiple rehab programs until clearing out any cocaine or heroin traces in 2006 before relapsing again within months that year.
Fred “Sonic” Smith is a musician, singer and songwriter. He was born on December 23rd, 1942 in St. Louis, Missouri. His parents were both musicians who encouraged him to learn the piano at an early age. In 1959, he formed his first band called The Tri-Tones with three of his friends. By 1964, he had already recorded four singles as a member of The Beatles’ backing group The Silver Beetles and performed on their album A Hard Day’s Night.
As guitarist and co-founder of the legendary MC5, Fred “Sonic” Smith was one of the key architects of the Detroit High Energy rock sound, and while his work after the band’s breakup was sporadic, what has survived is strong enough to confirm his reputation as one of the great unsung heroes of Midwest rock & roll.
Fred Sonic Smith was born on September 13, 1949, in West Virginia. Smith’s family relocated to Detroit, Michigan, when he was a kid, and at the age of 12, he started learning to play the guitar. Smith was proficient enough to play in a local band by junior high, when he met Wayne Kramer, a student who, like Smith, was playing British Invasion-influenced garage rock; Kramer also shared Smith’s interest in exploring odd musical paths. In 1964, Smith and Kramer teamed up with Rob Tyner, another Detroit adolescent rock fan, to create MC5, which stands for “Motor City Five” and was intended to sound like a hot-rod club. MC5’s guitarists started exploring their common love for the blues, their growing affection for the experimental possibilities of jazz, and the unearthly scream of guitar feedback, although the band’s early material was pretty standard-issue stuff for a local adolescent band in the mid-’60s. The group’s first rhythm section was scared away by their experiments, but with Michael Smith on bass and Dennis Thompson on drums, they quickly evolved into one of the most powerful bands of their time, with Smith and Kramer’s fiery wails sounding like a clarion call for a trailblazing blend of hard rock punch and free jazz wanderlust.
John Sinclair, a poet and counterculture activist, became the band’s manager in 1967, putting a fresh focus on the band’s hitherto subtextural political bent. MC5 became one of America’s most contentious bands after becoming the new house band of the extreme, Marxist White Panther Party. Despite the strength and musical diversity of their three albums (they were frequent headliners at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, but had little luck finding gigs on the East Coast or West Coast), the band’s image as rabble-rousers made it all but impossible for the band to reach a sizable audience outside the Midwest. Smith provided two excellent hard rockers, “Sister Anne” and “Skunk (Sonically Speaking),” that open and conclude the record, and his lone lead vocal with the band, “Shakin’ Street” (from Back in the USA), was one of the album’s best and most unique moments.
When the MC5 disbanded in 1972, Smith started searching for a new vehicle to forward his musical ideas. In 1973, Smith teamed up with another veteran of the Detroit scene, Scott Morgan, the former lead singer of the Rationals, to form Ascension, reuniting with fellow MC5 vets Dennis Thompson and Michael Davis. However, the band was short-lived, and Smith teamed up with another veteran of the Detroit scene, Scott Morgan, the former lead singer of the Rationals, in 1974. Morgan’s first post-Rationals song, “Take a Look”https://www.allmusic.com/”Soul Mover,” included Smith on lead guitar, and the two quickly formed a band. By 1976, the ensemble had developed into Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, a Detroit supergroup that included Smith and Morgan, as well as former Stooges drummer Scott Asheton and Up bassist Gary Rasmussen. Sonic’s Rendezvous was one of the best and most electrifying American rock bands of the time, but given the negative image that the MC5 and the Stooges had in the music industry, a band featuring members of both groups would be difficult to sell, and the group never got the record deal they deserved. The band’s sole studio recording was a self-released single of Smith’s masterwork “City Slang,” which included the same song on both sides (a stereo mix on the A-side, mono on the B-side).
Patti Smith, the fiery rock poetess, came to Detroit in 1976 to promote her album Radio Ethiopia, and met Fred Sonic Smith during a party hosted at Lafayette Coney Island, one of the city’s most famous hot dog vendors. Despite the fact that Fred Smith was married at the time, he and Patti hit it off right away and had a low-key relationship. Fred was single again by 1978, and he and Patti were able to make their relationship public. Fred and Patti were married in 1980; Sonic’s Rendezvous Band had just disbanded, and Patti had decided to stop touring after a disastrous European tour after the publication of her album, Wave. The couple settled down in St. Clair Shores, a Detroit suburb, to raise their son and daughter away from the media glare and the rigors of a musician’s life. Patti and Fred continued to collaborate on music, and Patti came out of retirement in 1986 to record the album Dream of Life. Fred co-wrote a lot of the songs with Patti, played guitar on the album, and assisted with the production. “Dream of Life was really more Fred’s album — it was all Fred’s music, Fred’s concept,” Patti remarked in a 1996 interview. Despite positive reviews, Dream of Life struggled to find an audience, despite including the rousing “People Have the Power,” a song that would become a staple of Patti’s live performances. Unfortunately, it would be one of Fred’s last big undertakings. Fred Sonic Smith died of heart failure in a Detroit hospital on November 9, 1994, the same illness that claimed the life of MC5 singer Rob Tyner two years before.
Patti Smith continued recording and performing after Fred’s death, acknowledging Fred’s impact on her work often, while a continuous stream of archive MC5 albums introduced his music to a new generation of admirers. Sweet Nothing, a previously bootlegged live recording of a fiery live performance the group performed in Ann Arbor in 1978, was published in 1998 by a small Detroit company, Mack Aborn Rhythmic Arts, as the first authorized Sonic’s Rendezvous Band CD. In 1999, the same label issued City Slang, a Sonic’s Rendezvous compilation that combined live versions with a rare studio recording of the title track.
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Fred “Sonic” Smith is an American musician and actor. He was the lead singer of The Knack, a band that had a string of hits in the early 1980s. His debut solo album, “Rockin’ With Sonic”, was released in 1986. Reference: fred sonic” smith images.
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A: I do not have that information at my disposal.
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A: Fred Sonic Smith was born in Fort Worth, Texas.
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