I first learned/heard about the MC5 in Rolling Stone magazine, which as I recall ran a long story about John Sinclair, the martyred leader of the White Panthers who was imprisoned for possession of two sticks of Motor City tea and having grand ideas about freedom and equality that apparently scared the crap out of the cops and their bosses.
I just went looking for that story, to see how much my memory was playing tricks, and found instead this review by Lester Bangs of the first MC5 album for Rolling Stone, which captures his sense of the hype and situation. His lede:
Whoever thought when that dirty little quickie Wild in the Streets came out that it would leave such an imprint on the culture? First the Doors (who were always headed in that direction anyway) grinding out that famous “They-got-the-guns-but-we-got-the-numbers” march for the troops out there in Teenland, and now this sweaty aggregation. Clearly this notion of violent, total youth revolution and takeover is an idea whose time has come — which speaks not well for the idea but ill for the time.
Later in the review Bangs says that the song Kick Out The Jams is like Barrett Strong’s Money as if recorded by the Kingsman, as if that was a bad thing.