LOS ANGELES (CBS) Wayne Kramer has been named one of the top 100 guitar players by Rolling Stone Magazine.
The Los Angeles-based musician played guitar for 30 years in the band MC5.
But it all came to a screeching halt when Kramer was arrested in 1976 and spent more than 2 years in prison for drugs and what he calls “a life of crime.”
“Generally young people, ambitious young people, come to Los Angeles and they want to have a career and they work really hard at it and they achieve what they set out to achieve. But they still don’t have a good life. In fact, they feel worse now that they’re successful and that opens the door for drugs and alcohol. They’re pain killers,” Kramer told CBS2’s Whitney Drolen.
Today, Wayne is a successful music composer for film and television. And because he has gotten his life back on track, Kramer started the nonprofit organization, Jail Guitar Doors, which raises money to buy new guitars for prison inmates as a means of therapy.
“Jail Guitar Doors is musician founded, musician operated and it’s really a network of musicians. Musicians have always kind of connected with the outside world, the people that slipped through the cracks,” he said.
Jail Guitar Doors got its name from a song written and performed from the popular 70s band, The Clash, about Kramer’s two-year stint in prison. Several famous musicians are involved with Kramer’s nonprofit.
To learn more, visit Jail Guitar Doors online.